In spite of polls yesterday which suggested a last minute surge in his party’s favor, Ed Miliband and the British Labor Party were rebuked by the British public yesterday. According to the BBC, the ruling Conservative Party will return to power with 329 of the 650 seats in the Parliament.
While a slim majority, this marks an increase in support for the Conservatives as the party failed to gain a majority of seats after the last elections and needed to form a coalition government with the small Liberal Democrat Party. But that party was cut to only 8 seats and will be left out in the cold this time.
So how many seats did the Labor Party get? The BBC is now giving it 233 seats. The loss is in part credited to the big victory of the Scottish National Party which basically now controls all the Scottish seats. That party took 56 districts, kicking Labor out of Scotland, but even with all of the Scottish seats the Labor would have come up short of a majority.
In his concession speech, Miliband said, “This has clearly been a very disappointing and difficult night for the Labor Party. We haven’t made the gains we wanted in England and Wales and in Scotland we have seen a surge of nationalism overwhelming our party.”
On the surge in Scottish nationalism he said, “The next government has a huge responsibility in facing the difficult task of keeping our country together.”
Many Jews around the world today might be thinking that anti-semitism may have played a hand in Miliband’s defeat. This is probably not the case.
Many more Jews might be relieved that a Jew will not be the leader of a major world power out of fear that this might cause anti-semitism.
There is not yet enough information about what the British voters were thinking and feeling in order to provide you with a proper post-mortem on the Labor Party’s defeat yesterday. But we will keep you posted as the information comes in.
One thing is certain, however. Yesterday’s big winner was David Cameron. He is the first Conservative Party leader other than Margaret Thatcher to lead his party to victory in two consecutive elections in just about ever.