2015 General Election Results

The Conservative Party have won an unexpected majority in the House of Commons following the voting in the General Election yesterday.

The results were:

Conservative Party David Cameron 11,300,303 (36.9%) 330 (50.8%)
330 / 650
Labour Party Ed Miliband 9,344,328 (30.4%) 232 (35.7%)
232 / 650
UK Independence Party Nigel Farage 3,881,129 (12.6%) 1 (0.2%)
1 / 650
Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg 2,415,888 (7.9%) 8 (1.2%)
8 / 650
Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon 1,454,436 (4.7%) 56 (8.6%)
56 / 650
Green Party of England and Wales Natalie Bennett 1,157,613 (3.8%) 1 (0.2%)
1 / 650
Democratic Unionist Party Peter Robinson 184,260 (0.6%) 8 (1.2%)
8 / 650
Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood 181,694 (0.6%) 3 (0.5%)
3 / 650
Sinn Féin Gerry Adams 176,232 (0.6%) 4 (0.6%)
4 / 650
Ulster Unionist Party Mike Nesbitt 114,935 (0.4%) 2 (0.3%)
2 / 650
Social Democratic & Labour Party Alasdair McDonnell 99,809 (0.3%) 3 (0.5%)
3 / 650
Others N/A 381,053 (1.2%) 2 (0.3%)
2 / 650

Bow Group in turmoil after Benjamin Harris-Quinney revelations

The Bow Group is in turmoil after an interview with Andrew Neil discovered that the group’s chairman, Benjamin Harris-Quinney, wasn’t a member of the Conservative Party.

Harris-Quinney said during the questioning by Andrew Neil, which was broadcast on BBC’s Daily Politics, “why are you asking me about a branch of Conservatives Abroad?” before attempting to shout over the host. Conservatives Abroad said that Harris-Quinney was no longer a member although Harris-Quinney said that because he founded the branch of Conservatives Abroad in Madrid he was the President of it.

Michael Heseltine commented that:

“I think [Andrew Neil] destroyed him … and he is not a member of the party and is actively campaigning in a way which is incompatible with Conservative Party policy”.

Shortly afterwards Michael Heseltine, Norman Lamont, Geoffrey Howe and Nirj Deva issued a statement saying:

“As Patrons of the Bow Group we believe that this country’s best interests are served by voting Conservative in all situations. Ben Harris-Quinney does not speak for us or represent our views”.

Numerous other Bow Group members and Conservative MPs have distanced themselves from Harris-Quinney.

Nick Clegg says Liberal Democrats wouldn’t necessarily oppose an EU referendum

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Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister and the leader of the Liberal Democrats, has said that the party would consider supporting a referendum on British membership of the European Union. He said that the party had red lines which it would not go beyond and although a Liberal Democrat Government wouldn’t call a referendum it would not necessarily oppose one if it was in a coalition with another party.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Clegg said that the party had red lines which it would not go beyond which included NHS spending, education spending and public sector pay. He addied that:We’re going to do a lot better than all that punditry suggests

“We’re going to do a lot better than all that punditry suggests”.

Tom Watson and Liam Byrne condemned for speaking at segregated rally

Tom Watson and Liam Byrne, both standing for re-election as Labour MPs, have refused to comment after it was revealed they had spoken a rally segregated into males and females. Jack Dromey, the wife of Harriet Harman, was also in attendance at the rally.

A Labour Party spokesman said that there was no enforced segregation but a photo appearing after the event showed that male and female members of the audience were sat separately. Tom Watson and Liam Byrne refused to comment when asked for details of why they continued to appear at the rally which took place in Birmingham on 2 May 2015.

Government Express Concern Over Indonesian Executions

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Hugo Swire, the Minister for Asia, has expressed concern over the executions which have taken place, and others which are planned, in Indonesia. Swire said:

“We share the concerns of our international partners about today’s executions in Indonesia. As is well-known, it is the long-standing policy of the UK to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances. We have made representations to the Indonesian government on this matter repeatedly and at the highest levels, and we will continue to do so. We welcome the EU’s call for collaboration on alternative approaches to tackling drug crime”.

Liberal Democrats Pledge Free Schools Meals for 7 to 11 Year Olds

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Nick Clegg, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, has pledged free school meals for 7 to 11 year olds. The plan is expected to cost around £610 million a year and would be introduced from 2017 to 2018. Clegg said:

“Liberal Democrats want every child to have the best possible start in life. That’s why I want every child to have a hot, healthy school lunch. We know that giving children a healthy lunch helps them to concentrate in the afternoon and do better in class”.

New Ipsos MORI suggests large SNP gains

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Polling undertaken by Ipsos MORI has suggested that the SNP may be on course to win every seat in Scotland. The polling though does suggest that many voters are still undecided so the electoral position may remain fluid.

Details of the polling are available here.

Labour announces new immigration strategy

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Ed Miliband, the Leader of the Opposition, has announced the Labour Party’s ten point immigration strategy if they win the 2015 General Election.

The strategy includes:

  1. Recruiting 1,000 extra borders staff, paid for by a small charge on non-visa visitors to the UK.
  2. Stopping those who have committed serious crimes coming to Britain and deporting those who commit them after they arrive.
  3. Introducing full exit checks, so that we can count people in and out of the country.
  4. Ending the indefinite detention of people in the asylum system and upholding our traditions and obligations on refugees.
  5. Keeping the cap on workers from outside the EU and tightening the rules by requiring large firms hiring workers from outside to offer apprenticeships here.
  6. Making it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers – and enforcing this law with a special 100-strong Home Office unit with investigatory powers.
  7. Banning recruitment agencies from hiring only from overseas.
  8. Closing the agency workers loophole where employers are able to use agency staff as a way to undercut the wages of permanent staff.
  9. Preventing people who come here from claiming benefits for at least two years or sending child benefit to families living abroad.
  10. Requiring people working in public services in public facing roles to speak English.

Foreign Secretary pledges help for British nationals in Nepal

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Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, has pledged help for British nationals who have been caught up in the earthquake in Nepal. In a statement Hammond said:

“Foreign Office staff continue to work around the clock tracing British nationals and getting them to safety in the wake of this catastrophe. More than 300 who had no accommodation have been hosted by our Embassy in Kathmandu and we have arranged for around 120 to be repatriated on a flight chartered by the UK Government to deliver relief supplies.

The situation remains extremely challenging due to widespread infrastructure damage caused by the earthquakes, landslides and avalanches. Search and rescue teams, medics and our armed services are on the ground now helping British nationals and others in need. Hundreds of Britons have now been accounted for and our teams are working closely with the Nepalese army and authorities to locate British nationals in remote areas and get them to safety.

We know that this is an agonising time for those who are waiting for news of loved ones. But the scale of the disaster and the limited communications means that it may be some time before we can account for everyone. Many are likely to be in a place of safety but not able to communicate easily.

Sadly I can confirm the death of one British dual national, a resident of Hong Kong”.

Conservatives to rule out increases in Income Tax, VAT or National Insurance

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David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has ruled out any increases in Income Tax, VAT or National Insurance if the Conservatives win the General Election.

The Prime Minister said that the Government would legislate within 100 days of the General Election to enshrine in law no tax increases by 2020.

In a speech he said:

“When it comes to your tax bill, do you trust the people who taxed you to the hilt when they were in power and still haven’t come clean about the taxes they want to increase next time round?

“Or do you trust the Conservatives, who have cut income taxes for 26 million people, and who will cut your taxes again next time?”

A Labour spokesman said that they expected the Conservatives to increase VAT.