By Henry D Gombya
A political tsunami that hit Great Britain Friday morning has all but destroyed the political life of three political party leaders who were forced to resign immediately after the Conservative Party won an unprecedented general election, garnering the majority of seats in the House of Commons that will enable it to return to power with the mandate to form a government without help from any other party.
For the second time this century, the polls once again got it wrong throughout the election campaign, predicting that both the Conservative and Labour Parties were neck to neck and that the country was heading for yet another hang parliament. One would argue that it could have been the fear instilled in British voters of a possible alignment between the Labour Party and the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) that could have pushed the undecided voters to give the vote to the Conservative ending up with David Cameron, its leader gaining an unexpected parliamentary majority that allows him to form a government without the need to look for a coalition.
The political landscape in Britain was miraculously re-arranged to become almost blue from Land’s End to John O’Groats with the Conservative unexpectedly winning an overall majority that by the time we went to press Friday stood at 330 seats, four more than the magic figure of 326 required for any party to form a government without the help of a coalition with others. There were tears at the headquarters of the Liberal Democrats when the party’s chief and until Friday the country’s deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg fought to contain himself from crying out loud when he said ‘we have been harshly punished’. He then announced his resignation from the party’s leadership.
But this did not seem to help the damage caused by this ‘tsunami’ after two of the party’s grandees, Dr Vince Cable, until Friday the country’s Business Secretary lost his Kingston seat followed by former party chairman Simon Hughes who lost his Bermondsey and Old Southwark seat he has held for over 30 years to Labour’s Neil Coyle. A very able politician, Dr Cable was viewed by many as a probable future party leader despite his age but Mr Hughes was not in that mode although he had substantial political experience. Another would-have been party leader, Ed Davey who until Friday was still Britain’s Energy Secretary, lost his Kingston and Surbiton seat to the Conservatives. The failure also by Danny Alexander who was until Friday morning the country’s Chief Secretary to the Treasury to win his seat, helped seal the Liberal Democrats doom. It will now be quite interesting to find out who takes over the Liberal Democrats mantle of leadership.