Hard to know where to start, but here’s some random thoughts.
The pollsters. Never has Jim Bolger’s ‘bugger the polls’ had more relevance. Nobody picked this. Nobody.
The SNP. Well done. An absolutely stunning result. Cameron is going to have to offer some sort of federal system or Scotland is leaving the UK. It’s that simple. Labour may have to retool as a Scottish organisation if they are to have a future.
The Lib Dems. An entirely deserved drubbing. It also shows the danger of being the junior partner in a coalition; you’re a magnet for negativity and blame.
The Greens. A million votes. One MP. It’s fundamentally wrong.
UKIP. Four million votes. Two MP’s. Still wrong, but feels right somehow. Saloon bar racism should not be rewarded. Nigel Farage is probably wondering what he has to do to get elected or if he should even bother trying.
Labour. Ed Miliband took the party to the left. In contrast to his Blairite bro David, he wanted to get Labour closer to its roots, to find common values with the voters that should be supporting them. It hasn’t worked. But then, trying to steer a middle ground hasn’t worked here for the NZ Labour Party either. I assume he’ll resign, but I hope whoever takes over keeps looking left for the answers.
Crosby/Textor. Well, we’ve seen the blueprint here over three elections and we know how well it works for the right. Dog whistles and outright lies, with a touch of the fear factor thrown in. Here it was fear of mana/internet they peddled, over there it was fear of the SNP. Vote Ed, get Alex etc.
The Tories. Well played, but even they must be shocked at the result. It might even be an outright win, though the final margin may be thin. David Cameron may be the PM for now, but he still has Boris Johnson waiting in the wings for any slip ups. A lot can happen over five years.
Summary. It might be a while before all the dust settles, but three leaders are probably writing their resignation speeches right now. All in all, a quite extraordinary result. And, if this newly minted Parliament doesn’t find a solution to the needs of the nations, particularly Scotland, this election may be the last ever for the United Kingdom as we know it.