1. The number of women in parliament has increased
This is my favourite thing about the election, as this has been a real area of interest for me for years; to the point that I wrote my dissertation on it. The number of women has risen to 29%, just shy of the magic 30% that some academics claim is the ‘tipping point’ for real solid recognition of gender issues. Plus, as they are across all the parties (including the youngest MP for generations, 20-year-old Mhairi Black) they haven’t been given any patronising moniker (i.e. Blair’s Babes or Cameron’s Cuties). Yet.
2. The Red Wedding for the Left?
Once it became clear that the Lib Dems had been largely wiped out, and that Labour would most definitely not be a contender for government; the news featured back-to-back resignation speeches from Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband. Additionally, numerous political heavy-weights from these two parties have found themselves unemployed. This has in turn been followed by an awful lot of hand-wringing about what these parties should do next.
3. Our parliament isn’t that representative
Aside from the fact that the majority of MPs are white men, when it comes to the logistics of voting, our government doesn’t really represent what voters really wanted. The Lib Dems received more of the popular vote than the SNP, but were reduced to just 8 seats whereas the other party holds more than 50. Similarly, Ukip polled third overall, but hold just one seat. Regardless, of whether you agree with party policies, it is little wonder that many feel alienated from Westminster when their voices are unheard. Despite some vocal demands for electoral reform on social media, this is unlikely to take place under a government for whom the current system works, but it’s definitely something to bear in mind for future manifestos.
4. So what happens now?
Five years of Tory slim majority rule, basically. Cameron has had a reshuffle, but most of the key players remain in their former posts. This article neatly summarises the key policies that are likely to happen, especially without the presence of the Lib Dems. The current key issues that are creeping out are plans for the EU referendum, scrapping the Human Rights Act (the appointment of Michael Gove to Justice Secretary all but confirming this) to be replaced by the British Bill of Rights as apparently we have different rights to the rest of Europe and re-legalising fox hunting. Cameron is likely to have issues, not only surrounding Europe, but also on facing Scotland’s rather tangled relationship with Westminster and dealing with rebellious backbenchers. And we all get to experience this all over again in 2020.