Photographer: Rob Stothard/Getty Images

A Most Uncertain Election: In Pictures

The U.K. election on May 7 saw major upsets occur and pollsters proved wrong. David Cameron remains prime minister, with the Conservative Party ruling in its own right and free of the previous coalition government commitments. The biggest impact of a Conservative victory may be that Cameron can now press ahead with his promised referendum on leaving the European Union, to be held by the end of 2017.

  1. Returning to Number 10
    1

    Returning to Number 10

    David Cameron has returned as U.K. prime minister at the head of majority Conservative government after pulling off a surprise election victory helped by a landslide for nationalists in Scotland.

    Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg
  2. Long Shift
    2

    Long Shift

    A counter rests during a break in counting for the Hove, Brighton Pavilion and Brighton Kemptown constituencies in Brighton, U.K., held on May 7.

    Photographer: Clive Gee/AP Photo
  3. Elmo Room
    3

    Elmo Room

    Prime Minister David Cameron walked past a man dressed as Elmo during the count for his electorate at Windrush Leisure Centre in Witney, U.K.

    Photographer: Stefan Rousseau/AP Photo
  4. Nicola Sturgeon
    4

    Nicola Sturgeon

    First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon awaited election results at the Glasgow election count at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.

    Photographer: Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images
  5. Nick Clegg
    5

    Nick Clegg

    Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, stood at the podium and speaks from the count at the English Institute of Sport after retaining his constituency seat for Sheffield Hallam in Sheffield, U.K. He later resigned as head of the party.

    Photographer: Paul Thomas/Bloomberg
  6. Boris Johnson Win
    6

    Boris Johnson Win

    London Mayor Boris Johnson, Conservative candidate for Uxbridge, following his win as he attends the count at Brunel University London.

    Photographer: Matt Cardy/Getty Images
  7. Watchful Eye
    7

    Watchful Eye

    A police officer looked over the counting centre set up at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland.

    Phootgrapher: Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images
  8. The Night's First Victory
    8

    The Night's First Victory

    Labour candidate Bridget Phillipson made a speech to party supporters after securing victory in the Houghton and Sunderland South constituency in Sunderland, U.K.

    Photographer: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
  9. Spoiled Ballots
    9

    Spoiled Ballots

    Counting staff sorted bags of spoilt and unused ballot papers at the counting centre at Doncaster Racecourse, U.K.

    Photographer: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images
  10. Exit Poll
    10

    Exit Poll

    An exit poll predicted the Conservative Party with 316 seats is projected onto BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place in London. The final tally saw the Tories win 331 seats.

    Photographer: Jack Taylor/AFP via Getty Images
  11. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron
    11

    U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron

    U.K. polls suggested that neither Conservative leader David Cameron, pictured, nor his Labour opponent Ed Miliband would come close to getting enough seats in Parliament to form a majority government.

    Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
  12. Labour Leader Ed Miliband
    12

    Labour Leader Ed Miliband

    Cameron constantly raised the specter of a minority Miliband government propped up by the Scottish nationalists, led by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who were seeking increased spending for Edinburgh.

    Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
  13. Opening Salvo
    13

    Opening Salvo

    A man rode a mobility scooter past a howitzer tank outside the Greenwich Heritage Centre in London, on the day of the vote.

    Photographer: Daniel Sorabji/AFP via Getty Images
  14. Spin Cycle
    14

    Spin Cycle

    Ballot boxes were set up at one polling station located inside a launderette in Oxford, U.K.

    Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
  15. Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg
    15

    Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg

    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, pitched for a second term in government in partnership with either main party, had pledged to cut less than the Tories and borrow less than Labour. He eventually suffered a humiliating defeat for his party.

    Photographer: Paul Thomas/Bloomberg
  16. Anarchy in the U.K.
    16

    Anarchy in the U.K.

    A demonstrator spoke with police officers outside 10 Downing Street in London.

    Photographer: Anthony Devlin/AP Photo
  17. First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon
    17

    First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon

    While the Labour and Tory campaigns failed to inspire the electorate -- the polls stubbornly refused to budge since the beginning of the year -- other parties such as the Greens and Plaid Cymru from Wales engaged voters who were sidelined for decades. In the end the pollsters were way off target in their predictions.

    Photographer: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
  18. SNP candidate and former First Minister Alex Salmond
    18

    SNP candidate and former First Minister Alex Salmond

    The SNP looked set to win at least six times as many seats as it took in 2010. The final tally showed they won more, a total of 50 seats out of 56 in Scotland.

    Photographer: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
  19. UKIP Leader Nigel Farage
    19

    UKIP Leader Nigel Farage

    At the other end of the country, the anti-EU U.K. Independence Party hoped to win seats for the first time at a general election. They only gained one seat and party leader Nigel Farage, pictured, resigned but the party rejected the move.

    Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg
  20. Hair Today...
    20

    Hair Today...

    A voter exited a polling station set up in a salon in Hull, U.K.

    Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
  21. Belfast Point of View
    21

    Belfast Point of View

    Forecasts of seat numbers suggested that the Tories and Liberal Democrats were unlikely to gain a enough seats to reprise their coalition of the past five years. Ahead of the vote strategists thought they might get close to one with the support of the Democratic Unionists, who won eight of Northern Ireland’s 18 seats in 2010.

    Photographer: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images