Photographer: Rob Stothard/Getty Images
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.
Returning to Number 10
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
Long Shift
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
Elmo Room
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
Nicola Sturgeon
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
Nick Clegg
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
Boris Johnson Win
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
Watchful Eye
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
The Night's First Victory
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
Spoiled Ballots
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
Exit Poll
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
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron
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
Labour Leader Ed Miliband
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
Opening Salvo
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
Spin Cycle
Spin Cycle

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

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg
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
Anarchy in the U.K.
Anarchy in the U.K.

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

Photographer: Anthony Devlin/AP Photo
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon
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
SNP candidate and former First Minister Alex Salmond
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
UKIP Leader Nigel Farage
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
Hair Today...
Hair Today...

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

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
Belfast Point of View
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