“Silent majority” behind unexpected Conservative victory in UK vote

Despite a virtual tie with Labour in pre-election polling, the sweeping Conservative victory on May 7 was far from unprecedented. New analysis by the Economist magazine recalls the role of a “silent majority,” which propelled the Conservatives to 10 Downing Street in 1970 and 1992 despite polls suggesting defeat at the hands of Labour. With a majority of 331 seats in the House of Commons, the Tories no longer need a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats, whose leader Nick Clegg has stepped down. Labour leader Ed Miliband also stepped down after the election, while the Scottish National Party swept up all but three of Scotland’s 59 constituencies and stands to quintuple its parliamentary funding.