The Conservatives have won an outright majority in the 2015 General Election, surprising pollsters who predicted with near certainty the second hung parliament since 1974.
Though they were expected to lose seats, incumbent Prime Minister David Cameron’s party in fact made gains, including winning Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls’s Morley and Outwood seat in West Yorkshire by just 422 votes.
The Conservatives’ 12-seat majority means that they will be able to return to government without former coalition partner the Liberal Democrats, who suffered devastating losses across the UK. Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg held his Sheffield Hallam seat in South Yorkshire, though by a far slimmer majority than in 2010.
He said that the election had been “punishing”, with the Liberal Democrats losing 49 of their 57 seats.
Ed Miliband’s Labour, meanwhile, were decimated in Scotland by the Scottish National Party, who took 56 out of the 59 seats north of the border including 40 formerly held by Labour and 10 by the Liberal Democrats. The BBC called the scale of the SNP’s landslide victory ‘unprecedented’.
Both Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have resigned as leader of their respective parties.
What next for the private rented sector?
With their plans to introduce mandatory three-year tenancies and cap private rents, Labour had aimed to secure the votes of millions of young renters currently unable to buy their own homes. However, many industry professionals believed the proposals would deter further investment and in fact hurt, not help, the people they were intended to protect.
Under the Conservatives, landlords will continue to be able to offer assured shorthold tenancies for initial periods of 6–12 months, with the option to renew the tenancy or allow it to become periodic at the end of the fixed term. They will also be able to set rents according to the local market.
As a result, many landlords up and down the country will likely be breathing a sigh of relief that the chance of a Labour-led government has passed. With the period of uncertainty over, landlords may now continue to invest with confidence.