The United Kingdom general election of 2015 was held on 7 May 2015 to elect the 56th Parliament of the United Kingdom. In UK general elections, voting takes place in all parliamentary constituencies of the United Kingdom to elect Members of Parliament (MPs) to seats in the House of Commons, the lower house of Parliament. The leader of the largest party or coalition of parties in the House of Commons becomes Prime Minister. Local elections took place on the same day in most of England, with the exception of Greater London.
The incumbent Prime Minister was David Cameron of the Conservative Party, which had governed since the 2010 election in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. Polls predicted a close race to be the largest party between the Conservatives and the Labour Party, led by Ed Miliband, with all pollsters confidently predicting a hung parliament. However, the election ended with the Conservative Party increasing its MPs and becoming the largest party, with an overall majority of 12 (or 16 excluding Sinn Féin MPs), allowing Cameron to remain as Prime Minister without requiring a coalition or needing to stand as a minority government.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) made landslide gains in Scotland, gaining 50 MPs and finishing with a total of 56 out of the 59 seats in Scotland, making them the third largest party in Parliament. The Liberal Democrats lost 49 seats as their share of the vote dropped to their lowest level since the election of 1970. They finished with a total of 8 MPs, tied with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland for the fourth largest party in Parliament.
The campaign was marked by an increased profile for the UK Independence Party (UKIP), who finished with the third highest vote share (13%) but only one MP, despite having the highest notional increase in the popular vote in the election, an increase of 9.5%.
In the aftermath of the election, Miliband announced his resignation as Labour Party leader. The future of the Liberal Democrats was also cast into doubt, following the worst performance since 1959 and the loss of many high-profile MPs including former cabinet members Vince Cable and Ed Davey, and the resignation of Nick Clegg as their leader. Nigel Farage resigned as leader of UKIP after failing to win the seat at Thanet South.