The Tories have won 306 seats compared to Labour on 258 and the LibDems on 57.
Two IFAs, Philip Milton and Deborah Dunleavy, have both failed in their attempts to become Conservative MPs. Milton came second to the LibDems in North Devon, who won with a 5,821 majority, while Dunleavy came second to Labour in Bolton North East who won a 4,084 majority.
Meanwhile, Conservative Shadow pensions minister Nigel Waterson has lost his Eastborne seat to the LibDems on a 4 per cent swing. Waterson had been an MP since 1992 and has recently been spearheading the Conservative Party’s concerns regarding the introduction of personal accounts.
Royal London head of corporate affairs Gareth Evans says: “It is a real shame we are losing Waterson from the pensions debate – he is the only one who really knows all the details of the current system and the changes being proposed. If there is a Tory Government it will be very difficult for a new member to come in and pick up Waterson’s former role.”
Aviva head of public affairs Tracey Crouch has become the Conservative MP for Chatham and Aylesford, gaining the seat from Labour on an 11 per cent swing.
Ed Balls, a likely candidate in a future Labour leadership election, clung on to his Morley & Outwood seat with a majority of 1,101 on a 9 per cent swing to the Tories.
Brown was back in Downing Street this morning and used his acceptance speech in Kirkaldy last night to try and open negotiations with the LibDems regarding a possible coalition. He called for “far reaching reform to our political system -on which there is growing consensus”. However even a Labour/LibDem coalition is likely to fall short of commanding a majority in Parliament.
Conservative leader David Cameron says Labour has “lost its mandate to govern”. Speaking after holding his Witney seat, he said: “Whatever happens tonight we will stand ready to do all that we can to help bring that leadership, to help bring strong, stable, decisive and good government for our country.”
Lansons public affairs director Ralph Jackson says: “It will be the Labour politicians that determine what we are going to end up with this morning. But the clock is ticking on a second election, it may be 12 months, it may be 18 months. The big question is what kind of government can be formed, for how long and whether it can gain confidence.”