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Conservatives Pull Off A Surprisingly Big Win In The U.K.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha return to 10 Downing Street in London on Friday.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha return to 10 Downing Street in London on Friday.

After a string of polls that showed a dead heat in the U.K. general elections, last night turned out far less surprising.

The Conservatives — led by Prime Minister David Cameron — sailed to an easy victory. While votes are still being counted, the BBC is projecting the party may end up with a "slender majority."

NPR's Ari Shapiro tells Morning Edition that this election could have major repercussions at home and abroad. Ari says:

"The big question now is whether the United Kingdom will leave the European Union. David Cameron has promised to give voters a referendum by 2017 on whether to remain part of the EU. "If he keeps that campaign promise, the debate leading up to the vote, and the referendum itself, will have major international consequences for business, politics, regulations. "To some extent this was also a vote of confidence for Cameron's approach to the economy. Using austerity to eliminate the budge deficit without raising taxes. Possibly deep cuts to social services to balance the books. This vote suggests that British voters enthusiastically support approach to boosting the British economy."

During his victory speech, Cameron took the unity route, saying he wanted to govern for "everyone in our United Kingdom."

"I want to bring our country together, our United Kingdom together, not least by implementing as fast as we can the devolution that we rightly promised and came together with other parties to agree both for Wales and for Scotland," Cameron said, according to the BBC. "In short, I want my party, and I hope a government I would like to lead, to reclaim a mantle that we should never have lost - the mantle of One Nation, One United Kingdom. That is how I will govern if I am fortunate enough to form a government in the coming days."

The Guardian reports that after the loss Ed Miliband is expected to resign as the leader of the Labour Party.

On Twitter Miliband said: "Defeats are hard, but we're a party that will never stop fighting for the working people of this country."

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