English preferred steady George Osborne to flaky Russell Brand
'It's the economy, stupid' - Bill Clinton's mantra - won the election for the Conservatives, says Ruth Dudley Edwards
For anyone who hasn't been paying attention, the Conservatives, whom the poll of polls had predicted would win 34pc of the vote and struggle to cobble together a shaky coalition, won 36.9pc and hence 331 seats out of 650, giving them a majority of 12. (Actually, it's better for them than that, because the four Sinn Fein MPs obligingly refuse to take their seats.)
Labour, predicted to win 33pc, actually won just 30.4pc, giving them 232 seats. Eight of the nine polls surveyed had overstated Labour's share and all had understated that of the Conservatives.
On Thursday night, at 10.00pm, the BBC election programme released an exit poll giving Conservatives 316 seats and Labour 239: pollsters and commentators including Alastair Campbell - once Tony Blair's spin doctor, who makes a handsome living at home and abroad out of pronouncing on politics - rubbished it.