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Cameron easily wins seat, set to govern UK

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has won his seat in Oxfordshire, as early results suggest his Conservative party will have the numbers to form government. The SNP has registered record wins in Scotland.

Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party had a commanding lead in Britain's parliamentary election as early results on Friday indicated Cameron would retain 10 Downing Street for the next five years.

Early results showed Cameron's Conservatives winning 203 of the 650 seats. Exit polls suggest the Conservatives are on track to win 316 seats, with the main opposition party Labour 239, and the Scottish National Party gaining 58. The BBC projected an even higher win, with Cameron's party reportedly poised to take 325 seats, just one seat short of a clear majority.

A total of 326 seats is needed for Cameron's Conservatives to hold on to power in the lower house.

Speaking after being declared the winner of the Witney constituency in Oxfordshire, Prime Minister David Cameron said it had been a good night for his party.

"This is clearly a strong night for the Conservative party," Cameron said during his victory speech. "My aim remains simple…to govern on the basis of governing for everyone."

If the Conservative's were to gain enough seats to form government the leader said he would bring the United Kingdom together "by implementing devolution for Scotland as fast as possible."

But, the Conservative's leader added cautiously that "it is too early to say exactly what sort of result there will be at the end of this night."

Meanwhile, Cameron's Labour challenger, Ed Miliband, said Friday his party had suffered a "very disappointing" night after initial results showed his party was set to lose seats.

"This has clearly been a very disappointing and difficult night for the Labour Party," he told supporters after securing his own seat of Doncaster, in Northern England.

Miliband added he was "deeply sorry" for the outcome across Britain, especially Scotland.

Scotland, a nationalist stronghold

Scottish Nationalist Party leader Nicola Sturgeon told local television that it was a good night for her party: "This is shaping up to be an outstandingly good night for the SNP but I think a good night for Scotland. The tectonic plates of Scottish politics have clearly shifted - what we are seeing is a historic shift in Scottish political opinion," she said.

Sturgeon added: "It hasn't happened overnight, not even in the last seven months since the referendum, although that's accelerated the process, but Labour has been losing the trust of people in Scotland now over a period of years."

By early Friday, the SNP had won 50 seats, a gain of 44. The SNP's Mhairi Black won the Paisley and Renfrewshire South seat to become, at 20 years of age, Westminster's youngest MP since 1667.

Black, a student at Glasgow University, stood against one of the best-known Labour MPs in Scotland, Douglas Alexander, who was defending a majority of more than 16,000. He was shadow foreign secretary and Labour's UK campaign co-ordinator.

The result in Scotland had dramatic implications for the Labour Party and the future of its leader Ed Miliband. The party had held 41 seats in Scotland before the election. There were major swings, in excess of 30 percent in some cases, from Labour to the SNP. Jim Murphy, the party leader in Scotland, lost his seat as newspapers prepared headlines for Friday morning: "SNP crush Labour."

The right-wing, anti-Europe UK Independence Party (UKIP) gained votes but not enough to win many seats. Former Conservative Party member Douglas Carswell won the seat for UKIP in Clacton in southeastern England

Opinion polls during the six-week long election campaign suggested the Conservative and Labour parties were neck and neck. But they appear to have significantly underestimated support for the Conservatives and overstated it for Labour.

jlw/kms (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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