In reality though it is still a very good win for Labour in the current climate. They fought the Election on the back of the Iraq War, as well as several controversal national issues, and with an incredibly unpopular leader. That they still polled this highly speaks volumes about the LACK of proper opposition the Conservatives have managed to muster, and the LibDems to a certain extent too.
In real terms the Labour share of the vote was down about 6%, the Conservatives had pretty much no change in their vote share (0.6%?) whilst the LibDems share was up close to 5%.
Personally I'd have liked to have seen the LibDems do slightly better. I know they have still had the best election results in over 80 years and they'll be more LibDem MPs in the next Parliament but we failed to get any of the major scalps we had aimed for and, indeed, actually lost a few seats to both the Tories and Labour that we should have held on to. Still, it was an incredibly good night as the LibDems have cemented themselves into second place in a number of areas across the country which gives us a very platform to laucnh the next Election campaign and build upon the progress and momentum that is in place.
Blair will remain Prime Minister for 12-24 months before handing over the reigns to (probably) Gordon Brown. There is a chance he'll go sooner I guess but unless something pushes him I reckon he'll hold out but still leave Gordon enough time to cement his own leadership qualities on the party before having to fight the next General Election. Michael Howard will probably stay on, the Conservatives didn't do badly although they would have expected a better share of the vote. Charles Kennedy will also probably stay on as party leader and build upon the success the LibDems have achieved this time round with the knowledge that many of the people too young to vote this time round will be ticking Yellow boxes when they come to age in time for the next round of voting.
UKIP crashed, Veritas hardly showed up. The BNP achieved very good results (for them) and will give many people cause to worry, but then that was hardly unsurprising with the level of propaganda that's been thrown around about immigration combined with the fact that immigration in this country isn't the best at present.
And well done to the Greens who got 22% of the vote in Brighton Pavilion, even if they did not win the seat. Great news!
Finchley & Golders Green (my neck of the woods) returned Rudi Vis (Labour) with a reduced majority of 741 votes and 40.5% of the overall ballots (down 5.8%), with the Tories up 1% to 38.8% and Sue Garden of the LibDems up 4.8% to 16.9%.