You have to ask the question, though: why wasn't this a spectacular victory for the Tories? There are tons of possible answers to that. Here are a few of them:
1. The weather.
Coupled with the general feeling of disillusionment with Westminster politics, and the steady decline of turnouts under Labour, was the rain. It was a miserable day where I am and I gather it wasn't much better anywhere else. All that's a recipe for a lowish turnout, and for a tighter race.
2. The swing.
Lots has been said about 'the swing' so there's no need to add much more beyond a reminder: thanks to the way Labour's rigged it, the Tories needed to break records to gain that overall majority they were after. I honestly thought they would. I was wrong! But they did bloody well, nonetheless.
3. The Lib Dem effect.
Even though they've done dreadfully in terms of seats, in terms of splitting votes in key constituencies, they've done precisely what I had hoped they wouldn't do and narrowed the margin of Labour's defeat. I hope they're very proud of themselves.
4. The media.
The media, especially Sky and the BBC, decided early in the game that the hung parliament theme was the one they liked, and they pushed it absolutely relentlessly from day one. They deliberately generated uncertainty in the country, and kept on blurring the dividing lines between the parties. The thing that was most unforgivable, however, was their massive and utterly disproportionate coverage of Nick Clegg and his Lib Dems. I think that has had a massive impact if not in directly splitting the vote, then in causing people actually not to vote. I am guilty, too, therefore - of underestimating the power television still has in swaying public opinion. But never again must TV be permitted to have such liberty during an election fight that it can pretty much do what it likes.
What damage these evil parasites have done to our democracy is, at the moment, difficult to quantify. But damaged it they have, massively and, possibly, irreparably. They have been trying to rig the system using any and all means at their disposal, including benefit dependency and even electoral fraud since the first day they conned their way into office. As far as I am concerned, they're a bunch of criminals. One thing looks certain, if we are to have our country back, Brown will need to be forcibly removed from Number 10, at gunpoint if necessary.
6. The economy
This is the real killer. Neither Labour nor the Tories have really been honest about the scale of the threat facing us by the sovereign debt crisis and the future of the nation's prosperity. People are not stupid, and they are seriously spooked. I was explaining the situation as objectively as I could to a foreign student the other day. I was surprised by what I heard myself saying, broadly that on the one hand, you had a fairly honest party that was hinting at immediate cuts (which would not go far enough) and on the other you had a completely dishonest party hinting at delayed cuts, (which would not go far enough). The people in general seem to be sort of trusting the party that's kind of hinting at more immediate action - sort of - rather than the party that put us in this shit in the first place (I didn't use the word 'shit' at the time).
In other words, an awful lot of floating voters are still out there, still floating, because no one gave them clear enough signals, or any real leadership. Cameron needs to grow a pair, show some steel and start leading. Now that he has won some sort of a mandate, and the moral right to govern, he can get tough with whoever wants to stand in his (and our) way, and at the very least try to avoid the meltdown that is coming.
Look on the bright side, though: Brown is finished.
Oh, and that bottle of vintage champagne is still in the fridge, unopened. Well, I don't think we're done with elections this year quite yet so I'm saving it for the outright Tory win.
There's gonna be a lot of fun before that moment, though. Don't stray too far from your radios!