By Jonathan Davies

David Cameron will continue as Prime Minister after the Conservatives won the general election with surprising ease.

At around 12:40, the Cotswolds seat was declared as a hold, officially confirming that the Conservatives have won the the 2015 general election with a majority.

Prime Minister David Cameron travelled to Buckingham Palace for an audience with the Queen.

The unexpected victory led to the resignation of Labour leader Ed Miliband, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

How it all began

The night began with the exit polls forecasting 316 seats for the Conservative, 239 for Labour, 58 for the SNP and 10 for the Lib Dems.

Almost everyone questioned its reliability given how many pre-election polls put the Conservatives and Labour neck-and-neck.

It suggested that, if accurate, the Conservatives could again team up with the Liberal Democrats to form a majority government, along with the support of the DUP in Northern Ireland.

How the Conservatives won

The 316 exit polls forecast took everyone by surprise. But the Conservatives surpassed even that total, winning an overall majority. It won by taking advantage of the Lib Dems horrendous night. It managed to swing the Lib Dem vote far better than Labour did, particular in the South West.

The Conservatives also came out on top in the battle for marginals with Labour. It not only held onto seats with small majorities, in many cases it extended those majorities into the thousands.

Wales was a destination of surprising success, as well. Traditionally a Labour stronghold, the Tories managed to take 11 seats - it's largest number for 32 years.

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What happened to Labour?

Before the polls closed on Thursday, Ed Miliband would've had reasonable beliefs that he would be the next Prime Minister. Instead, his party lost the election, he lost his shadow chancellor and he lost his foreign secretary Douglas Alexander.

With the exit polls forecasting SNP domination in Scotand, Labour had to perform well in England and Wales. If Ed Miliband were to have any chance of becoming Prime Minister, Labour would need to defend its own marginals, and take key Conservative marginal seats.

In reality, it secured fewer seats than Gordon Brown in 2010. Labour did manage to take some. But seats like Warwickshire North and Nuneaton were among the main targets. Not only did the Conservatives hold those seats, they extended their majorities.

And even in seats that Labour was winning, the vote was swinging towards the Tories.

It made good gains in London, but losing seats outside of the capital and a number in Wales (even Gower, which wasn't on the radar of changing hands!) was its downfall.

The SNP

Nicola Sturgeon urged "extreme caution" when the exit polls forecast a near whitewash for the SNP in Scotland. But the exit polls were almost stop on.

The way in which SNP won its seats verged on unbelievable. The surprise 17% swing to oust former Conservative MP Michael Portilo has been considered as one of the biggest. But across Scotland, we were seeing swings of 34% and 35%. In Glasgow North East, considered to be one of Labour's safest seats in Scotland, the vote swung 39% in the SNP's favour.

The Lib Dems

The exit polls forecast the Lib Dems to lose 47 seats. No expected things to be that bad. Instead, it lost some key figures like Danny Alexander, Vince Cable and Simon Hughes.

There were even reports that Nick Clegg's seat in Sheffield Hallam could be under threat. He did win, but giving his acceptance speech, Mr Clegg suggested that he is considering his future as leader of the Liberal Democrats.