A DRAMATIC night saw the SNP sweep Labour out of almost all its strongholds north of the border, and the Tories claiming the biggest scalp of the night as shadow chancellor Ed Balls went down to defeat by a margin of 422.
Here are 10 key quotes from election night:
• “My aim remains simple - to govern on the basis of governing for everyone in our United Kingdom. I want to bring our country together, our United Kingdom together, not least by implementing as fast as we can the devolution that we rightly promised and came together with other parties to agree both for Wales and for Scotland. In short, I want my party, and I hope a Government I would like to lead, to reclaim a mantle that we should never have lost - the mantle of One Nation, One United Kingdom” - Prime Minister David Cameron.
• “This has clearly been a very disappointing and difficult night for the Labour Party. We have not made the gains we wanted in England and Wales and in Scotland we have seen a surge of nationalism overwhelm our party. I want to say to all the dedicated and decent colleagues in Scotland who have lost their seats that I am deeply sorry for what has happened” - Labour leader Ed Miliband.
• “I am immensely proud to have led the party into a general election where we have been able to stand more Green candidates than ever before and saved a record number of deposits. I’m also very pleased to have won a record result here in Holborn and St Pancras - the constituency I’m proud to call my home. Our astounding membership surge in the last year, which means the Green Party now has more members than both Ukip and the Liberal Democrats, has helped deliver tonight’s excellent results” - Green Party leader Natalie Bennett.
• “It is now painfully clear that this has been a cruel and punishing night for the Liberal Democrats... I will be seeking to make further remarks about the implications of this election, both for the country and for the party I lead and for my position in the Liberal Democrats when I make remarks to my colleagues in the Liberal Democrats later this morning when I return to Westminster” - Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.
• “It’s been a long and exciting evening. I’m excited by some of the results coming through here in London. Sad about others, but overall it’s been an amazing night for the Conservatives when you consider where we were and what the polls were saying only a few hours ago. It’s a remarkable turnaround” - London Mayor and winning Conservative candidate Boris Johnson.
• “Here, in our part of Essex, people voted Ukip and they got Ukip. Yet across the country about five million people will have either voted for Ukip or for the Green Party. Those five million people will be lucky to get a tiny handful of MPs in the House of Commons. That failure to translate those five million votes into seats is less a reflection of how my party or the Green Party campaigned, rather it tells us how dysfunctional our political system is” - Ukip winning candidate Douglas Carswell.
• “We were hit by a very well organised national campaign based on people’s fear of a Labour government and the Scottish nationalists and we will see in the days that follow what are the implications. It has been a marvellous experience and an honour being the MP for this constituency. Unfortunately this has been a terrible night for our party all over” - Former Business Secretary Vince Cable.
• “I don’t want David Cameron to be prime minister, I don’t want another Tory government, and we’ve still got a long way to go tonight to see how the final results shape up across the UK” - SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon.
• ‘’There’s going to be a lion roaring tonight, a Scottish lion, and it’s going to roar with a voice that no government of whatever political complexion is going to be able to ignore. I think it’s going to be a resounding voice, a clear voice, a united voice from Scotland, and I think that is a very good thing’’ - Former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond.
• “He (Nigel Farage) is welcome. Any man’s welcome in the pub. That’s the beauty of the pub - everyone’s welcome. It’s a public house, whether you’re a prince or a pauper, you can come in the pub. If he’s drowning his sorrows, I’ll say ‘Well, well mate, better luck in 2020’” - Thanet South candidate Pub Landlord Al Murray.