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At a polling station in London
At a polling station in London
Julie Farrar

LONDON — What all British pollsters foresaw as the tightest election in decades turned out to be a night of triumph for incumbent Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservative Party and a stinging defeat for the Labour opposition.

The Conservatives won 331 seats, enough to form a small majority, Labour won 232, the Scottish National Party (SNP) 56, the Liberal Democrats just eight, and only one each for the anti-Europe party UKIP and the Green Party.

Labour leader Ed Miliband, who resigned in humiliation Friday, echoed Cameron's sentiment about a united country. According to The Daily Telegraph’s Rupert Myers, Miliband "wasn't radical enough for the Left – and too weird for everyone else."

And after the overwhelming defeat of Liberal Democrats, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also resigned as party leader Friday. He said the results had been immeasurably more crushing and unkind than he expected. "For that I must take responsibility and resign as leader of the Liberal Democrats," he said.

The SNP demonstrated itself as a real force in Westminster, winning an unprecedented 56 seats. "Whatever the Government is that emerges at Westminster, they cannot ignore what has happened in Scotland," party leader Nicola Sturgeon said. Former SNP leader Alex Salmond, who had previously served as a parliament member and was elected again yesterday, said, "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."

Cameron says he will campaign to remain in the EU, but he will be looking for treaty reform from the European Union, Le Monde wrote. Should his Thursday election victory bring no concessions from Brussels, the prime minister could ultimately lean on the side of a "Brexit."

Meanwhile, La Stampa chalked up Cameron's victory to the country's multi-ethnic model being healthy and far from in crisis. Although he ran a mediocre campaign that was often devoid of passion, the daily wrote, he convinced the British public that his was the right path.

Front pages focused on exit polls, with a general consensus that the day had been good to the Tories.

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Geopolitics

Women, Life, Freedom: Iranian Protesters Find Their Voice

In the aftermath of the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the morality police mid-September for not wearing her hijab properly, many Iranians have taken the streets in nationwide protests. Independent Egyptian media Mada Masr spoke to one of the protesters.

Students of Amirkabir University in Tehran protest against the Islamic Republic in September 2022.

Lina Attalah

On September 16, protests erupted across Iran when 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in custody after being arrested and beaten by morality police for her supposedly unsuitable attire. The protests, witnesses recount, have touched on all aspects of rights in Iran, civil, political, personal, social and economic.

Mada Masr spoke to a protester who was in the prime of her youth during the 2009 Green Movement protests. Speaking on condition of anonymity due to possible security retaliation, she walked us through what she has seen over the past week in the heart of Tehran, and how she sees the legacy of resistance street politics in Iran across history.

MADA MASR: Describe to us what you are seeing these days on the streets of Tehran.

ANONYMOUS PROTESTER: People like me, we are emotional because we remember 2009. The location of the protests is the same: Keshavarz Boulevard in the middle of Tehran. The last time Tehranis took to these streets was in 2009, one of the last protests of the Green Movement. Since then, the center of Tehran hasn’t seen any mass protests, and most of these streets have changed, with new urban planning meant to make them more controllable.

Remembering 2009 triggers many things, such as street strategies, tactics and the way we could find each other in the middle of the chaos. But this is us now, almost at the back. Up front, there are many younger people, especially girls. They are extremely brave, fearless and smart.

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