British Conservative Party leader David Cameron has returned to Downing Street to form a majority government after an outright win in the general election.
In a victory speech outside Number 10 he said he was proud to have led a coalition, and praised his former partner in government Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats.
But he swiftly turned to the future.
"I truly believe we're on the brink of something special in our country," he said.
Acknowledging unprecedented gains by the Scottish National Party, Mr Cameron said he intended to govern with respect.
"In Scotland, our plan is to create the strongest devolved government in the world."
"This is clearly a very strong night for the Conservative party," he said earlier after winning his own seat in Oxfordshire. "My aim remains simple ... to govern on the basis of governing for everyone."
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband admitted defeat and announced he would step down after his party suffered major losses, especially in Scotland.
Mr Miliband held his seat of Doncaster North, but the poll was a disaster for the Labour Party.
Labour was wiped out in Scotland where the Scottish National Party (SNP) acquired one seat after another.
Mr Miliband said he was "deeply sorry" for what had happened elsewhere in Britain, especially in Scotland where he said a surge of nationalism had overwhelmed the Labour party.
Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg held his Sheffield seat, but resigned as head of the party after a disastrous showing at the polls.
The centrist party, which has governed in coalition with the Conservatives for the past five years, was expected to finish with just ten seats. In the last election it won 57 seats.
Mr Clegg thanked supporters in his electorate but said the future of the party was now clearly in doubt.
The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) won its first ever seat at a general election, although its colourful leader, Nigel Farage, failed to win in South Thanet.
He said he would review his position during a summer break.
Douglas Carswell won the seat of Clacton for UKIP , which he won in a by-election last year, after defecting from the Conservative Party.
Mr Carswell hit out at the electoral system in the UK, saying while about five million people will have voted for either his party or the Green Party, the parties would only get a handful of seats.