British financial markets rally as election results point to a shock outright victory for Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party. As Ciara Lee reports the result wiped away the uncertainty for investors that a hung parliament had threatened to deliver.
Returning to Downing Street in triumph. Conservative leader David Cameron looks set to lead the country, as a shock outright majority becomes increasingly likely. . (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER AND CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATE, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "To me this campaign was always about the difficult decisions we had to take over the last five years, the foundation of a stronger economy that we built for our country, and the chance now to build on that foundation." Opinion polls had predicted a hung parliament, so too had the financial markets. They rallied on the news that political certainty looked close to being restored. British stocks opened sharply up and sterling surged. Mike Ingram is from BGC. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BGC MARKET ANALYST, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: "You only had to look at sterling over night on the exit poll which suggested it might be a real possibility. Biggest move we have seen in sterling in almost six years. And following on this morning as the election results have been coming in, we have seen to FTSE pushing up, back through the 7000 mark." But while the short-term political risks for world's fifth biggest economy may have diminished, the longer-term risk of Britain holding a referendum to leave the European Union remains - and that is a concern for some investors. Cameron promised a historic in-out vote within two years if re-elected. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BGC MARKET COMMENTATOR, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: "If they keep that promise and I think they will hope that the UK economic recovery will continue and that in turn will continue to erode the desire for the UK to leave the EU." Ed Miliband, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, all but conceded defeat and is widely expected to stand down. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LABOUR PARTY LEADER, ED MILIBAND, SAYING: "This has clearly been a very disappointing and difficult night for the Labour Party. We haven't made the gains we wanted in England and Wales, and in Scotland, we've seen a surge of nationalism overwhelm our party." That damage came from the Scottish National Party. They cleaned up in Scotland, grabbing almost all the seats contested by the SNP. It may have been a victory for Cameron, but the overwhelming result for the SNP sets the stage for a new battle over Scottish independence.