One of the clearer accounts of what exactly happened last night comes from Josh Fruhlinger at Wonkette. Fruhlinger is best known as the Comics Curmudgeon, so he’s well qualified to evaluate an election that contains almost as many awkwardly-phrased speeches and implausible plot twists as a week of Mark Trail:
The whole thing that made this election vaguely interesting was fickle Britain’s sudden love affair the adorably wonkish Nick Clegg of the Lib Dems, but it turns out that even over the course of the ludicrously short British election cycle (a month! God, how awesome would it be if our elections lasted a month, instead of, you know, infinity years) they couldn’t be bothered to remember their brief infatuation with him, so his party actually ended up losing seats. But still, nobody can get a parliamentary majority without him!
The other observation I found interesting about the election – apart from Paul Wells’ observations at this very site — was Joshua Marshall’s statement that the aftermath reminds him of the U.S. elections of 2000. Not the results themselves or the candidates, but the way candidates immediately reacted to a close election by demanding that the other guy step down and admit he lost. This is standard procedure; if there’s no real winner yet, it’s important to act like a winner, because it increases your chances of actually winning.