It was a traumatic night for the Liberal Democrats, whose numbers were almost decimated as the Scottish National Party and the Conservatives muscled in on seats traditionally seen as safe.
Exit polls showed the Lib Dems would be left with no more than 10 seats, a fraction of the 58 they won at the 2010 General Election.
At his election count this morning, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg - who held onto his seat - said he would make further comments about the implications of the bloodbath later.
However, he added: "It's now painfully clear this has been a cruel and punishing night for the Liberal Democrats."
The senior leadership of the party dropped like flies. Among senior members of the party to have lost their seats are:
- Business secretary Vince Cable (Twickenham)
- Energy secretary Ed Davey (Kingston and Surbiton)
- Former deputy leader Simon Hughes (Bermondsey)
- Employment minister Jo Swinson (East Dunbartonshire)
- Former leader Charles Kennedy (Ross, Skye and Lochbar)
- Former schools minister David Laws (Yeovil)
- Treasury secretary Danny Alexander (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)
So far, the party has retained just six seats, including Southport and Carshalton & Wallington. Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, is predicted to lose his seat of Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey.