Ed Miliband announces resignation
Ed Miliband announces resignationReuters

Apparently responding to the widespread calls from his own party to resign, UK Labor party head Ed Miliband announced on Friday that he will indeed be stepping down after suffering a resounding defeat in the elections conducted the day before.

Miliband, who woefully lost his challenge to dethrone incumbent Prime Minister David Cameron, led the Labor party to its worst elections performance in years, reports the Telegraph.

At 643 out of 650 seats counted in near final results on Friday, Cameron's Conservatives had won 326 seats, whereas Labor merely had 230. That signified a total gain of 22 seats for the Conservatives, and total loss of 26 for Labor as compared to their previous standings.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) also saw a remarkable boost in the elections, jumping to 56 seats and gaining 50 from its previous holdings, with most of those victories coming at the expense of Labor.

The announcement of resignation was made at Labor's central London headquarters, where Miliband expressed "sorrow" and took "absolute and total responsibility" for the abysmal defeat.

With Miliband out of the picture, those most likely to take over leadership from him are Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham and Chukka Umunna.

Another possibility is that Miliband's brother David might return. In 2010 Miliband challenged his brother - who is seen as less radically left-wing - for leadership and defeated him, leading David to leave politics and move to the US.

Aside from Miliband, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said he would quit after his party nosedived from 57 to eight MPs, and UKIP leader Nigel Farage also resigned after losing his post in Thanet South by around 2,800 votes to the Conservative candidate.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday tweeted a message of congratulations to Cameron, writing: "Congrats to @David_Cameron on impressive victory & renewed mandate. I look forward to working with you on shared goals of peace & prosperity."

Despite being of Jewish descent - albeit a self-declared atheist - Miliband was estimated to get only 22% of the Jewish vote in a recent poll, as opposed to 69% for Cameron given his staunch support for Israel.

Miliband pushed through a symbolic but highly controversial bill to recognize the "State of Palestine" regardless of negotiations with Israel.

Labor also harshly criticized Israel as it defended itself from Hamas's third terror war against it last summer, even while Cameron repeatedly defended Israel's actions as part of its legitimate right to self-defense.

Jewish Brits were also concerned about anti-Semitism; while Cameron has promised to fight the growing trend of hatred, Miliband instead vowed to criminalize "Islamophobia," which critics said could be used to silence legitimate criticism of Islam and Muslim terrorism.