The result of the general election has been welcomed by the rural community, and in particular the hunting fraternity.

Like a large number of the population, many sat up through the night, intrigued at the developments unfolding after the early exit polls predicted a Conservative victory. This was something that had seemed unlikely during the build-up to election day (7 May), with most polls predicting a hung parliament, where no single political party has won enough seats to form a majority government.

The Conservatives made a pledge in their 2015 manifesto to support countryside pursuits by giving Parliament “the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote, with a government bill in government time.”

The Countryside Alliance’s head of media, Tim Bonner, welcomed the news. “We are very pleased that the Conservatives have been able to form a majority government and look forward to them delivering on that commitment,” he said.

Those working on behalf of the political campaigning group Vote-OK — largely made up of supporters from various packs of hounds around the country — have been hard at work in target constituencies around the country. They were focusing on seats that were deemed marginal enough for sustained campaigning to make a difference.

Although there are no specific figures to show the effects of their campaigning so soon after the overall results have been announced, the efforts of the group have been recognised by the Prime Minister who, early this morning, sent a text saying: “Please thank Vote-Ok for all their amazing work.”

Yesterday (Thursday 7 May), Richard Gurney MFH, one of H&H’s hunting columnists, correctly predicted the following in an online comment: “I do not subscribe to the theory that the British public is so stupid that ‘Red Ed’ will arrive in Downing Street by accident with the SNP in tow. I predict the Conservative party will win an outright majority but by a slim margin.”

For more see next week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine, out Thursday 14 May