British election live

Live commentary of the British election count.

Conclusion. I kind of lost interest in live blogging after the previous post, but nearly 24 hours on from the closure of polling, only one seat remains to be declared, and the result if Conservatives 318 (-12), Labour 261 (+29), Scottish Nationalists 35 (-21), Liberal Democrats 12 (+4), Plaid Cymru 4 (+1), Green 1 (-) and, of the Northern Ireland contingent, Democratic Unionist 10 (+2), Sinn Fein 7 (+3) and independent 1 (-). The seat that remains to be called is the normally blue-ribbon constituency of Kensington in London, which is on to its third recount after going down to the wire as a result of the metropolitan backlash against the Conservatives. The first two counts reportedly had Labour winning by 36 and 39 votes. As Sinn Fein members don’t take their seats, the magic number is 322, and the Conservatives will be relying on the Democratic Unionist Party to reach it. Three parties represented in the previous parliament have emerged empty-handed: Northern Ireland’s Social Democratic & Labour Party and Ulster Unionist Party, who won three and two seats in 2015, and UKIP, who won one.

Excluding Kensington, the vote shares are Conservative 42.4% (+5.5%), Labour 40.0% (+9.5%) and Liberal Democrats 7.4% (-0.5%). Line honours among the pollsters clearly go to Survation, whose final poll had it at Conservatives 41.3%, Labour 40.4% and Liberal Democrats 7.8%, which was the narrowest Conservative lead out of the nine pollsters on the British Polling Council. YouGov seemed to have it right earlier, but squibbed it with a late methodology change that herded to the Conservatives, their feelings presumably hurt by this sort of thing. The overall bias of the BPC pollsters to the Conservatives most likely reflected a reluctance to believe the age profile of the voting population would be much different from 2015, whereas Survation were more inclined to take respondents at their word as to whether they would vote. Outside the BPC tent, SurveyMonkey did better than all but one of those within in recording a 42-38 lead to the Conservatives; and Qriously’s 4% error, in this case in favour of Labour, was bettered only by Survation and Kantar.

UPDATE: Mike Smithson of Political Betting points out that the polling figures exclude Northern Ireland, whereas the numbers quoted above do not, and hence dampen the results for all concerned. The proper base from which the pollsters should be judged is Conservative 43.5%, Labour 41.0%, Liberal Democrats 7.6%.

Once again, the exit poll overseen Professor John Curtice more than earned its keep, coming in at 41% apiece for the Conservatives and Labour, and projecting 314 seats for the Conservatives, 266 for Labour, 34 for the Scottish Nationalists and 14 for the Liberal Democrats. Immediate reaction to the exit poll in 2010, 2015 and 2017 was that it surely must be underestimating, respectively, the Liberal Democrats, Labour and Conservatives, but each time it came up smiling.

4.36am. After all the hype, Amber Rudd hangs on in Hastings & Rye.

4.23am. Plymouth, Sutton & Devonport now a declared Labour gain from the Conservatives, overturning a 1.1% margin.

4.20am. Alex Salmond loses his seat of Gordon to the Conservatives, in another blow to the SNP.

3.57am. Northern Ireland’s Labour-aligned party has now lost all of its three seats.

3.50am. Lineball result in Amber Rudd’s seat of Hastings leads to recount.

3.37am. Kingston on the fringe of London adds to scattered Liberal Democrats gains around the place from the Conservatives.

3.31am. Someone on BBC says projections point to 3% Conservative lead on the vote, suggesting Survation probably the best performing pollster.

3.29am. Eastbourne another Liberal Democrats gain from the Conservatives.

3.17am. BBC analyst says Labour boilover now expected in Kent seat of Canterbury, with a surge of young voters apparently set to overturn 18.3% Conservative margin. Labour has also gained the Midlands seat of Peterborough (4.1% margin) in a squeaker. In other close result news, the SNP have seen off the Conservatives by 21 votes in Perth & North Perthshire, against the prediction of the exit poll.

3.02am. Labour’s surprise win in the Suffolk seat of Ipswich, mooted earlier in the night, is now confirmed. But in Northern Ireland, the Labour-aligned Social Democratic and Labour Party has lost two of its three seats — one to Sinn Fein, one to the Unionists.

2.59am. Now eight confirmed losses for the SNP: four to the Conservatives, three to Labour, one to the Liberal Democrats. The BBC is projecting them to drop from 56 seats out of 59 to 32.

2.57am. Bristol North West a non-London Labour gain from the Conservatives.

2.54am. Knife-edge Conservative seat of Gower in Wales goes to Labour, not unpredictably. London seat of Twickenham goes from Conservative to the Liberal Democrats, presumably the beneficiary of heavy duty tactical voting.

2.46am. Labour gains Sheffield Hallam from former Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg, rated a 33% chance by the exit poll.

2.42am. SNP casualty list lengthens with Liberal Democrat gain of Dunbartonshire East, which was anticipated by the exit poll.

2.38am. Better news for the Conservatives from Southport in north-western England, which they have gained from the Libeal Democrats, which the exit poll rated only a 10% possibility.

2.27am. Midlothian now goes from SNP to Labour, against the prediction of the exit poll.

2.25am. Conservatives win Ochil & Perthshire South, of which exit poll said this: “the Conservatives have a 31% chance of victory, Labour has a 23% chance of victory, the SNP has a 46% chance of victory”. So SNP fairly consistently under-performing the exit poll.

2.19am. Conservatives gain Moray from SNP, as anticipated by exit poll.

2.16am. Conservative ministers confident no more of the exit poll being wrong.

2.11am. Another double-digit swing in London turns the marginal Labour seat of Ealing into a safe one.

2.06am. Stockton South, rated as lineball by the exit poll, goes to Labour.

2.02am. Labour win confirmed in Battersea with 10% swing.

1.58am. Conservatives gain Scottish seat of Angus from SNP — picked by exit poll, but talked up as a shock by the BBC presenter.

1.45am. Another double digit swing to Labour in London, this time in the Conservative seat of Putney. Keep in mind that swings are calculated differently in British parlance, such that a 10% swing overturns a 20% margin. So these results are consistent with Labour being competitive or better in Battersea (15.6%) or even Kensington (21.1%), both the subject of excited Labour chatter.

1.41am. Labour gains Welsh margin Vale of Clwyd with swing of 3.5%.

1.35am. Exit poll looking better now — talk even that Labour will outperform it.

1.30am. Young SNP firebrand Mhairi Black retains Paisley & Renfrewshire South.

1.25am. First result from London is Labour-held Tooting, where Labour gets a swing of 10.6%.

1.20am. The Rutherglen gain by Labour from the SNP was not predicted by the exit poll, which had Edinburgh North & Leith as their only gain in Scotland. BBC pundit says Labour expects to win Sheffield Hallam from former Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg — this was too close to call in the exit poll. Other two mooted Labour gains she mentions were anticipated by poll.

1.13am. 4.5% swing to Labour in their safe Welsh seat of Llanelli; Labour narrowly gains Rutherglen & Hamilton West from SNP, the first declared result to change hands.

1.11am. Labour now expecting to make gains in Wales, after disappointing Conservatives failure in Wrexham.

12.59am. I belatedly observe a 1.4% Conservative swing in the north-west England seat of Workington. Someone earlier said the picture got better for the Conservatives with every foot you travelled north.

12.53am. Status quo result in Labour-held north-eastern seat of Durham, where the Conservatives might have vaguely hoped they could still gain based on early results from the region, although 7.7% margin made it a big ask. Still, the sort of seat the Conservatives were expecting to win going into the election.

12.38am. 2.2% swing to Labour in Broxbourne and 0.2% swing in Nuneaton, two middle England seats. But mounting talk of a big result for Labour in London, including a win in Battersea, margin 15.6%.

12.32am. “Entirely possible we will still get an overall majority”, is the less-than-bullish assessment of Conservative heavyweight Liam Fox.

12.28am. 2.6% swing to Labour in Kettering, a Conservative seat in the Midlands.

12.25am. BBC pundit says Labour said to be confident of the Suffolk seat of Ipswich, margin of 7.7%, and four gains in Scotland.

12.21am. Newcastle North swings 0.5% to Labour, which is better than their regional form.

12.16am. Specifically, HuffPost UK politics editor Paul Waugh says Labour is expected to win Kensington, which the Conservatives won 52.2% to 31.1% in 2015.

12.08am. Washginton and Sunderland West swings 2.2% to Conservatives, in line with regional trend. However, there’s excited talk on Twitter about Labour’s prospects in blue-ribbon constituencies in London.

11.59pm. Bad result for Labour from Newcastle Central, good one from North Swindon. Long night ahead.

11.47pm. Third seat is Sunderland South: 2.2% swing to Conservatives. BBC analyst indicates Labour worried exit poll wrong because Conservatives outperforming it on postal votes.

11.33pm. BBC reporter says Labour remain excited about Hastings and Rye, held by Home Secretary Amber Rudd on a margin of 9.4%, which wasn’t picked as a Labour gain by the exit poll. It was a middlingly good seat for UKIP in 2015, and a bit above average for age.

11.23pm. Exit poll broken down by age: 63-27 to Labour among 18-34; 43-43 among 35-54; 59-23 to Conservative among 55+.

11.20pm. Conservative sources expressing confidence the exit poll is wrong. But as Antony Green points out, the picture in the two constituencies that are in is complicated by the steep decline there of UKIP.

11.08pm. A second pro-Brexit Labour-held constituency, Houghton and Sunderland South, has the Conservatives outperforming the exit poll, with a 2% swing in their favour.

11.03pm. First result, from Newcastle upon Tyne Central, records 2% swing to Labour, which is less than the exit poll anticipated.

10.21pm. Britain Elects on Twitter: “Amber Rudd in trouble in Hastings & Rye (2015 Con +9), so says the BBC.”

10.19pm. Markets respond.

10.11pm. Labour MP John McDonnell “sounds rather doubtful that the exit poll is right”, at least in the view of Lord Ashcroft.

10.08pm. Antony Green points out the feted exit poll from 215 in fact under-predicted the Conservatives by 15 seats.

10.04pm. Another British election, another stimulating exit poll result. Conservatives to lose majority with 314 seats (326 required for majority) to 266 for Labour, 34 for Scottish Nationalists and 14 for the Liberal Democrats.

9.56pm. The Sun’s political editor on Twitter: “Scotland now looking really good for Tories, I’m told 10-12 gains from the SNP possible”.

9.55pm GMT. The final reading of the BludgerTrack UK poll aggregate: Conservative 43.0, Labour 36.8, Liberal Democrats 7.6, UKIP 4.2. Coming soon: the moment of high drama that is the announcement of the exit poll.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

492 comments on “British election live”

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  1. The DUP:

    “DUP figures insist that their relationship with May’s team has been close since she became prime minister 11 months ago.

    A DUP source said: “We want there to be a government. We have worked well with May. The alternative is intolerable.”

    “For as long as Corbyn leads Labour, we will ensure there’s a Tory PM.”

  2. DUP are pretty close to the Conservatives on the political compass so their choice isn’t surprising, but I think it will work out about as well for them as it did for the Liberal Democrats. They will have destroyed much of their support base for a brief and temporary grasp at power. I wonder if it’ll be worth it.

  3. hello Blanket
    I liked this one:

    Mitch Benn‏Verified account @MitchBenn 4 hours ago

    Only the Tories could deliberately plunge the country into utter turmoil TWICE in 12 months and then call for “a period of stability”.

  4. Swampy,
    Obviously everyone else has a social life ;(

    Nah. It’s winter in Australia. It’s Friday night. There is football of one sort or another to watch.

  5. C@tmomma

    I am in Brisbane!!! Without a social life 🙁
    it is warm here i am in shorts and T and barefoot lol
    I belong to the Oceanic Branch of the SNP!!!

  6. FYI
    The Tories at the moment have 298 of 533 in England.

    So a healthy majority for England only votes.

  7. Swampy. Let me correct that. “Only the Tories could plunge the country into turmoil twice in twelve months IN A CYNICAL ATTEMPT TO HEAL RIFTS IN THEIR OWN PARTY and then call for a period of stability”

  8. Barney In Go Dau

    So the Tories can do whatever they like to the English NHS.
    It is an odd system when Parliament acts as both a National Legislature and a provincial English Legislature but the English MPs get to decide the law in ALL provinces as well as national and MPs from the other provinces can only decide the law nationally.


    The political positions of the Liberal Democrats and the DUP are very different. The Liberal Democrats are a centrist party that, at least until after they went into Coalition, took lots of votes from both sides. The DUP are a regionally concentrated identity politics party with their main competing parties (the more moderate UUP and the even more moderate Alliance) no longer having any representation in Westminster (The Alliance having only had one seat 2010-2015 and the UUP loosing their last seat). The DUP are a Northern Ireland party with a significant share in the Northern Ireland Assembly and executive power share as well (when the executive in is operation) but no UK Government direct connections. The LibDems lost the protest vote they previously dominated in 2015 and most of their Labour and SNP leaning supporters as well, retaining only their Conservative leaning and diehard supporters.

    Having said that, Brexit is a risk to the DUP because of the issues with the rest of Ireland and the risk of trashing the economy, although their Westminster opposition is relatively weak and divided (DUP/Alliance) or totally contrary to their voters beliefs and divided (Sinn Fien and the SDLP), reducing its ability to take FPTP seats.

  10. Also Jeremy Corbyn is a total anathema to the DUP as he is a republican, supports a united Ireland, was talking with Sinn Fein in the 1980s, etc.

  11. swamprat @ #409 Friday, June 9, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Barney In Go Dau
    So the Tories can do whatever they like to the English NHS.
    It is an odd system when Parliament acts as both a National Legislature and a provincial English Legislature but the English MPs get to decide the law in ALL provinces as well as national and MPs from the other provinces can only decide the law nationally.

    It’s basically like us 4 States, WA, SA/NT, Tas, NSW/Vic/Qld.

    I think England should broken up into regions with their own assembles and then the National Parliament would only make decisions for the Nation as a whole.

  12. Swampy, it is indeed an odd system but in partial defence of the EV for EL business we should remember that Sco’land and NI have their own assemblies, so the English at Westminister don’t vote on every aspect of Sco’ish and Irish life. It’s still asymmetric, though – a federation with a separate English Parliament would make even more sense there than here, in that there are real cultural differences between the “nations” while there are none here between the States except for football codes. And like you I’m in Brisbane but I’m not in shorts. I’m in my warmer trakkie daks and top. You cannae be long here from Sco’land if you’re finding this warrm.

  13. Until 1974 the NI Unionists contested Westminster elections under the Conservative Label (BTW the official name of the conservative party is still The Conservative and Unionist Party)
    The unionists will only ever support a conservative government ( unless of course that government lost its mind and supported a united Ireland) and such support will not weaken the unionist position. An analogy between this situation and the Lib dems in 2010 just indicates a fundamental lack of understanding of the NI position.

  14. @Barney

    Also, the House of Lords should be replaced with a proper elected senate. And the UK should become a republic, but the British value their anachronistic traditions.

  15. Swampy,
    I do not call ~20C warm enough to be wearing shorts and a t-shirt! Jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt maybe. 🙂

  16. jack a randa @ #416 Friday, June 9, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Great minds etc etc Barney

    When I lived there, there was talk of a North East Assembly and a South West one as well but I never heard of it being applied right across England.

    The local councils would hate it as they would loose a lot of their power as the second tier in government.

  17. Boris apparently had a bit of a grin.

    Silly bastard will have that wiped off soon enough I reckon. The same City money that made sure he got no where near the top job after Dave went west won’t be thinking that buffoon should get the gig now. They’ll be thinking he’s the prick that got them all in this mess.

    After 2015 it was all lovely for the moneyed powerbrokers. Dave was popular and had the numbers to do whatever they demanded of him. Then that bloody useless tool Boris went and got all populist. It wouldn’t have been so bad, except the dopey fucker went and won Brexit. That turned everything to shit.

    Now the whole country is in danger of being overrun by Trots. No Boris, you blew it mate.

  18. Jack aRanda

    “Swampy, it is indeed an odd system but in partial defence of the EV for EL business we should remember that Sco’land and NI have their own assemblies, so the English at Westminister don’t vote on every aspect of Sco’ish and Irish life. ”

    That is true, but almost anything substantial has been “reserved” to westminster.
    The regional assemblies are seen as arms of the Westmonsters.
    The Scottish Parliament and Government have less power than Australian States and zero constitutional protection. Particularly over economic matters and public service ownership.

    p.s. i am a scots-irish Australian….. some of my ancestors came out in 1792, 1794, 1796, 1802 etc as convicts…..obviously they married into more recent emigrants from Ireland and Scotland…..

    Maybe my neices house is too well insulated.. but i feel warm.. we are beside the Bay.

  19. Chancellor Hammond will be a bit happier though. At least he knows now that if he is to get the arse that May will have got the arse first.

  20. Another nice (and true) internet observation:

    David Halliday‏ @DavidJFHalliday 27 minutes ago

    “2015: Britain held to ransom by MPs pursuing the interests of one part of the country is unthinkable.
    2017: Unless it’s not Scotland.”

  21. Imagine the scale on which the UK media would have LOST THEIR SHIT if Corbyn entered No10 on SNP support. The DUP bigots are fine, though.

  22. Scottish comments on a blog:

    Bumblefuck tories for unityJune 9, 2017 at 11:47 AM
    Jon Snow‏ @jonsnowC4 11 minutes ago

    One of the most extreme political entities in the British Isles, the 10 MPs of the DUP, is to wag the tail of Mrs May’s minority Government

  23. I think the next government will be Labour / SNP. Ireland better get theirs now. Scotland will get theirs in the next 18 months or so.

  24. Great comment in the Guardian:
    “Well the MSM kept telling us that someone would do a deal with terrorists. Theresa May just did. The only ones who rejected the Good Friday agreement.”

  25. i think Brexit has stuffed/will stuff the place.
    it wil force some new Irish accommodation and spur Scottish independence, as long as the SNP improves its bloody campaigning.

  26. On the SNP twitter site:

    “Scottish Labour Party encouraged Tory wins.

    Kezia Dugdale used television interviews to urge the public to vote tactically to stop the SNP. This undermined Jeremy Corbyn’s chances of winning the UK election. Without the 12 Tory gains from the SNP, Labour and the SNP combined would have had more seats than the Tories. There were even reports suggesting that Scottish Labour and the Tories were working together.”

  27. BC – Don’t agree. The rejection of the SNP shows that Scotland doesn’t want another independence referendum.

  28. Antonbruckner

    “BC – Don’t agree. The rejection of the SNP shows that Scotland doesn’t want another independence referendum.”

    How come in any other electoral system winning 60% of the seats and the largest number of votes would never be seen as being “rejected”?

    Is 100% the only pass mark the Scots can reach?

    The bloody Tories were seen in UK as winners with 37% of the vote.

    it’s a funny old world.

  29. @Swamprat

    Am I missing something? 261 plus 35 plus 12 only equals 308, which is not a parliamentary majority.

  30. Antonbruckner11,

    if Severin Carrell ever resigned you may make a good fist at being the Manchester Guardians correspondent for Scotland. 🙂

  31. Blanket, he said the SNP were rejected (in Scotland) .

    The SNP won 60% of the Scottish seats, their second highest number in their history.
    But Anton considers that a rejection.

  32. The SNP did have their second best vote but it was significantly down on 2015. They got 36.9% and under any proportional system, that would have got them less than half the seats. The SNP would also have won fewer seats under preferential voting as the preferences would have been directed against them.

  33. DUP was Arsehole Paisley’s militant splinter from the UUP following the initial attempts of resolution of the troubles in 1971. It gained momentum through the sabotage of the Sunningdale agreement in 1973 which (after 26 years and a further 2000 deaths) reappeared as the Good Friday Agreement, which was came about through referendum approval even though the DUP was the only party to stand out

    This election is the apeothesis of extermism in NI with the eliminationof moderate parties on both sides of the unionist/nationalist divide.

  34. Labour need to gain as many seats as they did at this election at the next one (29 or so) in order to have any chance of governing. It’ll be quite a task, but I think disastrous Brexit negotiations and a few more years of Tory austerity as well as Tory leadership and party stability issues will help them alot. SNP will win some seats back from the Tories after they make a disaster out of the coming challenges I think the SNP are far from done. Disastrous Brexit negotiations will refuel the desire for Scottish independence.

  35. At least that’s how I got to concluding the next government will be Labour / SNP. Just my opinion.

  36. There is a strong argument for STV to be used for Westminster elections in Northern Ireland, like it is with all other Northern Ireland elections, even if it is not used outside Northern Ireland.

    Had that been the case at this election, it is likely there would be fewer DUP and Sinn Fein MPs/MPs-elect and instead some UUP, SDLP and Alliance MPs (about 5). This would make May`s government more precarious.

  37. The Tories may go for a Boris leadership bounce election later in the year, legislation and Labour permitting. Whether or not that works is another question.

  38. Changing demographics and more significantly Brexit, increase the chances that a United Ireland referendum would pass in Northern Ireland (I presume the rest of Ireland would not veto it in the referendum required there).

  39. Turned on Lateline tonight to get some unvarnished straight reporting on the UK election and got a conga line of media apologists saying nothing to see here, Corbyn and May under pressure for poor result and so on. Are they on the same planet?

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