British election live

Live commentary on counting for the British general election.

10:05am Wednesday December 18: A post-election YouGov poll of over 40,000 respondents has the startling finding that low-income people voted Tory by greater margins than high-income people.  The Tories won the middle class (ABC1) by 43-33 and the working class (C2DE) by 48-33 (44-40 and 44-42 respectively in 2017).  The Tories won those with the lowest educational attainment by 58-25 (55-33 in 2017).  Labour won those with the highest educational attainment 43-29 (49-32 in 2017).

3:25pm Saturday: Conversation article up.  I believe a major cause for the bad Labour loss was its Brexit policy, but another important difference from 2017 was real wage growth: -0.5% before the 2017 election vs +1.7% in the latest available data.  People are only willing to vote for left-wing policies if they are not doing well financially.  There’s also US politics stuff in that article.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is an honorary associate at The University of Melbourne. His work on electoral matters for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

7:50am Saturday: The Conservatives HELD St Ives overnight with an increased majority over the Lib Dems.  Final seat numbers are 365 Tories (up 47), 203 Labour (down 59), 48 SNP (up 13) and 11 Lib Dems (down one).  I will have a write-up for The Conversation later today.

7:10pm Most polls had the Tory lead over Labour at nine to 12 points; the final result will be 11.5 points, so most polls were about right.  Survation, Ipsos, Opinium and Kantar had the Tory lead at either 11 or 12 points, and are the best pollsters.  The worst were ComRes (just a five point lead) and ICM (six points).

7:03pm How the Britain Elects Poll Tracker compares to the actual results excluding Northern Ireland.  William Bowe has said the two majors were too high in the polls, but most UK polls exclude Northern Ireland.

6:13pm: In Northern Ireland, the DUP won eight of the 18 seats (down two), Sinn Fein seven (no change), the Social Democratic Labour Party two and the Alliance Party one.  Vote shares were 30.6% DUP, 22.8% Sinn Fein, 16.8% Alliance and 14.9% SDLP.  So the Alliance got only one seat on 17% vote.

5:57pm: Final Scotland results: SNP 48 of 59 seats (up 13), Tories six (down seven), Lib Dems four (no change), Labour one (down six).  Vote shares: SNP 45.0% (up 8.1%), Tories 25.1% (down 3.5%), Labour 18.6% (down 8.5%) and Lib Dems 9.5% (up 2.8%).

4:52pm: With 13 seats to go, the Tories have 355 seats, Labour 202, the SNP 48 and the Lib Dems ten.

4:33pm: Another ex-Tory gets pummelled

4:24pm Labour has got to 200 seats with 37 left for the whole UK.

4:20pm: With all 40 Welsh seats declared, Labour won 22 (down six), the Tories 14 (up six) and Plaid Cymru four (no change).  Vote shares were 40.9% Labour (down 8.0%) and 36.9% Tories (up 2.5%).

4:16pm: With 41 seats still to be declared, the Tories have passed the majority mark (326 seats), and are now up to 335 seats.

4:11pm: Another not-great tactical voting, with the Tories HOLDING Finchley with 44%, the Lib Dems second with 32% and Labour 3rd with 24%.

3:36pm Tories GAIN Kensington from Labour by just 0.3% because the Lib Dems took 21%.  Additional note: Some polls in this seat put the Lib Dems ahead of Labour, so tactical voting plans were confused.

3:22pm: Ex-Tory Dominic Grieve LOSES his seat to the Tories.

3:12pm: In Leave seats, Labour lost votes directly to the Tories and Brexit party.  In Remain seats, the Lib Dems often split part of the vote, and anyway there aren’t enough Remain seats in the UK.

3:09pm With 424 of 650 seats declared, the Tories have 220 (up 32), Labour 146 (down 44), the SNP 35 (up 12) and the Lib Dems seven (no change).  The Tories have a 42.6% to 33.5% lead over Labour with 10.7% for the Lib Dems.  On a matched seat basis, Labour is down 8.3%.

2:54pm: Lib Dems miss out in Wimbledon; Labour had too many votes.

2:52pm Socialist Laura Pidcock LOSES her seat

2:50pm: Jo Swinson LOSES her seat to the SNP

2:47pm: Boris Johnson easily HOLDS his seat.

2:46pm: Really UGLY result for Labour in Bassetlaw

2:41pm: Labour loses Tony Blair’s old seat of Sedgefield.

2:35pm: Corbyn easily holds Islington N, but has announced he will resign as Labour leader.

2:32pm: Lib Dems GAIN a seat from SNP in Scotland

2:29pm: Overall, with 281 of 650 seats declared, the Tories have 140 seats (up 25), Labour 104 (down 31), the SNP 20 (up seven) and the Lib Dems five (down one).  Labour’s vote is down 8.1%, with the Tory vote up 1.8%.

2:20pm: In Wales, Labour has lost five seats to the Tories after 27 of 40 declared.  Labour’s vote is down 9.6% with the Tories up 3.6% and Brexit taking 6.6%.

2:16pm Scottish results so far are SNP all 17 seats declared, with the Tories and Labour losing three seats each.

2:06pm: Here’s one that could have gone to a non-Tory with preferential voting.

1:59pm: With 175 of 650 seats in, Labour has lost a net 19 seats, the Tories are up 15 and the SNP up four.

1:45pm: Labour HOLD Hartlepool after Tories and Brexit party split the Leave vote.  I think Labour is doing better than they would under preferential voting.

1:41pm: A narrow Lib Dem HOLD vs the Tories

1:36pm: Labour HOLDS Canterbury, the seat where the original Lib Dem withdrew, only to be replaced by another Lib Dem.

1:29pm: After 96 of 650 seats, the BBC has Labour down 8.8% in the same seats from 2017, but only 1.6% has gone to the Conservatives.  Labour has lost eight net seats, with the Conservatives up six.

12:55pm: An against the run of play result: Labour GAIN Putney from Conservative; that’s a London seat.

12:51pm Labour suffers the humiliation of losing its deposit in Bracknell.

12:46pm Gateshead illustrates how bad it would be for Labour if not for the Brexit party standing in most seats it currently holds.

12:43pm: On the BBC’s results page, Labour’s vote is down 11.4% after 20 of 650 seats.  The only good news for Labour is that only 2.7% of that drop has gone to the Conservatives, with 5.5% going to the Brexit party.

12:33pm: Conservatives GAIN Darlington and Workington from Labour.

12:26pm Labour’s big problem with the Leave vote: although Leave only won the Brexit referendum by 52-48, it carried 64% of seats in Great Britain (ie excluding Northern Ireland).  The Leave vote was far more efficiently distributed than the Remain vote, which clustered in the big cities.

This implies that an explicitly pro-Remain Labour leader would not have performed any better than Corbyn.  This election is the realignment around Leave/Remain that was expected in 2017, but which Corbyn thwarted with his pro-Brexit positioning.

12:12pm: Almost a 10% swing from Labour to Con in Nuneaton gives Con a far bigger majority.

12:08pm Tory vote down 6% in S Shields, with Labour down 16%, thanks to an independent and Brexit party candidate.


11:27am: Direct swing of 5% from Labour to Con gives Con a much bigger majority in N Swindon.

11:16am: Sedgefield was Tony Blair’s old seat, so would be a huge triumph for the Conservatives.

10:36am: Conservatives GAIN Blyth Valley from Labour after 15% crash in Labour’s vote.  Additional note: And preferential voting wouldn’t have helped Labour given 8% for the Brexit party.

10:30am First result in, Labour HOLD, but with a 7% swing against.

10:21am: Normally we’d have some results by now, but close contests in former Labour strongholds have slowed down the count in those seats.

10:08am: Vote shares according to The Exit Poll

9:39am: Nate Silver

9:30am: Antony Green

9:03am: The Exit Poll has a big win for the Conservatives

7:55am: As well as the UK, there is an electoral development in Israel.  A new election has been called for March 2, 2020, after no government could be formed after the September election.  It will be the third Israeli election within a year.  Early polling suggests the left-leaning Blue & White is ahead of the right-wing Likud, but do not have enough allies to form a government.

4am (AEDT). Adrian Beaumont will be taking care of business on the live commentary front, but this here is your editor reporting in the small hours to kick off proceedings. If you’re a Crikey subscriber, you can you enjoy my election eve account of the campaign horse race here. Here is one last update of my poll tracker, which tells the same story as before: the Conservatives had already devoured the Brexit Party before the campaign began, while Labour’s cannibalising of the Liberal Democrats has been a slower process that has persisted through to the end of the campaign. With the addition of seven last polls, the final scores are Conservative 42.9% (+0.2% compared with the last run, +0.5% on the 2017 result), Labour 33.7% (steady and -6.3%) and Liberal Democrats 11.9% (-0.4% and +4.5%).

For your convenience, here is a repeat of Adrian’s timeline of how things are likely to unfold, Australian time.

9am: Polls close and The Exit Poll is released (intentional capitalisation). In the last three elections, The Exit Poll has given seat results which greatly disagreed with pre-election polls and expectations. In all three cases, The Exit Poll was far closer to the mark than pre-election polls. Only seat counts are given, not vote shares.

11am: According to this article about the 2017 election, only three of 650 declarations are expected by this time.

1pm-3pm: These two hours should be the heaviest for declarations.  Initial results will be biased to Labour as the Conservative heartland regional seats take longer to gather their votes. The key is to watch the changes in vote share, and whether seats are being gained or lost.

6pm: Only a few seats will not be declared by this time. Very close seats can take longer to declare owing to recounts. If there’s snow on the roads, results will be delayed.

490 comments on “British election live”

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  1. B S Fairman

    “ The Yorkshire Party are seeking autonomy for Yorkshire…. Yorkshire has a population that is comparable to Scotland… why they not seeking independence as well?”
    What’s your point?

  2. Bucephalus @ #431 Friday, December 13th, 2019 – 7:36 pm

    69 Seat Majority versus all other parties with 1 seat to declare – so I was a little off with my predictions. Sorry I was wrong.

    If you make the reasonable assumption that DUP will generally vote with the Conservatives and Sinn Fein won’t take up their seats then the majority is 102.

    Anyone still think Boris is an idiot? Want to kick off about how many kids? Will his neighbours release some more recordings?

    Reality TV has infected British politics now. That’s about the size of it.

  3. “Well, what ever happens with Brexit, BoJo will now own the consequences. He can’t blame anyone else if things go sour.”

    Stop applying logic. He’ll just blame the EU.

  4. “Which is very well for a party that isn’t going to form government and get to implement it’s policies.”


    Mmm well Labor didn’t form gov after the 2019 election either, did they.

    But cheap point scoring aside, we are actually in government in the ACT. We’ve been in many governments in both the ACT, Tas, and of course federally in 2010.


    “If you really believe in the Greens policies (or Corbyn’s or Sanders et. al.), you need to be asking what you can do to get government now. Not being content with doing “quite well”.”


    If I really believe in Greens policies (which I certainly do by the way), I need to keep supporting the Greens party, as I will. Abandoning my principles and voting for a party that doesn’t represent me is certainly not the way to get those Greens policies that I support implemented. The Greens are on the right track and are growing strongly. Labor on the other hand is going backwards.

    Being in government isn’t always necessary to achieve big things either. One of the greatest signs of success is getting your political opponents to support your policies. Take Marriage Equality for example. The Greens and others campaigned in support of SSM for decades, well before Labor or the Coalition supported it (the Coalition still doesn’t really support it but I digress), and even well before there was majority support in the wider population for it.

    And as you elude to, our Senate team has the ability to pass, block, and amend policies. Due to our success in the Senate in the 2019 election and being able to get all 6 of our senators who were up for election re-elected, we now stand a greater chance of being in the balance of power in the future. Sometimes you have to play the long game in politics. The future for the Greens looks very bright indeed.

  5. BoJo the custard-headed Clown says: “ Brexit was now the “irrefutable, irresistible, unarguable decision of the British people”.

    Obviously he agrees Scots are not “British” people. 🙂

  6. “And as you elude to, our Senate team has the ability to pass, block, and amend policies”

    Only if you can get the other conservative senators aboard.

    AFAICS neither the ALP or the Greens should be happy with the last election. To say either did well is delusional. At best it was effectively status quo.

    And Corbyn really did go backwards.

  7. @Blobbit

    Which is no different to Labor at the present time. That is the way the Senate is right now after the DD in 2016. That’s why we’re playing the long game in order to change that. The Greens did as well as we possibly could in the Senate in 2019. 6/6 was a great result.

    The Greens have every reason to be pleased with our result at the last election. We gained hundreds of thousands of votes. Labor on the other hand lost hundreds of thousands.

    Labour as a whole went backwards. Labour’s incoherent messages about Brexit – the issue of the election – cost them dearly. People wanted it to be over.

  8. Wonder whether many people voted for Boris because he would be “a lot of fun”?

    Today they are ringing the bells.

    Tomorrow they will be wringing their hands.

  9. Firefox – I’ll leave it there. Respect your position etc

    Looks like the Grauniad has decided Labour lost because Corbyn is a jerk. Nothing wrong with the policies.

    I think there’s some truth to that.

  10. Bucephalus @ Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 2:31 am

    It gets very quiet around here.

    It was 2.31 AM EDST when you posted that.

    I’m in Munich (17:18 here) – what’s your excuse?

  11. Holdenhillbilly

    1. Tory Government
    2. DUP irrelevant
    3. Brexit by February
    4. Johnson PM for less than 2 years
    5. Scots vote for independence

    Not a bad list.

    Who reckons the DUP are the type that holds grudges???

  12. Well, what ever happens with Brexit, BoJo will now own the consequences. He can’t blame anyone else if things go sour.?
    Don’t worry they survived the Second World War!.

  13. As they hold annual marches to commemorate things that happened 350 years ago, I think we can conclude that Unionists hold grudges.
    The problem this time is that they have been sold down the river by the people who were supposed to be their patrons and they may well lose their raison d’etre
    It’s the equivalent of King Billy pledging allegiance to the Whore of Babylon

  14. “Well, what ever happens with Brexit, BoJo will now own the consequences. He can’t blame anyone else if things go sour.?”

    People keep saying this – I have no idea why. Of course he will. It’ll be the EUs fault, when anything bad happens.

    Just like the LNP here are still blaming Labor, and getting away with it.

  15. THE results of the UK General Election in Scotland are breathtaking. The SNP secured the greatest victory of any party, winning a higher percentage of the vote in Scotland, with a higher percentage of seats and by a bigger margin over the defeated losers than the Tories across the UK.

    Boris Johnson may have won in England, but he was a loser in Scotland. His party lost seats, lost voters and lost the argument.

  16. So those twerps in northern English seats that swung to the Tories really believe that Boris is interested in them? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

  17. Clem
    The workers either didn’t trust labour or didn’t like what labour was offering and this result was influenced by Brexit.

  18. If the British Labour Party had campgained on not having a second referendum. Instead just re-negotiating with the European Union for a Brexit that serves the many rather than the few. I argue that Labour would have held the line in it’s Midland and Northern Leave voting seats. However, Labour would have been hammered in the Remain voting seats. Although the Tories would have lost more seats to the Liberal Democrat than Labour. Along with lot of their 18-34 year old voters (who are very strongly Remain) not voting for Labour.

    In that scenario both the Liberal Democrats and Green Party would have polled around say 22-23% between them. That would have meant maybe as many as 50 seats for the Liberal Democrats, giving them likely the balance of power in a hung parliament which would have been very likely.

    In that scenario Boris Johnson might have promised a second referendum with Remain on the ballot, to secure at least the supply and confidence of Liberal Democrats.

  19. Tristo above

    “If the British Labour Party had campaigned on not having a second referendum. Instead just re-negotiating with the European Union for a Brexit that serves the many rather than the few. I argue that Labour would have held the line in it’s Midland and Northern Leave voting seats. However, Labour would have been hammered in the Remain voting seats.”

    In a way that’s the 2017 GE campaign you’re describing there .. except the last bit about being hammered in the Remain areas, which obviously didn’t happen

    BTW the Labour position then of honouring the Referendum result was widely criticised on PB, with many arguing that they should have gone to a full-on ‘Revoke Article 50’ position instead, never mind a second Referendum. I argued differently here and strongly supported the ‘respect the referendum result’ policy.

    As I said earlier in the thread, the election was lost this year as soon as the policy was changed and certainly after Brexit was frustrated in parliament

    On a final note, a summary of polling in 2019:

    * Jan ’19 – 12 UK opinion polls published, Labour ahead in 7 of them including 2 at 41% and 1 at 40% support

    * 18th Feb ’19 – a group of Labour MPs defect and become part of the ‘Change’ grouping in the House

    * 25th Feb ’19 – the following headline in the FT

    “Labour party to back second referendum on Brexit” .. 25 Feb 2019 … “Jeremy Corbyn gave hope to Brexit opponents on Monday by announcing the opposition Labour party would back a new referendum”

    * The rest, as they say, is history .. the change in polling from Feb. 19 telling it’s own story


  20. swamprat : THE results of the UK General Election in Scotland are breathtaking. The SNP secured the greatest victory of any party, winning a higher percentage of the vote in Scotland, with a higher percentage of seats and by a bigger margin over the defeated losers than the Tories across the UK.

    I think you’re getting overexcited, as a result of making your comparison with the Tories in the UK as a whole. You should consider areas with comparable electoral clout to Scotland.

    The SNP had an excellent win in Scotland, though less comprehensive than their win in 2015, but their big haul of seats (48 out of 59 seats = 81%) is just the usual FPTP effect of having a divided opposition. They got 45% of the vote and the Tories were 20% behind.

    But :

    1. in London, a much bigger electoral chunk of the UK than Scotland, Labour – despite a bad night – got about 48% of the vote, and 47 out of 73 seats = 64%
    2. in the South East of England – much much bigger than Scotland, the Tories got about 54% of the vote and 74 out of 83 seats = 89%
    3. in the South West, about the same size as Scotland, the Tories got about 53% of the vote and 47 out of 55 seats = 85%
    4. in the West Midlands – exactly the same number of seats as Scotland, the Tories got 53% of the vote, and 42 out of 59 seats = 71%
    5. in the East of England, with one fewer seat than Scotland, the Tories got 57% of the vote and 53 out of 58 seats = 91%
    6. even in England as a whole the Tories got 47% of the vote – better than the SNP in Scotland.

    So in the context of the results in lots of areas of England, of comparable or greater electoral size than Scotland, the SNP’s performance was good but not outstanding. If you use up “breathtaking” on the SNP’s perfomance in Scotland, what adjective do you have left for the Tory performance in the East of England ? Or the South East and the South West, where the Tories also did better in votes and seats, than the SNP did in Scotland ?

    None of which is to say that the SNP did anything other than very well, and will be tooting like mad for a 2nd indy ref. Which they certainly won’t get on the basis of this GE result. But if they, and any other party promising a 2nd indy ref, such as the Greens, can notch up 50% plus 1, in the next Holyrood elections, then who knows ?

    But I still doubt that the SNP can win a referendum on Scottish independence any time soon. Unless the English are allowed to vote 🙂

  21. @Ray (UK)

    How you account for both the surge in Liberal Democrat support and the Brexit Party coming out of nowhere earlier this year?

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