UK general election live

A small recovery for the Conservatives, but a Labour landslide still imminent. Also covered: the French election and US post-debate polls.

Live Commentary

11:24am There’s still one seat left to declare, a large rural Scottish seat that’s expected to go to the Lib Dems. That final seat is expected to declare at 7:30pm AEST today. I will post final results from the UK and Scotland after that declaration. Tomorrow I will have a post on the French parliamentary election runoffs.

8:01am Saturday Northern Ireland’s 18 seats split seven Sinn Fein (steady since 2019), five Democratic Unionists (down three), two Social Democratic and Labour (steady), one Alliance (steady), one Ulster Unionist (up one), one Traditional Unionist (up one) and one independent (up one). Vote shares were 27% SF (up 4), 22% DUP (down 9), 11% SDLP (down 4), 15% Alliance (down 2), 12% UUP (up 0.5) and 6% TUV (new).

6:39pm I’ve done an article for The Conversation on the UK results. The key takeaway is that, while Labour won a seat landslide, their vote share of 33.8% was only ten points ahead of the Tories, when final polls had them 18 points up, and it trailed the combined Tory and Reform vote share (38.0%). This vote share is the lowest for any party that has won a majority in the UK.

4:31pm The Tories have lost four seats previously held by their PMs tonight, two to Labour and two to the Lib Dems. The Lib Dems won Theresa May’s old seat of Maidenhead and David Cameron’s Witney, while Labour won Boris Johnson’s Uxbridge as well as defeating Truss.

4:14pm Liz Truss is out of parliament after being defeated by 27-25 by Labour in her South-West Norfolk seat, with 23% Reform and 14% for an independent. Labour’s vote was up 8 with Truss down 43.

3:52pm The Greens gain North Herefordshire from the Tories by 43-32, on a 34-point swing to the Greens and a 31-point slump for the Tories. The Greens easily held their one existing seat of Brighton Pavilion.

3:02pm The Greens gain Waveney Valley from the Tories by 42-30, a 32% swing to the Greens and a 32% drop for the Tories. Reform won 16% (new) and Labour 9% (down 9 owing to tactical voting).

2:27pm Labour GAINS North-East Somerset from Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg, a fervent supporter of Boris Johnson. 41% Labour (up 14), 30% Tories (down 25) and 15% Reform (new).

2:11pm After 479 of 650, Labour has WON an overall majority, with 333 seats (up 155). The Tories have 72 (down 171), the Lib Dems 46 (up 39), Reform four (up four), the SNP four (down 34), independents four (up four) and Plaid four (up two). Vote share changes are Labour up 1.4, Tories down 19.5, Lib Dems up 0.3, Reform up 12 and Greens up 4.

1:32pm After 30 of 57 Scottish seats, 23 Labour (up 22), four SNP (down 23), two Lib Dems (up one) and one Tory (steady). Vote share changes are Labour up 18.5 and SNP down 15.5.

1:27pm After 332 of 650 seats (more than halfway through now), 245 Labour (up 111), 42 Tories (down 122), 27 Lib Dems (up 23), four Reform (up four), four SNP (down 21) and three Plaid (up two). Vote share changes are Labour up 1.2, Tories down 19.5, Lib Dems none, Reform up 12.5 and Greens up 4.2.

1:20pm The Greens crushed Labour in Bristol Central by 57-33, a 31-point gain for the Greens and a 26-point slump for Labour.

1:15pm Something went wrong for Labour in Leicester. They lost Leicester East to the Tories and now Leicester South to an independent, who defeated Labour by 35-33, a 35% drop for Labour.

1:09pm After 266 of 650 seats, 196 Labour (up 85), 32 Tories (down 99), 23 Lib Dems (up 20), four SNP (down 14), three Reform (up three), two Plaid (up two) and one Green (up one). Vote share changes are Labour up 1.0, Tories down 20, Lib Dems no change, Reform up 13 and Greens up four.

1:02pm Reform leader Nigel Farage easily wins Clacton, defeating the Tories by 46-28 with 16% for Labour. Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn easily wins Islington North as an independent, defeating Labour by 49-34. A pre-election seat poll had Corbyn trailing by 43-29.

12:31pm After 141 of 650 seats, 110 Labour (up 41), 14 Tories (down 49), 14 Lib Dems (up 11), one Reform (up one), one SNP (down five) and one Plaid (up one). Vote share changes are Labour up 0.7, Tories down 19, Lib Dems down 0.1, Reform up 12.5 and Greens up 4.

12:24pm The Tories have GAINED Leicester East from Labour, very much against the trend. 31% Tories (down 7), 22% Labour (down 29!), 13.5% Lib Dem (up 8), 12% independent (new) and 8% One Leicester (new). I believe Labour’s crash here is probably due to the Muslim vote.

12:11pm Labour has won all three seats declared so far in Scotland, gaining all three from the SNP. Labour’s Scottish vote is up 23 points, while the SNP is down 17.

12:05pm After 84 of 650 seats, Labour 73 (up 29), Tories six (down 31), Lib Dems four (up three) and Reform one (up one). Vote share changes are Labour up 1.2, Tories down 20, Lib Dems down 0.4, Reform up 13 and Greens up four.

11:54am The first Scottish seat (Kilmarnock & Loudoun) is a Labour gain from the SNP. 45% Labour (up 26), 33% SNP (down 18), 8% Tories (down 16) and 8% Reform (new).

11:46am Labour lost Hartlepool to the Tories at a by-election in May 2021 when Boris Johnson was popular, but have won it easily at this election. Earlier this year, Labour lost Rochdale at a by-election to George Galloway after their candidate was disendorsed. In the rematch, Labour defeated Galloway by 33-29 with 17% for Reform and 11% Tories.

11:27am Reform WINS their first seat in Ashfield, gaining from the Tories. 43% Reform (up 38), 29% Labour (up three), 16% independent (down 11) and an embarrassing 4th place for the Tories in a seat they held with just 8% (down 31!).

11:14am After 22 of 650 seats, Labour 19 (up seven), Lib Dems two (up two) and Tories just one (down nine). Vote share changes based on these seats’ votes in 2019 are Labour up two, Lib Dems up 0.4, Tories down 22, Reform up 14 and Greens up four.

11:09am Labour GAINS Bridgend in Wales from the Tories. 40% Labour (up one), 19% Reform (up 14), 16% Tories (down 28!), 9% Plaid (up four) and 8% for an independent.

11:05am Labour GAINS Nuneaton from the Tories. 37% Labour (up five), 28.5% Tories (down 32!) and 22% Reform (new).

10:41am Lib Dems GAIN Harrogate & Knaresborough from Tories. 46% Lib Dem (up 10), 30% Tories (down 22), 11% Reform (new) and 8% Labour (down two).

9:39am Labour GAINS Swindon South from the Tories. Labour 48% (up 8), Tories 27% (down 25) and Reform 14% (new).

8:42am It’s a similar story in Blyth & Ashington, Labour up a little, Reform surges and the Tories plunge.

8:37am Labour HOLDS Houghton & Sunderland South, the first seat to be declared. Labour 47% (up 7), Reform 29% (up 13) and Tories 14% (down 19). Turnout was 51% (down six).

7:09am Friday The Exit Poll has Labour on 410 of the 650 seats, the Tories on 131, the Lib Dems 61, Reform 13, the SNP 10, Plaid Cymru (Welsh Nationalists) four and the Greens two. That’s better for the Tories and Reform than expected from pre-election polls, a little worse for Labour and a lot worse for the SNP.

8:45pm I prefer traditional polls, but William has asked me to comment on what the Multilevel Regression with Poststratification (MRP) polls are saying. These have massive sample sizes, with the YouGov MRP the largest sample at almost 48,000. The YouGov MRP agrees well with the ElectionMapsUK forecast below, with 431 Labour seats, 102 Conservatives, 72 Lib Dems and 18 SNP. The Survation MRP is the most bearish for the Conservatives, with just 64 Conservatives, to 484 for Labour and 61 Lib Dems. Fieldwork periods for the MRP polls were at least a week, so they wouldn’t pick up late movement.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

The UK general election is today, with polls closing at 7am AEST Friday. The Guardian’s election night guide says The Exit Poll will be released once polls close. The exit poll only gives party seat numbers, not vote shares. In past elections, for example 2015 and 2017, the exit poll has predicted seat numbers at odds with pre-election polls. In these cases, the exit poll has been more accurate.

In the UK, votes are not counted at polling places but transported to a counting location within each seat before they are counted. All times listed here are AEST. The Guardian expects only eight of the 650 House of Commons seats to be declared by 10am Friday. By 12pm, about 85 seats will be in. The big rush of results will come between 12pm and 2pm, with 443 declarations, and the remaining seats should be declared by 4pm with “perhaps a few exceptions”.

The final UK national poll aggregate from ElectionMapsUK has Labour at 39.3%, the Conservatives at 21.4%, the far-right Reform at 16.4%, the Liberal Democrats at 11.0% and the Greens at 6.4%. Polls in the final few days have suggested a small recovery for the Conservatives, with Labour’s lead dropping below 20 points. Individual poll results have been between Labour leads of 13 and 20 points over the Conservatives.

With first past the post, these vote shares result in a Labour landslide. The ElectionMapsUK seat forecast is for Labour to win 436 of the 650 seats, the Conservatives 101, the Lib Dems 66, the Scottish National Party 17, the Greens four and Reform three. While the Conservatives have improved to just above 100 seats, that’s far below the 165 they won at their previous nadir in 1997.

While Labour has led the SNP by single-digit margins in most Scottish polls since March, the final Savanta poll gave the SNP a 34-31 lead over Labour. If true, the SNP could limit its losses after getting 48 of 59 Scottish seats in 2019 to just one for Labour. Seat polls for the Greens have them gaining three seats. In other UK election news, the right-wing tabloid The Sun has endorsed Labour.

French election: candidate withdrawals may block far-right RN from majority

The 577 French lower house seats are elected by a two-round single-member system. In final results of Sunday’s first round, the far-right National Rally (RN) and allies won 33.2%, the left-wing alliance of four parties (NFP) 28.1%, President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Ensemble 21.3% and the conservative Republicans and other right-wing candidates 10.2%.

Turnout was high at 66.7% of registered voters. This meant 76 seats were filled, where the winner had at least 50% of valid votes and at least 25% of registered votes. It also meant that many third candidates cleared the 12.5% of registered voters required to advance. On these results, 306 seats would go to three-way runoffs and five to four-way runoffs.

In this Sunday’s runoffs, FPTP will be used. To avoid splitting the anti-RN vote, there have been a large number of candidate withdrawals. Now there are only 89 three-way runoffs and two four-way runoffs remaining after the candidate registration deadline on Tuesday.

A Harris poll conducted Tuesday and Wednesday gave RN and allies 190-220 seats (240-305 in the Harris poll on first-round election day), the NFP 159-183 seats (140-190) and Ensemble 110-135 (70-120). If this occurs, RN and allies will be well short of the 289 seats needed for a majority.

Biden still dropping in US polls

The US election is on November 5. Before last Thursday’s debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, Biden was nearly tied with Trump in FiveThirtyEight’s national poll aggregate (down by only 0.1 point). Biden has now fallen 2.3 points behind, trailing Trump by 42.1-39.8 with 9.7% for Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

The highly-regarded Siena poll for The New York Times of likely voters gave Trump a five-point lead with third party candidates and a six-point lead without, a 2-3 point movement to Trump since Siena’s pre-debate poll. State polls have not yet caught up to the debate. There’s increasing speculation that Biden may withdraw from the contest. If this occurs, a new candidate will be selected by Democrats at their August 19-22 convention.

644 comments on “UK general election live”

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  1. Labour gains Poole from the Conservatives by 18 votes.
    Conservatives retain Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale in Scotland.

    3 seats left to declare.

  2. I would not be surprised if Reform do not splinter before too long. Looking at the records of Farage, Tice and Anderson, there might be just too many elephants with too much ‘personality’ sitting in what is a fairly small canoe. Methinks Lee Anderson might be the first to go – he has gone from Labour to Tories to Reform in less than ten years.

  3. Vote changes 2019 to 2024

    Cons 13.97m to 6.82m (-7.15 million)
    Lab 10.27m to 9.68m (-0.59m)
    Lib 3.70m to 3.53m (-0.17m)
    Reform 0.64m to 4.09m (+3.45m) NB Changes are from Brexit Party’s votes in 2019, Reform didn’t exist
    Green 0.84m to 1.94m (+1.10m)
    SNP 1.24m to 0.73m (-0.51m)

    So only Reform and Green won more votes – both substantially so. Conservative drop is stunning.
    So is Labour, merely for the fact that it fell at all and they won like they did.

    Sorry Welsh Nats, can’t readily find your vote numbers for this time to compare.

  4. Asha

    No worries.

    I think my point was really that when Sunak called the election they were a good 20% or more behind Labour in the polls.

    But without doing anything amazing at all it might have only been about 4% on election night – with probably still a clear Lab majority but nothing historic. I do find that quite incredible given how dead and buried they seemed.

    As it was they are 10% behind in the vote share and have had a big hiding even though it wasn’t 20%.

    Sorry, not sure if this makes it clearer or not.

  5. Even though it is a landslide win, it does seem that the huge majority is going to be a lot more fragile than meets the eye. Labour have been hurt by Gaza driven independents and there seem to be a lot of thin and very thin majorities. Unlike 1997 where Labour had a second landslide win in 2001, this might be like 1945 where Atlee’s huge majority was reduced to something like 6 in 1950 and then with by elections that became untenable and the 1951 election was called.

  6. BT
    It would be interesting to compare the ‘other’ votes – excluding Northern Ireland – they may also have gone up substantially.

  7. Only two recounts to go.
    Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire in Scotland between SNP and Lib Dems
    South Basildon and East Thurrock between Reform and Labour

  8. If I was the ALP, I would be looking very nervously at those result in seats that have high Muslim populations and the impact of Gaza on the results. Yes, Australia has a smaller Muslim population by % and it is does not quite have the concentration of the UK, but it does them a heads up about what might happen and instill some nervousness.

  9. Blackburnpseph – Except that not one of the Australian seats has anywhere near the population of Muslims that the seats in the UK that fell.

  10. Blackburnpseph

    Not sure of raw votes, but Independents went from 0.64 to 2.0% approx.

    Very unusual for them to be winning seats like this, especially off the party winning government at the same time. Of course, we know the reasons why.

  11. BTSays:

    Actually, that’s a fair point. Apologies again, I think I got the wrong end of the stick earlier.

    I would contend though that a party of government receiving 24% of the vote, while not quite the disaster some polls were predicting, is still an astonishingly poor result and only seems like a silver lining when compared to the more extreme projections. Would the Conservatives have made up further ground if their campaign hadn’t been so full of gaffes and poor behaviour from candidates? Sure, maybe. But it also may just be that the British public had stopped listening by that point.

  12. @BTSays at 7:12pm

    Not yet. However there’s been an update a couple of minutes ago that the results are just about ready to be announced for Dumfries and Galloway.

    EDIT: Conservative Retain.

  13. The Lib-Dems seem to have found a way of working with First Past the Post. They managed to win about 11% of the seats with about 12% of the vote. Are they targeting particular regions? Or is there widespread strategic voting by Labour voters in blue ribbon Tory seats which, combined with disaffected Tories, got them over the line?

  14. Of course, the flip side of the discussion about the bote margins being closer than polls had anticipated, is that on its own the fact the polls were showing massive Labour leads probably contributed to apathy and low turnout. I think most here agree about a lack of enthusiasm for Labour, so with the election clearly in the bag a long way out, I suspect a lot of people who wanted to see the Conservatives out probably felt that the job was done without their vote. I believe the Conservatives, on the other hand, did have some success late in the campaign when their messaging became about not giving Labour a so called super majority. Ultimately this probably didn’t make a big difference when it came to the final seat count, but I think it probably made a bit of difference when it came to vote share.

  15. I’m seeing news that Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire won’t be declared until Saturday UK time.

    So that just leaves South Basildon and East Thurrock left for tonight, presumably.

  16. Kirsdrake – South Basildon and East Thurrock might be a long time coming too. There has been a recount and it has given somewhat of a different result. So there is another recount.

  17. @B.S. Fairman at 7:34pm

    Ah, cheers for that news. So it seems the final result is as it is, with Inverness being either SNP-LDM and South Basildon being either RFM-LAB.

  18. After all the talk of the destruction of the “Red Wall” in the North of England in 2019, it seems the “Blue Wall” in the South of England has been decisively smashed this time around by mainly the Liberal Democrats, but also Labour in accurate tactical voting.

  19. 1. The Tories had governed extremely badly.
    2. The presence of Reform gave people who were viscerally anti-Labour a party they felt they could vote for without going against their conscience.

    Not much else to it.

  20. Blackburnpsephsays:
    Friday, July 5, 2024 at 7:08 pm
    If I was the ALP, I would be looking very nervously at those result in seats that have high Muslim populations and the impact of Gaza on the results. Yes, Australia has a smaller Muslim population by % and it is does not quite have the concentration of the UK, but it does them a heads up about what might happen and instill some nervousness.

    The muslim population in Australia maybe small when compared UK but
    1. They are concentrated in few ALP seats
    2. There are quite a few “progressive” voters like Lordbain and clem atlee, who are itching to punish ALP for Gaza
    3. A muslim independent can concentrate their minds like it happened in Fowler
    4. Greens and Liberal voters won’t have any qualms to direct their preferences to those independents

    And a scenario as envisaged and described by Dutton and Ley is quite possible.

  21. I liked that Sunak’s wife had an Umbrella at the ready. Also despite wearing dazzle camo I think we could see her.

  22. Well, fourteen years of Conservative Government in the UK is just about over. Sunak’s arrived at the Palace to tender his resignation. Shortly thereafter, Starmer will become PM.

    Also, Sunak has confirmed (if there was any doubt) he will step down as Conservative Leader but will stay on until the successor is elected.

  23. Ven – It would require Dutton and co, to give preferences to said candidates in order for them to get up. It is a pipe dream scenario here. Blaxland has the highest number of (31%) Muslims for Australian electorates but 25% are underage and 20% of that is non-citizen. They’re not going to do a Fowler on Jason Clare.
    Anyway, this is Aussie politics and it is best discussed on the main thread. Keep this one for the Pommy and Froggy elections.

  24. Another thing’s for sure, now that Nigel Farage has actually managed to become an elected MP in the UK Parliament, there’s going to be a lot of spotlights turned on him.

    I’ve heard opinions that he’s like the “British Trump”, but, the major problem is that the far right in the UK just don’t wash with being popular, because the autocratic elite are just so snobbish over there.

    In the 1930’s, British Fascist leader Oswald Mosley was treated as an object of ridicule and barely won any political power. And other far-right rabble-rousers were treated with contempt in the decades to follow.

    Trumpist-style fascism just doesn’t win in the UK, because the ruling establishment is just too posh for that. I just can’t see the same amount of turnout for gammon wearing MBGA trucker hats rooting for Farage like they do for Trump in the USA.

  25. Kirsdrake – For all the huffing and puffing, Reform has got 14.3%. That is only marginally better than the 12% UKIP got in 2015. Sure, they have a handful of seats but the numbers are not that huge.
    They seem to do much better in the North East and the East, than in South West or London. And they don’t do well in Scotland or Wales.

  26. @B.S. Fairman at 8:27pm

    While that’s true, they have got their well-known populist leader established as an MP, which is a magnitude more than what UKIP got in 2015.

    While I don’t think he or his party will get more than they have in 2029, I think it’s worthwhile for people to keep an eye on Farage and what happens in the next year or so. Despite his ruffian party’s positions, Farage does have charisma, and if Starmer’s government doesn’t manage to turn things around in 5 years from the disaster of Austerity-Brexit Britain, there’s much that Farage can gain.

  27. Rishi Sunak has officially resigned as Prime Minister in a meeting with King Charles.

    Keir Starmer is expected to meet him next in a couple of hours to accept the role as the new PM.

  28. The King has accepted Sunak’s resignation but has yet to appoint Starmer as PM. It’s time for Charles to exploit this “interregnum” period, by asserting his Divine Right as King and rule as an absolute monarch!

  29. Having watched too much of The Crown and The Windsors, I’m picturing that meeting between Sunak and Charles (played by Harry Enfield) going down something like this.

    Sunak: “I wish this meeting could have done down differently…”
    Charles: “Well maybe it would have if you and your party hadn’t been so shit. I mean gods, man. Boris, Truss, you, I mean I can get away with it because I’m a royal but you lot… don’t think you can rock around like Cromwell and get away with it. Bloody National Service… what were you thinking?!”

  30. It’s official: Sir Keir Starmer is Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

  31. Wat Tyler says:
    Friday, July 5, 2024 at 8:56 pm
    “The King has accepted Sunak’s resignation but has yet to appoint Starmer as PM. It’s time for Charles to exploit this “interregnum” period, by asserting his Divine Right as King and rule as an absolute monarch”


  32. Nah, I would have liked Charles to have authorised the highly unorthodox 37 pence coin during his brief rule of absolutism.

  33. Disappointing to see two of Labour’s worst MPs, Wes Streeting and Jess Phillips, both narrowly hang on against unexpectedly very strong independent challenges.

    I doubt either of them will show the least bit of humility about it, either.

    I really hope his seat getting turned marginal is an incentive to kick Streeting out of the health ministry at least.

    Labour losing their election campaign coordinator to a pro-Palestine independent after HQ’s war on left-wing candidates was very funny though.

  34. The Tories did save some of the furniture but it is very strange to think that any major party could be happy losing two thirds of their MPs. But this has to be the oddest election in British history….
    Or at least since WWII. 1918 is a cracker and all the interwar elections were a little bonkers.

    A bid you all a good night as I have been up since 7am watching 4 screens for most that time.

  35. The old Thatcher seat won by Labour was Finchley and Golder’s Green, not Maidenhead, which was the former seat of Theresa May.

  36. Corbyn retained Islington North, just as I predicted and three Muslim independents won seats from Labour in the midlands. Something for Albo to think about I reckon. Great to see Truss and Mogg lose.

  37. So, any ideas roughly how many seats did the Tories lose due to FPTP v Preferential?
    So amusing that Liz Truss was done over by the Very Silly party…

  38. @Alpha Zero at 11:05pm

    I did a rough calculation of a preferential 2pp vote earlier and it would’ve probably been something along the lines of 55-45 to Labour.

    So if preferential voting was a factor, I’m estimating that the Tories would have won at least 200 seats, while Labour would have won roughly 350 seats.

    That’s an estimation off the back of the hand though, things could have been way different from the start if the voting system was different.

  39. BTSays says:
    Friday, July 5, 2024 at 4:09 pm


    No, they should all declare today, mostly fairly soon.

    Argh, hate to be the one who told you so, but seems that’s how it is, 2 seats remaining that won’t be declared until tomorrow. Australian time at least.

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