In England, Labour suffered a crushing Westminster by-election loss in Hartlepool, with the Tories romping to a 52-29 victory in a Labour-held seat. Labour’s vote was nine points down on what they got with Jeremy Corbyn as leader in the December 2019 general election – and that was a bad loss overall.
In English local council elections, the Tories won the BBC’s Projected National Share by 36-29 over Labour, a bad result for an opposition party. With all 143 councils up for election reported, the Tories have gained over 200 councillors, while Labour has lost over 300. The Greens are up almost 90 councillors.
In Scotland, the SNP fell one seat short of a majority, but will be able to continue governing with the Greens. In Wales, Labour is one seat short, but will continue to govern with the Lib Dems. The Welsh result contradicts English results. Labour’s Sadiq Khan was easily re-elected London mayor.
10:16am Monday With all 143 English councils declared, the Tories control 63 (up 13), Labour 44 (down eight) and the Lib Dems seven (up one). The Tories won 2,345 councillors (up 235), Labour 1,345 (down 326), the Lib Dems 586 (up seven), the Greens 151 (up 88) and UKIP zero (down 48).
10am With 132 of the 143 English councils declared, the Tories control 58 councils (up 12), Labour 44 (down seven) and the Lib Dems five (steady). The Tories have 2,205 councillors (up 239), Labour 1,268 (down 301), the Lib Dems 524 (down eight), the Greens 121 (up 70) and UKIP zero (down 43). These elections were good for the Tories and Greens, and bad for Labour and UKIP.
9:48am For the London Assembly, Labour won 11 of the 25 seats (down one since 2016), the Tories nine (up one), the Greens three (up one), the Lib Dems two (up one) and UKIP zero (down two). Labour will need support from either the Greens or Lib Dems on measures opposed by the Tories. Labour won nine of the 14 FPTP seats.
9:07am With 11 of 13 mayors declared, Labour has gained two from the Tories. Mayoral elections use preferential voting, and Labour won in one of their gains after trailing on first preferences. In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, primary votes were 40.5% Tory, 32.8% Labour and 26.7% Lib Dem. Labour won by 51.3-48.7 after preferences.
8:58am Labour’s Sadiq Khan is re-elected Mayor of London by 55.2-44.8 over Tory Shaun Bailey. Primary votes were 40.0% Khan, 35.3% Bailey, 7.8% Greens and 4.4% Lib Dem.
6:57am Labour fell just short of a majority in Wales, winning 30 of the 60 seats (up one since 2016). The Tories won 16 (up five), Plaid Cymru 13 (up one) and the Lib Dems one (steady). The Labour/Lib Dem coalition will continue. List vote shares were 36.2% Labour (up 4.7%), 25.1% Tories (up 6.3%), 20.7% Plaid Cymru (down 0.1%), 4.3% Lib Dem (down 2.2%), 4.4% Greens (up 1.4%) and 1.6% UKIP (down 11.4%). Labour won 27 of the 40 FPTP seats.
6:48am Sunday The SNP has fallen one seat short of a Scottish parliamentary majority, winning 64 of the 129 seats (up one since 2016). The Tories won 31 seats (steady), Labour 22 (down two), the Greens eight (up two) and the Lib Dems four (down one). The SNP won 62 of the 73 FPTP seats, but only 40.3% of the list vote (down 1.4%). The Tories won 23.5% in the list (up 0.6%), Labour 17.9% (down 1.2%), the Greens 8.1% (up 1.5%) and the Lib Dems 5.1% (down 0.1%). The SNP/Green coalition will continue.
10:18pm Labour is still on 30 seats in Wales, one short of a majority, after 56 of the 60 are declared. There’s one four-member region to go. In England, with 97 of 143 councils declared, the Tories are pulling well ahead of Labour, who have lost over 200 councillors.
11:23am After these seven of 14 FPTP seats declared, Labour’s Sadiq Khan leads Tory Shaun Bailey for London mayor by 39.0% to 37.0%. Of the seven remaining seats, five voted Labour and two Tory in 2016. Khan should increase his primary vote lead when these are counted, and will benefit from Greens and Lib Dem preferences. It will be closer than polls expected, but Khan will win.
10:35am As well as the mayor, there is a London-wide Assembly. So far, only seven of the 25 Assembly seats have been declared. These are all FPTP with list seats to be added later. Labour has won four of the seven, and the Tories three; there is no change in any seat declared from 2016.
10:17am With 87 of the 143 English councils declared, the Tories control 36 councils (up six) and Labour 33 (down four). The Tories have 1,379 councillors (up 153), Labour 864 (down 186), the Lib Dems 273 (down 25) and the Greens 78 (up 51).
10:10am Labour is on the verge of a majority in Wales. They’ve won 30 of the 52 seats declared so far (up one), with 12 Tories (up four), nine Plaid Cymru (down one), one Lib Dem (steady) and zero UKIP (down four). If Labour wins one of the eight regional seats in two regions to be declared, they will have a Welsh parliamentary majority. However, they may have maxed out in those regions owing to their FPTP dominance.
8:05am In Wales, two of the regional lists have been declared. Labour now has 27 of the 47 to be declared so far (up one), the Tories 12 (up four) and Plaid Cymru eight (down one). One FPTP and three four-member regions remain. A majority is 31 seats.
7am Labour has won 26 of the 39 Welsh seats declared so far, steady since 2016. The Tories have eight (up two), Plaid Cymru five (down one) and the Lib Dems zero (down one). Labour and the Tories’ vote share have both increased 5% from 2016, with UKIP down 12%. One FPTP remains to be declared, then the 20 regional seats.
6:50am In Scotland, the SNP have won 39 of the 48 seats declared so far, a gain of three for them since 2016. The Lib Dems have four (steady), the Tories three (down two) and Labour two (down one). All seats declared so far are FPTP seats, not the proportional list. So far, the SNP have gained 1.3% in their vote share. There will be no further counting until tonight AEST.
6:39am Saturday The BBC’s Projected National Share, based on English councils to declare so far, is 36% Tory, 29% Labour and 17% Lib Dem. The seven-point Tory lead compares with a one-point Labour lead in 2016 and an 11-point Tory lead in 2017, the last time councillors elected here were up. Governments usually perform worse at council elections than general elections, so this is very bad for Labour. The Lib Dems always do worse at general elections than at council elections.
6:21pm After 16 of 143 councils declared, the Tories have overtaken Labour in both councils controlled and total councillors.
6:17pm Most councils declared so far last elected in 2016, when Labour won nationally by one point and UKIP was still strong. The Tories have consolidated the UKIP vote. An exception is Northumberland, last elected in 2017. The Tories were up one seat there and Labour down three. 2017 was already very bad for Labour (they lost by 38-27 nationally).
4:16pm Labour got THRASHED in the Hartlepool by-election by 23 points. That’s even worse than the 17 points in the Survation poll. Another seat to add to the Tories’ big majority in the Commons. Labour’s vote was nine points worse than under Corbyn in Dec 2019! RefUK measured against Brexit party support in 2019.
3:20pm The Greens gain a ward in Stockport from Labour.
3:15pm Labour GAINS a ward in Northumberland from the Tories. A better result for Labour than most so far.
3:06pm: So far, we’ve got complete results from only 11 of 143 English councils, nothing from Scotland or Wales and nothing from London. This BBC item says it’ll probably take until Saturday night to get full results (Sunday morning AEST). It’s taking longer than usual due to COVID precautions and a high number of elections.
1:47pm Scotland and Wales will start counting Friday morning UK time (tonight AEST).
1:42pm After nine of 143 English councils declared, Labour have 98 councillors (down 28), the Tories 53 (up 24), the Lib Dems 22 (up three) and the Greens three (up two).
12:57pm In the first council to officially change hands, the Conservatives won 12 of the 13 up for election (up seven) in Harlow, to have an overall 20-13 majority over Labour.
12:35pm Swing of over 40% (!!) to the Conservatives in a ward on Nuneaton and Bedworth council. Tories now have a majority on that council for first time since 2008.
11:51am Labour is already conceding defeat in the Hartlepool by-election.
10:35am No councils officially declared yet, but there have been dreadful results for Labour in northern, pro-Leave areas.
9:12am The first result is in from a ward in Northumberland, and it’s grim for Labour. They held, but only by two points as the Tory vote surged 27 points with no UKIP.
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.
Polls close for today’s UK elections at 7am AEST. In the UK, all votes for a seat or council are gathered in one place and counted there. Scotland and Wales use regional lists, and we will not know the regional result until at least all First Past the Post seats in that region are declared. I expect we will need to wait until at least Saturday morning AEST for final results.
The biggest news since Monday’s article is a poll for the Westminster by-election in Labour-held Hartlepool. This Survation poll, conducted April 23-29 from a sample of 517, gave the Conservatives 50%, Labour 33%, two independents a combined 12% and the Greens 3%. A previous Survation poll, in early April, gave the Conservatives a 49-42 lead over Labour.
While Hartlepool has been Labour-held since 1964, it voted to Leave the European Union in 2016 by nearly a 70-30 margin. At the December 2019 general election, Labour was only saved by a split between the Conservatives and Brexit party. Labour had 37.7%, the Conservatives 28.9%, the Brexit party 25.8% and the Lib Dems 4.1%.
In Australia, single-seat polls have been particularly error-prone, but it would be unusual for a poll to be wrong by 17 points or more. Losing Hartlepool would be a disaster for Labour.