UK general election minus 17 days

Labour is still over 20 points ahead in UK national polls. Also covered: the French parliamentary elections on June 30 and July 7, Mexican final results and a South African government formed.

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 will be held on July 4. The Guardian’s aggregate of UK national polls has Labour on 42.9% (down 1.1 since my June 9 article), the Conservatives on 22.3% (down 1.1), the far-right Reform on 13.6% (up 1.7), the Liberal Democrats on 10.3% (up 0.6) and the Greens on 5.7% (steady).

In the last two weeks, there has been movement to Reform and to a lesser extent the Lib Dems, and against both Labour and the Conservatives. A recent YouGov poll had Reform in second, one point ahead of the Conservatives, but this has not been repeated in other polls.

Owing to first past the post, these vote shares would mean a massive Labour landslide if they occur at the election, with the Electoral Calculus site on Friday giving Labour 461 of the 650 House of Commons seats, the Conservatives 80, Lib Dems 63 and Scottish National Party 20. Labour is still ahead of the SNP in Scottish polls, which would mean a big swing in Scotland to Labour and against the SNP, and a large seat gain for Scottish Labour.

Snap French parliamentary election likely disaster for Macron

On June 9, French president Emmanuel Macron announced a snap election for the lower house of parliament after dismal European election results for his Ensemble party. This election comes two years into a five-year term.

The 577 MPs are elected in two rounds using a single-member system. The first round will be held June 30, and candidates that finish top two in a seat, or win at least 12.5% of registered voters can continue (this is a high barrier because it factors in turnout). Candidates can withdraw before the July 7 runoffs, at which FPTP applies. The vast majority of seats won’t be decided until the runoffs.

At the 2022 parliamentary election, Ensemble won 245 of the 577 seats, below the 289 needed for a majority. The left-wing NUPES alliance won 131 seats, the far-right National Rally (RN) 89 and the conservative Republicans 64.

Left-wing parties have formed the New Popular Front (NFP) and will run one candidate in each seat. Polls suggest RN is in the low 30s, the NFP in the mid to high 20s, Ensemble below 20%, the Republicans about 8% and another far-right party has about 4%.

If these polls are replicated in the first round, Ensemble won’t make the top two in the large majority of seats, with the majority of runoffs between RN and NFP candidates. Some pollsters have seat projections that suggest RN would be close to a majority. Ensemble is likely to be drastically reduced from its current 248 seats, a disaster for Macron.

Mexican election: landslide for the left in legislature

I previously covered the June 2 Mexican election, in which left-wing candidate Claudia Sheinbaum won the presidency by 61.2-28.1 with invalid votes excluded. For the Chamber of Deputies, 300 seats were elected by FPTP and the remaining 200 by proportional representation. In the Senate, 96 seats (three for each of the 32 states) were elected by giving the strongest party in a state two seats and the runner-up one, with the remaining 32 allocated by PR.

In the Chamber, the left-wing coalition won the FPTP seats by 256-42, on vote shares of 56.8-31.6. They won overall by 373-102 with 24 for a centre-left party. In the Senate, the left won the state seats by 64-30, and won overall by 83-40 with five for the centre-left. The left exceeded the two-thirds majority needed to change the Constitution in the Chamber, but were two seats short in the Senate. At the previous presidential election in 2018, the left won 308 Chamber seats and 69 Senate seats.

South Africa: ANC and DA agree to form coalition

I previously covered the May 29 South African election, in which the African National Congress (ANC) lost the majority it had won at every election since 1994. On Friday, the ANC and pro-business Democratic Alliance (DA) agreed to form a governing coalition, and the ANC’s Cyril Ramaphosa was re-elected president. At the election, the ANC won 159 of the 400 seats and the DA 87, so the coalition will have 246 seats, easily surpassing the 201 needed for a majority.

European parliament election live

Far-right parties are expected to make gains. Also covered: UK Labour remains over 20 points ahead and Trump still leads in US polls after his conviction.

Live Commentary

12:10pm The Europe Elects live results forecast now has the right-wing ECR group moving into third ahead of the liberal Renew group with 81 seats to 80. This is because two liberal parties missed the 4% threshold in Italy, so neither won any seats. Had they formed a joint list, they would have won seats.

9:20am Tuesday The final Italian results have the governing right-wing Brothers of Italy on 28.8% (up 22.3% since 2019), the centre-left Democrats on 24.1% (up 1.4%), the anti-establishment 5 Star Movement on 10.0% (down 7.1%), the conservative Forza Italia on 9.6% (up 1.1%), the far-right League on 9.0% (down 25.3%) and a left-wing party on 6.7% (up 2.6%).

5:58pm In German final EU results, the conservative CDU/CSU won 29 seats (steady), the far-right AfD 15 (up four), the Social Democrats 14 (down two), the Greens 12 (down nine), the economically left but socially right BSW six (new), the liberal FDP five (steady), the Left three (down two) and a pro-Europe party three (up two).

5:01pm In Poland, final results have the liberal to conservative Civic Platform narrowly ahead of the Law and Justice party by 37-36 with 12% for the far-right Kon.

4:56pm Final French results have the far-right National Rally winning 31.4% (up 8.1 since 2019), Macron’s party 14.6% (down 7.8), a centre-left party 13.8% (up 7.6), the far-left 9.9% (up 3.6), the conservatives 7.2% (down 1.3), the Greens 5.5% (down 8.0) and another far-right party 5.5%.

4:44pm The biggest gains vs the current European parliament composition in the Europe Elects forecast are for Non-Inscrits (up 27), the EPP (up 14) and ECR (up 10). The biggest losses are for the Greens (down 21) and the Liberals (down 17).

9:32am The Greens are now down to 51 seats on the Europe Elects live forecast, five below the 56 seats they were expected to win yesterday, and 23 below what they won in 2019.

9:30am In Hungary, with 76% counted, the far-right governing Fidesz has 44%, (down 8.6% since 2019), but the main opposition is a new conservative party, which has 30%. Left-wing parties had little support.

8:26am There’s a big swing to a conservative party and against the Greens in Belgium’s national election today, with the conservatives up ten seats and the Greens down 11 seats.

8:19am Based on partial and near-complete results from some countries, and polls from others, the Europe Elects current forecast is for the conservative EPP group to win 194 of the 720 seats, the centre-left S&D 137, the liberal Renew 83, the Eurosceptic ECR 72, the far-right ID 63, the Greens 55 and the far-left 38. Non-aligned Non-Inscrits (NI) will win the remaining 78 seats; these include far-right parties that were expelled from other groups. These results are better for the EPP and worse for Renew, the ECR and ID than yesterday’s forecast (see below).

7:41am In Spain, the conservative People’s Party has gained nine seats for 22 to be the most popular party ahead of the governing Socialists with 20. Other seats have gone to right and left-wing parties.

7:35am In Germany, the far-right AfD has surged into second place with 16 seats, up five from 2019, with the Greens down nine seats to 12.

7:30am With 77% counted in France, National Rally has 35%, Macron’s party 14.4% and the centre-left 12.9%.

7:08am Monday After a disastrous result for French president Emmanuel Macron’s liberal party, in which they finished a distant second to the far-right National Rally, Macron has called snap parliamentary elections for June 30 (first round) and July 7 (runoffs). Macron’s party does not currently have a parliamentary majority. These elections will be for the French lower house, not for the presidency.

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 European parliament (EU) election is being held from Thursday to today, with vote counting starting once all countries have finished voting. Italy will be the last country to finish voting at 7am AEST Monday, so this is when counting starts. This is the first EU election since Brexit, so the UK won’t be involved.

The 720 seats are elected using proportional representation in each EU country. The countries that have the most seats are Germany (96 seats), France (81), Italy (76), Spain (61) and Poland (53).

European parties are grouped according to their political alignment. The conservative European People’s Party (EPP) includes all conservative parties from the various countries, while the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group includes all centre-left parties.

In 2019, the EPP won 187 of the 751 seats, the S&D 147, the liberal Renew 98, the Greens 74, the far-right Identity and Democracy (ID) 76, the soft Eurosceptic Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) 62 and the far-left 41. Non-Inscrits (NI), who are not grouped into a European faction, won the remaining 57 seats.

Far-right parties are expected to make gains at this election. The final Europe Elects forecast is for the EPP to win 184 of the 720 seats, the S&D 136, Renew 87, the ECR 74, ID 67, the Greens 56 and the far-left 37. The NI had 79 seats in this forecast, and this included far-right parties such as the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and Hungary’s governing Fidesz that have been expelled by other EU factions.

If far-right parties don’t do as well as expected, turnout could be a factor. People who support far-right parties are likely to have a lower educational attainment than those who oppose the far-right. Higher educational attainment means a higher likelihood of voting in an optional voting system.

The Belgian national parliament election will be held concurrently with the EU election. The 150 seats are elected by PR in 11 multi-member electorates with a 5% threshold per electorate. The Dutch-speaking part of Belgium (Flanders) is very right-wing, while the French-speaking part (Wallonia) is very left-wing.

UK election: Labour remains over 20 points ahead

The UK general election is on July 4. The Guardian’s national poll aggregate has Labour on 44.0% (down 0.7 since last Tuesday), the Conservatives on 23.4% (down 0.4), the far-right Reform on 11.9% (up 0.7), the Liberal Democrats on 9.7% (up 0.6) and the Greens on 5.7% (up 0.1). Reform has gained a little since Nigel Farage announced he would contest Clacton on June 3, but Labour remains way ahead, and would win a massive landslide if the election results replicate these polls.

Nominations for the election closed on Friday. If a candidate does something embarrassing, they can’t be withdrawn from the ballot paper, only publicly disendorsed by their party. UK elections are managed by local governments, so there are no easily accessible national lists of candidates, as there would be with Australia’s electoral commissions. Reform has said it will stand candidates in 630 of the 650 Commons seats and the Greens 575. Presumably, Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems will contest all seats not in Northern Ireland.

US election: Trump still leads

The US general election is on November 5. It’s been over a week since Donald Trump’s May 30 conviction. In FiveThirtyEight’s tracker of national polls, Trump leads Joe Biden by 40.9-39.9 with 9.4% for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Trump led by 1.7 points on May 30. Biden’s best chance to win the Electoral College is to win all of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, states where he currently trails by 1.5 points or less.

Indian election vote counting live

Right-wing Indian PM Narendra Modi expected to easily win a third successive term. Also covered: upcoming European parliament, UK and US elections, and South African and Mexican results.

Live Commentary

7:05am Wednesday Just one seat remains to be declared, in which an INDIA alliance member is currently ahead. Modi’s NDA alliance has won 293 seats, while the INDIA alliance has won 229 and leads in one. While the NDA will retain a majority (272 needed for a majority), the BJP party (240 seats) is well below the majority they easily exceeded in 2019.

10:51pm 115 of the 543 seats have now been officially declared. The NDA leads in or has won 282 seats, while the INDIA alliance leads in or has won 175 seats. The BJP itself leads in or has won 240 seats, which would be 32 short of a majority and 63 down on 2019.

7:45pm The NDA leads in 278 seats to the INDIA alliance’s 173., with the BJP alone leading in 240 seats, well short of the 272 needed for a majority. The Indian electoral commission has declared four seats. In 2019, the BJP alone won 303 seats and its alliance got 353.

5:06pm The NDA now leads in 285 seats to 167 for the INDIA alliance. Modi’s BJP party leads in 243 seats, well short of a majority in its own right.

4:36pm The NDA has slipped back to 273 seats, only barely enough for a majority, while the INDIA alliance leads in 176 seats. All 543 seats now have some counting, so the remaining seats must be going to independents and others not aligned with either alliance. Contrary to polls, this doesn’t look like a Modi landslide.

3:33pm The NDA now leads in 278 seats, to 186 for the INDIA alliance. The seats the NDA now leads in are over the 272 needed for a majority.

2:27pm The NDA is now leading in 242 seats to 144 for the INDIA alliance. Unless late counting reverses the current trends, the NDA will win decisively. I have a one-hour appointment starting at 2:30pm, so I’ll next post after that.

2:11pm BJP and allies (NDA) now leading in 223 seats, to 121 for opposition INDIA alliance.

2:06pm Bloomberg says the BJP and allies are leading in 198 seats, while Congress and allies are leading in 127 seats. 272 seats are needed for a majority.

1:59pm With results in from 339 of the 543 seats, Modi’s BJP is leading in 169 seats, while their main opponents Congress are leading in 65 seats. I’m not sure about allied parties yet.

11:50am I expect official results to appear here from 12:30pm AEST.

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 Indian election was held in seven stages, from April 19 to June 1. No interim results have been released, with vote counting to occur today. Counting will start at 8am Indian time (12:30pm AEST). The 543 MPs are elected by first past the post. India is the world’s most populous country, having overtaken China in 2023.

The right-wing alliance (NDA) of PM Narendra Modi, who is running for a third successive term, has a high-single to double-digit lead in polls over the opposition INDIA alliance. If the election results reflect the polls, the NDA will win a decisive majority owing to the single-member system. Exit polls released after voting finished Saturday also suggest a big majority for the NDA. Modi is easily the most popular global leader in Morning Consult’s tracker of leaders’ ratings, with 74% approval and 21% disapproval.

Other upcoming elections

The European parliament election will be held from Thursday to Sunday, with vote counting starting once all countries have finished voting. The 720 seats are elected using proportional representation in each EU country. Far-right parties are expected to make gains. I will have a post on this on Sunday.

The UK general election will be held on July 4. The Guardian’s national poll aggregate has Labour on 44.7% (steady since last Thursday), the Conservatives on 23.8% (up 0.5), the far-right Refrom on 11.2% (down 0.1), the Lib Dems on 9.1% (down 0.4) and the Greens on 5.6% (down 0.4). In the last week, there was a jump from a 14 to a 20-point Labour lead in an Opinium poll with other polls little changed.

Update 9:21am Tuesday: Nigel Farage will contest Clacton for Reform, and also becomes Reform’s leader. The JL Partners poll that previously had Labour’s lead at 12 points now has Labour leading by 17 points.

The US general election will be held on November 5. National polls conducted since the May 30 conviction of Donald Trump suggest a small movement to Joe Biden. If this is sustained, Biden should be able to overturn his 1.2% deficit to Trump in the FiveThirtyEight aggregate of national polls and improve his chance to win the Electoral College.

ANC loses majority at South African election

The 400 South African MPs were elected by proportional representation without a threshold. The African National Congress (ANC) had won a majority of votes and seats at every election since the end of apartheid in 1994, but lost their majority at the May 29 election.

The ANC won 40.2% of the vote (down 17.3% since 2019), the centrist Democratic Alliance 21.8% (up 1.0%), former president Jacob Zuma’s left-wing populist MK 14.6% (new) and the communist EFF 9.5% (down 1.3%). The ANC won 159 seats, the DA 87, the MK 58 and the EFF 39. The ANC will need an alliance to get the 201 seats required for a majority.

Mexican left wins second successive landslide

Mexican presidents are elected for six-year terms by FPTP and cannot run for re-election. In 2018, Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the left-wing MORENA party won a breakthrough victory for the left with 54.7%, with his nearest opponent on just 22.9%. At Sunday’s election, MORENA’s Claudia Sheinbaum crushed conservative Xóchitl Gálvez by 57.8-29.3 with 10.6% for a third party candidate (results at 5:40pm AEST Monday with 53% reporting). Sheinbaum is a former climate scientist and will be Mexico’s first female president.

Update 9:12am Tuesday: With 93% reporting, Sheinbaum wins by 59.2-27.8 with 10.4% for the third candidate. MORENA also held its majorities in the legislature.

UK general election minus five weeks

A Labour landslide is the likely outcome of the UK election. Also: coverage of upcoming Indian, European parliament and US elections.

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 will be held on July 4. The Guardian’s aggregate of UK national pols has Labour over 20 points ahead of the Conservatives, with vote shares of 44.7% Labour, 23.3% Conservative, 11.3% for the far-right Reform, 9.5% Liberal Democrats and 6.0% Greens. In the week since the election was called, Labour’s vote has improved about one point.

With the UK’s use of first-past-the-post, current vote shares imply a massive Labour landslide. The Electoral Calculus seat forecast as at May 21 was for Labour to win 479 of the 650 House of Commons seats, to just 92 Conservatives, 44 Lib Dems and 12 from the Scottish National Party (SNP).

Two recent national polls from Opinium and JL Partners are better for the Conservatives with Labour leads at 12-14 points. But most polls have Labour leading by over 20 points.

At the December 2019 general election, the Conservatives won 365 of the 650 seats, to 202 for Labour, 48 SNP and 11 Lib Dems. Perhaps it was a mistake for the Conservatives to oust Boris Johnson as their leader and PM after he led them to this triumph. The Conservatives have governed in the UK for the last 14 years.

At the 2019 election in Scotland, the SNP won 48 of the 59 seats, to six Conservatives, four Lib Dems and just one Labour. Vote shares were 45.0% SNP, 25.1% Conservative, 18.6% Labour and 9.5% Lib Dems. Scottish polls suggest Labour has overtaken the SNP, which would give Labour a large seat gain at the SNP’s expense.

Conservative PM Rishi Sunak’s net favourability was at its highest at -19 soon after he became PM in November 2022. In January 2024, it dropped to -51, and has been at about that level since. Labour leader Keir Starmer’s net favourability has been between -23 and -17 since May 2023.

Other upcoming elections

The Indian election has been held in seven stages, with the final stage this Saturday. Votes will be counted next Tuesday June 4, and I will have a post to follow the counting. The 543 MPs are elected by FPTP. The right-wing alliance (NDA) of PM Narendra Modi, who is running for a third successive term, has a high-single to double-digit lead in polls over the opposition INDIA alliance, and is expected to win a decisive majority.

The European parliament election will be held from June 6-9, with vote counting starting once all countries have finished voting. The 720 seats are elected using proportional representation in each EU country. Far-right parties are expected to make gains. I will have a post on this on June 9.

The US general election will be held on November 5. In the FiveThirtyEight national poll aggregate, Donald Trump leads Joe Biden by 41.0-39.8 with 10.1% for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Trump’s lead has slightly widened from 0.8% four weeks ago. The best chance for a Biden win is to win all of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, where he trails by two points or less. If he does this, he probably wins the Electoral College by 270-268.

South African election

The 400 South African MPs are elected by proportional representation without a threshold. The African National Congress (ANC) has won a majority of votes and seats at every election since the end of apartheid in 1994. I hoped to have results of Wednesday’s election, but only 0.6% had been counted at 12pm AEST Thursday, seven hours after polls closed. I will update this section when fuller results are available.

Update 11:50am Friday With 51% counted, the ANC is at 42.6%, down from 57.5% at the 2019 election, and looks set to lose the majority they have held since 1994.

UK local elections and Blackpool South by-election live

The Conservatives are set to suffer large losses at today’s UK local elections. Also: turmoil in Scotland and Trump narrowly leading Biden nationally.

Live Commentary

11am Monday With all 107 councils in, Labour won 1,158 councillors (up 186), the Lib Dems 522 (up 104), the Tories 515 (down 474), independents 228 (up 93) and the Greens 181 (up 74). Councils controlled are Labour 51 (up eight), Lib Dems 12 (up two), Tories six (down ten), independents one (up one) and no overall control 37 (down one). This is the first time the Tories have finished third since 1996.

7:28am Sunday Labour’s Sadiq Khan has easily been re-elected London mayor, defeating Tory Susan Hall by 43.8-32.7 with 5.8% Lib Dems and 5.8% Greens. There was a 3.8% swing to Khan and a 2.6% swing against the Tories. On the London Assembly, Labour won 11 of the 25 seats (steady since 2021), the Tories eight (down one), the Greens three (steady), the Lib Dems two (steady) and Reform one (up one).

In a further blow for Sunak, Labour has defeated incumbent Tory mayor Andy Street in West Midlands, winning by 37.8-37.5 with 11.7% for an independent, 5.8% for Reform and 5.2% for the Greens. Labour’s vote share was down 1.9% on 2021, but the Tories were down 11.2%. Overall, Labour has won 10 of the 11 mayors contested, with the one Tory win coming in Tees Valley.

7:41pm Here’s the BBC’s live blog for today’s mayoral counts.

2:19pm With William Bowe’s permission, I’ve pinned this post to the top of the blog since Friday afternoon. But at 6pm today, William will start live coverage of the Tasmanian upper house elections, and this post will drop back to fifth. If you want to follow the remaining mayoral results, you’ll need to scroll.

11:25am After 102 of 107 councils, Labour has 1,026 councillors (up 173), the Tories 479 (down 448), the Lib Dems 505 (up 101), independents 224 (up 92) and the Greens 159 (up 65). Councils controlled are Labour 48 (up eight), Tories five (down ten), Lib Dems 12 (up two), independents one (up one) and no overall control 36 (down one). The Tories have reduced their proportional losses to a bit under half. George Galloway’s Workers Party and Reform have both won councillors (four and two respectively).

11:16am Labour won the East Midlands mayoralty last night by 40.3-28.8 over the Tories with 11.3% Greens and 10.9% Reform. That leaves seven of 11 mayors yet to declare, including the London mayoralty.

7:18am Saturday The BBC’s Projected National Share, that applies these council results to the whole country, is 34% Labour, 25% Tories, 17% Lib Dems and 24% for all Others. Compared with 2021, when these seats were last contested, Labour is up five, the Tories down 11 and the Lib Dems steady. Compared with 2023, Labour and the Tories are both down one and the Lib Dems down three. This is the Tories’ equal record low in PNS, and they were last at 25% in 2013 and 1995. The Greens account for “as much as half” of the Others’ total. This result will be a little disappointing for Labour, which would have expected a double-digit PNS margin.

11:49pm Labour wins the York and North Yorkshire mayoralty, which includes Sunak’s seat. Labour won by 35.1-27.3 over the Tories with 16.2% Lib Dems and 8.0% Greens.

11:35pm Labour wins the North East mayoralty, defeating a defector by 41.3-28.2 with 11.7% for the Tories and 9.2% for Reform. In the council results, the Tories are continuing to lose over half their existing seats.

9:40pm The Tories have held the Tees Valley mayoralty, winning by 53.6-41.3 over Labour with 5.0% Lib Dem. But after 42 of 107 councils, the Tories are continuing to lose over half the seats they are defending. Labour has 362 councillors (up 62), the Tories 131 (down 149), the Lib Dems 133 (up 24), independents 78 (up 49) and the Greens 28 (up 15). Councils controlled are Labour 22 (up four), Tories three (down three), Lib Dems five (steady) and no overall control 12 (down one).

4:43pm Curtice says the swings so far at the local elections are 10% from Tories to Labour since 2021 and 1% since 2023. If this holds up, Labour will win the BBC’s Projected National Share by a low double-digit margin. The Tories have so far lost over half the councillors they were defending. If this holds up, it will be their worst proportional loss since 1995.

2:58pm It’s now nearly 6am Friday in the UK. This guide to results in The Guardian indicates things will go quiet until later tonight AEST, then there’ll be more declarations. The London mayoralty will be declared Saturday UK time (probably after midnight Sunday AEST).

2:43pm After 33 of 107 councils, Labour has 298 councillors (up 58), the Tories 110 (down 118), the Lib Dems 100 (up 15), independents 61 (up 33) and the Greens 20 (up 12). Councils controlled are Labour 17 (up four), the Tories three (down three), the Lib Dems four (steady) and no overall control nine (down one).

2:36pm The Tories have lost six other seats at by-elections since July 2023, all on huge swings to Labour or the Lib Dems. They did manage to hold former PM Boris Johnson’s seat of Uxbridge in July 2023.

1:52pm Labour GAINS Blackpool South (the parliamentary by-election), crushing the Tories by over 40 points. The Tories barely stayed ahead of Reform for 2nd place.

12:59pm After 22 of 107 councils, Labour has 195 coucillors (up 44), the Tories 50 (down 81), the Lib Dems 55 (up six), independents 38 (up 22) and the Greens 13 (up nine). Councils controlled are Labour 13 (up three), the Tories one (down two), the Lib Dems two (steady) and no overall control six (down one).

12:48pm Blackpool South turnout 32.5%, compared with 56.8% at 2019 general election. Labour easily winning according to BBC with Tories and Reform in battle for 2nd. Also Curtice says Greens averaging 11% in wards they’ve contested and Reform 14%. In wards contested by Reform, Tories down 19% on 2021.

12:15pm Labour has GAINED Rushmoor council from the Tories. This is a historic gain as Rushmoor has never had a Labour majority, and the Tories had controlled it for the last 24 years.

11:56am After 17 of 107 councils, Labour have 116 councillors (up 24), the Tories 29 (down 53), the Lib Dems 36 (up six), independents 26 (up 17) and the Greens nine (up six). Councils controlled are Labour ten (up two), Tories one (down one), Lib Dems one (steady) and no overall control five (down one).

11:46am BBC’s live blog quotes UK election analyst John Curtice saying it’s a strong performance in early wards from far-right Reform and the Greens. There’s an 8% swing from Con to Lab since 2021, and a more modest 1% swing since 2023. Also, Labour have GAINED Thurrock council from the Tories.

11:18am The BBC’s live blog says Labour has GAINED Hartlepool council (previously no overall control). The Blackpool South by-election is expected to be declared after 12pm AEST.

11:12am Friday On the BBC’s council scoreboard, after 7 of 107 councils declared, Labour has 56 councillors (up four from the last time these wards were contested in 2021), the Tories 20 (down 18), the Lib Dems 17 (up one), independents 14 (up nine) and the Greens seven (up four).

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.

Polls close for UK local government elections and the parliamentary Blackpool South by-election at 7am AEST Friday. Owing to COVID, there were no elections in 2020, so the large majority of the seats up were last contested in 2021. At the 2021 local elections, the Conservatives under Boris Johnson had a big win. With national polls now showing a huge Labour lead of around 20 points, the Conservatives are virtually certain to suffer large losses.

Local elections are contested on a four-year cycle, with different wards up every year. Some years are more Conservative-leaning and others Labour-leaning. The BBC’s Projected National Share (PNS) attempts to correct for bias in the particular year. In 2021, the Conservatives won the PNS by 36-29 over Labour with 17% for the Liberal Democrats. In 2023, Labour won by 35-26 with 20% Lib Dems.

The biggest prize at these elections is the London mayoralty. Previously, mayors were elected by preferential voting, but the Conservative government regressed to first-past-the-post. Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan, who is running for a third term, has a double-digit lead over Conservative Susan Hall. These local elections will be the last before the general election, which must be held by January 2025.

There will also be a parliamentary by-election today in Conservative-held Blackpool South.  The Conservatives gained Blackpool South from Labour at the 2019 election, winning by a 49.6-38.3 margin with 6.1% for the Brexit Party.

Results for some councils and the Blackpool South by-election will come in Friday AEST, but we may need to wait until Sunday morning for the results to be complete. I expect the London mayoralty won’t be declared until Saturday AEST. I will be at gym until 11am on Friday morning. Results will be available at the BBC.

There may be an early election in Scotland after the coalition government between the Scottish National Party and Greens broke apart. At the 2021 election, the SNP won 64 of the 129 seats, one short of a majority, but one of their members has since defected to the Alba party. On Monday, Humza Yousaf quit as Scotland first minister, and there will be a leadership contest within the SNP to replace him.

US: Trump narrowly ahead nationally

The US election is on November 5. FiveThirtyEight now has polling averages. Nationally, Donald Trump leads Joe Biden by 41.6-40.8 with 10.3% for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. There were six narrow Biden-won states in 2020: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Trump currently leads in all six of these states by one-to-six-point margins. Biden’s best chance to win the Electoral College is to win Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states where he trails by 2.6 points or less. If Biden wins these three states, he likely wins the Electoral College by 270-268.

Recent elections

The South Korean legislative election was held on April 10. Of the 300 seats, 254 were elected by FPTP and 46 by proportional representation. The centre-left Democratic Alliance won 176 of the 300 total seats (down four since 2020), the conservative People Power 108 (up two), and the left-wing Rebuilding Korea, which only contested the PR seats, won 12 seats (new). The Democratic Alliance won the FPTP seats by 162-90 on a popular vote margin of 52.3-45.7.

The most powerful office in South Korea is the president. At the 2022 presidential election, People Power candidate Yoon Suk Yeol defeated the Democrat by 48.6-47.8. While the legislative election will be seen as a repudiation of Yoon, his term does not end until 2027.

At the April 6 Slovak presidential runoff election, Peter Pellegrini, an ally of the more pro-Russia PM, won by a 53.1-46.9 margin over Ivan Korčok. Korčok had finished first at the March 23 first round, leading by 42.5-37.0.

Croatia uses PR in multi-member electorates to elect 143 of its 151 MPs, with the remaining eight reserved for minorities. At the April 17 election, the conservative HDZ won 61 seats (down six since 2020), the centre-left Rivers of Justice 42 (up two), two other right-wing alliances a combined 25 seats (up one) and the green-left 10 (up five).

UK local elections minus three weeks

The Conservatives are set to suffer large losses at UK local elections. Also covered: other recent and upcoming elections.

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.

UK local government elections will be held on May 2. Owing to COVID, there were no elections in 2020, so the large majority of the seats up were last contested in 2021. At the 2021 local elections, the Conservatives under Boris Johnson had a big win. With national polls now showing a huge Labour lead, the Conservatives are virtually certain to suffer large losses.

Local elections are contested on a four-year cycle, with different wards up every year. Some years are more Conservative-leaning and others Labour-leaning. The BBC’s Projected National Share (PNS) attempts to correct for bias in the particular year. In 2021, the Conservatives won the PNS by 36-29 over Labour with 17% for the Liberal Democrats. In 2023, Labour won by 35-26 with 20% Lib Dems.

The biggest prize at these elections is the London mayoralty. Previously, mayors were elected by preferential voting, but the Conservative government regressed to first-past-the-post. Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan, who is running for a third term, has a large lead over Conservative Susan Hall. These local elections will be the last before the general election, which is likely to be held in late 2024, though it could be delayed until January 2025.

There will also be a parliamentary by-election on May 2 in Conservative-held Blackpool South. Former Conservative MP Scott Benton resigned on March 25, while a six-week petition to recall him after he was suspended from parliament for 35 days was ongoing. The recall petition was to close on April 22, with at least 10% of registered voters needed. The Conservatives gained Blackpool South from Labour at the 2019 election, winning by a 49.6-38.3 margin with 6.1% for the Brexit Party.

Other upcoming elections

The US general election will be held on November 5. I covered the upcoming US and UK elections for The Conversation on March 19. Since this article, Joe Biden’s net approval in the FiveThirtyEight aggregate has improved from -16.8 to -15.4, while Donald Trump’s net favourability has slipped from -9.7 to -10.2. National general election polls are close to even between Trump and Biden, an improvement for Biden. However, Trump is probably advantaged by the Electoral College system.

The Indian election takes place in seven stages, from April 19 to June 1. No interim results will be released, with vote counting set for June 4. The 543 MPs are elected by FPTP. The right-wing alliance of PM Narendra Modi, who is running for a third successive term, has a high-single to double-digit lead in polls.

The European parliament election will be held from June 6-9, with vote counting starting once all countries have finished voting. The 720 seats are elected using proportional representation in each EU country. Far-right parties are expected to make gains.

Recent elections

The 230 Portuguese MPs are elected by PR in multi-member electorates. At the March 10 election, which was held early owing to scandals in the governing Socialists, the conservative AD won 80 seats (up three since the last election in 2022), the centre-left Socialists 78 seats (down 42) and the far-right Chega 50 seats (up 38). The AD has formed a minority government.

The final results for the February 14 Indonesian election have been released. In the presidential election, Prabowa Subianto, who represented an alliance of right-wing and Islamist parties, won 58.6% of the vote, far ahead of his nearest opponent who had 25.0%. By winning a majority, Prabowa avoided a runoff.

In legislative elections, the 580 seats were elected by PR in multi-member electorates with a 4% national threshold. While the centre-left Democratic Party of Struggle won the most seats, it lost 18 seats to fall to 110, while right-wing and Islamist parties all made gains. There’s a clear majority for right-wing and Islamist parties.

Two Irish referendums were held on March 8, and both were heavily defeated. The first referendum proposed to expand the definition of family to include durable relationships outside marriage, and it lost by 67.7-32.3. The second referendum proposed to replace references to women’s “life within the home” with gender-neutral language on supporting care within the family; this lost by 73.9-26.1.  Perhaps as a result of these defeats, Leo Varadkar announced on March 20 that he would resign as Taoiseach (PM).

US Super Tuesday primaries live

Trump set to grab a huge majority of the 865 Republican delegates on offer today. Also: the right is likely to win the Portuguese election this Sunday.

11:31am Friday With 98% of Super Tuesday delegates allocated in the NYT count, Trump leads Haley by 1,062 delegates to 91. The only consolation for Haley is that her vote share has risen to 50.2% in Vermont. If that holds, she will win all 17 Vermont delegates, not just the 9 from a proportional split.

7:34am Thursday summary Haley has withdrawn. It’s been obvious for a long time, but Trump will be the Republican nominee. Dean Phillips also withdrew from the Democratic contest, so it’s virtually official: a Trump vs Biden rematch.

Trump won the Utah caucus by 57-42 last night. This was easily his worst state in 2016, but the Mormons in Utah clearly like him better now. The NYT delegate count gives Trump 1,004 delegates to 89 for Haley, with 1,215 needed to win. Trump will reach that target by March 19. Other than Vermont (Haley by four), Trump’s margins ranged from 15 points in Utah to 76 in Alaska. He now leads the Republican national popular vote count on The Green Papers by 71.7-24.7 (this includes all states that have held primaries or caucuses so far).

This will be my final live blog on the US primaries, and probably my last post here for a while.

Live Commentary

6:28pm Trump has crushed Haley in Alaska by 87.6-12.0. Alaska had proportional rep for delegates, but a 13% threshold was needed. With Haley below 13%, Trump will take all 29 delegates.

4:49pm I don’t know why Utah, where polls closed at 2pm AEDT, still has under 1% counted. The Green Papers now has Trump up to 936 delegates, with Haley on 83.

4:05pm On the Green Papers’ delegate tracker, Trump now leads with 829 to 68 for Haley. and he’s well on track for the 1,215 needed to win. Today’s primaries have also enhanced his popular vote position; he now leads Haley by 71-25 on overall popular votes in the primaries so far.

3:20pm Trump has been CALLED the winner in California, and will take all 169 delegates from that state. In the Senate “jungle primary”, where all candidates from different parties compete on the same ballot and the top two go through to the general election regardless of party, Dem Schiff and Rep Garvey are very likely to qualify.

2:43pm Vermont has been CALLED for Haley, and she currently leads Trump by 49.7-46.0 with 92% in. Can she get over the 50%+ needed to win all 17 delegates?

2:16pm With 90% counted in Vermont, Haley leads Trump by 49.5-46.2, and should win. But due to votes for dropped out candidates, she may not get the 50%+ required to win all of Vermont’s 17 delegates. If she doesn’t, they’ll be proportionally allocated.

1:58pm And now Trump is up to 645 pledged delegates in Green Papers’ count.

1:41pm Green Papers now has Trump up to 558 “soft pledged” delegates, while Haley is still on 43.

1:35pm Minnesota and Colorado, where polls closed at 1pm AEDT, have both been called for Trump, and he’ll easily win both. Haley is still ahead on the NYT projection for Vermont by 2.7% with 52% in.

1:30pm Biden is also romping to huge victories in the Dem primaries.

1:21pm The NYT has been slow to call delegates. The Green Papers has Trump up to 325 delegates, while Haley is still on 43. I have made great use of this site in these articles as they give all the delegate rules.

1:04pm With all polls now closed in Texas, that’s been CALLED for Trump, with the NYT needle pointing to a final result of Trump by 53. Trump will win all 47 Texan statewide delegates and probably at least 90 district delegates (three delegates per district won).

12:26pm The NYT needle is at Haley by 2.3 in Vermont with 28% in. Everything else looks like a Trump blowout.

12:11pm North Carolina has been CALLED for Trump as he leads by 51 points with 9% in. NC is a closed primary available to only registered Reps. The NYT needle has Trump by 52 there. Tennessee has also been called for Trump.

11:54am Trump back ahead in Vermont in both the live count and the NYT projection with 11% in. This is a heavily Dem state at general elections that had an “open” primary, as there’s no registration by party in Vermont.

11:41am Haley is now ahead in Vermont with 7% in, and the NYT needle gives her a 1.6-point forecast lead.

11:35am Hete’s the main NYT page to follow all the results as they come in. There are also congressional primary races in many states voting today. In Vermont, the needle only has Trump winning by 1.6 points.

11:30am With 10% counted in Virginia, it’s been CALLED for Trump, as he leads Haley by 64-34. The NYT needle is at Trump by 31.

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.

Polls close between 11am and 4pm AEDT today for Republican presidential contests in 15 states that will allocate a total of 865 delegates. These include the two most populous states of California and Texas. The large majority of polls in Texas close at 12pm AEDT, but the area around El Paso closes an hour later. Polls close in California at 3pm AEDT.

All of California’s 169 delegates go to the winner if a vote majority is reached (which is almost certain as there are only two candidates remaining). In Texas, the 47 statewide delegates go to the state’s winner, and the 114 district delegates (three for each of Texas’ 38 Congressional Districts) go to the district’s winner. Many other states voting today also have a majority vote wins all delegates rule by statewide or district.

Donald Trump leads Nikki Haley by massive margins in Californian and Texan polls. In the FiveThirtyEight aggregates, he leads by 73.4-18.6 in California, and by 78.4-14.4 in Texas. California has a “closed” primary where only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican primary. In national polls, Trump leads by 77,3-15.2, while Joe Biden leads Dean Phillips in national Democratic primary polls by 75.9-8.2.

In contests held over the last few days, Trump won all 54 delegates available in Missouri, all 39 at the Michigan state convention (these were awarded separately to the 16 that were on offer at the February 27 Michigan primary), all 32 in Idaho, and all 29 in North Dakota. But Haley won all 19 delegates in Washington DC, which gives Democrats over 85% at general elections. Trump now leads Haley on the Republican delegate count by 273-43, with 1,215 needed to win the nomination.

No popular votes were recorded in Missouri, but Trump won all 924 delegates to the state convention at Saturday’s caucuses. In Michigan, Trump won by 98-2 at the state convention after winning the primary 68-27. In Idaho, he won by 85-13, and in North Dakota by 85-14, while Haley won DC by 63-33. These were majority winner takes all contests, except in ND where 60% was required for WTA.

Most national general election polls give Trump a lead over Biden, by roughly a low single-digit margin, and Trump is likely further advantaged by the Electoral College system. In FiveThirtyEight averages, Trump’s net favourability is -8.8, while Biden’s net approval is -18.0. Trump’s ratings have improved recently, while Biden’s haven’t changed much. In a legal victory for Trump, the Supreme Court on Monday unanimously overturned a Colorado court’s decision, so Trump will be on the ballot paper in all states in November.

Right likely to take control of Portugal at Sunday’s election

In January 2022 elections, the centre-left Socialists won an outright majority in Portugal’s legislature. But they had a series of major scandals that led to the resignation of the PM. In November 2023, the Portuguese president sacked the government and called elections for this Sunday, about two years early. The president, who is popularly elected for a five-year term, has more power in Portugal than in most other parliamentary democracies.

The 230 MPs are elected by proportional representation in multi-member electorates. This system gives bigger parties more seats than national PR. Most polls show the conservative Democratic Alliance (AD) leading the Socialists with about 17% for the far-right Chega. An alliance between AD and Chega will easily have enough seats for a majority, with the only question whether they will form such an alliance after the election. The Socialists have held government since shortly after the October 2015 election.

UK Rochdale by-election live

Labour’s candidate malfunction makes this by-election interesting, with George Galloway a possible winner.

Live Commentary

1:53pm Finally a result, with Galloway winning easily and Tully second. The Tories were down 22 points to 12% and Labour crashed 48 points to just 8%! The Labour candidate was disendorsed.

1:17pm Re last update, it’s been a very slow 20 minutes!

12:47pm The BBC reported at 12:40pm that the result will be earlier than expected, in another 10 to 20 minutes.

11:53am Galloway’s campaign are confident they’ve won, and an independent (David Tully) is doing very well, and could come second.

11:37am The BBC reported at 10:37am AEDT that Galloway’s people think he’s won.

11:32am BBC’s live blog says the Rochdale result is expected about 2pm AEDT. Counting in the UK doesn’t happen by booth as in Australia. Instead all votes cast in a seat are taken to one place for the count.

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.

Polls close at 9am AEDT today for a by-election in the UK Labour-held seat of Rochdale that was caused by the death of the previous MP, Tony Lloyd. Labour defeated the Conservatives by 51.6-31.2 in Rochdale in 2019, with 8.2% Brexit Party and 7.0% Lib Dem. With Labour far ahead in national polls, a by-election in a safe Labour-held seat would normally be uninteresting.

But Labour’s candidate, Ashar Ali, was disendorsed by Labour on February 12, owing to revelations of comments he made implying that Israel knew of the October 7 Hamas attacks, but deliberately did nothing to stop them. But as nominations had already closed, Ali is still listed as the Labour candidate on the ballot paper. If he wins, he will sit as an independent.

Muslims make up 30% of Rochdale’s population and George Galloway, who has attacked Labour from the left for a long time, is running as the Workers Party candidate, on a campaign focused on support for Palestine. Galloway is probably the biggest threat to Ali.

Labour has been criticized from the left for its position on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and there was uproar in parliament last week when the Speaker allowed a Labour amendment instead of one proposed by the Scottish National Party. If the SNP amendment had been voted on, many Labour MPs would have rebelled against their party’s opposition.

The Labour MP for Rochdale before Lloyd was Simon Danczuk, but he was expelled from the party in 2015 after revelations of explicit messages with a 17-year-old girl. Danczuk ran as an independent in 2017 but finished fifth with just 1.8%. At this by-election, he is running as the far-right Reform’s candidate.

Former Conservative MP Scott Benton was suspended from parliament for 35 days on Tuesday. As the suspension is greater than ten days, it triggers a recall petition in Benton’s seat of Blackpool South. The petition will be open for six weeks, and if at least 10% of voters in Blackpool South sign, there will be a by-election. The Conservatives gained Blackpool South from Labour at the 2019 election, winning by a 49.6-38.3 margin with 6.1% for the Brexit Party.

Trump and Biden dominate in Michigan

At Tuesday’s US Republican Michigan primary, Donald Trump defeated Nikki Haley by 68.1-26.6. Only 16 of Michigan’s 55 delegates were allocated, with a further 39 to be assigned in Saturday’s state convention. Idaho, Washington DC and North Dakota also hold Republican contests before Super Tuesday next week (Wednesday AEDT). Trump leads Haley by 122 delegates to 24, with 1,215 needed to win the nomination.

Joe Biden won the Democratic Michigan primary with 81.1%. Owing to opposition to Biden’s position on the Israel-Palestine conflict, some on the left had urged voters to vote “uncommitted”, but uncommitted only won 13.2%.

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