Taiwan presidential election live

Live commentary on today’s Taiwan presidential election. Also covered: US primary polls and upcoming US and UK by-elections.

Live Commentary

9:25am Sunday Final results: Lai defeated Hou by 40.1-33.5, a 6.6% margin, with 26.5% for Ko. However, the DPP lost its majority in the 113-member legislature, with the KMT winning 52 seats (up 14 since 2020), the DPP 51 (down ten), the TPP eight (up three) and others two (down seven). The DPP will need support from either the KMT or TPP to reach the 57 votes needed for a majority.

11:07pm With 95% reporting, Lai leads Hou by 40.3-33.4 with 26.3% for Ko. Although his lead has slipped with counting of final votes, Lai has still clearly won. A reminder that this election is by First Past the Post, so there’s no runoff.

10:24pm With 76% reporting, Lai leads Hou by 41.1-33.2 with 25.7% for Ko.

9:11pm With 16% reporting, Lai leads Hou by 43.1-33.6 with 23.4% for Ko. Looking very likely Lai will win a record third consecutive term for the DPP.

8:33pm With 3% reporting, Lai leads Hou by 43.2-35.6 with 21.2% for Ko.

7:30pm Bloomberg says the first results from Taiwan should be out after 8pm AEDT.

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 7pm AEDT today for Taiwan’s presidential election, in which first past the post is used. There are three candidates: William Lai of the centre-left and pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Hou You-ih of the more pro-China and conservative Kuomintang (KMT) and Ko Wen-je of the populist Taiwan People’s Party (TPP).

The DPP holds the presidency, with incumbent Tsai Ing-wen elected for two terms since 2016, but she can’t run again owing to term limits. There had been speculation that the KMT and TPP would form a joint ticket before nominations closed on November 24, but this fell apart.

Publication of polls has not been permitted since January 3. The final polls released before this date showed Lai leading Hou by two to five points, with one poll giving Lai an 11-point lead. Ko’s support was in the low 20’s. If Lai wins, it would be the first time the same party has won the presidency for three consecutive terms. This election is likely to be the first since 2000 when the winner did not receive a vote majority.

Trump set for big win in Iowa caucus

The first US presidential nominating contest will be Monday’s Iowa Republican caucus (Tuesday AEDT). The FiveThirtyEight aggregate of Iowa polls shows Donald Trump way ahead with 51.3%, followed by Nikki Haley at 17.3% and Ron DeSantis at 16.1%. I will have a separate post on Iowa on Tuesday.

The New Hampshire primary follows Iowa on January 23. Trump is leading in NH with 41.4%, followed by Haley at 30.0% and DeSantis at 6.1%. There has been a surge for Haley since December. She should be helped by the withdrawal of anti-Trump candidate Chris Christie on Wednesday; Christie had 11.6% in NH polls.

In national Republican polls, Trump is far ahead with 60.4%, followed by DeSantis at 12.1% and Haley at 11.7%. On Super Tuesday March 5, many states will vote, and Trump and Joe Biden will probably be close to clinching their parties’ nominations after this date. No high-profile Democrat has challenged Biden for the Democratic nomination.

I covered the US presidential election for The Conversation on December 13. I said that while Trump was leading Biden, there were two main chances of a Biden recovery: an improvement in economic sentiment and a Trump conviction. But Biden will be almost 82 by the November election, while Trump will be 78.

Upcoming US and UK by-elections

Republican George Santos was expelled from the federal House on December 1 by a 311-114 vote (a two-thirds majority was required). Santos was facing 23 indictments when expelled. A by-election will be held on February 13 in Santos’ former seat (New York’s third). In 2022, Santos gained this seat from the Democrats by a 53.8-46.2 margin. According to Daily Kos elections, Biden won this seat in 2020 by an 8.2% margin. A late November poll gave the Democrat a three-point lead.

In most midterm elections, the non-presidential party has won easily. Democrats did well in 2022 to keep Republicans to a 222-213 federal House majority, a Republican gain of nine seats on 2020. But Democrats lost four seats in New York.

Republicans currently hold a 220-213 House majority after former Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy resigned on December 31. McCarthy’s seat is safe Republican, so this by-election is unlikely to be competitive. A Democratic win in New York’s third would reduce the Republican majority to 220-214 until McCarthy’s seat is filled.

By-elections will occur on February 15 in the UK Conservative-held seat of Wellingborough and Kingswood. In Wellingborough MP Peter Bone was recalled following a six-week parliamentary suspension, while in Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore resigned in protest over more oil and gas licenses. In 2019 Bone won Wellingborough by 62.2-26.5 over Labour with 7.9% for the Liberal Democrats, while Skidmore won Kingswood by 56.2-33.4 over Labour with 6.9% Lib Dem. The Conservatives have lost safer seats at by-elections this term.

Two UK by-elections and Argentine election live

Two UK by-elections today in Conservative-held seats. Also covered: Argentina likely to elect a far-right candidate president.

Live Commentary

4:55pm I’ve found the official results here. It’s currently 36.7% Massa, 30.0% Milei and 23.8% for the conservative Bullrich. A centrist alliance has 6.8% and a far-left alliance 2.7%. So Milei and Bullrich combined have 53.8%. That’s with 98.5% of precincts reporting. You can also see the parliamentary results at that link. The presidential runoff between Massa and Milei will be on November 19.

1:12pm With 95% counted, Massa leads Milei by 36.4-30.1. Despite Massa’s stronger than expected performance, I still think Milei is the favourite in the runoff given the 23.6% for the conservative candidate, whose votes are likely to go to him.

11:57am I’m not sure where the official results are, but Wikipedia now shows 85.7% counted and Massa leading Milei by 36.2% to 30.3%.

11:25am First official results, with 76% counted, centre-left Massa (36%) leads far-right Milei (31%) and conservative Bullrich (24%). Massa and Milei likely to go to a runoff, although if remaining votes pushed Massa over 40% he would win outright by exceeding 40% and getting at least 10% more than the runner-up.

9:49am According to Bloomberg, partial results that have been leaked show the centre-left incumbent Economic Minister Sergio Massa doing “better than expected”, perhaps leading the presidential vote count.

8:57am Monday: According to this Bloomberg live blog, no official Argentine results are likely until 10:30pm local time (12:30pm AEDT).

1:24pm I’ll put this live commentary to sleep until Monday morning, when the Argentine results come in.

1:22pm Labour won Mid Beds by 3% despite a 23% vote for the Lib Dems.

1:18pm Labour GAIN Mid Bedfordshire from the Tories. Details to come.

1:15pm In Tamworth the three candidates behind Labour and the Tories were all far-right, and got a combined 9.4% of the vote.

12:50pm 20%+ gain for Labour in Tamworth and drop for the Tories, with far-right Reform getting 5.4%.

12:47pm Friday: Labour GAINS Tamworth from the Tories. Vote details to follow.

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 8am Friday AEDT for two UK by-election in the Conservative-held seats of Mid Bedfordshire (MBeds) and Tamworth. MBeds MP Nadine Dorries announced she would resign after Boris Johnson quit parliament in June, but delayed this until late August. Tamworth MP Chris Pincher was accused of sexual misconduct and resigned before a recall petition.

At the 2019 election, the Conservatives won MBeds by 59.8-21.7 over Labour with 12.6% Liberal Democrats. They won Tamworth by 66.3-23.7 over Labour with 5.3% Lib Dems. A mid-September poll had MBeds tied at 29% each between the Conservatives and Labour, but a high Lib Dem vote of 22% could allow the Conservatives to win.

Most UK national polls give Labour a 14-20 point lead over the Conservatives. There has been a recent slight narrowing in Labour’s lead. At the 2019 election, the Conservatives defeated Labour by 11.5% nationally.

Far-right candidate likely to win Argentine presidential election

Legislative and presidential elections will be held in Argentina on Sunday, with a November 19 presidential runoff if no candidate wins at least 45%, or at least 40% and is at least 10% ahead of their nearest opponent. Primary elections to choose the parties’ candidates occurred on August 13. As voting is compulsory, the overall vote shares for the parties are seen as good guides to the outcome of the October vote.

Far-right candidate Javier Milei’s party topped the primary poll with 30.0%, followed by the conservative Together for Change (TfC) with 28.3% and the centre-left incumbent Union for the Homeland (UftH) with 27.3%. Milei is an admirer of Donald Trump and has called climate change a “socialist lie”.

Argentina has been suffering from over 100% inflation. Polls suggest that TfC is now running third behind UftH and Milei. While Milei is unlikely to win on Sunday, he should get TfC support in the runoff, and win the runoff. If UftH is eliminated on Sunday, the runoff will be between two right-wing candidates.

In legislative elections, 130 of the 257 members of the Chamber of Deputies are up for election using proportional representation in 24 multi-member electorates based on the provinces with a 3% threshold. In the Senate, 24 of the 72 are up for election, with eight provinces holding Senate elections. The party winning the most votes in a province wins two senators and the second party one.

Argentine polls close at 8am Monday AEDT. I believe this Reuters article implies that local media need to wait until 11am AEDT before projecting winners.

Polish election final results, Ecuador and US House Speaker

I covered Sunday’s Polish election on Monday. Final seat results gave the coalition led by Law and Justice (PiS) 194 of the 460 seats in the Sejm (lower house) (down 41 since 2019), the liberal conservative Civic Coalition 157 seats (up 23), the centrist Third Way coalition 65 (up 35), the Left 26 (down 23) and the far-right Confederation 18 (up seven). An alliance between Civic Coalition, Third Way and Left would have 248 seats, above the 231 required for a majority.

The 100 senators are elected by first past the post, but parties opposed to PiS agreed to run only one candidate per marginal seat. This “Senate Pact” gave the opposition 65 seats to 34 for the PiS coalition, out from 51-48 to the opposition in 2019.

At last Sunday’s Ecuadorian presidential runoff, Daniel Noboa, the son of a banana tycoon, defeated the left-wing Luisa González by a 51.8-48.2 margin. As these elections were called early by the previous conservative president who faced impeachment, Noboa will serve only until early 2025 when a regular election is due. At a referendum held with the August 20 general election, voters approved a ban on oil drilling in a national park by 59-41.

It’s two weeks since Republican Kevin McCarthy was ousted as US House Speaker. Republicans nominated right-winger Jim Jordan for Speaker, but in two rounds of voting on Wednesday and Thursday AEDT, he won 199-200 votes while Democrat Hakeem Jeffries had 212 votes. With both short of the 217 needed to win, voting will continue.

UK Rutherglen by-election live

A by-election today in an SNP-held seat, and two on October 19 in Conservative-held seats. Also covered: New Zealand polls ahead of the October 14 election and McCarthy ousted as US House Speaker.

11:54am Friday HUGE win for Labour in the Rutherglen by-election, crushing the incumbent SNP by 31 points. This could set up big gains for Labour in Scotland at the next UK general election. The Tories lost their deposit (5% is needed to retain a deposit).

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 8am Friday AEDT for a UK by-election in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.  I explained in August that former Scottish National Party MP Margaret Ferrier was recalled after breaching COVID rules.  In 2019, the SNP defeated Labour in Rutherglen by 44.2-34.5 with 15.0% Conservatives and 5.2% Liberal Democrats.

There will be two by-elections in the Conservative-held seats of Mid Bedfordshire (MBeds) and Tamworth on October 19.  MBeds MP Nadine Dorries announced she would resign after Boris Johnson quit parliament in June, but delayed this until late August.  Tamworth MP Chris Pincher was accused of sexual misconduct and resigned before a recall petition.

At the 2019 election, the Conservatives won MBeds by 59.8-21.7 over Labour with 12.6% Lib Dems.  They won Tamworth by 66.3-23.7 over Labour with 5.3% Lib Dems. A mid-September poll had MBeds tied between the Conservatives and Labour.

On September 20, Conservative PM Rishi Sunak announced a weakening of green targets.  Most UK national polls give Labour a 15-20 point lead over the Conservatives, but an Opinium poll taken last week had Labour just 10 points ahead.  The swing to Labour and against the SNP in Scottish polls since the 2019 election should enable Labour to win Rutherglen.

NZ election: October 14

The New Zealand editor of The Conversation commissioned me to write about the October 14 election, so I haven’t been covering it here.  My two NZ articles for The Conversation were published September 14 and 28.

NZ polls close at 5pm AEDT on election day.  Owing to the clash with the Voice referendum, I won’t be providing live commentary on election night, but will do a wrap of the NZ and Polish results on October 16.

I have been doing graphs in my Conversation articles since July.  The graph below shows the lead or deficit of the right coalition (National and ACT) over the left coalition (Labour, Greens and Māori) in all polls since March.  There are trend lines for each pollster.

The only poll added since last week’s Conversation article was the weekly Verian poll, which gave the right coalition a 4.8-point lead, down from 7.1.  That means NZ First, with 6% in this poll, would be needed for a right government (threshold is 5%).  While the overall trend since March is to the right, there has been a drop in the right’s lead since mid-September, when they had an 8.4-point lead in the Verian poll.

Position vacant again: US House Speaker

Republican Kevin McCarthy was ousted as US House Speaker Wednesday AEDT by a 216-210 vote, with all Democrats and eight Republicans in favour.  The election of a new Speaker requires a majority of all candidate votes, with abstentions and “present” votes not counting.  McCarthy will not contest this election.  The House adjourned until next week.

Right-wing Republicans were furious with McCarthy when he agreed a debt limit deal with Joe Biden in late May.  I said he was more like a pussycat than a tiger.  The final straw was passing a budget resolution with Democratic support last Saturday.

Polish election: October 15

Poland uses proportional representation in multi-member electorates to elect its 460 members of the Sejm (lower house), with a 5% national threshold for single parties and 8% for coalitions.  The 100 senators are elected by FPTP.

Poland does not have a major centre-left party.  The governing Law and Justice (PiS), which is seeking a third successive term, is socially conservative, authoritarian and anti-immigrant, but economically left.  The main opposition Civic Platform (KO) is socially liberal, but economically right.

Polls suggest PiS is ahead, but not by enough to win an outright majority.  There are two other parties who would probably ally with KO.  It’s possible the far-right Confederation will be the kingmaker.

Pro-Russia party wins most seats in Slovakia

Slovakia uses national PR with a 5% threshold to elect its 150 MPs.  At last Saturday’s election, the economically left but pro-Russia Smer won 42 seats, Progressive Slovakia 32 and Hlas 27 (Hlas was formed as a split from Smer).  The remaining seats went to right-wing parties, with two right-wing parties narrowly missing the 5% threshold. Smer leader Robert Fico is a former PM who campaigned on ending military aid to Ukraine.  Although Smer won the most seats, they will need a coalition to reach the 76 seats for a majority.

New Zealand election minus seven-and-a-half weeks

Right likely to win October 14 NZ election. Also: right likely to win October 22 Argentine election and a UK by-election in an SNP-held seat.

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 New Zealand election will occur on October 14. The 120 MPs are elected by proportional representation with a 5% threshold that is waived if a party wins one of the 72 single-member seats; these single-member seats include seven seats for electors on the Māori roll.

The 48 “list” seats are used to ensure proportionality; parties that win many single-member seats win few list seats. Electors have two votes: one for their electorate and one for their party, and it is the party vote that matters most. There can be more than 120 MPs (an “overhang”) if a party wins more single-member seats than their total entitlement given their party vote.

Current polls give the two main right-wing parties (National and ACT) high 40s support, and they are well ahead of the two main left-wing parties (Labour and the Greens), who have high 30s to low 40s. Three recent polls have the populist NZ First above the 5% threshold needed to win seats, while the Māori party is expected to win seats even if below the threshold by winning Māori-roll electorates.

A National and ACT government is the most likely outcome, but the right may need support from NZ First. Support for Labour has dropped recently, with the July 24 resignation of Labour MP Kiri Allan as Justice Minister after being arrested for careless driving and resisting police unhelpful.

Far-right candidate tops vote in Argentine primary

Legislative and presidential elections will be held in Argentina on October 22, with a November 19 presidential runoff if no candidate wins at least 45%, or at least 40% and is at least 10% ahead of their nearest opponent. Primary elections to choose the parties’ candidates occurred on August 13. As voting is compulsory, the overall vote shares for the parties are seen as good guides to the outcome of the October vote.

Far-right candidate Javier Milei’s party topped the primary poll with 30.0%, followed by the conservative Together for Change with 28.3% and the centre-left incumbent Union for the Homeland with 27.3%. Milei is an admirer of Donald Trump and has called climate change a “socialist lie”.

Argentina has been suffering from over 100% inflation. If these results were repeated in October, the centre-left candidate would finish third, and the runoff would be between two right-wingers. Even if the centre-left candidate makes the runoff, it’s likely a right-winger will win.

UK by-election to come in SNP-held seat

Former Scottish National Party MP Margaret Ferrier broke COVID rules in 2020 and was suspended from parliament for 30 days. An MP can be recalled if suspended for at least ten days. It takes at least 10% of registered voters in a seat for a successful recall. The recall petition closed on July 31, with 14.7% signing it, so Ferrier was recalled.

Ferrier won’t contest the resulting by-election in Rutherglen and Hamilton West. As parliament is in recess until September, the by-election won’t be before October 5. In 2019, the SNP defeated Labour in Rutherglen by 44.2-34.5 with 15.0% Conservatives and 5.2% Liberal Democrats.

Briefly: US, Spain, Ecuador and Guatemala

Despite his indictments, Trump remains way ahead in the Republican national presidential primary polls. The primaries will begin in early 2024, and a general election rematch between Trump and Joe Biden in November 2024 remains very likely. I covered the US elections for The Conversation in June, and little has changed since.

There’s still no resolution to the July 23 Spanish election, in which the two main right-wing parties (People’s and Vox) won 170 of the 350 seats and the two main left-wing parties (Socialists and Sumar) won 152. With the right short of the 176 needed for a majority, mostly left-wing regionalist hold the balance of power. The Junts party (seven seats) is seen as the kingmaker.

At Sunday’s Ecuadorian presidential first round election, the left-wing González (with 33.6%) and the son of a tycoon, Noboa (with 23.4%) advanced to the October 15 runoff. This election was called early by the current conservative president to avoid impeachment, and the winner will only serve 1.5 years before a regular election in early 2025.

An anti-corruption campaigner won Sunday’s Guatemalan presidential election by more than 20 points over his runoff opponent.

UK by-elections and Spanish election live

Live commentary Friday on the three UK by-elections and Monday for the Spanish election. Also covered: Thai and Alberta, Canada elections.

Live Commentary

4:56pm Tuesday While the Socialists may be able to cobble together a government in the lower house, the PP won 120 of the 208 elected senators, to 72 for the Socialists. FPTP is used for the Senate, and all mainland provinces get four senators regardless of population. Cases of disagreement between the chambers can be resolved if an absolute majority of the lower house is in favour, but that requires 176 votes.

7:51am Monday With 98% counted in Sunday’s Spanish election, the conservative People’s Party has 32.9%, the governing centre-left Socialists 31.8%, the far-right Vox 12.4% and the left-wing Sumar 12.3%. The lead for PP and Vox over the Socialists and Sumar is just 1.2%, far less than expected in pre-election polls.

Seat numbers in the lower house are 136 PP, 122 Socialists, 33 Vox and 31 Sumar. So PP and Vox add to 169 of the 350 seats, not enough for the 176 required for a majority. The Socialists and Sumar add to 153 seats. Regionalists, who are mostly left-wing, will hold the balance of power. There could be a new election needed in Spain.

2:18pm So the overall result is the Tories lose two of the three by-elections by big margins, but hold Uxbridge narrowly. The Tories are about 20 points behind Labour in UK national polls, so this should be expected. The next UK general election is not due until late 2024. I will use this post to comment on the Spanish results on Monday morning.

2:15pm Labour GAINS Selby from the Tories with a massive swing. It’s the biggest vote majority Labour has overturned at a by-election. The Tories won it by over 20,000 votes in 2019.

12:33pm I will be going out for lunch soon.

11:57am So now we’re just waiting for the Selby declaration.

11:55am Lib Dems GAIN Somerton from Tories with HUGE swing and a big new majority.

11:44am Tories HOLD Uxbridge.

11:34am Tories may have won Uxbridge by about 400 votes.

11:15am Friday A recount will be held in Uxbridge. I don’t have information yet as to which side called for it. Labour’s London mayor Sadiq Khan may be unpopular.

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.

Original post on Thursday July 20

Polls close at 7am Friday AEST for the three UK by-elections in Uxbridge, Selby & Ainsty and Somerton & Frome – all three by-elections are for Conservative-held seats. It’s likely to take at least a few hours to get results of these by-elections. I will be at gym Friday morning, but should get home by 11am, in time for the results.

Uxbridge was former PM Boris Johnson’s seat, and he won it at the December 2019 election by a 52.6-37.6 margin over Labour with 6.3% for the Liberal Democrats. At that election, the Conservatives won Somerton by 55.8-26.2 over the Lib Dems with 12.9% Labour and 5.1% Greens. They won Selby by 60.3-24.6 over Labour with 8.6% Lib Dems.

These large seat wins were from overall vote shares at the 2019 election of 43.6% Conservative, 32.1% Labour and 11.6% Lib Dems. In national polls, Labour currently has about a 20-point lead over the Conservatives, in contrast to the 11.5-point Conservative win in 2019. Seat polls give Labour an eight-point lead in Uxbridge and a 12-point lead in Selby. The Lib Dems had huge swings in their favour at by-elections earlier this term.

In the lead-up to these by-elections, there has been an internal Labour fight over leader Keir Starmer’s announcement that he would keep the Conservatives’ “two-child benefit limit”. This limits welfare payments to the first two children in a family. It may be a mistake for Starmer to have this fight just before the by-elections.

Right likely to win in Spain

Polls for Sunday’s Spanish election close at 4am Monday AEST. The Congress of Deputies has 350 members elected by proportional representation by region, with a 3% threshold per region. Seats per region are allocated on a population basis. In the Senate, 208 of the 266 seats are elected by First Past the Post (FPTP), with four seats for most regions.

Polling indicates the conservative People’s Party and far-right Vox are leading the centre-left Socialists and left-wing Sumar by single digit margins. Some of the 350 seats in the Congress will go to regionalists, so it could be difficult for the right-wing parties to win the 176 combined seats required for an outright majority. The current heatwave in Spain and in southern Europe has not affected the polling.

Thai and Alberta, Canada elections

At the May 14 Thai election, the left-wing Move Forward won 151 of the 500 lower house seats. They formed a coalition with Pheu Thai (141 seats) and other parties to get 313 votes. But the PM is elected by a combined vote of both parliamentary chambers, and the 250 senators are military appointees. An absolute majority (375 votes) was required. In the July 13 first round, Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat won 324 votes with 182 opposed and 243 abstentions or absentees. As Pita was short of 375, he did not become PM. In a second vote Wednesday, 395 were opposed to Pita and 312 in favour.

At the May 29 election for the Canadian province of Alberta, the governing United Conservative Party (UCP) won 49 of Alberta’s 87 seats, to 38 for the left-wing New Democrats (NDP). In 2015, the NDP won a shock victory in Canada’s most right-wing province owing to a split in the conservative vote and the use of FPTP. At this election, vote shares were 52.6-44.1 to the UCP. The NDP swept all seats in Edmonton and won many in Calgary. Alberta is a case where the left trend in cities is making it easier for the left to win.

UK by-elections and Spanish election minus eight to 11 days

Three UK by-elections in Conservative-held seats on July 20, and right expected to win July 23 Spanish election. Also covered: New Zealand polls and Greek election results.

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.

Boris Johnson resigned from the UK House of Commons on June 9. In this June 21 article for The Conversation that was mainly about Donald Trump’s post-indictment US polls, I said Johnson resigned as he would have been forced out by a recall petition after an unfavourable report from the privileges committee.

Johnson won his former seat of Uxbridge at the December 2019 election by a 52.6-37.6 margin over Labour with 6.3% for the Liberal Democrats. By-elections will occur in Uxbridge and two other Conservative-held seats on July 20: Selby & Ainsty and Somerton & Frome. In Selby, MP Nigel Adams resigned in protest at Johnson’s ouster. In Somerton, MP David Warburton resigned owing to allegations of sexual harassment.

At the 2019 election, the Conservatives won Somerton by 55.8-26.2 over the Lib Dems with 12.9% Labour and 5.1% Greens. They won Selby by 60.3-24.6 over Labour with 8.6% Lib Dems. These large seat wins were from overall vote shares at the 2019 election of 43.6% Conservative, 32.1% Labour and 11.6% Lib Dems.

In national polls, Labour currently has about a 20-point lead over the Conservatives, in contrast to the 11.5-point Conservative win in 2019. Labour’s lead has increased since Johnson’s resignation. Seat polls give Labour an eight-point lead in Uxbridge and a 12-point lead in Selby. The Lib Dems had huge swings in their favour at by-elections earlier this term.  These by-elections will be the first since February, and the first in a Conservative-held seat since June 2022 (when they lost two seats).

Right likely to win Spanish election

At the July 23 Spanish election, all 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies and 208 of the 266 seats in the Senate will be up for election. In the Congress, proportional representation (PR) by region is used with a 3% threshold for each region. Higher-population regions are assigned more seats, so Madrid has 37 seats. This system favours larger parties over the results using national PR. The Senate is elected using First Past the Post, with each mainland region getting four seats and islands one to three seats.

At the November 2019 election, the centre-left Socialists formed a governing coalition with the left-wing Podemos that was supported by regionalists. Podemos is running at this election as Sumar. Polling indicates the conservative People’s Party and far-right Vox are leading the Socialists and Sumar by single digit margins.

A win for the right in Spain would make it the second major European country to fall to the right after Italy last year. And in Germany the far-right AfD has been surging in the polls recently after the centre-left SPD, Greens and pro-business FDP formed a government following the September 2021 election. The next German election is due by October 2025.

NZ election: October 14

New Zealand uses national PR to elect its 120 parliamentarians with a 5% threshold that is waived if a party wins a single-member seat. With three months until the October 14 election, current polling suggests that the conservative National and right-wing ACT are leading the governing Labour and the Greens. While the left parties had a boost in support after Chris Hipkins replaced Jacinda Ardern as Labour leader and PM in January, that boost has faded. The Māori party are potential kingmakers with a recent Morgan poll giving them a record 7%, and they can avoid the 5% threshold by winning a Māori-only seat.

Second Greek election another disaster for left

After no party won a majority in the May Greek election, a second election was held June 25. National PR with a 3% threshold was used, but with a bonus seat system that had been removed at the May election. The conservative governing New Democracy (ND) won 40.6% (down 0.2% from May), the left-wing Syriza 17.8% (down 2.2%), the centre-left PASOK 11.8% (up 0.4%) and the Communists 7.7% (up 0.5%). Three far-right parties cleared the 3% threshold.

Twenty bonus seats were awarded to the party winning the most votes and one bonus seat per half a percent between 25% and 40%. ND won 50 bonus seats and 158 total seats out of 300, enough for a majority. Syriza won 47 seats, PASOK 32, the Communists 21 and three far-right parties won a combined 34 seats.

Turkish elections live

Coverage on Monday morning of Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections. Also: an explanation of the BBC’s PNS for UK local elections.

Live Commentary

2:16pm With almost all ballot boxes “opened”, Erdogan leads KK by 49.3-45.0 with 5.2% for the far-right Ogan. If these results are correct, Erdogan is very likely to win the runoff in two weeks.

10:34am In the parliamentary election, with 93% of ballot boxes opened, Erdogan’s AKP and their far-right allies currently have 319 of the 600 seats, 18 more than the 301 needed for a majority.

10:17am With 97.1% of boxes opened, Erdogan leads by 49.4-44.9, with 5.3% for the far-right Ogan. Although there will be a runoff on May 28, Erdogan is very likely to win unless something drastically changes in the final counts.

8:48am It now appears that percentage of ballot boxes “opened” does not mean percentage “counted”.

7:56am Maybe there’s some funny business going on with the centre left Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (KK) saying Erdogan’s people are repeatedly objecting to bad ballot boxes for them, meaning those ballots are not being reported. Erdogan currently leads KK by 49.6-44.7 with 94.7% of boxes opened. The percentage of votes counted is likely to be well under 95% as the largest ballot boxes are likely the ones outstanding.

6:59am Monday Erdogan is very likely to win the presidential election. With 92% counted, he has 49.8% of the vote, his centre left opponent 44.4% and a far-right candidate 5.3%. Even if Erdogan remains under 50%, he will be assisted by votes from the far-right in the runoff on May 28.

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.

Turkey holds presidential and parliamentary elections today with polls closing at midnight AEST. A presidential runoff will occur on May 28 if nobody wins a first round majority. In the parliamentary elections, a total of 600 seats are allocated by proportional representation with a 7% threshold. Parties can join alliances and avoid this threshold provided the alliance gets over 7%.

Most late polls have the social democratic Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu leading the right-wing incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for president by two to seven points in the first round, but some continue to have Erdoğan well ahead. I believe some polls have ties to Erdoğan. Of two minor candidates, one withdrew on Thursday though his name will still appear on the ballot paper. The other minor candidate is from the far-right, so his votes will favour Erdoğan if there is a runoff.

This article in The Guardian has more information on the Turkish elections, including poll closing times and the economy’s performance that highlights the high inflation.

UK: What is the BBC’s PNS?

Every May the UK holds council elections, but contests for the same seats are usually four years apart. Over a four-year cycle, a different set of council elections are held every May. Council elections are never national, and in some years they will be skewed to Labour, while in other years they will skew to the Conservatives.

The BBC’s Projected National Share (PNS) was developed to correct for bias in each year’s council results. It converts council election results into national vote shares for Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. This is useful for applying council election results to an election for the House of Commons, and it also allows council results from different years to be compared.

At the 2022 local elections, Labour won 3,072 councillors to just 1,403 for the Conservatives, but the PNS gave Labour just a 35-30 lead. Councils in Wales, Scotland and London were up for election that year, and these favour Labour over the Conservatives. In the 2023 local elections, which did not include Wales, Scotland or London, Labour won 2,675 councillors and the Conservatives 2,296. Despite the closer councillor count than in 2022, the PNS gave Labour a 35-26 lead over the Conservatives.

Since the May 4 local elections, Labour has extended its national poll lead over the Conservatives to about 19 points. But Labour underperformed its national polls at the locals; they had a national lead of about 17 points, but only won by nine on PNS.

The council elections are not quite complete this year, with Northern Ireland council elections on Thursday.

Greek election and the US debt limit: The 300 members of the Greek parliament will be elected by proportional representation with a 3% threshold on May 21. While the conservative New Democrats have a lead, they lack the allies needed to form government, so a left-wing government is likely if left parties can agree. There hasn’t been progress in the US on lifting the debt limit; with a default possible on June 1 without congressional action.

UK local elections live

Live coverage from Friday morning; national polls have Labour lifting in the last week. Also covered: upcoming Turkish and Greek elections.

Live Commentary

12:12pm After 229 of 230 councils, Labour has 2,674 councillors (up 536), the Tories 2,299 (down 1,061), the Lib Dems 1,626 (up 405) and the Greens 481 (up 241). The final council won’t be completed until Tuesday owing to a recount in one ward. Both late councils went to No Overall Control, no change.

11:58am At the 1996 UK local elections, held a year before Labour last gained power at a UK general election, Labour routed the Tories on the PNS by 43-29 with 26% for the Lib Dems.

10:31am Given that Labour’s performance in the two national vote measures was well below their current national polling lead, I think these elections are a much bigger disappointment for Labour than is currently being portrayed.

10:20am Sky’s National Estimated Vote share is worse for Labour than the BBC, with Labour only seven points ahead of the Tories, 36-29 with 18% for the Lib Dems. If this were the result at a general election, Labour would probably fall short of a majority in the House of Commons.

There are still two councils outstanding. The BBC’s report said Labour is now the largest party in local government, surpassing the Tories for the first time since 2002. The council the Greens won control of is mid Suffolk.

7:34am In my Intro post, I talked about the importance of the BBC’s Projected National Share. The PNS for these council elections was 35% Labour, 26% Tories and 20% Lib Dems. This nine-point Labour lead is the largest since Labour lost national power in 2010, but a big underperformance for them on the current national polls that give Labour about a 17-point lead.

From the last time these council elections were held in 2019, Labour is up seven on PNS, the Tories down two and Lib Dems up one. From the 2022 council elections, Labour is steady, the Tories down four and the Lib Dems up one.

7:19am Saturday After 227 of 230 councils declared, Labour have 2,657 councillors (up 527), the Tories 2,282 (down 1,061), the Lib Dems 1,608 (up 416) and the Greens 478 (up 240). Councils controlled are Labour 71 (up 22), the Tories 33 (down 48), the Lib Dems 29 (up 12), independents two (up one), Residents’ Association two (steady), the Greens one (up one) and no overall control 89 (up 12). I believe this is the first time the Greens have won control of a council.

11:42pm After 101 of 230 councils, Labour has 1,092 councillors (up 208), the Tories 739 (down 338) and the Lib Dems 521 (up 88). Currently Labour is gaining at a 24% rate, the Lib Dems at a 20% rate and the Tories are losing at a 31% rate. Extrapolations give Labour a gain of 501 when everything is counted, the Tories a loss of 1,056 and the Lib Dems a gain of 249. But the Tories’ projected losses are down now on what was earlier projected.

Time for bed now, and I’ll restart this early tomorrow morning AEST.

11:32pm Labour has GAINED Blackpool and the Lib Dems have GAINED Stratford-on-Avon.

10:50pm Labour has GAINED control of Swindon and East Staffordshire councils.

9:36pm In council control, Labour has a majority on 25 councils (up three), the Tories on 13 (down 12), Lib Dems nine (up one), independents two (up one) and no overall control 25 (up seven).

9:32pm After 74 of 230 councils, Labour has 787 councillors (up 148), the Tories 509 (down 262), the Lib Dems 385 (up 65) and the Greens 73 (up 38). The extrapolations have Labour finishing up 494, the Tories down 1,143 and the Lib Dems up 248.

5pm Looks like a lull in the counting until this evening AEST, when the remaining 170 councils start reporting.

4:41pm The Lib Dems have GAINED Windsor and Maidenhead council from the Tories, with a 22 year old Lib Dem ousting the Tory leader in his ward.

4:33pm After 60 of 230 councils, Labour has 633 councillors (up 110), the Tories 419 (down 209), the Lib Dems 308 (up 57) and the Greens 51 (up 29). The extrapolations now suggest a total loss of over 1,100 for the Tories, with Labour up almost 450 and the Lib Dems 278.

3:44pm Labour GAINS Medway council from the Tories, winning 31 of 53 seats declared so far with six still to come. That’s a nine seat gain for Labour at the direct expense of the Tories.

3:21pm After results from 52 of 230 councils, Labour has 564 councillors (up 103), the Tories 388 (down 171) and the Lib Dems 294 (up 49). Current projections are for Labour to end up with 2,607 (up 476), the Tories 2,336 (down 1,029) and the Lib Dems 1,468 (up 245).

2:18pm Putting the latest figures in has the Tories losing 33% of their current seats, and would extrapolate to an overall loss of nearly 1,100 councillors.

1:52pm Labour has GAINED control of Stoke-on-Trent after it was previously hung and the Tories have lost NW Leistershire to no overall control.

1:41pm I’ve done some extrapolations on the current results. Labour has 415 councillors (up 74), the Tories 222 (down 92) and the Lib Dems 160 (up 20). The percentage gains/losses are Labour up 22%, Tories down 29% and Lib Dems up 14%. Projecting these to the seats held before these elections (see the intro post below) gives Labour nearly 2,600 councillors (up 462), the Tories 2,380 (down 986) and the Lib Dems 1,400 (up 175).

12:32pm Labour has gained control of Plymouth council, which was previously hung.

12:22pm Counting has slowed down, and we’ve only got 35 of 230 councils declared so far. Labour has 322 councillors (up 48), the Tories 128 (down 70), the Lib Dems 107 (up 18) and the Greens 18 (up ten).

11:43am With results in from 249 of the 792 key wards that the BBC is using for its Projected National Share (PNS), Labour is up 7.4% on 2019, the Tories down 1.2% and the Lib Dems up 1.1%.

11:11am Labour made gains in seven of the ten Tamworth councillors up for election this year, to reduce the Tories to 14 of the 30 total seats, depriving them of a majority.

11:05am Now 181 Labour councillors (up 29), 71 Tories (down 44), 72 Lib Dems (up 14) and ten Greens (up four). The Tories have lost another council to No Overall Control.

10:47am Labour has 126 councillors (up 13), the Tories 61 (down 26), the Lib Dems 59 (up 13) and the Greens eight (up two). The Tories have lost control of Brentwood council, the first council so far with a change in party control.

9:49am So far the Tories have lost ten councillors, with the Lib Dems up seven, Labour up two and the Greens up one.

8:47am The BBC’s live blog says that only 64 of the 230 councils will be counting overnight (it’s nearly midnight UK time). These councils tend to be where only 1/3 of seats are up for election.

8:32am Friday You can follow the live council scoreboard at the BBC. So far Labour has won three councillors, making two gains, both from UKIP.

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.

Local government elections will be held in England today, with polls closing at 7am Friday AEST; they will be held in Northern Ireland on May 18. Most of the English seats up were last contested in 2019. The BBC’s Projected National Share (PNS), which converts council elections into national vote shares, showed Labour and the Conservatives tied on 28% each with 19% for the Lib Dems in 2019.

A total of 230 councils in England hold elections today, although in many of them only one-third of seats are up for election, as other seats are elected in alternative council election years. The Conservatives are defending 3,365 councillors, Labour 2,131 and the Liberal Democrats 1,223. Results will come in until at least Saturday AEST.

UK national polling in the last week has shown a small lift for Labour when compared with the previous week’s polls, and they are now about 17 point ahead of the Conservatives

The best statistic for the local elections is not the total councillors or councils won or lost, but the BBC’s PNS. In 2022, Labour won the PNS by 35-30 over the Conservatives after losing by 36-29 in 2021. A huge win for Labour could put Sunak under pressure, but if Labour flops, the pressure would be on their leader Keir Starmer, as he approved the Sunak attack ads.  The next UK general election is not due until late 2024.

Turkish elections: May 14

Turkey will hold presidential and parliamentary elections+ on May 14, with a presidential runoff on May 28 if nobody wins a first round majority. In the parliamentary elections, a total of 600 seats are allocated by proportional representation with a 7% threshold. Parties can join alliances and avoid this threshold provided the alliance gets over 7%.

Polling continues to be mixed, with the social democratic Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu leading the right-wing incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for president by 20 points in one poll in the first round, but he trails by nine points in another poll.

Greek election: May 21

All 300 seats will be allocated by proportional representation with a 3% threshold at the May 21 Greek election. In previous elections, there was a large seat bonus for the party that won the most votes, but that was scrapped by the left-wing Syriza government before the 2019 election. Unless electoral law changes are approved by a 2/3 parliamentary majority, they apply not at the next election, but the one following that election.

The conservative New Democrats won the 2019 election with the help of the seat bonus, and are the leading party in the polls with mid-30s support. But left-wing parties (Syriza, the centre-left PASOK, the Communists and the left-wing MeRa25) have more votes combined than the right.

US default possible on June 1: Last week I covered Republicans’ passage of a bill through the House of Representatives that would raise the debt limit but at the cost of spending cuts that Democrats strongly oppose. The US Treasury said on Monday that the US could default on June 1 without congressional action to raise the debt limit, though the actual day of default is probably further away.