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.

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%.

US South Carolina Republican primary live

Trump set to effectively seal the Republican nomination contest by crushing Haley in her home state.

Live Commentary

8:47am Monday Haley won one of SC’s seven districts, so she avoided a delegate wipeout. But it’s still a 47-3 delegate split in Trump’s favour. I will cover the UK Rochdale by-election on Friday AEDT.

5:20pm With almost all votes counted, Trump wins by 59.8-39.5, a 20.3-point margin. There were almost 756,000 Rep primary votes, compared with just over 131,000 for the SC Dem primary. Trump has won 44 of the 50 delegates, with results for two Cong Districts uncalled. These will need results by CD before they can be called.

1:23pm With 75% in, Trump leads by 59.7-39.6, and the NYT needle is forecasting a final margin of Trump by 19. This was a thumping victory for Trump in his only remaining opponent’s home state. He leads by 61 points in national Rep polls, and has massive leads in California and Texas, which vote on Super Tuesday March 5. If Haley stays in until ST, she’s likely to be buried.

12:13pm With 34% in, Trump leads by 59-40. The NYT needle is now at Trump by 20.

11:58am There were just over 131,000 total votes in the Feb 3 South Carolina Dem primary that Biden won with 96%. With 21% counted in today’s Rep primary, there are already over 158,000 votes.

11:51am With 13% in, Trump leads by 58-42. The NYT needle has returned to Trump by 23 after briefly having him winning by 26.

11:40am Votes counted so far are early votes according to NYT analyst Nate Cohn. Election day vote likely to be more pro-Trump.

11:32am Trump now up by only 53-46 as Charleston reports, but the NYT estimate is for a final margin of Trump by 23.

11:29am Columbia has just reported, reducing Trump’s statewide lead to 55-44 with 3% in.

11:07am Trump has been credited with 44 of SC’s 50 delegates, presumably winning the state and five of the seven districts by large margins.

11:05am South Carolina has been CALLED for Trump based on exit polls before any votes have been counted. Here’s the NYT results page.

7:44am It looks like late gains for Haley in SC, with the final Trafalgar group poll, conducted Wednesday to Friday US time, giving Trump a 21-point lead, down from 30 points in the previous Trafalgar poll in mid-February. But it’s still likely to be a big win for Trump. And there’s no sign of any gains for Haley in national polls.

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 11am AEDT today for the South Carolina Republican presidential primary.  This is Nikki Haley’s home state, and she was governor from 2011 to 2017.  But Donald Trump leads Haley by 63.6-32.9 in the FiveThirtyEight aggregate of SC Republican polls.  The last polls were taken a week ago, and two of the last four polls had Trump’s lead in the low 20s.

In national Republican polls, Trump leads Haley by 77-16, while in national Democratic polls, Joe Biden leads Dean Phillips by 75-7.  Most national general election polls show Trump leading Biden by low single-digit margins, and Trump is likely further advantaged by the Electoral College system.

South Carolina is the first state to use a winner takes all/most formula to allocate its Republican delegates.  The 29 statewide delegates go to the statewide winner, and the 21 district delegates (three for each of SC’s seven Congressional Districts) are allocated to the winner of each district. With Trump’s large lead, he is likely to take a clean sweep of all 50 delegates.

On Super Tuesday March 5, 15 states hold Republican contests including the two most populous states of California and Texas.  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 48 statewide delegates go to the state’s winner, and the 114 district delegates (three for each of Texas’ 38 districts) go to the district’s winner.

Trump has massive leads in FiveThirtyEight polling averages of both California and Texas.  He leads Haley by 83-13 in Texas and by 73-19 in California.  California is a strongly Democratic state at general elections, but only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican primary.

Less than 4% of Republican delegates have currently been allocated, but after Super Tuesday that will increase to 47%.  For Democrats, 42% of delegates will be allocated by Super Tuesday.  By March 19, 69% of Republican delegates and 64% of Democratic delegates will be allocated, and Biden and Trump will almost certainly have clinched their parties’ nominations.

US House special election and Indonesian election live

Can US Democrats gain George Santos’ former seat at a special election? Also: the right-wing Prabowa likely to win Indonesia’s presidential election.

Live Commentary

11:17am Thursday Wikipedia says quick counts gave Prabowa between 53.4% and 59.8%. In the official count, with 39% reporting, Prabowa has 56.0%. The legislative count is far less advanced than the presidential count.

7:44pm Al Jazeera reports that quick counts from all polls have Prabowa leading with 58% to 61% with 26% to 35% of votes counted. So Prabowa will be the next Indonesian president, winning a first round majority.

6:13pm From Al Jazeera, election law prevents publication of “quick counts” before 8am GMT (7pm AEDT). So we should get some quick count results, which have been accurate in the past, after that time.

5:31pm This is the Al Jazeera live results blog.

5:10pm All polls have now closed in Indonesia. Al Jazeera has a live blog, but no results so far. Preliminary results are expected to be released this evening.

4:11pm With 93% in, Suozzi’s margin drops slightly to 53.9-46.1. Biden won this district by 8.2% in 2020, so there’s virtually no swing from the Biden 2020 margin. The big swing is from Santos’ 53.8-46.2 win in 2022.

3:50pm Recycling this paragraph from the Intro for those getting carried away by the special election results: Democrats have been successful at state and federal by-elections (called “special” elections in the US) since the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling, overturning Roe vs Wade in June 2022. But New York Times analyst Nate Cohn says turnout at these by-elections is much lower than it will be at the general election this November. Voters who show up at by-elections are far more motivated by abortion than the general electorate.

2:57pm With 84% in overall, Suozzi leads by 54.2-45.8. 83% now counted in Nassau, and Suozzi is down to a 53-47 lead there. These latest results make the polls look more accurate.

2:35pm More results from Nassau (70% counted there now) reduce Suozzi’s overall lead to 55-45.

2:28pm It will actually be a 219-213 Rep House majority owing to a Dem’s resignation on Feb 2. There are special elections to come between late April and June to replace the two Reps and the Dem who have resigned.

2:07pm Race CALLED for Suozzi, and that’s a Dem gain, reducing the Rep House majority to 219-214. Should have put link to results in earlier.

2:04pm 45% of Nassau now in, and Suozzi leads there by 58-42 and overall by 59-41. Looks very good for Suozzi.

1:31pm Suozzi leads by 63-37 in Queens with 86% in and 51-49 in Nassau with 2% in. The large majority of this district is in Nassau, but counting is slow there.

1:16pm With 9% in, Suozzi (Dem) leads Pilip (Rep) by 63-37. However, the NYC borough of Queens has 60% counted already, with Suozzi up there by 63-37. There are few votes so far in the regional county of Nassau.

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 1pm AEDT today for a US federal by-election in New York’s third congressional district. I wrote in January that this seat was formerly held by Republican George Santos before he was expelled from the House of Representatives on December 1.

Santos had gained from the Democrats at the 2022 midterm elections, winning by a 53.8-46.2 margin. Joe Biden had won this seat against Donald Trump at the 2020 presidential election by an 8.2% margin.

The by-election candidates are Democrat Tom Suozzi and Republican Mazi Melesa Pilip. A mid-January Emerson College poll gave Suozzi a 45-42 lead over Pilip. Two early February polls from Emerson and Siena gave Suozzi three-to-four-point leads.

Republicans won the House in 2022 by a 222-213 margin, but there are currently three vacancies in Republican-held seats including this one. A Democratic win in this by-election would reduce the Republican House majority to 219-214.

Democrats have been successful at state and federal by-elections (called “special” elections in the US) since the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling, overturning Roe vs Wade in June 2022. But New York Times analyst Nate Cohn says turnout at these by-elections is much lower than it will be at the general election this November. Voters who show up at by-elections are far more motivated by abortion than the general electorate.

On February 8, Biden gave a press conference in response to a special counsel’s report on classified documents that had been found at his home. The line in the report that was most damaging to Biden described him as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory”.

Most national polls have Trump leading Biden by single-digit margins for the general election. The US Electoral Vote system is likely to advantage Trump over national polls. Biden’s net approval in the FiveThirtyEight aggregate is -16.9, while Trump’s net favourability is -9.3.

Polls will close at 9am AEDT Friday for by-elections in two UK Conservative-held seats. I will have more on these by-elections in a separate post, and also more on recent international elections.

Updates on the presidential primaries

Republican presidential candidates in Nevada had to choose to contest either the February 6 primary or the February 8 caucus, which allocated all of Nevada’s delegates. Trump contested the caucus, while Nikki Haley contested the primary.

Nevada has a “none of these candidates” option on its ballot papers. In the primary, “none of these candidates” crushed Haley by 63–30. Trump won 99% in the Nevada caucus, where he was effectively unopposed. Trump leads Haley nationally by 76-18 in the FiveThirtyEight aggregate and by 65-32 in Haley’s home state of South Carolina, which holds its Republican primary February 24.

Biden won the February 3 South Carolina Democratic primary with 96% and the February 6 Nevada Democratic primary with 89%, and will easily win the Democratic presidential nomination.

Prabowo likely to win Indonesian election

I covered the presidential and legislative elections in Indonesia in January. If no presidential candidate wins a majority, there will be a June 26 runoff. The 580 lower house seats are elected by proportional representation in multi-member electorates with a 4% national threshold. Senatorial candidates cannot be members of a political party. Four senators are elected per province for a total of 152.

Indonesia spans three time zones, with polls closing between 3pm and 5pm AEDT today. This Al Jazeera article says a preliminary result is likely to be announced this evening, but the final results could take 35 days.

The latest polls all give Prabowa Subianto over 50%, so it’s likely that he wins outright today. Prabowa is the candidate of a religious and right-wing alliance who lost to incumbent president Joko Widodo in both the 2014 and 2019 elections. Gibran Rakabuming, the eldest child of Joko, is Prabowo’s running mate. The other two candidates are Ganjar Pranowo, who represents the secularist PDI-P (Joko’s party) and independent Anies Baswedan, the former governor of Jakarta.

US New Hampshire primary live

Donald Trump likely to easily defeat Nikki Haley in New Hampshire. Also covered: the February 14 Indonesian election.

Live Commentary

2:35pm Friday Biden finished with 63.9% in the Dem primary, with Phillips at 19.6% and “other write-ins” at 8.3%.

11:36am Thursday With almost all votes counted, Trump wins by 54.3-43.3, in line with the 11-point forecast from the NYT model. Turnout for the Republican primary was a New Hampshire record at 322,000, and compares with just 118,000 in the Democratic primary. In the Dem primary, Biden is on 55.8% and will reach about 65% once the remaining 10.1% of “unprocessed write-ins” are counted. Phillips was a distant second with 19.5%.

4:54pm I had an article about the New Hampshire results for The Conversation that also featured general election polls.

4:47pm Biden will easily win the Dem Feb 3 South Carolina primary and Feb 6 Nevada primary. I won’t cover the early Feb contests, but will be back for the Feb 13 US federal by-election in New York’s third, the Feb 14 Indonesian election and two Feb 15 UK by-elections in Conservative-held seats.

4:41pm The next Republican contest is Nevada, which holds a non-binding primary Feb 6 and a caucus Feb 8 that binds its 26 delegates. Candidates had to choose to nominate for either the caucus or primary. Haley is on the primary ballot, and Trump on the caucus ballot. Trump will win the delegates, but can Haley do OK in the primary? After that it’s South Carolina on Feb 24.

4:35pm With 87% counted, Trump leads by 54.5-43.6. According to exit polls, Trump won registered Republicans 74-25 (50% of electorate), but Haley won undeclared by 66-34 (46% of electorate). This huge vote for Haley from non-Republicans isn’t likely to apply in other states. It probably explains why polls overstated Trump’s NH margin.

2:50pm With 71% counted, Trump leads by 54.6-43.8, but the NYT forecast is still at Trump by 11.

2:14pm With 58% counted, Trump leads by 53.6-45.0. The NYT forecast is still Trump by 11.

1:16pm With 36% counted, Trump leads by 53.4-45.6. The NYT forecast is for a final result of Trump by 11.

12:30pm With 24% counted, Trump leads by 52.5-46.6. The NY Times forecast has a final 11-point margin predicted.

12:05pm With all NH polls now closed, Trump is the projected winner. The NY Times live forecast gives Trump a win by an estimated 12 point margin.

11:51am With 17% in, Trump’s lead is near double digits at 54.4-44.7.

11:31am With 10% in, Trump leads by 53-46. Dave Wasserman has called for Trump.

11:22am Trump now has a 51-48 lead over Haley in the Rep primary with 5% in.

11:20am In the Dem primary, “write-ins” (which will nearly all be for Biden) lead Dean Phillips by 73-24.

11:15am With 2% reporting, Haley leads Trump by 51-48.

8:54am Two late NH polls give Trump a 20-point and 22-point lead over Haley, causing the FiveThirtyEight aggregate to stretch to a 54-36 lead for Trump.

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 large majority of polls in New Hampshire close at 11am AEDT today. Polls in the 13 cities stay open until 12pm, and this will be the earliest time for a race call. The 22 NH Republican delegates are allocated proportionally with a 10% threshold. Information on US poll closing times and delegate allocation is from The Green Papers.

On Sunday US time, Ron DeSantis withdrew from the presidential race and endorsed Donald Trump, leaving Nikki Haley as Trump’s sole challenger for the Republican nomination. DeSantis had been viewed as Trump’s main threat, but he had fallen from 34% in the FiveThirtyEight aggregate of national Republican polls in January 2023 to 11% when he withdrew, as Trump increased from 45% to 66%. Trump beat DeSantis in Iowa last week by almost 30 points.

Haley has only 12% in national Republican polls. Since Trump’s big win in Iowa, he has received many endorsements from prominent Republicans, and has a massive lead in endorsements according to FiveThirtyEight’s tracker.

In NH polls, Trump has surged since Iowa, and leads Haley by 52.3-36.7 in FiveThirtyEight. One poll gave Trump just a two-point lead, but the three most recent polls, which account for DeSantis’ exit, gave Trump 19-to-27-point leads.

The February 24 Republican primary in Haley’s home state of South Carolina is probably the last chance to stop Trump winning the Republican nomination, but Trump has a massive 61-25 lead over Haley in SC polls. SC is the first state to use a winner takes all/most formula for its Republican delegates. The 29 statewide delegates are awarded WTA, and the 21 congressional district delegates (three per district) are WTA by district.

For the Democratic primary, NH was reduced from 32 to ten Democratic delegates for holding its primary earlier than Democrats wanted. Owing to this rule breach, candidates were told to ignore NH, and Joe Biden is not on the ballot paper. However, Biden is using a “write-in” campaign, where voters write in someone’s name.

The first proper Democratic contest is the South Carolina primary on February 3, followed by the Nevada primary on February 6. Republican Nevada delegates will be allocated by a February 8 caucus, not a primary. Candidates could choose to be listed on either the primary or the caucus ballot. Trump is expected to have a huge win in the caucus.

In national Democratic primary polls, Biden has 72%, Marianne Williamson 5% and Dean Phillips 3%. Democratic delegates are allocated proportionally with a 15% threshold. Neither the Republican nor Democratic nominations are at all competitive.

On Super Tuesday March 5, many states will vote, and 41.6% of Democratic delegates and 47.4% of Republican delegates will be decided by this date. Trump and Biden are likely to effectively seal their parties’ nominations.

Indonesian election: February 14

Presidential and legislative elections will be held in Indonesia on February 14. Indonesia is in Australia’s region, and there are over 200 million registered voters. If no presidential candidate wins a majority, there will be a June 26 runoff. The 580 lower house seats are elected by proportional representation in multi-member electorates with a 4% national threshold. Senatorial candidates cannot be members of a political party. Four senators are elected per province for a total of 152.

Incumbent president Joko Widodo of the secularist and socially liberal Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has served two five-year terms since his election in 2014. In the presidential election, Prabowo Subianto is the candidate of a religious and right-wing alliance, while Ganjar Pranowo represents the PDI-P and the third candidate is independent Anies Baswedan, the former governor of Jakarta.  

The polls imply Prabowo is the clear favourite, with most recent polls giving him 45-50% and two of the four most recent giving him over 50%, enough to win without a runoff. Gibran Rakabuming, the eldest child of Widodo, is Prabowo’s running mate.