Election night

There is one final poll on the AV referendum. Opinium for the Evening Standard have figures of YES 36%, NO 64%.

Next stop results. Polls close at 10pm. Some local councils, and some of Scotland and Wales are counting overnight, but results will be relatively slow going because of the need to validate the local/Scottish/Welsh papers AND referendum ballot papers. The Press Association’s estimated declaration times suggest we won’t have anything till around midnight (Sunderland and Tameside are the first councils expected to declare, Bridgend the first Welsh seat), and apart from then little until 1am. There’s unlikely to be anything in Scotland till 2am.

The referendum count starts at 4pm tomorrow.

As far as I am aware there are NO exit polls tonight.

UPDATE: There is also a final Scottish Parliament poll in tonight’s Daily Mail, conducted by Progressive Scottish opinion (while it’s being published tonight, it isn’t an exit poll – the fieldwork was conducted over the weekend, continuing up until Tuesday). Topline figures are constituency: CON 12%, LAB 26%, LDEM 4%, SNP 51%. Regional: CON 12%, LAB 22%, LDEM 3%, SNP 53%, Green 5%. A thirty-one point lead for the SNP in the regional vote seems, to put it politely, somewhat unlikely.

671 Responses to “Election night”

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  1. Maybe reading too much between the lines but that article from Cameron suggests to me he is prepared to block AV if the Yes campaign were to win by a small margin on the grounds of the low turnout.

    What would we think of that? I think he could justify it on the grounds of the overwhelming support shown for no in the polls then the low turnout. But then I would as I support him. But I could also see the other side; the old caviat about polls etc. What do people think?

  2. I’m off to bed now. The Scottish declarations start in East Lothian (Iain Gray’s seat) at 2 am. Full schedule here:


  3. Does anyone know why they only start counting AV votes after 4 pm tomorrow?

  4. For those wishing to set that alarm clock the PA times are here:


    Note that about half of the councils don’t seem to be starting to count till tomorrow morning and similarly a handful of Welsh and Scottish seats. As a result most of the regional votes won’t be finished till tomorrow afternoon.

    As usual Northern Ireland Assembly votes won’t start till Friday morning. Because they are having local elections at the same time (don’t even ask), those won’t start till Monday.

    The referendum count starts 4pm Friday (I read somewhere that all other counts are supposed to stop while that goes on. Is that true?)

  5. Timothy,
    I’d expect to give preference to local results being counted first.
    By 4pm tomorrow, I’d imagine most local/devolved ballots will be counted- so it’s just a time thing.

    That’s an uniformed guess though – I’m sure someone could give a better answer.

  6. Timothy

    There are real and important votes to be counted before getting round to the trivia.

  7. I agree OldNat, the Scottish Parliament vote count is much more important than the AV referendum count, and it is only right that the latter is delayed. I remain annoyed that the Westminster government hijacked the Scottish election date to hold the referendum, when particular care was taken to avoid other elections in Scotland on the same date (following the 2007 fiasco), part of my reason for voting No to AV as protest at Westminster’s lack of respect to the Scottish parliament elections.

  8. Not even an exit poll for the Welsh and Scottish elections?

  9. Time for my dram – then off to bed for a bit. we should be near to getting some real information by the time I surface!

  10. I agree that the AV count is not important compared to the devolved counts.

  11. What a shame there is no exit poll.

  12. @Oli — changing the rules after the game has finished? I’d be livid. I actually agree with quora for referenda (and even some elections), but applying them after the fact would be a travesty.

    Also, I suspect Cameron would only do that if (for some reason) he wants to ditch his Lib Dem scapegoats and break the coalition. (Either that or he thinks it’s doomed anyway).

  13. @Timothy & Roger Mexico

    I know someone counting the AV votes in London. They start verifying the ballots at 9am. Then from about 1pm they will start counting.

    4pm is just the latest tine the AV count can start.

  14. I suggest a good Election party game that I played with my university friends when we stayed up to watch the 2010 General Election.

    My go first,

    Scottish Parliament: Labour 44, SNP 60, Con 12, LibDem 8 and Greens 5

    Welsh Assembly: Labour 30, Plaid 15, Con 9, LibDem 5 and UKIP 1 (Yes i think UKIP will win a seat)

    Northern Ireland Asssemby: DUP 33, Sein Fein 33, UUP 10, SDLP 18, Alliance 11 and Others 3

    Local Elections Vote: Labour 39% Conservative 36% LibDem 13% and Others 12%

    Referendum Results: YES 44.9% No 55.1% on a TURNOUT of 48.9% with bigger turnouts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and less in London and the South

    Happy evening everybody : )

  15. OK Any C…. here goes:

    Scottish Parliament: Labour 43, SNP 62, Con 11, LibDem 7 and Greens 6

    Welsh Assembly: Labour 32, Plaid 15, Con 9, LibDem 4

    Northern Ireland Asssemby: DUP 31, Sein Fein 33, UUP 11, SDLP 18, Alliance 11 and Others 2

    Local Elections Vote: Labour 38% Conservative 36% LibDem 15% and Others 11%

    Referendum Results: YES 42.2% No 57.8% on a TURNOUT of 45.3%

  16. Sorry folks – my NI Assembly prediction was 2 seats short. Should read:
    Northern Ireland Asssemby: DUP 32, Sein Fein 33, UUP 12, SDLP 18, Alliance 11 and Others 2

  17. Tony D,

    Amirable attempt on the NI.. knock a couple of the Shinners and a 1-2 on the DUP and you’re there :)

  18. Tonights yougov poll; Labour drop below 40% and just a 2% lead

    Con 37 Lab 39 Lib 10

    Gov Approval -18

  19. The Three Polling Companies who have reported polls in May 2011 [Voting Intention] give Labour

    1% lead ICM
    2% lead YG
    3% lead YG

    A poll of polls of those three companies most recent polls give Labour a 2% for May..

  20. The third company is of course *ComRes

  21. Site very slow tonight. Heavy traffic?

    The YG poll (and the others) is really interesting. The LALA score is low at 49, with others now at 14%. Clearly Labour support has softened, but the big question is why.

    I am surprised, as the economic news is getting worse (poor figures today on the service sector with the loss of growth now showing the sharpest fall since the collapse of Lehmans). There can be no question of the economy helping the Tories, and indeed, nothing much seems to be helping the Tories as they are basically flat lining.

    I don’t think there is a wedding backwash – surely this would help Tories directly. Maybe its the fact that local elections are making people think about other parties which clouds poll responses. May be the the referendum is making funny things happen.

  22. I’ve done some target lists which some people might find useful:

    SNP target list:

    Welsh Labour targets:

    Welsh Conservative targets:

  23. It’s because polls usually tend to move towards the governing party’s way just before an election. It happens nearly every time.

  24. East Kilbride, Andy Kerr’s seat, also stands a shot at being first to declare in Scotland. I’ll have a wee nap through Question Time then it’ll be an all-nighter for me, though there probably won’t be anything interesting until about 1am when there might be some plausible rumours in a few constituencies.

  25. I do think that Labour’s lack of an alternative economic plan is also hurting them. People love, at the time, to hear that the cuts aren’t necessary; problem is that Labour really hasn’t outlined a viable alternative.

  26. @ Alec hardly anything has been in the news bar Osama Bin Laden.

    For economic news it was pretty buried, you might be right with the polls and reflection on other parties.

  27. The Yes vote has now dropped to 36/1 to win on Betfair

  28. @Alec

    The referendum non-debate has drowned out everything else. Simples.

  29. Labour party sources are saying they haven’t done as well as they would of liked in Wales saying they feel like they will fall short of a majority.

  30. @Ambivalent supporter – “It’s because polls usually tend to move towards the governing party’s way just before an election. It happens nearly every time.”

    Don’t really see it. Tory vote largely stagnant. What seems to be happening is Labour votes seeping to others, which is why I pondered if there was an influence from the locals, where smaller parties are more involved.

  31. The “pause”, the backtracking, the emphasis on foreign affairs, it appears to have worked magic for the time being.

    However, it could well be the government which needs to come up with alternative plans going forward. ;)

  32. @HayfeverBlues
    Hmm…but still 36-1. On Betfair. Maybe it will be closer than 60/40 for No.

  33. Labourlist bloggers (biased, possibly unreliable) suggesting Lib Dem vote collapsed in the North, low referendum turnout in London. Telegraph suggesting AV turnout higher than expected.

  34. @Alec,

    The vote doesn’t always move to the governing party directly; often the main opposition party loses out close to an election (too/instead), especially when people’s minds become more focused and less reactionary.

    Of course, the yougov poll may just be an outlier, and we could still be heading for a significant Labour gain of 1000+ seats.

  35. @Billy Bob – “However, it could well be the government which needs to come up with alternative plans going forward.”

    Nick Robinson tonight reports an article by a senior Lib Dem (Ashdown I think) in tomorrow’s press. It says any other PM would have stopped the ‘torrent of untruths’ from the No campaign and said that up to now the coalition ‘has been lubricated by the oil of goodwill – but no longer’.

    I posted last night that this will be the big impact of tonight. I actually think in a couple of years time Cameron might regret having run this campaign.

  36. Personally I think Lab lead in VI intention has been swayed by the fact that Labour has hardly been in the national spotlight for a good couple of weeks now it’s all be Coaltion splits on AV, Royal Wedding and Bin Laden.

    When they get deprived of airtime, or the Tories aren’t shooting themselves in the foot (or there is poor economic news or stories of cuts) then the Lab figure sinks (SOFT NUMBERS I KEEP SAYING).

    But this is also partly due to the Local Elections themselves when there are some restrictions on what govt can announce and parlt has been in recess.

    So it seems that as long as the Coaltion are not actually governing, or making announcements, or if the LDs start bearing their teeth, the Labour lead sinks.

    If, as Paddy Ashdown, seems to suggest, the LDs start to make a fight on bankers, NHS, immigration etc. Labour could in fact lose their lead.

  37. But also I think GE VI is a nice figure but doesn’t really tell us about what will happen tonight.

    I imagine there will be many people who will say “yes planning on voting Tory at the next election” and “planning to give them a beating at this one” or may just stay at home.

    If AV has got the Tories to the polls things could be less good for Labour but terrible for the LDs.

    No real action for hours so I’m off to bed.


  38. Video of ballot boxes arriving at Tamworth council counting centre, usually one of the first places to declare its results:


  39. “What would we think of that? I think he could justify it on the grounds of the overwhelming support shown for no in the polls then the low turnout.”

    How on earth could you justify something like that on opinion poll results? Anyway, I imagine it would reuire repealing the referendum Act and I doubt he’d have a majority for it.

  40. @RogerH

    Why on earth did DC say that. It’s not as if YES is going to come anywhere near victory? Very odd, indeed.

  41. As I’m sure you know, given your employer, YouGov is conducting an online exit poll-of sorts tonight. I took part in it. Why is it not publishing this?

  42. @RAF
    ‘Why on earth did DC say that. It’s not as if YES is going to come anywhere near victory? Very odd, indeed.’

    DC didn’t say it, it was oli in his thread that He (Oli) reading between the lines etc.. ………….. .

    If you want to believe Oli’s ‘reading between the lines’ , by all means go ahead. Fiction is usually more headline material than truth.

  43. “If the Conservative party funds to the level of 99% a campaign whose central theme is to denigrate and destroy our leader, there are consequences for… the nature of this coalition and the way that it ends, the mood between the two parties when it ends and therefore what happens afterwards.”

    However, Ashdown goes on to nail his colours to George Osborne’s deficit reduction plan.

    “The central proposition of this parliament stands: ‘Is George Osborne’s economic judgment right?’ I believe it is. The whole of British politics now rests on that single proposition. The fortunes of the coalition, the fortunes of the two parties in the coalition and the fortunes of the Labour party rest on that.”

  44. “Nick Robinson tonight reports an article by a senior Lib Dem (Ashdown I think) in tomorrow’s press. It says any other PM would have stopped the ‘torrent of untruths’ from the No campaign and said that up to now the coalition ‘has been lubricated by the oil of goodwill – but no longer’.”

    Hardly an unbiased source if you combine those two!

    The fact is that Yes were weak and made things a bit complicated. No has annoyed Yes by being too simple perhaps, but this simplicity is their strength. This ‘string of untruths/lies’ business stems from Libs/Greens etc annoyance, the opinion of who has mislead who the most depends on whuch side you’re on. No has not told untruths, it’s just that there’s genuinely several different ways of looking at AV – it has pros but it has very real cons too. Whether DC really believes AV would need automatic vote counters I don’t know, clearly he thinks there is at least some chance it would.

    DC has actually kept a very good-natured face on all this even when polls were more favourable to Yes; he always said he’d campaign for ‘No’ too.

    The sheer desperation of many on the left, particularly Lib Dems who have been feling the heat recently and stored all their hopes on a Yes vote, simply caused them to get carried away with their accusations when it looke dlike they’d lost (I think they were sincere in their anger, having no idea how foolish it looks, and actually strengthened the No vote with their desperate attempts to smear the fairly competent No campaign which took them by surprise.

    It is also worth keeping in mind that the (mostly leftwing) political anoraks who hang around this site are, like the aforementioned Lib Dems and the BBC, quite unrepresentative of the views of the population who have struggled to engage with the debate let alone get heated about it.

  45. I believe there is no legal obligation for Cameron to act on a ‘yes’ vote. He can refuse to implement it and choose his own excuses. It is not binding.

  46. Anyone thinking this poll today is significant in terms of the YG time series needs to have a very long hard re-think.

    I take the 37-39-10 as the ballpark figure for today’s elections (allowing of course for a moe that could easily put Lab on 41 and Tories on 36 :D ).

    IMHO people responding to this VI poll were reflecting what they were about to vote in their local/ devolved election.

    Certainly that is also what Vince Cable believes as he has just said on SN this is a very bad poll for the Lib Dems…..

    In coming days it will be interesting to check the the YG data for this pol against what happened in the respective actual local/ devolved elections: I suspect they were quite similar.

    Expect 5%+ leads again on YG for Labour by the weekend of 14th May ;-)

  47. “I believe there is no legal obligation for Cameron to act on a ‘yes’ vote. He can refuse to implement it and choose his own excuses. It is not binding.”

    Other than his coalition will fall apart :D

    But its going to be ‘No’ unfortunately. Maybe not by as much as recent polls suggested: but ‘No’ nonetheless.

  48. Greens come third in first Newcastle ward result. Any Lib Dems – look away now.

  49. Any exit polls come in on AV?

  50. @Far Easterner – the big issue with Ashdown’s attack is that the central allegation is that Cameron broke a private and personal agreement between him and Clegg, with the reason being that he was panicked by his right wing.

    If true, it’s hard to see how anyone in the Lib Dems could trust Cameron again. This is potentially very serious for the future conduct of government.

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