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. I think I might start an “SNPers for Jackie” campaign… ;)

  2. Blah, I’m off to bed.

    England: Decent day for Lab who look on course to gain around 900 seats. Reasonable day for Con as voters choose to punish LD instead. Others vanishing everywhere.

    Scotland: Obviously a great win for SNP, congratulations to all of you on here! Not great for Lab but not as bad as it looks (vote share held); pretty poor for Con and awful for LD.

    Wales: Lab looks set to just about take majority so excellent night for them, also surprisingly good for Con. Very poor for PC and awful for LD.

    I don’t see how Clegg can stay as leader after this shocking performance across the whole of the UK, frankly.

    Goodnight!

  3. From the election results thus far my analysis would be as follows;

    Most of the anger at coalition policy is directed at Libs.
    Labour are gaining support in Wales but losing out to the SNP in Scotland. They have gained from the collapsing support of the Libs but the public are not really taken by them yet (in England).
    The Tory vote is holding up well.

  4. And before I go: Lab take Cardiff Central following recount!

  5. SNP win Aberdeen Donside

    UKPR’s Barney Crockett got approx half the votes of the winning SNP candidate.

  6. Thanks P Brown!

  7. Aberdeen Central changes:

    SNP +9.7 points
    Lab +8.6
    Con -1.4
    ***** LD -17.6 *****

    That is actually the worst Lib Dem I’ve seen so far.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/special/election2011/constituency/html/36065.stm

  8. typo: “the worst Lib Dem result”

  9. @Stuart Dickson

    The LDs had an appaling candidate and Lewis Macdonald is a decent incumbent.

  10. Some SLABer on BBC Radio Scotland saying that one of the reasons Labour did so badly is cos they didn’t use the Megrahi issue !?!

    They really just don’t get it, do they?

    The longer they “just don’t get it”, the happier I’ll be.

  11. A Brown,

    – “The LDs had an appalling candidate and Lewis Macdonald is a decent incumbent.”

    Agreed. Macdonald is yet another loss of a half-talented Labour MSP. They have, quite literally, lost the cream of their rather modest crop.

    The Lib Dem’s problem is that nearly all their candidates were equally appalling. Their membership numbers are plummeting, so where are they going to find new talent from?

    When will a bookie open prices on Charlie Kennedy defecting? And to which party?

  12. @Stuart Dickson

    I think Labour has been taking advice from Mcternan…..sigh!

  13. @ambivalentsupporter

    A little blue-tinted optimism there

    i. Using ‘expectations’ as a quantitative measure is naïve to say the least. Labour will win lots of seats, the Tories will lose some. The numbers depend on the breakdown of the ‘others’ and is not easy to model thanks to FPTP

    ii. 35% for the Tories is not historically a high pojection for Tories, nor is it rare that Governments show a steady position after 1 year in power – especially after the situation in 2010

    iii. 35% has been the number in the polls for months – why are you surprised?

    iv. The poll projection does not have an error – with the referendum, regional elections etc the error must be significant

    v. Not withstanding the scepticism about the numbers can you point me to where an opposition party (Labour or Tory) has put on 10% in one year after a big defeat?

    In summary an ok day for both parties. The battle starts now and 2012-2013 will be a better indicator of the Red vs Blue situation coming to 2015. Scotland is not good for Labour but it as much 2 fingers to the Westminster establishment – it may be actually beneficial for 2015 depending on their response

    The big story thow is the more than decimation of the LD – they are being battered everywhere and even though their vote is not as bad as feared they are not seeing the benefit in terms of seats. Of all the parties they are the ones who need to react to this as they are in a sorry state looking at AV likely outcome as well.

  14. @Bazsc,

    But I am not a Tory voter/supporter. I voted Green. I loathe Cameron – reminds me too much of Tony Blair! I would personally love to see the Tories get a kicking. I just don’t see how anyone can not say the Tories will be reasonably satisfied with the results so far. On an already high base after 2007, they have, after all, gained a council and 10 seats so far. This will probably change, but the message is simple; the general public seem to be venting their anger at the Libs and not the Tories.

    I hope I am wrong, I really do, but a Tory majority at the next GE has now moved a step closer after the last 24 hours IMO.

  15. Of course, if Labour had a different leader – say, David instead of Ed it would be a different story IMO. I think it would now be sitting here with Labour on the brink of making gains of 1,400+. Instead, the Tories have effectively been let off the hook, so to speak.

  16. *we

  17. “35% has been the number in the polls for months – why are you surprised?”

    But Labour were consistently scoring 42-44% in the polls.

    “nor is it rare that Governments show a steady position after 1 year in power”

    Context. Massive spending cuts, tuition fees, attack on elderly/disabled etc. I have no doubt Labour will climb in the polls in the next year and a half, but they should be doing better than at present IMO.

    I don’t think Ed Miliband is being aggressive enough at tackling the Tories. He needs to be bolder. Labour needs to outline an alternative to full-scale cuts that is both practical and convincing.

    Of course, I wouldn’t rule out Labour just yet. They still have a good chance to win in 2015, but they really need to get going now if they are to improve their chances at the next GE.

  18. BBC Scotland political correspondent: “in a sense it is a misfortune that Iain Gray is the only one of the leadership contenders to be returned… except Jackie Baillie”

    “misfortune” ! You said it.

    London Establishment, take note: your nightmare has only just begun.

  19. “discrepancies” in the Midlothian count mean that announcement of the Lothian list postponed till 4 o’clock this afternoon.

  20. BBC say highly unlikely that Tavish Scott will remain SLD leader. They have lost 20 deposits thus far, and still many results to come.

  21. “highly unlikely that Tavish Scott will remain SLD leader”

    He’d best get some more MSPs sharpish to be contenders, though how hard can it be to lead a handful of people ?

  22. Very interesting night, with a few lessons and questions. Labour needed a major kick up the backside in Scotland, and they’ve had it.

    What are the Nats without Salmond? My guess – not so very much, but I could be wrong, but that’s a problem for tomorrow.

    Is this is good night for the Tories? No, would be my answer. In terms of expected results, it’s really rather good for them – much better than anticipated so far.

    But Sky have projected a vote share that would give Labour a slender GE majority and see Cameron lose 40 MPs – by all accounts a good outcome for Labour just a year after their worse GE losses, although it doesn’t feel that way at present, largely due to Scotland and prior expectations.

    I think this result is bad for Cameron due to the fact that he has blown his chances for an anti Labour realignment.

    Julian Astle in todays Telegraph has said what I have been saying for some time regarding the AV campaign – “Sensing danger, Cameron did what he always does when in trouble: he called in George Osborne. He then did what he always does under Osborne’s influence: he switched from thinking strategically to thinking tactically. A decision was taken to defeat AV come what may.” Strategically, the coalition is now in a mess.

    Astle goes on to say – “There was a point, before opinions hardened, when the Prime Minister could actually have embraced the Alternative Vote, as Michael Gove, his modernising Education Secretary, wanted to do. All that would have been required was for him to challenge the pessimistic and self-fulfilling assumption that underpins his party’s opposition to AV – that Conservatives can never attract the second preference votes of other parties’ supporters. Had he done so, he could have finished what he began when he put the Coalition together and initiated a significant realignment of British politics…… It would have been an audacious, “Clause Four” type move which would have diminished, perhaps even removed, the existential threat to the Conservative Party posed by Britain’s non-Tory majority.”

    I have long held that without a Tory recovery in Scotland, Wales and the north (and London to a degree) the Tory party will never gain an outright majority. They haven’t won a UK majority since 1992 when they have 11 seats in Scotland and a 21 seat majority. There is no sign of this, and Scotland now looks lost to them. AV was a chance for Cameron to develop his centrist tendency and provide a much better chance to secure a Westminster majority by developing the coalition and aiming for second preference votes. He’s blown it, and I suspect that in the years to come Tory strategists will wish he had taken on his reactionary element and opted to change a system that prevents them from gaining outright power pretty effectively.

  23. Danny Alexander being interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland. He is only making things worse for himself and his party. Keeps banging on about the “Liberal Democrats being in government”. Not in our country he ain’t.

  24. CON HOLD Ettrick Roxburgh & Berwickshire

    Former Lib Dem MSP falls to an atrocious 3rd place. SNP strong 2nd.

  25. Supreme result for John Lamont. Tories must feel confident about decapitating Moore at the next election.

  26. @ Ambivilent,

    I do agree with you – this is an OK night for the Tories. They have managed to only lose a small share of the vote (I think a 1% swing to Lab) and have gained seats at the expense of the LDs.

    But we really need to remember that these are not mid-term elections. These are elections one year into a govt. So in that sense the Lab recovery is a good one but not a spectacular one – after getting such a kicking at the GE they can be happy that they have bounced back to something approaching health. But they must know that they are still only at the very beginnings of a bounce back.

    Ed M has a lot more work to do – and it will be interesting to see how he plays govt opposition if the LDs begin to become much vociferous in opposing the Tories.

    The temptation will be to push left to show how Lab would be different from both Con and LD, but that would be a huge mistake. If LD start to show their teeth, Lab should make common cause with them and make the Tories look weak. Cos Lab now need to gain support from Tories not LD.

  27. – “What are the Nats without Salmond? My guess – not so very much, but I could be wrong, ”

    Alec, you are wrong. Very, very wrong.

    The SNP team is amazingly powerful now. Tremendous strength in depth and breadth.

  28. @Alec,

    But don’t forget that with the reduction in MPs and boundary changes as of 2015 it will likely a) be easier for the Tories to get a majority on a smaller share of the voter, and b) be harder for Labour to get a majority (especially on less than 40% of the vote).

    Disagree with your assessment of the results. The Tories have got off very lightly IMO. So far they have gained one council and about 20 seats, and this was from an already high base. The Libs have taken a battering though.

    I have to be honest and say that a Tory majority still seems more likely than a Labour one to me at the moment. I hope I am wrong though, as even though I don’t like Labour at all, I loathe the Tories even more!!

  29. *from an.

    Plus, of course, governing parties tend to lose seats at local elections. The Tories haven’t made any net losses so far. Any Labour gains have tended to come from the Libs and others.

  30. A Brown,

    – “Tories must feel confident about decapitating Moore at the next election.”

    Indeed. Scottish Secretary Michael Moore is living on borrowed time.

    And did you see the Strathkelvin & Beasden result?!? Jo Swinson is toast.

  31. Apart from Scotland (where the Nats have done spectalularly), the picture really isn’t a surprise. It’s exactly what we should have been expecting on the basis of VI support over the last few months.

    Tory vote holding up to 2010 levels, Lab bouncing back from 2010 levels at the expense of the LDs. LDs support tanking.

  32. Bye bye Lib Dem “stronghold” in the Borders:

    Ettrick, Roxburgh & Berwickshire change:

    Con +5.8 points
    SNP +8.6
    LD -16.5
    Lab +2.1

    I’d love to see David Steel’s face this morning.

  33. @Adrian,

    Yes, the results are by no means a disaster for Labour. More a disappointment IMO. They can still turn it round though. They can still get a majority at the next GE. It will be a very open GE IMO.

    The real losers are obviously the Libs, who have had an absolutely atrocious night.

  34. @Stuart Dickson – “Alec, you are wrong. Very, very wrong. The SNP team is amazingly powerful now. Tremendous strength in depth and breadth.”

    I am quite prepared to be wrong on this – I really don’t know if Salmond makes a big difference. I would note though that from your colours you are naturally biased towards the Nats and that your own party described themselves as ‘Salmond for First Minister’ on the ballot papers, so clearly they think there there is something in it.

    The historical experience isn’t a great example, as the Nats descended into something approaching chaos when he stepped down first time around, although I’m happy to concede that a period in government must bring great advantages in terms of bringing others into the public eye. I would still maintain however, that if Salmond had not been your leader last night you would have found it harder to win votes.

  35. Adrian,

    – “It’s exactly what we should have been expecting on the basis of VI support over the last few months.”

    I disagree. The English results are absolutely tremendous for Labour. WELL over expectations.

  36. Alec, I may be “biased towards the Nats”, but I am not “biased towards Salmond”. He is good, but he is by no means the only explanation for this landslide. There are several outstanding personnel in the top team, and even in the middle ranks.

    I do know what I’m talking about. Believe me, do not overestimate the importance of Salmond. If you do, you are completely misunderstanding Scottish politics.

  37. BBC voxpop

    Tory voter: “I think that something is changing in Scotland. We are moving further and further away from the UK.”

  38. Just heard Hague say “there will be a very positive atmosphere around the cabinet table”.

    Yes, I’m sure there will be (just before the LD cabinet ministers come in with their tail between their bruised legs).

    The LDs have been used as the political equivilent of a human shield for the Tories.

    It is surprising (but totally unexpected) that they have been blamed completely for the pain of the cuts. And the Tories have come out unscathed.

    It seems that those who voted Tory in 2010 are happy with what they’ve got (or only a very small few are attracted by the alternative), but many who voted LD over the last few years are VERY unhappy with what the party have done.

    Emphasises what Eoin has been saying for months on these pages – Lab need to start attracting support from blues and their current strategy (or their current leader, or the current strategy of the current leader) is not doing that at the moment.

    To form a govt Lab will need to provide a compelling alternative to a Tory government, not show they are better than the LDs.

  39. Brian Taylor, chief BBC Scotland politics correspondent: “it might have been kinder on Iain Gray if he had lost his seat”

  40. @Alec

    Do you figures of 40 lost Tory seats also factor in any losses for Labour in Scotland?

    While traditionally a Westminster election will be a different thing entirely, if Salmond mobilises the vote SNP in 2015 (I believe he’ll be looking to get a referendum in before or around that time), and if he can duplicate today’s results, we could be looking at Labour losing 20+ Scottish seats. Should independence become a reality, make that 40+.

  41. I agree with Alec

  42. @Stuart D.

    It will be more interesting for the non-Labour supporters to see what happens. Will he do a Gordon Brown and try to cling to power? Will he stay in the parliament under someone else?

    Kinder? Perhaps kinder to Scottish Labour too.

  43. From BBC live feed…..

    From John Curtice, the psephologist’s psephologist (he crunches the election numbers). Here is the latest prediction for the final outcome. The latest Scotland prediction is now: SNP 68, Labour 38, Conservatives 13, Lib Dems 6, Scottish Greens three, Others one. This would mean the SNP would have an overall majority. The result would represent Labour’s worst result since at least 1931, the worst Tory result ever and the worst Lib Dem performance since 1979.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/9474173.stm

    He was on Newsnicht only a few days ago saying how unlikely a real SNP breakthrough would be. I’m still not personally convinced, though a majority for a referendum does look very likely.

  44. “there will be a very positive atmosphere around the cabinet table”.

    Only on the Tory side of the table.

  45. @AmbivalentS – I did actually say that the results themselves have so far been rather good for the Tories – its the long term strategic picture that is now not so good for them in my view.

    The point on the boundary changes is valid, but seat profiles change, voters switch sides etc – the impact of the seat changes isn’t guaranteed and I think Cameron should have had the confidence to go for AV with the seat changes negating this in the short term, and leaving open the chance for longer term anti Labour alliances to develop. Now he has protected a system that will largely come down to a ‘stop the Tories’ system for many voters in those parts he needs to gain a majority.

  46. Surprisingly decent result for Jeremy Purvis

    Christine Grahame SNP 13,855 43.5 +9.6
    Jeremy Purvis Liberal Democrat 8,931 28 -2.2
    Ian Miller Labour 5,312 16.7 -2.6
    Peter Duncan Conservative 3,743 11.8 -4.

  47. @Alec,

    “its the long term strategic picture that is now not so good for them in my view. ”

    You may be right.

    I think the changes will definitely benefit the Tories – the question is by how much. I would guess it would reduce the current seat projection by somewhere in the region of 15-40 seats.

  48. I think the economy is not out of the woods yet, so I fully expect Labour to gain from this in the coming months. This, and the impact/scale of the cuts.

  49. @Adrian B – “It is surprising (but totally unexpected) that they have been blamed completely for the pain of the cuts. And the Tories have come out unscathed.”

    It was tuition fees. Within the agreement, Clegg could have abstained. He didn’t – he actually said that the policy he signed a few months earlier was actually rubbish, and tried to convince us that the new policy that he pledged to fight against was in fact. the only workable policy, after negotiating a coalition agreement that allowed him not to support the new policy. All the time while trying to keep a straight face. This episode – not so much tuition fees themselevs, but the Lib Dem manouvering and justification – was what killed trust in Clegg.

    Tories have also broken very many pledges, but none as graphic as this – they haven’t yet had their tuition fees moment. A GDP decline in Q2 could be their’s though.

    @Dave – I’ve no idea what would happen in Scotland in a GE, other than a very strong suspicion that if the Tories can’t improve in Scotland with Goldie in charge, they’re not going to do much north of the border with Cameron and Osborne.

    BTW – big falls yesterday in oil and commodities on the back of fears for the global; recovery. Eurpoe in particular looks weak – UKs biggest export zone. If exports slow alongside the domestic economy stuttering we’ll have some very tough times coming.

  50. Boundary changes will most likely give net gains of 8-12 Conservative seats. I’m always astonished by how much of a massive boost tories always seem to think this will give them.

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