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. An independent estimate last year was 18 seats, I think. Could be more, but unlikely to be less IMO.

  2. I also agree with Alec,

    Scot Nats, even having been in govt, have never managed to replicate their successes in Westminister elections, even in 2010 with Brown being so unpopular.

    People know what elections they are voting for and people want SNP in Holyrood but Labour in Westminister (as a very over simplistic generalisation).

    Remember by the mid-terms of the coalition SNP will also have their mid-terms and have been the governing party for six years so they will be having their own mid-term blues.

    An independence referendum, if it was lost, would be a bit of a blow for SNP.

    Scotish posters could help me – how many SNP voters (for Holyrood) actually support independence?

  3. hmmm

    So we are seeing a perfect reflection of No change for Tory, half of Lib Dem gone mostly to Lab.

    That’s the place it seems to waver around.

    If I was the Tories I would worry about how the Conservative and Unionist party seem to have helped the Scottish Nats gain power in Scotland. I’ve got nothing against the Scots but if they go independent then I’m stuck with an English Tory majority.

    But the North and Midlands are going redder and the SW could move away from Lib Dem v Tory to something redder too. I really think the Tories are in danger of getting huge majorities in the Shires and pretty well nothing anywhere else. They can’t change the boundaries or reduce the seat numbers too often or people will smell a rat.

    Has Cameron made a mistake with AV? I think he has proved his electoral and media muscle. But is he admitting that only Tories vote Tory, and nobody would ever have them as second preference?

    That would worry me as much as the move to Nationalism in Scotland.

    If I was a Tory. Perish the thought.

  4. ‘Scottish posters could help me – how many SNP voters (for Holyrood) actually support independence?’

    50-60% I’d imagine

    Personally I kind of think these results are a damp squib for Ed Miliband. Turnout was very poor in Wales.

  5. @Nick Poole – my sentiments exactly. Tories should not have been anywhere near as frightened as AV as they were. In the long it would have probably helped them, or certainly helped moderniser Tories against the right.

  6. Scotland getting independence would be terrible news for Labour. They’d have a much smaller pool of target seats to aim for in a GE, especially as they tend to do so well in Scotland. The Tories, on the other hand, would benefit greatly.

  7. The estimate I’m using was from a political betting site.
    They are an estimate because everyone’s are.
    The changes are simply too unpredictable in their effects.

    What the boundary changes aren’t is the plaything of the tories, they are being passed to the boundary commision. The constituency size equalisation will result in gains but it was never a magic bullet to help the tories win dozens of seats. It was made to be in conjunction with the AV result in case Yes won.

    Any tories relying on them to win them an election would be making a serious mistake.

  8. When the coalition was formed, my first reaction was to quote an Italian proverb: Chi va al letto con il diavolo, si risveglia in Inferno (Who sleeps with the devil wakes up in Hell). It appears now that that “prophecy” was accurate: LibDems are in political Hell. Strangely enough, though, I do not feel any joy about this, I am rather sad for the thousands of liberal (in the true sense of the terms) supporters and very angry at how the Tories have managed to remain unscathed by deliberately and systematically burning their “allies” (the same thing that Frau Merkel has done in Germany, albeit with less cynicism). Anyway, the liberal family has, apparently, a very bad year (EIre, Finland, German States, Canada, UK), and if they want to recover, they should probably revise their strategy everywhere, since I believe that they still have much to offer in combining individual initiative with civil liberties.
    Congrats to SNP and OldNat for their very impressive victory and to Labour for Wales and many English councils.

  9. @Stuart Dickson
    Lewis MacDonald is another Labour candidate (discussed Sarah Boyack earlier) who should survive on the list (He’s third and I would think Lab will get 4 in NE Scotland). There will be a few others who might be cursing the foresight of those who made sure they had a backup plan.

  10. @northumbrianSCot

    You mean 3? Will the lib dems have a list seat there I wonder.

  11. @ Ambivilent

    I think if Scots were to go independent I think most Tories would be very upset – it wouldn’t be good news (narrowly electorally yes, but in terms of what they believe in – definitely not). They value the union far too strongly too see losing Scotland narrowly through a prism of “great now we are much more likely to form a majority for a very much diminished UK parlt”.

  12. S Dickson
    The option of the list is only open for Labour MSPs facing “special circumstances”, usually boundary change making notional loss

  13. @ Barney Crockett

    Comisserations, awful turnout and Labour’s potential vote seemed to have stayed at home.

  14. @Nick Poole,
    You make some valid points but also some rather hopeful ones.For me Cameron will be a very happy man today.After putting through the most unpopular series of cuts ever they come out unscathed.For Labour they have made gains at the expense of the lib dems,but so have the tories.You are right though only tories vote tory (with exception of some other fringe party supporters).However don’t forget EM backed a dead duck in AV when half his party did not,DC backed the winning side,so whose judgment is best.The economy will improve and toward 2015 that will benefit the tories .So only modest gains for EM and a loss on AV,the question is will EM survive til 2015. With the boundary changes and reduction in MP’s ,a tory majority now seems far more likely.With Scottish independance a real possibility that would seal the deal for cameron .
    With regard to Lib Dems being punished.I would like a Lib dem supporter to tell me what did they expect to happen.They were damned if they didn’t support the tory coalition and damned if they did not. In the end it was their seats that cost the tories a majority.It was a coalition or a minority government with another election looming which only the tories could afford to fight.

  15. Labour must have upset the media in this campaign.

  16. As I predicted, there are already angry calls for Clegg’s head from out of work libdem ex-councillors. What should worry the coalition is that it only takes 75 Liberal Democrat local groups to sign a letter calling for a leadership election for it to happen.

  17. The BBC’s projected national share is a valuable piece of data.

    It shows that recent ICM polling has been very very accurate.

    Nowhere is this more so the case than the share of the vote for the Liberals.

    15% projected out over the national share is a marked improvement on what the online pollsters have been showing for them..

    So whilst in no way what so ever can this mitigate against council losses, MSP losses etc etc.. it should still reassure Liberal Democrats that it is still very possible that in 2015 they could attract 18% of the vote.

  18. “LDs down in nutter territory in Blaenau Gwent.”

    Comment of the night from P Brown.

    My vignette from the night was seeing Caroline Flint holding her own under a sort of tag team onslaught from Baroness Varsi and Ming Campbell (for lack of anything else to say on his part) on the Beeb. Lib Dems really appear to have sacrificed their identity and and look trapped.

    Interesting couple of comments from Frazer Nelson “…Cameron is alowing Nick Clegg to say some nasty things about Thatcher.” and Steve Richards saying that the likelihood of the coalition coming to an end (over policy) within the next couple of years has increased.

    With so much emphasis on lasting five years (“strong and stable”), will any falling short be seen as a failure on their own terms for the Tories?

  19. When they eventually muddle through their analysis, I hope they will arrive at the conclusion that Labour would have performed even better had the LDs fallen further in the councils. Truth is that the LDs fell much less than YG polling had been telling us they would.

    LALA looks like 52%, but a significant portion of that is the Liberal Ds.

    They recover, at red expense. [with the exception of Scotland of course, but that’s another story].

  20. @ Eoin,

    I’m not sure you can draw any conclusions about the accuracy of GE VI polls from local govt election data.

    It just so happens that ICM poll for GE VI has come close to vote share at local elections but that is a fluke. They are two different things.

    Almost always local elections results have been very much out of kilter with GE VI results – most notably in 2001 -2005 when the Tories were winning local elections but losing in GE VI (although of course local elections give an indication of the trajectory of the parties – e.g. if a party is getting over 40% of the vote in locals they could feel they are in a good place).

    I think it just so happens that ICM in their GE VI got close to the locals, but it looks like R & T were not too far away with their projection.

    Certainly think the general trend of these results backs up your view that Lab are gaining at the expense of the LDs but are making minimal inroads into Tory support which they have to start doing in the next two years to stand any chance of a GE victory.

  21. Can anyone tell me what the latest projected share of the vote is for England?

    It seems that many of the large northern cities are yet to declare (e.g. Newcastle) which could bring more woe to the LDs.

    Are they declaring late to prolong the agony – surely this is against the UN declaration on torture?

  22. “It was made to be in conjunction with the AV result in case Yes won.”

    No, it’s separate from the AV.

    “Any tories relying on them to win them an election would be making a serious mistake.”

    I agree. Though history shows us that boundary changes always benefit the Tories to a quite significant extent. If you consider this with the equalisation of constituency boundaries and reduction in MPs by 50, I think you will arrive at the logical conclusion that the changes will benefit the Tories, in all likelihood, to quite a significant degree – probably enough to alter the outcome of tight elections. This won’t ‘guarantee them a majority’, or even mean that they will make dozens of gains, though. I agree that some Tories are too optimistic.

    @Adrian B,

    True. Personally, I support an independent Scotland if it is what the Scottish people want.

  23. @ABrown re NE Scotland regional vote. If we assume the four main parties get the same on the list as they did in constituency vote (a foolish assumption but let’s run with it) that gives us 56% SNP, 19% Lab, 15% Con, 10% LibDem. By my calculations that translates to 3 Lab, 2 Con, 1LibDem and seat 7 too close to call between all 4 main parties and possibly the greens as well. My divisors are all within 500 votes at around 12500 – 13000 so it depends who can do best at keeping constituency voters on the list.

  24. Adrian,

    I’d normally agree.

    Except that the BBC’s back room election analysts have projected these election results to be the equivalent of

    37% red
    35% blue
    15% yellow


    How accurate that is, I am not qualfied to say.. but our own Anthony Wells is in that team.

  25. I would be very sceptical of using this voting intention for anything other than general trending. the error must be significant and the results are skewed by the referendum and the regional elections. We have people on here quoting them as if they are based on actual votes, not a extrapolation!

    I will repeat what I said before. Ok night for Tories and Labour. The idea that the Tories have ‘won’ is ridiculous. They are still polling at a low level for them and we still have much more to see on the economy. I think the battle starts now between the Tories and Labour.

    The LD on the otherhand have been absolutely battered everywhere and it is them that will need some navel-gazing (although so will the SLP) and a completely different approach. can’t see it under Clegg though and we are heading for a straight Tory/Labour fight that we have not really seen since the 70s

    Well done SNP – may not be bad news for Labour long-term but a well-deserved kick and I think it actually is a benefit. laughable that the Tories see this as a victory for them – it is probably saying Laqbour are not different enough

    Interesting times ahead

  26. After 108 results (in England) with 171 still to be announced:

    LD lose 296 seats.
    Labour gain 338 seats
    Tories gai 36 seats.

  27. The serious cuts are still to come and I expect Labour to do better in 2012 and the Liberal Democrats worse (again) if the coalition holds.

    Ed Milliband is taking an incremental approach to Labour’s progress and was faced with a complex electoral situation for May 5th with, compared to the Tories, a shortage of funds. Labour does best when it comes over as a thoroughly unified operation and I don’t think that Labour was helped by being split on AV.

  28. “No, it’s separate from the AV. ”

    No, it was part off the same bill and the reason I know this is that it was almost derailed in the Lords because it caused so much trouble stapling the two things together.

    “the changes will benefit the Tories”

    Which nobody argues.
    But they are going to do so not just at the expense of Labour but also at the expense of the Lib Dems. Atter today I wonder how Lib Dems will feel now about that piece of brilliant tactical thinking and concession making by Clegg.

    You also don’t mention that demographic changes are still taking place which favour Labour. They will mitigate the boundary changes by some measure if the next election is in 2015.

    I still think Ed Miliband could prove quite effective in making a complete mess of a campaign (his small but vital contribution in scotland was, for example, greatly appreciated by the SNP :-D ) but hoping Labour will lose a lead because four years seems far away isn’t much of a strategy from the Conservatives.
    Making Clegg a human shield was a superb strategy but even Clegg isn’t going to do that for four more years or however much longer he lasts.

  29. @ Eoin,

    That does seem to be the YG usual GE VI figure with 3% less for Lab and 3% more to LDs. That could suggest YG is closer to the national GE VI mood, but that locally LDs still get a 3% boost locally from what their national picture is showing – that would make sense.

    It would also underline your suggestion that LDs could quite easily claw back up to 18% or there abouts in the polls come a GE (esp if the coalition has broken up before then) and at the moment that would be at the expense of Labour.

    So now my completely stupid and totally meaningless prediction for 2014/15 (which I always suggest to others is a foold errand …) would be:

    Con 37%, Lab 35%, LD 18% (simply presuming a straight switch from LD to Lab).

    What this would mean under the redrawing of boundaries is anybodies guess (and being three or four years away from an election it is entirely that – a guess).

  30. Bloody hell, I didn’t expect us (Tories) to be overall up in seats.

  31. Adrian,

    I am not sure that I agree…

    Underlying YG has been 10% yellow [or 9.75% to be precise. If BBC are correct and this equates to a 15% national share for Yellow, then I think that it is tentative evidence that ICM have been polling yellows more accurately..

    Unless I misunderstood your post?

  32. Thanks Barney for the inside info. I wondered why some Labour candidates had made better use of the list than others. I can see the arguments for the Labour rules but it does seem to be a rule that needs changing given that it has lead to losses of major party figures who could have helped with Scottish Labour’s recovery process.

  33. JOE

    You certainly don’t deserve to be and hopefully won’t be when all the counting is over.

  34. Why LALA shows a hidden danger for Labour http://t.co/ktoziP9

  35. @Eoin – just to clarify, has the local election vote been calculated to take account of no voting in London and some other areas? If not, this could distort the national VI projections in Tories favour.

  36. So, overall, a bad night for all three big parties: the Tories will be relieved but only due to low expectations; Labour have missed some tremendous opportunities to prepare the ground for a thumping win in 2015 in Scotland and England; and the Lib Dems are finding out that things are just as bad as they thought. I think that honest and realistic members of all three of these parties will be disappointed today.

    It’s the SNP who will surely be the happiest bunnies in Britain today. I can go to five post-election get-togethers tonight and I think I’ll be going to the Nationalist one!

  37. Hmm, do these results increase the likelihood of a GE this November?

    I have said on various threads recently that if a GE were called this year the Cons would get an OM. I see nothing in these results to change my mind on this.

  38. Mike N,

    If there’s a GE this year, it will be because of the Tories, not the Lib Dems. At this stage, the Lib Dems’ best option is the John Major option: hold on and hope for the best. They’d be suicidal to try and force an election now. Even if they did, they’d have to get Labour on board in order to bring down a Tory minority government and the entire Labour strategy (very sensibly) is targeted at winning in 2015, not 2011. Why would Ed want an election during a policy review and when money is very tight, when his chances in 2015 are so good?

    However, I did suggest the possibility (back in early 2010) that Cameron might “go nuclear” and go for a second GE in order to use his financial muscle to try and beat Labour/the LDs into submission. However, that was before the massive transfer of votes from the LDs to Labour. I’d be amazed if Cameron, who doesn’t have the maniacal courage of a Heath or Wilson, went for a such a high-risk strategy.

    So, apart from perhaps the SNP, how many parties in Westminister actually want a 2011 election?

  39. @ Eoin,

    No you didn’t misunderstand my post – I was using the UKPR average rather than YG and misquoted in my post. You are right to correct me.

    Just heard LD Councillors blaming first the media (“National hate campaign”) and then the voters “for short memories”. Yep, they really know how to win back the electorate. If it wasn’t for the media and the voters they’d be fine!

    I think the ones blaming Clegg maybe getting closer to the mark.

    It’ll be interesting to see how long a political party can carry on simply ignoring the voters (not the polls, the voters) who, whenever they are getting a chance are turning on the LDs all across the country.

  40. MIKE N

    The dynamcs of a GE in October would be so different to the campaign leading up to yesterday’s elections that I don’t think any conclusions can be drawn.

    Under current boundaries and under FPTP and in many parts of the country a much straighter fight between Labour and Conservatives my hunch isthet Labour would have a 3-5 point lead over the Tories leading to an overall majority between 25 and 50.

    As a Labour member and Chair of the local Fabians I will be absolutely delighted if there’s an October election and just watch labour activists go for it. Cameron, i think, would prefer to govern as a minority rather than take to the risk of becoming a PM who has been in post for an even shorter period than Eden or Douglas-Home.

  41. Alec/Adrian,

    My own gut instinct is to treat the national projection with caution..

    two caveats… Anthony has not dismissed it in the past…
    also, as far as I know he played a part in that very projection

    both these make me more inclined to take note..

    but strictly speaking, it is not like for like and could justifably be disregarded.

    [Projection is nothing at all to do with me – John Curtice does it, and he’s in a completely different team in a different studio! As far as I’m aware though he uses similar methods to Rallings & Thrasher’s equivalent National Share – AW]

  42. “No, it was part off the same bill and the reason I know this is that it was almost derailed in the Lords because it caused so much trouble stapling the two things together.”

    AW was explaining the other day that the AV referendum and the boundary changes/reduction in MPs go through separately even if they are part of the same bill. In other words, the boundary changes/reduction in MPs do not depend on the AV result. The fact that these are not separate is what caused the fuss, but it went through anyway.

  43. DavidB
    “The dynamcs of a GE in October would be so different to the campaign leading up to yesterday’s elections that I don’t think any conclusions can be drawn.”

    Totally agree.

    Bill Patrick
    “If there’s a GE this year, it will be because of the Tories…”



    So, which party and whose position has been strenghened by these results? DC and the Cons me thinks.

    IMO the LD leadership will change by late summer and the party conference may well demand the party leaves the coalition.

    Looking at the broad picture, IMO this year offers a great opportunity for DC and the Cons.

  44. I think I’ve woken up – but I’m not toally sure of that.

    Having a dram every time we won a seat turned out to be a very bad idea.

    please everyone, no capitals. My head wouldn’t stand the shouting. :-)

  45. More Lib Dem sour grapes. LD Foreign Minister saying listening to EdM reminds him of when they were in opposition and could make promises without having to deliver them.

    Admission – the LDs made promises they knew they couldn’t deliver when they made their manifesto.

    Ashdown now says – this coalition is no longer an arrangement of congeniality, this needs to become a business arrangement.

    Admission – it has until now been an arrangement of congeniality where the LDs have been hugging the Cons too close.

    I think the LD cause may be best served by their spokesman keeping quiet for a while.

  46. Adrian,

    I hope Clegg stays as leader of the Lib Ds. :)

  47. Mike N,

    If Cameron goes for an election, he would surprise me a lot. Then again, he has already to be less wet and timid than I expected. There’s also the added risk of a narrow majority/minority government reducing Cameron’s control over the right of the Tory party.

    It would certainly put a spanner in my recommended plan for Labour, which is to take advantage of the next few years and rebuild the party at a local, financial and policy level. Labour have basically banked on a five-year parliament and have justifiably kept their policy details sparse; an early election would risk some really short-notice policymaking disasters.

    I agree that it’s an option for Cameron. But it’s a nuclear option and it’s even more daring than it was when I mooted it in early 2010.

  48. I think the chances of the coaltion ending this year are pretty much zero – it is in no-one’s interests to precipitate the coalitions collapse at the moment.

    BUT – Clegg could well have a torrid time at the conference. Those who kept quiet at the last conference may well get pretty aggressive next time – there will be a lot of steam to vent.

    THEN – if there is another kicking in 2012, with no sign of a recovery electorally, at the mid-term point of a parlt, I think it could be then that things start to fall apart.

    BTW – anyone know what’s happened in Leicester??

  49. @ OLD NAT,
    do you think this result will now mean an independance vote prior to the UK GE 2015 ?

  50. “The LD on the other hand have been absolutely battered everywhere…”

    Not quite. Here in Bath (Bath & North East Somerset Council) the LibDems have made three gains, two from the Tories and one from Labour. A surprisingly poor result for Labour, who as late as 2.00am were predicting doubling their share of councillors.

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