And more results…

The patterns from last night seem to be a thumping victory for the SNP in Scotland, Labour heading for victory in Wales. In the English local elections the Liberal Democrats are suffering badly, facing extreme losses in Northern cities and patchier losses elsewhere. The Conservatives are experiencing modest losses to Labour, but these are being cancelled out by gains from the Lib Dems.

This afternoon we have the rest of Wales, Scotland and the locals before counting starts on the referendum at 4pm.

Finally, YouGov have released data from polling on election day (a sort of online exit-poll) here.


375 Responses to “And more results…”

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  1. @TGB
    There were other large straight Con – Labour swings in the West Mids in particular – look at Telford; and also in another key battleground, the North West.

  2. Indeed, the Telford result rather surprised me.

  3. @ BILLY BOB
    Totally agree with you. Sky News shows net Labour gains in England of 860+ seats. Labour gains a working majority in Wales. Labour is the only party to maintain its vote share in Scotland against an SNP tidal wave (the Westminster Coalition parties lost TWICE as many seats as Labour in Scotland). Then Labour romps home in Leicester South with a swing of over 8%, with the Tories hit hardest. Nick Robinson uses the fact that Labour lost 8 seats in Scotland to turn all that on its head.
    Speechless.

  4. As much as I’d prefer David Miliband to be leading the party, I think people do risk exaggerating the extent to which this is disappointing for Labour and Ed Miliband.

    Now that we have the final results we know the Cons had a net gain of zero councils and gained 49 seats. Labour gaining 855 seats and 26 councils. Lib Dems -821 seats, -10 councils. There are only three occasions in the last three decades where Labour has gained 500+ councillors in one night. Even in 1996 Labour gained just 468 seats.

    The Welsh result was obviously positive.

    In Scotland far too much has been made of Labour ‘losing support’. While Ian Gray should undoubtedly have run a better campaign and should have been expected to do better, Labour’s Scottish constituency vote ultimately went down by just 0.5%. This contrasts with the Lib Dems down by 8.2% and the Tories down 2.7%. It was Lib Dem and Tory voters who caused the shift towards the SNP. The Lib Dems lost considerably more seats too. Labour basically stood still in the vote share. Again, not good, Labour should have done better, but not a ‘disaster’, not a ‘meltdown’.

  5. @valerie -“What would an independent Scotland have for a currency? Would you want to join the Euro zone?”

    Perhaps they could replace Greece – big rumours that they are getting ready to drop the Euro. It would be a straight swap of one bust small country for another.

  6. Its started already – Heffer in the Telegraph says Cameron should ditch Clegg and call an election while here people are saying Milliband’s job must be under threat.

    It’s by no means a wonderfull night for Labour – Scotland was very poor, southern England disappointing, although with minor gains. As others have said, some straight Tory/Labour switching in the midlands and NW, good show in the NE too, plus Wales of course.

    This is the fastest turn around from a very heavy GE defeat for any opposition party I can remember in my long career watching politics. The bottom line if that if these vote shares were repeated in a GE then Milliband would be PM with a majority and Camerom lose 40 odd seats.

    We are just about to start the real politics and Labour have had a decent start but they need to be on their game – any idea that they can sit back and pick up the pieces after the cuts would be mistaken and they need to respond to this reaalignment of British politics, but they are well placed to do so.

  7. Alec

    Ok I won’t tell anyone about your ignorance.

    Greece is the 9th largest country in the EU.

    Despite all that the UK has tried to do – we ain’t bust. :-)

  8. John McTernan – Labour ‘s esteemed advisor from Westminster who told Gray to go negative and reaped the reward, has just said –

    “There will be no referendum because the scottish parliament has no powers to call a referendum.”

    To the utter astonishment and dropped jaws of the interviewer and political pundits.

    They simply refuse to get it.

    Bodes well for their root and branch examination.
    The next thing you know Jackie Baillie will be favourite to replace Elmer. :-D

  9. Mick Park

    I saw that! McTernan is a great recruiter for the SNP.

  10. It seems that the Tories lost votes to Labour but retained their share because of the Lib Dems’ collapse.

    Tory high command will be looking very closely at the results in the South West – and Scotland – to see if these phenomena if broadly repeated would get them over the line in a General Election, and if so, call one.

  11. What I have not seen mentioned by many people are marginal Conservative seats where Labour are in second place where a decent switch from LD to Labour would cause a loss from Con to Lab. There are several such seats in the North.

    This has to be part of the calculation

  12. @Mick Park

    What part of the phrase that ends “stop digging” does he not understand? If Scotland wants a referendum, Scotland shall have a referendum.

  13. @Alec,

    “This is the fastest turn around from a very heavy GE defeat for any opposition party I can remember in my long career watching politics”

    It’s not so different to Labour’s recovery between the 1979 General Election and the 1980 local elections. We all know what happened in 1983. On the other hand also not so different to Labour’s recovery between 1992 and 1993 (and we DEFINITELY all know what happened in 1997!)

    The difference this time was that Labour’s advance wasn’t, on the whole, at the expense of the Conservatives. Or at least, it was in part, but the revolving door more than compensated the Tories elsewhere.

    But as I said a few weeks ago, the local election results aren’t really “new” evidence, just confirmation of the existing polling evidence about the approximate state of the parties. Why should someone resign today because of a state of affairs that they knew about last week, the week before and so on?

    Apart from Scotland, of course, where the polling change was so late in the day that it seemed like a mirage, and having it confirmed in actual ballot boxes was a major surprise.

  14. @PeteB ” …LibDem results will put a strain on the coalition?”

    Options include throwing reform of HoL as a crumb to Nick Clegg, however, there are howls that it would totally gum up the second chamber for the forseeable future… and in any case the public deems constitutional reform as not an urgent priority atm.

    Some Dems consider Osborne is going too far too fast, others that he is 100% correct… mending the finances is their reason for being in the coalition, but all the rest, NHS, elected police commissioners etc has to stop.

    Tory right are saying that LD have lost the confidence of the country and should have no more say… they got the AV referendum and that is it. Call a snap GE because there will be no better opportunity to get an OM.

    Ousted LD councillors are calling for NC to go, or predicting a split in the party. Cameron insists the coalition will last the full term.

  15. @Alec

    Can I have some of what you’re smoking?

    This is a bloody awful night for Labour.

    Routed in Scotland and with the Tories looking like they will win on vote share and up on seats (when they were predicted to lose 100s of seats).

    And on top of that Miliband’s authority eroded by the destruction of the ‘Yes’ campaign.

    Looming in the background, the erasing of Labour’s constituency boundary advantages.

    The only happy people tonight will be Salmond and Cameron.

    Back to two party politics in England. And maybe independence in Scotland.

  16. @Sergio

    “Tory high command will be looking very closely at the results in the South West – and Scotland – to see if these phenomena if broadly repeated would get them over the line in a General Election, and if so, call one.”

    It’s actually questionable whether Cameron can prompt the queen to simply dissolve parliament, without there first being the opportunity for others to forma government. If he says “I can no longer form a government”, the corwn’s first action is supposedly to seek someone else who can.

    Obviously, where a party has a majority, that doesn’t apply, so the dissolution is granted. However, in the current circumstances, it would be open to Miliband to at least try to form a rainbow coalition (258 Labour + 57 LD + 3 PC + 3 SDLP + 1 Green + 1 Alliance + 1 Independent = 324, enough after discounting speaker + 5 Sinn Fein)

    I will be very surprised if there aren’t backroom talks going on, as this scenario has been a clear possibility for a little while. It’s noticeable that the only Labour participants in the ‘No’ campaign were yesterday’s (wo)men.

    It’s even plausible that Huhne or Hughes might stage a coup and prompt this realignment from the LD side. Because to be honest it looks like the only way for the LDs to have their cake and eat it (stay in power for 5 years and still have a chance of retaining their seats).

  17. Here’s a quick back of the envelope calculation to illustrate the fallacy of just looking at a raw seat count when Labour has done disproportionately well in the met districts compared to shire districts.

    In Birmingham, Labour gained 35% of the seats being contested (and couldn’t have gained 100% as it already held a fair chunk of these). The City’s population is just over 1 million. So roughly 360,000 of Birmingham’s population can be assumed to live in an area which saw a Labour gain.

    Yet that’s only 14 seats because the City’s seats are so large and only 1/3 of councillors were up for election.

    That 360,000 is a population equivalent to that of perhaps 4 medium sized shire districts each with perhaps 45 seats. 180 seats in total. About 2/3rds of shire districts have held whole council elections, most of the rest elections by thirds. So roughly 75% of shire district seats have been up for election.

    So Birmingham’s 14 Labour gains are equivalent (in terms of population and presumably electorate) to some 135 Labour gains in typical shire district seats up for election.

    OK, Birmingham is an extreme case. But its seats are perhaps only around twice the size of those in a typical met district.

  18. @TLF

    “Routed in Scotland”

    Hardly. Consituency share of vote down 0.5%. List share of vote down 2.9%. 7 seats down from 44 to 37. Not good, certainly, and I have no doubt the campaign was a shambles, but it was the LDs who were routed. Labour got caught in the crossfire.

  19. “Options include throwing reform of HoL as a crumb to Nick Clegg”

    I heard a Tory backbencher this morning saying that the Tory peers would kill it stone dead.
    He also said the NHS reforms were going through as is.

    The pressure keeps building.

  20. TLF, Con looking like it will win (v narrowly) on vote share in Eng only, which it has done about as long as I can remember in local elections. This says nothing at all, especially since London wasn’t included at all and only 1/3 of seats in metropolitans were. Almost all Con gains are from cannibalising LD and con-leaning Others so the flatlining in seats is a bit misleading with regards to performance.

  21. @Mick Park
    The Tories have to be careful not to overplay their rather week hand. The LD collapse is not good news for them.

  22. @The Last Fandango

    The Conservatives had 6 Birmingham seat losses. That’s equivalent to 58 Conservative seat losses in shire districts. A fact lost to any raw seat tally. See above for the maths.

    The Conservatives are only up on seats because like-for-like comparisons are not being made between their losses in the met districts and their gains in the shire districts.

  23. If we want a direct comparison with the general election, the Leicester South by-electon seems more useful than locals.

    Labour Jonathan Ashworth 19,771 57.8 +12.2
    Liberal Democrat Zuffar Haq 7,693 22.5 -4.4
    Conservative Jane Hunt 5,169 15.1 -6.3
    UKIP Abhijit Pandya 994 2.9 +1.4

    Now looking at that, I don’t think Con should be so keen for an early election…

  24. @Alec/Old Nat

    What about Iceland’s currency? Didnt Salmond once suggest an “Arc of Prosperity” with Ireland and Iceland? 8-)

  25. Valerie

    You are talking about a segment, not an arc. Norway, Sweden and Finland were also part of that “Arc of Prosperity”.

    Incidentally, the Unionists have been peddling that joke here for some time. Its effectiveness with the Scots electorate was demonstrated on Thursday.

  26. @ Robin

    I agree with you that Cameron cannot simply call an election. As far as I’m aware, the Fixed-Term Parliaments Bill is close to completing its passage through Parliament, so to call an election before it becomes law would require quick action. I think calling an election in the next two weeks or so would just look nasty and not go down well with the electorate. I also think that Cameron would see such a strategy as high-risk and unlikely to succeed.

    I think that the coalition is here for its full five years.

  27. Martyn,

    Thanks- I agree

    Raf [is it ‘ik or ‘ah’], Thanks for that… it would be great for you to share the data with us… information is priceless :)

  28. @Oldnat

    Just a bit of fun. :-) :-) :-)

  29. “Didnt Salmond once suggest an “Arc of Prosperity” with Ireland and Iceland?”

    In much the same way Osborne lavishly prasied Ireland’s economy before Brown’s incompetence let the Bankers wreck the economy.

  30. Mick Park, OldNat,

    John McTernan is my favourite politician right now. I simply love the guy.

    If I had the wealth, I’d set up a modest monthly pension for the guy here and now.

    No-one, and and I mean no-one, is working more tirelessly in the cause of Scottish independence.

    The nation salutes you John.

  31. Nasty Gordon Brown making the poor banks lend all that money. Didnr he force the banks to sell all that payment protection insurance as well? 8-)

  32. Robin,

    100% bang on.

  33. “Nasty Gordon Brown making the poor banks lend all that money.”

    You are confusing making with letting.
    He boasted about his “light touch regulation” before the sky fell in.
    He certainly doesn’t boast about it now. ;-)

  34. Mick,

    You should boast a link about him boasting. I’d be most interested to take copy and preserve it.

  35. Valerie

    I’m sure I could dig out some jokes about women that would be “just a bit of fun”. :-) :-) :-)

  36. Oldnat: “Alec
    Ok I won’t tell anyone about your ignorance.”

    Oldnat, having read the utter nonsensical bilge you apparently wholeheartedly believe and repeatedly, and most erroneously, call ‘fact’…you are, without any shadow of a doubt, the very last person living or who has ever lived, on this or any other planet, in this universe or any parallel universe, that should ever, and I do mean *ever*, accuse another person of being “ignorant”.

    It never fails to amuse when you try to come across as patronising or condescending.

    [smiley face]

  37. Steve

    What a bad loser you are. :-)

  38. Robin,

    That Rainbow Government would get eaten up by Caroline Lucas, Sylvia Harmon and Plaid, not to mention the Labour back-benches. The financial markets would go ape. Labour would have to make all kinds of concessions on issues like Trident and anti-terrorism, which would be like flapping a red flag in the face of the right-wing bulls on the back-benches.

    Is it really possible to have a government dependent on support from both New Labour and Caroline Lucas?

    I suspect that, within under 8 months, Ed would simply choose to dissolve such a government as the lesser of two evils. That’s assuming that all the Lib Dems were totally ok with the idea.

  39. It’s easy enough to find plenty on it THEGREENBENCHES and I actually remember him making the boast to the CBI in 2005.

    FSA head: Gordon Brown helped fuel banking crisis

    Gordon Brown helped fuel Britain’s banking crisis by pressuring the City regulator not to intervene and stop reckless lending, Lord Turner, the head of the Financial Services Authority, said.

    The authority’s chairman claimed the regulator was under political “pressure” not to be “heavy and intrusive” with banks such as HBOS and Northern Rock.

    Instead, it was told to operate a “light touch” approach, which had now been proved to be “mistaken”, he told a Commons committee.

    The failure of the regulator to intervene earlier has been blamed for the banking crisis, which has led to the near-collapse of several of the country’s biggest banks.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/4809284/FSA-head-Gordon-Brown-helped-fuel-banking-crisis.html

  40. “No-one, and and I mean no-one, is working more tirelessly in the cause of Scottish independence.

    The nation salutes you John.”

    :-D

    Whisper it quietly but all signs point to when little Ed Miliband phoned to tell Iain Gray to fall on his sword and accept all blame, it was helped along by the the vociferous advice of certain John McTernen. Nothing to do with him scapegoating Gray to avoid him taking his share of the blame for the campaign disaster of course. ;-)

  41. The LibDem vote in Scotland did not transfer direct to the SNP and SLAB did not hold its share of the vote.

    What happened was this.

    Most of the LibDem vote was an anti-Con vote not a LibDem vote. Tuition fees in England is not likely to be a big issue in Scotland, but supporting the Cons in coalition is a very different matter.

    Mostly the Northern anti-Cons split in favour of the SNP, but those that did not (perhaps a third) went to Lab. The effect of that was masked by a broadly similar number of Lab-voting anti-Cons who decided the SNP was the best buy for them too.

    The significance of that is that firstly, because anti-Cons own no loyalty to the host party of the previous vote, and because many of those that moved to Lab are additionaly unstable having recently given up a habit of voting LibDem, that a tranche of the Labour vote as large as two thirds of LibDem losses, is very soft.

    Secondly, anti-Cons who previously used the Labour party as their vehicle of choice, will have done so on the assumption shared by many that in the Central Belt that a vote for anybody other than Labour risks letting in the Tory.

    The SNP needs to persuade these people that (a) they can win, and (b) that they arn’t “Tartan Tories”. The first of these is easy, for this election has proved it, but the second not.

    Though there are anti-Lab and anti-SNP voters too, the anti-Cons may be the largest single “party” in Scotland. Hitherto spread among three parties, they are (Shetland apart) mostly now split between two.

    North of Loch Lomond, the SNP have them all. If over the next five years the SNP lose some back to the LibDems, and others to the Greens or Socialists, there is plenty of scope to more than replace them from Lab-voting anti-Cons, not only the ex-LibDem ones.

    Thirdly, the scale of the SNP success may persuade anti-Cons who voted for them in this election not to splt the vote for the next Westmister election.

    The SNP need to be careful not to get too close to the Tories and reinforce their weakest point, for their anti-Con element is soft too

    In any constituency it is only necessary to create the impression that the SNP has a better chance than Lab of beatng the Cons in the constituency and of opposing their policies in either parliament for a bandwagon effect to emerge. So it was in Glasgow.

    Anti-Cons don’t care which party they vote for so long as it meets these criteria. They really have no strong preference. If they move house to another constituency they have to make a fresh choice. Usually that is the incumbent.

    If both SLAB and the SNP behave in the next parliament and in the campaign as they did in the last, a catastrophic collapse of Labour is quite possible, unimaginable as that seemed as recently as the day before yesterday.

    Some big chunks have fallen off the iceberg already.

    Every Labour constituency is now a marginal. All the hyper-safe seats are SNP. Richard Lochhead has 59% not far behind Alex Salmond’s 64%

  42. John B Dick

    Excellent analysis.

    While you describe it in specific terms, I think that most Scots (other than the party tribalists) will recognise that description – even though they may not have articulated it so clearly.

  43. @Bill Patrick

    “Is it really possible to have a government dependent on support from both New Labour and Caroline Lucas?”

    Is it really possible to have a government dependent on the support of both left-leaning LibDems and right lunatics?

    No-one is claiming it would be easy. But it might hold for long enough for the worst idiocies of the current government to be reversed or ameliorated, and for Cameron to be stabbed in the back by his backbenchers.

    And just as the LDs delude themselves that they are having a moderating influence on the Tories, so relatively small concesssions would do the job. PC+Alliance are fairly left-wing, so that would go with the grain. And Caroline Lucas & Sylvia Harmon wouldn’t be able to bring the government down, so they couldn’t hold the government to ransom anyway.

    The main point is that Miliband would likely be able to win confidence votes with just PC+alliance+LDs. LDs would want to keep the parliament going for just the same reason it is argued they can’t leave the coalition (they would be wiped out).

    My guess is that careful offers have already been made to a variety of LDs, and that a proportion of them are already on board with the idea.

    The key to all this, which is made abundantly clear by the election results, is that the LDs will not benefit from any 2014-2015 upturn, real or imagined. The LD decline in vote share is not a consequence of government policy per se, since Con support is largely intact. It’s a fundamental reflection of the values of erstwhile LD supporters, which no amount of percieved economic “success” (for a given value of ‘success’) will alter. Quite simply, while the LDs remain aligned with the Tories, and facilitate their dismantling of the welfare state, they will not come back. The problem is not the economy, it’s *everything else*, the destruction that the Tories are in the process of wreaking.

  44. Yep, some very good points John B. Dick.

    Brian Taylor alluded to some of this yesterday morning when he pointed out the SNP had overturned some previously safe SLAB seats where the locals “didn’t know what a Liberal Democrat was.”

  45. Mick Park,

    “Whisper it quietly… ”

    Edward Miliband just doesn’t “get” Scotland. Thank God.

    He and Balls were the cherry on the SNP’s pie in the final week of the campaign. I just could not believe it when I saw what those 2 had said during their Scotch daytrip. Especially Balls.

    Combined with Broon’s intemperate appearance, they were pure gold.

    God bless London Labour, and all who sail in her.

  46. NEW MARKETS & ARB ALERT: Scottish independence referendum

    http://scottish-independence.blogspot.com/2011/05/new-markets-arb-alert-scottish.html

  47. Good analysis from John B Dick.

    I do not have time right now to comment on the various topics raised, but rest-assured that “The SNP need to be careful not to get too close to the Tories” is not going to be an issue John. ;)

  48. OLDNAT

    … and of course it means that not very many people voted for the SNP!

    But SLAB did everything wrong in the last parliament and in the campaign and the SNP did very little wrong in the last parliament and made no mistakes in the campaign.

    I know nothing of John McTernan other than what I read here, but that is in accord with what I have said here that Alex Salmond nor even Nicola Sturgeon has ever done or ever will do as much for the cause of independence as Thatcher or Blair.

    For those who believe that elections are lost, not won, how could they?

    I read that the SNP fifth on the list MSP who denied Martin Ford the expected last list place turned up at the count in jeans and t-shirt not expecting to have to go onto the plattform.

    That happened in 1945 (not the jeans bit) and people who had expected to go back to their jobs the next day got elected. The first expected Blair victory against an upopular government is not the historical parallel. In terms of the unexpected landslide and the potential for dramatic change, it’s 1945.

    The campaign for the next election (and the referendum) begins to-morrow. A good place to start would be how to turn these split voters. How could you get Milliband & Balls to help?

  49. John B Dick,

    – “… Alex Salmond nor even Nicola Sturgeon has ever done or ever will do as much for the cause of independence as Thatcher or Blair.”

    Indeed.

    As a supporter of Scottish independence, I am often left gobsmacked / gleeful at the unwitting contributions so many English politicians/political commentators/bloggers etc make to the cause of independence. A certain type of Unionist mentality just does not understand that their every word and action is in itself a grave threat to the Union they profess to cherish.

  50. John B Dick

    “The campaign for the next election (and the referendum) begins to-morrow..”

    No. It started yesterday. :-)

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