The exit polls look depressing:
- Conservatives: 316
- Labour: 239
- SNP: 58
- LibDem: 10
- UKIP: 2
- Green: 2
- Plaid Cymru: 4
If the DUP get 10 seats, as some polls predicted, the Conservatives would be able to choose between a coalition with the LibDems or a coalition with DUP, whichever they pleased: either would get them to 326, and if so, we are screwed.
There’s a couple of guides here for what’s worth staying up for, at the Guardian and the New Statesman, and the Telegraph did a guide for what time does each constituency declare.
I’ll be updating this blogpost for as long as I stay awake: the plan is to stay up at least til East Thanet declares – hopefully, Nigel Farage will have lost, so that in this bleak outlook, at least we can be rid of Farage.
Houghton and Sunderland South has elected the UK’s first MP of the new Parliament – Bridget Phillipson. She won with 21,218 votes – the second place candidate was Richard Elvin of UKIP, with 8,280 and the Conservatives just behind with 7.105. Greens in fourth place with 1095 votes, and LibDems fifth with 791.
— Jane Carnall (@EyeEdinburgh) May 7, 2015
If the exit polls are correct, the voters who were too ashamed to tell pollsters that they were voting Tory, are still a big factor in confounding polling results – as the Tories hoped, it's 1992 again.
There is already a Twitter account for LibDem lost deposits.
— LibDem Deposits (@LibDemDeposits) May 7, 2015
From what I hear on the BBC, it seems as if neither the Scottish LibDems nor Scottish Labour are willing to accept that they lost because they went rightwards and Scottish left-wing voters felt betrayed and voted for the party that was giving them a strong left-wing message.
The first real signal whether the exit polls are right or wrong is Nuneaton, at 1am. Electoral Calculus was showing a rather different set of polling results earlier this evening:
The last pre-poll prediction has been made: Con 280, Lab 274, Lib 21, SNP 52, UKIP 1, Green 1. This is based on public opinion polls and spread betting levels from yesterday. We await publication of exit polls after the end of voting at 10pm.
- Conservatives: 280
- Labour: 274
- SNP: 22</li
- LibDem: 21
- UKIP: 1
- Green: 1
The Electoral Calculus site had gone down earlier, presumably as everyone went to look at the more cheerful polling results….
A BBC reporter said there were a lot of “glum faces” at the count he was at in Scotland, SNP workers not looking jubilant even though the SNP was doing very well, “make of that what you will”, he said, but presumably they’re just as depressed as the rest of us that it looks like the Tories might get back in.
And Brian Taylor blandly notes that UKIP with its anti-immigrant message does well only in constituencies where there are very few immigrants. Not really surprising, is it?
Still looks as if Scottish Labour is solidly blaming the SNP for their party’s poor performance in England. Odd that. A Labour spokesman with a very bad combover blamed “the cult of personality”, by which he seemed to mean that Nicola Sturgeon is likeable and people have moticed this.
If Mhairi Black is elected MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, she’ll be the youngest MP ever elected since the 1832 Reform Act banned minor children from becoming MPs. The previously youngest-MP-ever was James Dickson, a Liberal MP for Dungannon elected at age 21 (and 67 days).
The Conservative vote “is creeping up”.
Nuneaton declares: Marcus Jones, the Tory MP, is the winner: 20,827 votes to 15,945 for Labour.
That’s depressing: it confirms the exit polls.
Even if the Tories can’t win an overall majority, and even those exit polls didn’t think they could, they can have enough MPs to manage as a minority government with confidence-and-supply arrangements with the LibDems, DUP, and UKIP.
(Electoral Calculus predicted Nuneaton as a Labour win. I am sad for Electoral Calculus.)
The first seat to change hands in Scotland is Kilmarnock and Loudon: Cathy Jamieson, former Labour minister, loses with a 26% swing from Labour to SNP – SNP Alan Brown is now SNP MP with a 14,000 vote majority.
Kilmarnock! Wow! SNP take Kilmarnock by over 14,000 votes
— ERS Scotland (@ERSScotland) May 8, 2015
If Labour were doing better in England, this would be fun. It’s not.
But Mhairi Black winning – youngest MP since the 17th century, youngest MP elected since the Electoral Reform Act of 1832 – that was exciting.
That really was. Douglas Alexander is gone: probably back as a Labour MSP next year, but gone for now. Gordon Brown’s old constituency Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath has turned to the SNP too.
Douglas Alexander just understood what has happened: “Scotland has voted to oppose the Tories, but hasn't trusted Labour to do so.” #SNP
— Scotland's a Country (@AlbaIsACountry) May 8, 2015
I’m sorry to hear Katy Clark’s lost.
But Jim Murphy’s out. Scottish Labour Party leader loses his seat. Kirsten Oswald is now the MP for East Renfrewshire.
This is it: Labour is going to be wiped out in Scotland.
Interestingly, Jim Murphy said in his resignation speech that he’d continue to lead Scottish Labour. He is presumably planning to be plunked in at the top of the West Scotland list – I wonder which of the Scottish Parliament constituencies he expects to be allowed to stand in? And where does he suppose he’ll lead Scottish Labour to?
And Natalie McGarry, co-founder of Women for Independence, is now the MP for Glasgow East.
Listening to Kirsten Oswald, an HR officer and SNP member since June 2014: I’m sure she’ll be a good MP, and two things occur to me:
There’s going to be a lot of SNP MPs who were never expected to win. Ever. Kirsten Oswald, Mhairi Black – they would have been assigned the job of opposing Labour heavyweights as good practice for them, not because they were expected to become MPs.
But now they are MPs; not political careerists, a complete break with the trend of Westminster parties, Labour and Conservatives and LibDems alike, of the young and privileged deciding on politics as a career.
There’s going to be a lot of new MPs at Westminster who never went to Oxford, who went to state schools, who never expected to be MPs.
Ian Davidson, former Labour MP for Glasgow South West, openly blamed Jim Murphy’s muddled leadership for why they didn’t win – and asked if Jim Murphy could remain leader, said “no, of course not – just on technical grounds, the leader has to be an MP or MSP, and he’ll realise he has to resign”.
He’s known for losing his temper. Just as well he’s not going to be at Westminster any more with all the SNP MPs on committees with him.
But Alistair Carmichael, the LibDem MP at the Scotland Office who knows who leaked the Sturgeon memo, held his seat in Orkney and Shetland.
Edinburgh South West just declared: SNP Joanna Cherry wins Alistair Darling’s old constituency.
On a personal note, a little bit of LGBT history – in 1983, Simon Hughes won the Bermondsey constituency as the Liberal candidate. His Labour opponent was Peter Tatchell.
The Liberal Party openly campaigned for Simon Hughes as the “straight choice” against Tatchell, openly-gay and left-wing Labour. Tatchell recalled that election on the thirtieth anniversary:
“For me, the run-up to the by-election was like living through a low-level civil war
“I was assaulted over 100 times in the street and while canvassing.
“There were 30 attacks on my flat, two attempts by car drivers to run me down and a bullet was posted through my letterbox in the middle of the night.
“I received hundreds of hate letters, including 30 threats to kill me or petrol bomb my flat.
“There were many moments when I feared for my life.
Today Simon Hughes was finally booted out of that constituency, by Labour MP Neil Coyle. I hope he invites Peter Tatchell to the victory party.
Edinburgh South just declared: Ian Murray held it. The SNP candidate Neil Hay had made the mistake of thinking his anonymous abuse of Edinburgh voters on Twitter would never be linked to him. Paco McSheepie lost Edinburgh South for the SNP.
My own constituency, Edinburgh North and Leith: Deirdre Brock SNP won, the first woman MP Leith’s ever had: Mark Lazarowicz lost, and Sarah Beattie-Smith saved the Scottish Green deposit by getting 5% of the vote. Sorry for Mark Lazarowicz – he’s been a good solid constituency MP, but ultimately, too loyal to Labour to save his seat.
Edinburgh East declared: Tommy Sheppard won it for the SNP from Sheila Gilmore.
In other news; a Conservative MP won Twickenham from Vince Cable, so one of the LibDem architects of the ConDem coalition is gone. And Boris Johnson is now an MP, meaning he will soon resign as London Mayor and meaning he sees himself as a candidate to lead the Conservative Party. Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, oh dear God, what a thought.
Nick Clegg held on in Sheffield Hallam.
Now that’s a shame. Now he has to go back into work and face the handful of LibDem MPs who survived the wipeout to which Clegg led his party.
And we still have a Conservative MP in Scotland. David Mundell just barely survived against the SNP challenger. If Scottish Labour had been willing to tactically vote for the SNP, we’d have had no Tory MPs left in Scotland, which is always a nice feeling.
Ed Miliband’s won his seat as MP for Doncaster North. (Charles Kennedy has lost his seat as MP for Ross, Skye, and Lochaber.)
Ed Miliband blames a “surge of nationalism” for the lost seats in Scotland: evidently doesn’t get it was what happens when left-wing voters have a left-wing party they can vote for, an alternative to Labour whom they trust to oppose the Tories.
David Cameron kept his seat in Witney. No surprise. Talked a lot of lying guff about wanting to support poor people, and mentioned the UKIP-pleasing referendum to take the UK out of the EU.
Looks like the Conservatives will have a working majority thanks to Labour managing to lose the election to them in England and Wales.
— The Staggers (@TheStaggers) May 8, 2015