Thursday, 6 May 2010

General Election 2010: Liveblog

13:20  The final Scottish result to be announced - Argyll & Bute - maintains the pattern in Scotland by also being a LIB DEM HOLD, making it 59 holds out of 59.  That's it.

06:31  Just to keep this up to date, Orkney & Shetland has just announced, a resounding victory for Alistair Carmichael.  Perhaps the most obvious LIB DEM HOLD in the entire election.  Only Argyll & Bute to go - which will likely be the same.

State of the parties in Scotland:
LAB 41  LD 10  SNP 6  CON 1 (with one to announce).  The SAME result as 2005.

06:05  State of the parties at the moment, with around 120 seats to declare:  

CON 264  LAB 208  LD 40  OTHERS 27...  

Projections put the Tories at 306, with Labour on 262 and Lib Dems 55... which means that even a Lab-LD coalition wouldn't be a majority.  I'll stay with this a little while longer.

06:00  And news which is almost as good. Nick Griffin fails in Barking - Labour hold, increasing majority to 16,000.  Back to Brussels with you.

05:52  I STAYED UP AND SAW HISTORY MADE!  Amazing stuff - Caroline Lucas MEP makes Brighton Pavillion a GREEN GAIN.  Awesome.

05:22  Not much happening at the moment.  Greens fail to take Norwich South but the Lib Dems do, ousting Charles Clarke in the process.  The Tory Gains keep coming in England and Wales... I make it about SIXTY now.

04:55  Labour majority in Edinburgh South goes from 450 last time round to 316 this time.  Tight.  All that money spent on an election, and no bloody changes.

04:50  After a couple of recounts, it looks very much like Edinburgh South is also a LAB HOLD.  I think I can confidently predict NO CHANGES IN SCOTLAND.  Utterly bizarre night here!

04:45  LIB DEM HOLD Ross, Skye & Lochaber.  Charles Kennedy back in.  Just the three left - Edinburgh South, Orkney & Shetland and Argyll & Bute - which won't announce until 12.00noon.

04:36  LAB HOLD Aberdeen North.  Only 4 seats left in Scotland for any to change hands.

Quick trip down south to Redditch, where Jacqui Smith is in trouble.  She's lost the seat to the Tories and looks like she's ready to greet.  Former Home Secretary - GONE.  She won't be claiming porn on the taxpayer any more!

04:22  Malcolm Bruce returned in Gordon - a LIB DEM HOLD.  Looks very like if we're getting a seat changing hands, it will have to be Edinburgh South - and even that doesn't look a guarantee.

04:17  LAB HOLD Ochil & South Perthshire - the SNP's #1 target.  Sizeable majority too.  Majority of 5,000+.  I saw that one coming, and stuck a fiver on Labour at 3/1 today.  Covered the rest of my bets, so even if I get nothing else (still waiting for a Cabinet casualty - and the Tories having less than 300 seats) then I've broken even.

04:14  Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey up next.  Comfortable LIB DEM HOLD.

04:08  West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine:  LIB DEM HOLD.  But not by that much.  Tories put in a big effort here.  Majority is 3,684.  Actually not that tight - I misheard Tory figure as 16,000 instead of 13,000.  Lib Dems down 8% though.

04:05  Dumfries & Galloway announced now... and another LAB HOLD.  Majority of around 7,000.  David Mundell doesn't get a Scottish colleague here.  I hear Ochil stays Labour too... but that is not confirmed yet.

03:55  SNP HOLD Banff & Buchan - the first female SNP MP elected since Annabelle Ewing lost her seat in 2005.  Vote share down in the absence of Salmond.

0352  Hearing Edinburgh South has gone to a second re-count, with Labour ahead by 400 votes.  In the meantime, LAB HOLD Ayrshire North & Arran.

03:47  David Mundell's defence of the sole Tory seat in Scotland... sees him returned with 17,000+ votes.  Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale.  CON HOLD.  Scotland is NOT a Tory-free zone.

03:41  Aberdeen South is a LAB HOLD.  Not even close - another big target for the Lib Dems but they just didn't get close enough.

03:38  LIB DEM HOLD in Berwick, Roxburgh & Selkirk, Michael Moore returned - 22,232 votes cast for him.  Majority of over 5,000.

03:35  Edinburgh West is a LID DEM HOLD.

03:30  LAB HOLD in Ayrshire Central.  And Aberdeen South is just coming.  Big Lib Dem GAIN in Burnley though.

03:20  LAB HOLD my own constituency of Edinburgh North and Leith.  Bit of a surprise, as I though the Lib Dems had done enough to gain it, but the swing wasn't big enough.  Same story across Scotland.

03:15  East Dunbartonshire stays as a LIB DEM HOLD.  Good for Jo Swinson.  Majority of 2,184, but down 4% of the vote.  And Willie Bain, returns from the by-election as a LAB HOLD in Glasgow North-East.  Majority of 15,942.  

Terrific night for Labour in Scotland.  Bad night for SNP, LD and Tories here.  But - a question I'm asking myself now.  IF (and its a big IF) the Tories take power at Westminster on the back of an English majority - where does that leave Scotland - with a massive Scottish Labour presence at Westminster and an SNP Scottish Government.  Divided Britian?  You bet your ass!

03:11  Glasgow North-West is yet another LAB HOLD.  Dull stuff.  No gains yet...

03:08  Chancellor Alastair Darling returned as LAB HOLD Edinburgh South-West.  Rumours that Labour will hold Edinburgh South as well... Lib Dems were confident of gaining that one, but not looking likely now.

02:58  SNP HOLD Moray, returning Angus Robertson - presumably as SNP Westminster leader.  And Tom Harris is back as LAB HOLD Glasgow South.

02:49  LAB HOLD Dunbartonshire West.  LAB HOLD Glasgow South-West.  LAB HOLD Edinburgh East.  No figures... but do they really matter.  We know the story now!

02:40  LAB HOLD East Renfrewshire.  Massive win for Jim Murphy - he got around 25,000 votes.  Massive.  Tories had this down as a target, but they were nowhere.

02:36  SNP HOLD Perth & Perthshire North in the face of a fairly substantial Tory challenge.  Majority of 4,379, so maybe not as close as I thought it was to begin with.  Glasgow North next up - big Lib Dem target... but Ann McKechin holds on for another LAB HOLD.

02:26  "Pants on fire" McGuire gives another LAB HOLD in Stirling - again, not unexpected, but a majority of around 8,000 is huge.  Lab swing from Tories 3.5% - and the turnout at 71%.  Labour getting the vote out, presumably by telling people they can stop the Tories taking power.  LAB HOLD Midlothian.  And LAB HOLD Linlithgow & East Falkirk.  And LAB HOLD Paisley and Renfrewshire North... big holds - but they are losing seats in England.

02:19  Anas Sarwar keeps it in the family, providing a LAB HOLD in Glasgow Central.  Sensing a pattern here...

02:15  Stewart Hosie increases SNP majority in Dundee East in a big SNP HOLD.  The Tories have gained Aberconwy in Wales, maybe significant.  And LAB HOLD Airdrie & Shotts.

02:13  LAB HOLD Cumbernauld & Kilsyth.  LAB HOLD Livingston (an SNP target - and an SNP seat in Holyrood).  A massively bad result for the SNP.  LAB HOLD Paisley and Renfrewshire South.  Dougie Alexander back.

I only had the SNP gaining Livingston and Dundee West, both of which have remained with Labour, by a considerable margin.  Which means, I suspect, that they'll stay on six.

02:06  LAB HOLD Glasgow East (again, having won it in 2005 and lost it in by-election).  John Mason gone.  Margaret Curran becomes Labour's second MSP-MP of the evening.  Massive majority again - no political earthquake here tonight.

02:03  SNP HOLD Angus - big Tory target.  Dunfermline & West Fife, which was won by Labour in 2005 and won by LD in by-election is a classed as a LAB HOLD.  Not sure I thought that would happen.  LD vote sliding in Scotland - what happened to Clegg-mania up here?!

01:58  LAB HOLD Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill, previously safest seat in Britain.  LAB HOLD Falkirk.  I'm sensing a pattern here.

01:53  Laptop crashed so I missed getting some results in.  Recapping:  LAB HOLD East Lothian - a good result given the civil war there.  LAB HOLD Dundee West - by a considerable margin from the SNP, in what was a target seat for the Nats.  LAB HOLD Kilmarnock & Loudoun - Cathy Jamieson MSP now becomes an MP too.  Maybe Salmond will start mocking Labour for the dual-mandate stuff.  Both the latter 2 held by the SNP in Scottish Parliament.

Also, Tom Harris reports Labour look like winning all Glasgow seats - including a whooping for John Mason in Glasgow East.  Not confirmed yet - but good assumption to make.

01:38   SNP HOLD Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles to you and me).  Again, no shocks there.

01:32  LAB HOLD East Kilbride, Strathaven & Lesmahagow; LAB HOLD Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath; LIB DEM HOLD North East Fife.  No shocks.

01:21  Ynys Mon is a Labour Hold in Wales.  Plaid's challenge falls away there.

01:20  Gordon Brown says he wants to try and form a coalition.  Who wouldn't?  But if the exits are close to being right... he'd need some Nats as well as LD.

01:16  LAB HOLD Motherwell & Wishaw, not a shock there either.  Majority of 16,806.  Lab up 3%, 1% swing from SNP to Labour.

01:09   First Scottish Result: Rutherglen LAB 28,566, SNP 7,564, CON 4,540, LD 5,636, UKIP 665.  As expected.  21,002 majority. Lab up 5%. Swing 1.5% SNP-LAB.  LAB HOLD.  Not much to draw from that I don't think.

01:03  Rumours on Twitter: Labour "officially hold" East Kilbride; Sky have UNCALLED Edinburgh South.  And a proper result - the Tories make their first GAIN of the night in Kingswood, from Labour. Majority of 2445.

00:59  In Wales, Plaid Cymru GAIN Arfon from Labour.

00:54  Allan is blogging too - here.  Missed it earlier - sorry!

00:51  Big story in N.Ireland - First Minister Peter Robinson loses Belfast East to Alliance.  Big shock (kind of) though there was some scandal around.  No real impact on overall UK result I don't think. 

00:45 Sources: "definite" Labour hold in Stirling.

00:30  Give me something to ANALYSE!!!

00:15 There's NOTHING happening.  Time for a nap?

23:55 Better news for Lib Dems - they look like they'll take Labour-held Edinburgh South.  And news from down south - the Greens will "probably" take Brighton Pavillion.

23:50  Lib Dems talking up coalitions now... as are Mandy and Al Jo.  But on the exit poll figures, they don't quite have enough to get over the 326... (ps - I've fixed the big space at the top - finally!)

23:41 I hear from a couple of sources that Labour WILL HOLD Edinburgh North & Leith.  Apparently the Labour vote is hardening up.  Don't want to believe that.

23:28 Lab hold Washington... Obama goes nuts!  But seriously... swing of over 11% to the Tories.  Thing to note though - big boundary changes so figures from 2005 notional to an extent.

23:20 There will be a brief intermission while there is bugger all happening!

On a related note... quelle disastre regarding the old stopping people from voting.  Makes the 2007 Holyrood election look less stupid.

22:55  Unsurprising Labour hold in first seat (Sunderland) but down 12%... and Tory vote up 5,000.  Not sure there's too much to read into it, but they'll try anyway. Long way to go though.  8.4% swing to the Tories!

22:40 Holyrood Patter and J. Arthur MacNumpty will be liveblogging too. Subrosa has a fancy gadget thing for liveblogging too.

22:30 A few other things I'm looking out for (couple of bets on!):

Tories win 250-274 seats (14/1)
Tories win 275-299 seats (7/2)
LD win 90-99 seats (4/1)
UKIP win a seat (7/2)
1 Cabinet Minister loses seat (4/1)
2 Cabinet Ministers lose seat (5/1)
Labour hold Ochil & South Perthshire (3/1).

I wait with baited breath!

22:25 A couple of days ago I predicted this for Scotland:

Labour - 34 seats
Lib Dems - 14 seats
SNP - 8 seats
Conservatives - 3 seats

I actually think that the SNP may not rise above their 6... and the Tories may be lucky if they get their three.  Nevertheless, here's my predicted seat changes:

Aberdeen South - LD gain from LAB
Berwick, Roxburgh & Selkirk - CON gain from LD
Dumfries & Galloway - CON gain from LAB
Dundee West - SNP gain from LAB
Dunfermline & West Fife - LD gain from LAB (from 2005)
Edinburgh North & Leith - LD gain from LAB
Edinburgh South - LD gain from LAB
Glasgow East - LAB gain from SNP (from by-election)
Livingston - SNP gain from LAB

22:15 BBC exit poll: CON 307 LAB 255 LD 59 - Result as Hung Parliament.  Have to say, I think that doesn't really tally with what I think, and my years(!) of experience.

MITB prediction: Con 280ish, Lab 250ish, LD 90ish.

20:45 I'm not really starting blogging until polls close at 10pm, but I saw this on Twitter - a list of when each constituency is likely to announce its result.  Useful for later.  You can see the list here.

Check back later for (much) more analysis of the results.


Sam 6 May 2010 at 21:20  

Time for predictions first?

Malc 6 May 2010 at 21:30  

Yeah, I published my Scottish predictions a couple of days ago, which I'll repost.

On outcome, I'll go:

Votes: 1 CON, 2 LD, 3 LAB
Seats: 1 LAB, 2 CON, 3 LD

Outcome: Hung Parly, probably with Lab-LD coalition...

I did put some money on it too, and I'll outline the bets later!

Sam 6 May 2010 at 21:51  

You think Labour will have the most seats? I'm going with a Tory majority of about 20 seats. Though when I say "going with" I'm not actually brave enough to put money on it!

Malc 6 May 2010 at 21:55  

I do - the electoral system works that way. Tories rack up massive majorities, but get only 1 seat; Labour win tight marginals.

Sam 6 May 2010 at 21:59  

On the question of who would form a government, the draft of the Cabinet Secretary's guidelines on hung parliaments is interesting.

Seems to me that the emphasis on the importance of "the parties represented in Parliament" in deciding who has "the confidence of the House of Commons" to form a government suggests that seats will count more than the popular vote. Whether that can be sold to the electorate is another question. Although if they protest, those electors should know that they've been propping up that corrupt system for a while now.

Malc 6 May 2010 at 22:00  

Seats will count more... but not if the Lib Dems have their way!

Sam 6 May 2010 at 22:01  

Sadly we usually don't!

Malc 6 May 2010 at 22:03  

Exit poll has the Lib Dems on 59. 59! I have them on around 90!

Sam 6 May 2010 at 22:07  

BBC exit poll has Conservatives short by 19 seats. Lib Dems would lose 3 seats. That seems unlikely.

7 reasons why exit polls are fairly useless, from the FT's blog.

Jeff 6 May 2010 at 23:37  

Good effort Malc. Any idea when the first Scottish seat is announced?

Sunderland's all good and well but I sense more entertaining results ahead....

Allan 7 May 2010 at 00:04  

Jeff - supposedly about 2am with Angus & Brown's Kirkaldy & Cowdenbeith seat. Stirling and the Perth and North Perthshire are scheduled for about 2:30, with the Glasgow seats due around 3am.

Holyrood Patter 7 May 2010 at 00:07  

i dont think its angus at all. I think Jim Murphy is first up at half past 12/quarter to one, but I may be wrong

Allan 7 May 2010 at 00:38  

Hollyrood (?!?) - I think that Murphy's fate is estimated to be announced around about 2:30am. A couple of Birmingham seats are due up in the next 20 minutes, including Edgebaston.

Malc 7 May 2010 at 00:48  

I hope its soon - losing the will to live here!

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