UK election 2017 liveblog – Conservatives cling to power, barely
4 PM EST: We’ll be here all night reporting on the results of UK election 2017. Theresa May has seen her Conservative Party lead collapse in the past few weeks. The big question tonight is: “How far will she fall?” As soon as the polls closed at 5 pm EST, exit polling was released that showed a big Tory drop – enough to deprive May of a majority. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour would get a chance to govern, though.
Conservative 318 (- 13) Labour 262 (+ 30)
Liberal Democrat 12 (+ 4) SNP 35 (-21)
DUP 10 (+2) Green 1 UKIP 0 Others 12
By Jeremy Bloom
FRIDAY MORNING FINAL UPDATE:
It’s going to be a coalition. The combination of the Conservatives 213 seats with the 10 seats of the Democratic Union Party in Northern Ireland gives Theresa may just enough MPs to narrowly govern the UK.
In the end, enough UKIP voters came home to the Conservatives to keep them from being wiped out in England. And ironically, the 13 seats the Tories won in Scotland, combined with the improved 10 seat standing of the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, means the Conservative coalition will be a multi-nation coalition (unlike 2015, where the government was pretty much core England
Update 11:30 pm EST: Former SNP leader Alex Salmand has lost his seat in Gordon. Of course, as Nicola Sturgeon points out, since they had such a spectacular high-water mark in 2015, sweeping almost the entire country, it’s not surprising that they had some losses.
And with that, we’re going to wrap up for the night. Final report will come in the morning.
Update 11:00 pm EST: Nigel Farage: ‘Whatever happens tonight, Theresa May is toast’
And the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon:
“One of the biggest issues tonight UK-wide is the fact this is a disaster for Theresa May. She called this election … tonight she has had an absolutely disastrous performance.
It’s still pretty tight, but the Press Association thinks the Tories still have a lot more seats coming their way.
— Ian Jones (@ian_a_jones) June 9, 2017
Update 10:45 pm EST: Theresa May, sounding broken, delivers what passes for a “victory speech”. At least she won her own riding, unlike UKIP leader Paul Nuttall.
The heart of it:
At this time, more than anything else, this country needs a period of stability. And if, as the indications have shown, and this is correct, that the Conservative party has won the most seats, and probably the most votes, then it will be incumbent on us to ensure that we have that period of stability and that is exactly what we will do …
As we ran this campaign, we set out to consider the issues that are the key priority for the British people: getting the Brexit deal right, ensuring that we both identify and show how we can address the big challenges facing our country, doing what is in the national interest. That is always what I have tried to do in my time as a member of parliament and my resolve to do that is the same this morning as it always has been.
As we look ahead and wait to see what the final results will be, I know that the country needs a period of stability. And whatever the results are the Conservative party will ensure that we fulfill our duty in ensuring that stability so that we can all, as one country, go forward together.
Jeremy Corbyn’s response:
“The prime minister called the election because she wanted a mandate. Well the mandate she’s got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence. I would have thought that is enough for her to go actually.”
Update 10:30 pm EST:
Labour has taken Canterbury, knocking off Julian Brazier.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd is seriously threatened in Hastings and Rye.
Lib Dem Ed Davey beat out the Tories in Kingston and Surbiton, and the party also took back Bath.
In Northern Ireland it looks like the Democratic Union Party will have 10 seats and Sinn Feinn 7. That may be good news for Theresa May, depending on how well or badly things go for her tonight.
Update 10:00 pm EST: Former Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg has lost his seat. But Tim Farron held on by a whisker in his riding of Westmorland and Lonsdale
The big question after the exit polls dropped was: Can this shocking result hold out? There have been plenty of times when the exits have been less than accurate. Many Tories (and even some in Labour) were skeptical.
It’s still early, but it now looks like the final results will come in pretty close. Meaning almost no chance of a Conservative Majority, and almost no chance that Theresa May will be sticking around, either as PM or as the leader of her party.
Boris Johnson, who Theresa may shivved pretty viciously to win the party leadership, looks positively smug this evening.
Update 9:30 pm EST: Scotland, on the other hand, is looking muddled. The 2015 balloting had resulted in a wipe-out in favor of the SNP, but now many voters are returning to their roots with Labour and the Tories. The conservatives in particular may make up some of their losses here.
Many of the SNP losses occured in what were thought to be safe seats.
The SNP’s Westminster Leader, Angus Robertson, lost his Moray seat to the Tories, who also took Aberdeen South, as well as Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock.
Labour took Cardiff North, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, as well as Glasgow North East from the SNP.
Update 9:00 pm EST: At the beginning of the campaign, Theresa May challenged Labour in one of their last strongholds: Wales. A Labour source told the Guardian: “A few weeks ago, the Tories were arrogantly briefing that they would wipe Labour out in Wales at this election, and that anything less than a majority of seats would be a disappointment. The Tory campaign in Wales has since imploded.”
Update 8:15 pm EST: One possible outcome – the Tories may get enough support to keep governing, thanks to the Democratic Unionist party of Northern Ireland (the Protestants who want to stay united with Great Britain, as opposed to the Irish Republicans of Sinn Fein who want union with Ireland).
“One DUP source told the Guardian tonight that the party may back a Tory administration on a “confidence and supply” basis rather than formally join any coalition or take up the odd ministry in Downing Street.”
That means the Tories could cling to power, but just barely. I certainly wouldn’t be with a “strengthened hand” to take into Brexit negotiations with the European Union.
Lab: 65.7% (+8.9)
Con: 26.7% (+10.3)
UKIP: 4.1% (-14.6)
Ind: 1.8% (+1.8)
LDem: 1.0% (-2.7)
Grn: 0.7% (-3.6)
Basildon & Billericay:
Con: 61.0% (+8.3)
Lab: 31.1% (+7.5)
UKIP: 4.5% (-15.4)
LDem: 3.4% (-0.4)
Con: 62.2% (+6.1)
Lab: 28.9% (+10.5)
UKIP: 4.0% (-15.7)
LDem: 3.1% (-0.1)
Grn: 1.8% (-0.9)
Lab: 51.1% (+8.8)
Con: 41.7% (+11.6)
UKIP: 3.7% (-15.9)
LDem: 2.7% (-1.7)
Ind: 0.7% (+0.2)
Update 7:30 pm EST: The results so far have been safe seats, but the trend is looking good for Labour. The real fun will start once we start getting results from the marginal seats, the ones that are the real battlefronts. But that might be a while.
Newcastle upon Tyne North:
Labour: 55.4% (+9.3)
Conservative: 33.9% (+10.5)
LDem: 5.2% (-4.5)
UKIP: 3.7% (-12.9)
Grn: 1.1% (-2.3)
Conservative: 51.6% (+6.0)
Labour: 41.3% (+6.4)
UKIP: 3.5% (-10.9)
LDem: 2.0% (+0.2)
Grn: 1.7% (-1.1)
Conservative: 57.9% (+6.1)
Labour: 36.5% (+11.4)
LDem: 3.3% (+0.1)
Grn: 2.3% (-1.2)
Update 7:00 pm EST: Fun fact about the British Parliament: The small nationalist parties may hold the balance of power, but at least one of them won’t be there. Sinn Fein, the Irish nationalist party in Britain’s Northern Ireland region, general wins a handful of seats but then does not take them, in protest over British rule.
Jeremy Corbyn was asked during the campaign if he’d be willing to accept support from Sinn Fein. He called it “A stupid question”, which it was.
But if neither major party gets a majority, who will the smaller Scottish, Welsh, and Irish parties support? We may not know who will be able to govern the UK for months.
Three more results, all holds. Look at the Labour increase in Swindon and Newcastle! (There wasn’t much room to grown in Washington/Sunderland):
Conservative: 53.6% (+3.3)
Lab: 38.4% (+10.6)
LDem: 3.6% (+0.3)
UKIP: 2.8% (-12.5)
Grn: 1.6% (-1.7)
Newcastle upon Tyne East:
Labour: 67.6% (+18.1)
Con: 21.3% (+3.7)
LDem: 6.2% (-4.9)
UKIP: 3.2% (-9.4)
Grn: 1.8% (-6.9)
Washington & Sunderland West:
Labour: 60.7% (+5.8)
Conservative: 28.8% (+10.0)
UKIP: 6.8% (-12.8)
LDem: 2.4% (-0.3)
Grn: 1.3% (-1.7)
Update 6:45 pm EST: Another good result for Labour comes in for Sunderland Central. Again, most of the UKIP vote went to the Tories, but some went to Labour, and some of the Green vote consolidated on Labour as well.
In the last election a lot of voters swung off to minor parties, especially the various regional nationalists. This time around, it looks like there will just be two huge parties – with a bunch of smaller ones holding the balance of power.
If Labour can pull a couple of points over from Green voters across the country, that could make a huge difference. In 2015, many seats were won or lost by just a handful of votes.
Labour: 55.5% (+5.3)
Conservative: 33.4% (+10.0)
UKIP: 4.9% (-14.3)
LDem: 3.9% (+1.3)
Grn: 1.6% (-2.5)
Ind: 0.7% (+0.2)
Update 6:00 pm EST: The knives have already come out for Theresa May, whose wooden and confused campaign looks to have doomed the Tories.
Former Conservative chancellor George Osborn told ITV if the exit poll results hold, she’ll have no choice but to resign. (And would that mean yet ANOTHER snap election, once whoever replaces her decides to take his chances with the electorate?).
In England you’d never see a situation like we have here in the US, with Trump at 34% (and 54% STRONGLY opposed). His own party would have tossed him out.
Meanwhile, the UKIP leader is also lashing out at May:
If the exit poll is true then Theresa May has put Brexit in jeopardy. I said at the start this election was wrong. Hubris.
— Paul Nuttall (@paulnuttallukip) June 8, 2017
Update 6:00 pm EST: First results are in, and they’re… inconclusive. Labour holds two seats, Newcastle and Houghton & Sunderland South, and increases their vote share. That’s good.
The biggest change is the collapse of the nationalist UKIP party, which had been expected in the polls. And it seems like most of their support went to the Conservatives, which was not unexpected either.
The biggest question tonight is whether UKIP voters will migrate to the Tories across the country, and if that will help shore them up. In Newcastle some of that UKIP vote went to Labour (the equivalent of Trump’s working class midwesterners coming back home to the Democrats)
Houghton & Sunderland South:
Labour: 59.6% (+4.4)
Conservative: 29.6% (+11.2)
UKIP: 5.7% (-15.8)
LDem: 2.2% (+0.1)
Grn: 1.7% (-1.1)
Ind: 1.2% (+1.2)
Newcastle upon Tyne Central:
Labour: 64.9% (+9.9)
Conservative: 24.6% (+5.7)
LDem: 4.9% (-1.4)
UKIP: 4.0% (-10.9)
Update 5:30 pm EST: Theresa May was riding high in the polls when she called this snap election, hoping to pad her slim majority in Parliament. Instead, she appears to be on the path to no majority at all, and a hung Parliament. If this holds up (and exit polls can be unreliable), this will be a very surprising, even shocking result, as pundits and many polls had thought she might still be able to pull off a majority.
Here are the exit poll numbers:
Conservative – 314, down 16
Labour – 266, up 34
Scottish National Party (SNP) – 34, down 22
Liberal Democrats – 14, up 6
Green – 1, unchanged
UKIP (nationalists) – 0