I’m tired of tweeting.  There is a good liveblog on Nate Silver’s site too

03:28.  I am too tired to keep updating, and to be honest you know the likely picture by now. My summary at this stage would be:

  • It looks like the Conservatives will get around 310 seats.
  • This will largely be because Labour held up very strongly.  Maybe in the last few days Brown saved the Labour party with a burst of passion and honesty.  Amazingly, he maybe leapt forward from the Duffy thing.
  • The Lib Dems look like ending up with 61 seats and about 23-4% of the vote, and were clearly squeezed in the last few days by the Labour resurgence.  This is what my colleage Julian expected.  It is not a breakthrough, though the case for electoral reform is made yet again
  • It is hard to see anything but a Conservative minority administration from here.  Labour need 270+, and I think they are getting 240.
  • And it would look shabby, and voices suggesting this is a good government to sit out of
  • I find it very depressing to hear people claim that the ‘amnesty’ is the reason for LD support failing.  It is a good clear liberal policy.

Signing off.  Nice to see Burnley falling to the LibDems.

I am duty bound to report bad news.  Newton Abbot has fallen to the Conservatives from the Lib Dems.  Apparently Lib Dem MP was an expenses problem. And the Lib Dems have failed to take Oxford East.

Labour hold Northhampton North and the Lib Dems fail to take Edinburgh North from them.   Part of the evening’s entire theme.

Plenty of Lib Dem holds coming through.  And a – now predictable – failure to win Worcestershire West from the Tories.  The incumbency effect and the stickiness of existing seats is a real feature of the LibDem scene.

It is too knackering trying to keep in touch with all results.  Should have made a system for keeping track of it.  I will try to keep in touch with gains, or holds that were not expected.   And the markets.

03:06 Conservatives gaining Dover is a good result for them.  Not as challenging as Tooting, but one they sort of needed.  More difficult than Gelding.

03:05 Fascinatingly downbeat and decent speech from Cameron (I never fail to be impressed by his facility of speech, regardless of my chippiness about his fantatic background).  Did he expect to get 40 seats more than this?

Now, Cameron is due up.  What will be his spin? Crikey he has won a lot of votes!

Broxtowe being announced.   A tight win for Conservatives on a tiny swing. Low on their list, quite a disappointing result, but in this crazy paving result a win is a win.

Taunton Deane has been held for the Lib Dems. The Lib Dem seat market has fallen to 61-5.  Ah well.  Not good.

There is a recount in Birmingham Edgebaston, which if true indicates a very great shortage of Conservative swing.  The odds on a Conservative Majority are now 6 to 1 against.

Hague has made a telling point.  They are going to get the most seats and most votes.  So Clegg is surely honour bound to see if they can allow a Conservative government.

An they have gained Eastbourne. But they have lost Harrogate and Knaresborough following the retirement of a previous popular MP

02:42 They are announcing Eastleigh, Chris Huhne’s seat. … he’s got 24966 votes, and is smiling ….  against 21102 from the Tory.  A swing to the Lib Dems!  At last.

02:41 Nancy Mogg has failed to take the seat of Heath.  Good result in a tight seat.

UPDATE.  I have heard no more about Richmond.  Was Tim Montgomerie getting ahead of himself?  And the BBC has just said the the dealers are betting on a Conservative majority.  No, the market is now 70% likely to be Hung Parliament.  It is all because of Labour holding on not the LIb Dems.

Swansea West = further proof of Labour remaining resilient.  Desperately close for the Liberal Democrats. Needed 6pc swing, got 5pc.

The Loss of Lembit is further confirmation that the Lib Dems are having a very poor night in selected constituencies.  There has been no nationwide Cleggmania.   Is this a Lembit-specific problem?  Quite possibly. But the general squeeze is on as well.  Major humble pie to munch now.

Labour hold Stirling joins that other list of Tooting etc results that suggest a Tory gain stuck at 90 seats and a 300-seat total being their destiny.  Same too for Bolton North East. But they might be getting 5-6 LD seats at this rate.  Gosh, this is like doing 3D chess against a lunatic in a high storm.

02:20 Vale of Glamorgan now.  Low on the Tory list, consistent with a seat total of 223.   They win it.  No surprise.  The swing looks average.

But (OH SHIT) the Tories have gained Montgomeryshire from the Liberal Democrats.   A huge hit – Lembit Opik has lost his seat having had a 7000 majority.   Very bad!

02:18 but failing to get Eastbourne is further bad news for the Liberal Democrats.  They are having a bad evening, no doubt about it.

02:15  If Broxtowe is as close as a recount, it is dreadful news for the Conservatives – it is really low on the list of Conservative targets.

02:10  OH DEAR. Tim Montgomerie tweets that Richmond is falling to the Tories.  Can this be true?  It would be a hell of a blow.   But consistent with some South of England results like Newbury and Guildford

02:0 Failure to take Dunfermline and West Fife no major failure.  Willie Rennie added 14pc to the LD vote.  Signs of a Scotland effect?

So much for Hung parliament = Panic.  Odds on a HP are now 1.5 = 66% likely.   Pound and the gilts have done … nothing

02:03 And the Failure to get Ben Bradshaw again is consistent with the Conservatives getting about 300 seats.   Is this the best exit poll ever done?

01:57 The Gedling Failure has seen the Hung Parliament fall to 1.67 from 2.3.  I backed it at 2.3.  Am chuffed, but v worried about LD failures to knock off more close seats.

Current commentary: This may have to be an all nighter.  There is no pattern.  Tories seem to be reaching 10% swings in the north in safe labour seats, and then fail to get important signpost targets like Tooting and Telford.  Lib Dems hold off Tories in Torbay then fail miserably in Guildford (and more closely in Newbury, apparently).  It is very bitty.  Betfair now have the hung parliament favourite (55%) and the pound has turned off its rally by 30bps.    Lib Dem seats expected to be 70-4.  My best bet might be the turnout being very high, which is great.

The Failure of the Tories to gain Gedling is a major plus for the Hung Parliament. Look it up on my swingometer.

01:49  Guildford, the Conservatives have really smashed the Lib Dems.   Was there a last minute squeeze of the Lib Dem vote …. again?  Also I hear from LeftOutside that Newbury has failed to fall.

01:41 if Telford = Labour HOld, then repeat message of Tooting.  UPDATE: It IS a Labour Hold, despite them dropping 9% of the vote.  And why?  Because of BNP and UKIP votes …

01:35 but from Twitter I also hear that Tooting is a labour hold (Tom Gibson would be chuffed).  It was around that point on the swingometer that Tories need to break through 300 ….

01:31 Failure to take Durham off Labour would be disappointment – 6th on the list – CAN’T BELIEVE THEY’VE INTERRUPTED FOR KIRKALDY.  Labour have held it.  Big disappointment.  We’re not getting 100 seats.

01:24 This election is playing havoc with swingometers.  The swinginess is the problem.  The standard swings you get at the beginning would have predicted Torbay falling to the Conservatives, so I am happy-ish that Libdem losses there may be not much.   which leaves the question: how many can they take off Labour?

These are the seats they need to get 75:

Aberdeen South, Blaydon, Bradford North, Derby South, Durham, City of, Edinburgh North and Leith, Edinburgh South, Glasgow North, Guildford, Holborn & St Pancras, Islington South & Finsbury, Leicester South, Liverpool, Wavertree, Newcastle upon Tyne Central, Norwich South, Oldham East & Saddleworth, Oxford East, Swansea West, Watford

01:13 BUT TORBAY STAYS LIBDEM WITH A SWING TO THE LIBDEMS!  And now my constituency of Putney is coming up … Justine Greening holds, and the Lib Dems fail to overtake Labour.  Hmmph

01:05 KINGSWOOD FALLS!   This is big – 135 on the target list.  The chance of a Con Majority has risen fast to 60%

01:02 Gilt futures reopen sharply higher.  Some of this might be Wall Street related; some of it might be Tories moving from 40% to 52% majority.

00:57  Steve Webb holds Thornbury and Yate.  Again a new seat, so the 5% LD to Tory swing may not mean much ….

And a couple of Labour holds (Darlington, Durham) that show swings to the Conservatives of about 8 – but the Conservative majority has snuck into the lead again

00:50 Peter Robinson has been defeated. I would hazard that he is having a sh1t few months.  The good news is that the party that has won is not aligned religiously. A post 17th century party!

00:45 further gambling update.  I felt that turnout would be good, after knocking up this morning, and bought at 68.5.   The market is now 71.5/73.5.

Incidentally, for those people using 3 seat results to prove, well, anything, look at how scattered these scatter charts are.  Now imagine you were given just 3 dots and were meant to use them to work out where the whole cloud should be.

00:35 While we’re waiting for them to give us some real numbers, here is a reminder of how terrifyingly stupid homeopathy is from New Biscuit via Megan McA

00:27 Rumours that Edinburgh South and Battersea have fallen to LibDems and Conservatives respectively.  Tells us nothing – they are the earliest falls on the smallest twitch of a swingometer.  Need the numbers …. (Edinburgh South falls to Lib Dems even if the latter don’t increase their vote share …)

00: 17  Apparently, Basildon South and Thurock East is out soon, and it is another new constituency that my swingie thing cannot work with.  Darnit.  But the notional figures are 40.7/38.5/10.6, so (a) it is irrelevant for LD fortunes and (b) for the exit poll figure to be validated, the Tories need to win it like 46/34 or so.

the other fascinating seat coming up is Birmingham Edgebaston.  If they fail to get it, it would mean Conservatives finishing below Labour by a large amount.

00:10 Market update.  The Pound is back at the levels it was at around 10pm last night, despite Hung Parliament remaining favourite (just).

00:06 Gambling news.  I’ve bought Labour seats at 219 and LD seats at 69.  The market in Con seats: 328-334, just above a majority.  But Betfair now has a hung parliament at 53% or so.  Note, this is not an arb.  One is a continuous payoff, the other digital.

00:01 Thank you, everyone, for helping make May 6th my record day on the blog.  Oh, if you insist.  1191 is the number.  Piddling, I know.  But it pleases me.  Welcome to all the new commenters, your input is always appreciated.

23:52 Apparently Battersea is up next.  By my reckoning, we need it to be Conservative 46/Labour 33 to be consistent with the 38/29/24 result that the exit polling expected.  % odds of a hung parliament has soared from 40 to 55% since that last Sunderland Central result

23:44 – Labour swing only 5% when it is a competitive Conservative-Labour fight. Betfair odds on No Majority drop from 2.4 to 2.2. in a second.

Amazingly, the BNP seem to be beating UKIP by almost 2:1.  Is that a shock?

General comment: I think it is nuts the way the commentators are asking politicians to (a) speculate on the end result from early safe seat results and (b) speculate about how they would negotiate with their opponents in hypothetical Parliamentary seat situations.


32 thoughts on “Live blog on the election

    1. Yes. Ironically, they do know how to get the most from their resources in the seats that count – regardless of their hating the system that makes such efforts necessary!

  1. Ah, just read your post on exit polls. It chimes with what I think. I have a few betfair positions, but more importantly have £2 with a student on Lib Dems up/down…

    1. As an ex-bookie, I am rather amazed not to have more than a few dozen positions. This year, I am backing people called Ed.

      1. I have nothing on. Would have backed Huhne to the hilt though. I think I could have got 1.4 on betfair ….

  2. Well it’s looking like a bloody awful night for liberal democrats. I think I shall go to bed. I can’t deal with anymore of this!

  3. Hmm, the Lib Dem squeeze is getting a bit troubling now. Looking like majority to me so far, and bang goes electoral reform.

  4. Having said all that, yes the Libs aren’t taking from the Tories, but are holding on when defending. We haven’t seen many up against Labour, except Durham. Still in hope.

    1. Are you sure? I think we may lose 2-3 to the Tories, and what are we getting from Labour?

      1. Well, everything seems so up in the air that I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of “Conservatives can’t win here” seats could get a swing away from Lab to Lib. There’s a handful within 5%, aren’t there? We haven’t really seen many of those types yet. Or maybe I’m tired and talking rubbish.

      2. Also, you point out the market is still holding at 61-65, which is either hold all the way or pick up some – so where does the Market think they’re coming from?

      3. Having worke with these people, it is just a wide spread around an area where they expect buyers and sellers. Not much science there …

  5. My analysis from my blog and Lib Con Westminster Blog: Not good for the Lib Dems or Democracy.

    Guildford has not been won by the Liberal Democrats. Worse actually, there was a swing towards the Conservatives away from the Liberals. That this happened in the Liberals number one target seat is especially worrying. This has been followed by a 13.2% swing which has unseated Lembit Opik. The Lib Dems are in real trouble and thus so is British democracy.

    The Lib Dems will not win too many seats this election regardless of what vote share they get, the tables are stacked against them. As it is it doesn’t look like they’ll be winning as many votes as we thought in mid-April at the height of Cleggmania.

    That’s the big story, the Lib Dems are going to increase their vote share a bit and it looks like they’re going to lose seats. The Lib Dems are going to, yet again, have a vote share that vastly outperforms the number of seats they will win.

    A few months ago that would have translated into a mandate for reform. The unfortunate thing is if they don’t get the seats, even with the vote share they won’t be able to push through reform. They will lack the political power in the face of a surprisingly strong Conservative performance to turn their mandate into action.

    A worrying development.

  6. Well, having seen BBC flash up Newton Abbot hold, but then correcting it to Con gain I’m going to bed in depressed mood. Bad for Lib Dems, bad for democracy.
    I agree with Leftoutside

  7. Oh fuck Evan Harris is gone. That’s really, really bad. Extremely nasty Tory in his place, damn.

    Let’s hope there’s a recount on that.

    1. There was, and he still lost.

      Why the fuck did I stay up for this shit? Feeling very bruised and battered.

      1. Yeah, being knackered AND on the losing side doesn’t have much to recommend itself.

        Kramer was muellered by Goldsmith.

    2. On the Oxford front, a friend just showed me the numbers if you combine the Oxford constituencies:
      Lib Dem 41087; COn 33633; Lab 27937. And what do you get? One Labour and one Tory. I hope the electoral reform movement of recent weeks doesn’t die with the Cameron government, but I fear it will.

      1. Amazing figure – thanks. Daft LibDems never know where to put their votes …

      2. Okay, that makes me fucking angry.

        After all the stupidity in Sheffield etc as well, heads must roll in the Electoral Commission.

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