2019 GENERAL ELECTION LIVE BLOG. THE FIRST RESULTS ARE IN. EARTHQUAKE IN BLYTH VALLEY: THE CONSERVATIVES WIN IT.

13.00

The shuffle will feature “minor adjustments”, ConservativeHome is told – to replace Nicky Morgan at Culture, who has stood down for this election, and Alun Cairns at Wales.  “This is the Cabinet to deliver Brexit.”

There will then be a further, bigger shuffle post-January 31.  The EU Withdrawal Bill is now expected next Friday, with a Budget in March.

00.30

Labour’s internal briefing for media appearances this evening.

00.00

We gave five reasons in November why a Conservative-Brexit Party pact would be a bad idea.

  • It would be hard to deliver on the ground.
  • There would be a row between the two parties over which seats which party should contest.
  • There is no automatic transfer of votes from one to the other.  (So there is no proof and there almost certainly can’t be that the Brexit Party prevented the Conservatives from winning in Sunderland South, for example.)
  • Any Brexit Party voters won at one end would risk being offset by losses to anti-Brexit Party voters at the other.
  • “It would be odd, if one disagrees with a party over a core policy, to campaign in alliance with it. Johnson favours his deal. Farage supports No Deal.”

“A party that has seen off Lloyd George, Arthur K Chesterton, Christopher Brockleback-Fowler, Paul Nuttall and Nick Clegg really ought to be capable of seeing off Farage too,” we wrote.  That call sounds not too bad as we write.

23.30

We have the first actual results.

It is hard to find the rights words to describe what this Tory gain represents.  The best we can do is say that it’s as though the Labour Party had won East Surrey.

Would the Brexit Party votes have gone to Christopher Howarth, the Conservative candidate, had it not stood a candidate of its own?

 

23.00

If (again) the exit poll is right, here are seven questions.

  • Will a large majority encourage Boris Johnson to pursue a harder Brexit (because he will have the numbers to outvote the Opposition) or a softer one (because he might have the numbers to ignore the ERG)?
  • What happens in relation to a second Independence referendum in Scotland, if anything?
  • Will Johnson conduct a big-scale Cabinet reshuffle now…or after January 31…or not at all?
  • What becomes of the internal balance of the Conservative Parliamentary Party – does it now become a more northern, less liberal, populist interventionist statist-leaning party?
  • Do the Liberal Democrats now became the out-and-out party of Rejoin?
  • Is there space “to the right” of the Conservatives for a recast Brexit Party?
  • What happens to Labour?

Here is the BBC’s check the exit poll in your area link.

22.30

If the BBC’s exit poll is right:

  • The Conservatives will gain their best result since 1987.
  • Labour will have their worst result since 1935.
  • The Liberal Democrats will lose seats net on their pre-election number.
  • The SNP will sweep Scotland – prepare for a further battle over a second independence referendum.
  • Oh, and…the British people have voted to “Get Brexit Done”.

22.00

BBC exit poll:

Conservative: 368

Labour: 191

SNP: 55

Liberal Democrats: 13

Plaid Cymru: 3

Greens: 1

That would mean a Tory majority of 86.

How far out could the poll be?

21.30

Paul Goodman blogging.

Tonight’s general election has been fought in three battlegrounds.  Scotland.  The Midlands and North.  And what we call Remainia – London and its relatively well-off hinterland.  (This is a very crude picture, and doesn’t take into other big areas such as the South-West, but it serves a purpose.)

Perhaps 20 per cent of the electorate has voted by post.  One CCHQ estimate is that as many as 25 per cent of voters will have made up their minds on the day; a pollster estimate is that this figure will be nearer 10 per cent.

In very broad terms, ConHome hears that the main parties agree that London has been bad for the Conservatives and the rest of provincial England good.  One account held that Labour is “bullish”, the Tories “quietly confident”…and of course there has been no opinion poll herding.

The consensus view as close of polls loom is that the Conservatives will win a majority.  But the consensus has been wrong before.  What about tactical voting?  Differential turnout?  Turnout itself?  The parties’ ground game?  Last minute swing?

Which famous names will lose their seats this evening?  What of Jo Swinson’s leadership?  The future of Nigel Farage?  How many votes will Dominic Grieve, David Gauke and Anne Milton get?  What will happen in Scotland and Wales – and Northern Ireland?  Not long to go now until we all find out.

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Author: Conservative Home


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