Election results: rolling coverage

Houses of Parliament

Pic: Megan Trace, flickr

Welcome to our election night coverage, which we’re planning to continue till 7am.

rs21 stands in the tradition of socialism from below. In our view protests, strikes and demonstrations – and ultimately, revolutions – are what really bring change in society. Sometimes, elections can play a part in that process, mobilising people and giving them new confidence. We’ve seen small signs of how millions could reject the established order in the Greek election and the Scottish referendum. We’re not likely to see anything so inspiring tonight. If we’re lucky, we’ll see Clegg lose his seat, Jim Murphy endure humiliation and Farage fail to become an MP. If there is a late surge to Labour, the best that will happen is that we see Cameron out of Downing Street tomorrow morning.

But a Miliband victory will still mean a Labour government committed to cuts and Trident, a party which included “controls on immigration” in its six pledges. Big Green gains – and gains on a much larger scale for the SNP – will reflect a hunger for change – but starting to build a mass movement that fights for change from below isn’t what either of those parties is about. We hope that credible left candidates do well – but we aren’t holding our breath.

Don’t let the Tories cling on to power

The Tories have spent the last few weeks trying to undermine the legitimacy of the likeliest outcome of the election – a Labour government with SNP support. We can’t let them undermine what little democracy we have. If Cameron has lost, he has to go. That’s why we’re part of the call for a protest at 1pm on Saturday at Downing Street if the Tories try to cling on to power – see the Guardian article on the People’s Assembly’s initiative..

Timetable for tonight

Very few results will be declared before 1.30am, but from 2am we’ll get a result every minute or so. The most results come in between 4 and 4.30am, and the last seats of the night will be declared early tomorrow morning. Seven seats aren’t expected to declare until tomorrow lunchtime, of which two (Berwick-upon-Tweed and St Ives) may switch from LibDem to Tory, and one (Warwick & Leamington) is a Labour-Tory marginal – if Labour and the Tories are a close as the polls say, these last few seats could be important.

Tonight’s highlights

Here are some results to watch out for:

3am

  • Renfrewshire East: Have the SNP defeated Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy?
  • Thurrock: Possible UKIP gain

4.30am

  • Sheffield Hallam: Will LibDem leader Nick Clegg lose his seat?

5am

  • Bethnal Green and Bow: Glyn Robbins is standing for TUSC and Left Unity, and is one of the best-rooted left candidates, and has defended local mayor Lutfur Rahman, who is facing a racist witch-hunt from both Tories and Labour.
  • Rochester and Strood: Have UKIP held on to the seat, or has it gone to the Tories?

6am

  • South Thanet: Will Nigel Farage become an MP? Or will a vibrant local campaign stop him?

07.53am – The results for Bristol West are in: the Greens came second to Labour in this former Lib Dem seat. They also came second to Labour in Sheffield Central, Liverpool Riverside and Manchester Gorton. The Greens came third in Norwich South, another of their target seats, with Labour’s Clive Lewis  taking it from the Lib Dems. Caroline Lucas held her Brighton Pavilion seat easily, leaving the Greens with plenty of creditable second and third places but just the one MP.

05.07am – Esther McVey, the hated Tory employment minister, has been booted out by Labour. Lib Dems in London have been falling like ninepins: Simon Hughes and Lynne Featherstone to Labour; Vince Cable and Ed Davey to the Tories. But Clegg has hung on as Tories voted tactically to save him.

03.57am – Wes Streeting has taken Ilford North from the Tories – a very unlikely Labour win. This suggests the London suburbs are going red.

03.41am – Simon Hughes has lost to Labour in Bermondsey and Old Southwark and Ed Davey has lost to the Tories in Kingston. We’re also hearing that George Galloway has lost in Bradford West.

03.20am – According to activist in Thanet, press still saying to close to call Thanet South. Result delayed 6am earliest.

03.12am – Jim Murphy, the leader of Scottish Labour has lost his seat in East Renfrewshire

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03.06am – Labour gain Burnley, and Ealing Central, London, however it looks like most of the  BNP vote in Burnley transferred en masse to UKIP.

02.54am – It’s not just Labour loosing to the SNP, Jo Swinson from the Lib Dems has lost to the SNP in East Dunbartonshire, however it’s Labour that’s loosing votes in particular.

02.42am – The swings to the SNP in Scotland are huge, up to 35% claims Alex Salmond. Some of the seats, such as Dundee West, have only ever been held by Labour.

02.29am – It’s not all entirely bleak for Labour – there’s been a 5.8% swing to Labour left-winger Jeremy Corbyn in Islington North, London.

02.27am – Dougals Alexander, the shadow foreign secretary looses to 20 year old student Mhairi Black from the SNP with a 27% swing in Paisley & Renfrewshire

02.17am – SNP win their first seat in Kilmarnock with 56%, a 30%. Labour have done terribly, the swing to the SNP from Labour was 26%. This is a likely picture of things to come in the rest of Scotland.

02.08am – We should be getting results coming in soon from a large number of seats. The results so far seem to show the Lib Dems being wiped out. So far they’ve lost their deposits in seven seats – they lost none in 2010. The centre ground is collapsing, wiping out the Lib Dems, but most of the Lib Dem votes have gone to the right.

01.44am – ITV calling Nuneaton for the Tories — number 37 on Labour’s target list.

01.25am – More bad news for Labour, as Battersea is held comfortably by the Tories, with a swing of 1.7%.

01.10amColin Wilson of rs21:

Even Nick Robinson saying that if Cameron has won, he presides over a divided nation – SNP winning in Scotland, UKIP growing elsewhere – and having to preside over an EU referendum. This looks like a lousy result, but the Tories have all kinds of problems ahead of them.

12.45am – Comfortable victory for the Tories in Swindon North. Not a major Labour target, but the swing towards the Tories and rise of UKIP once again worrying.

12.40am – Comment from Ian A, Unite Activist:

Miliband will go if he loses. The Labour right will say he veered too left. The left will say he was too right wing. The MPs are overwhelmingly right wing and largely control leadership elections. Crisis in Labour and union link will escalate.

12.30am – BBC reporter at the Basildon count just suggested UKIP were eating into Labour vote more than Conservatives. Starting to look like a pattern.

12.17am – Lord Ashcroft’s poll of 12,000 people puts the vote closer than the BBC:

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12.13am – As we wait to see whether the depressing poll turns out to be true, people are already reacting. Here’s Jonathon Shafi from Radical Indepence Campaign and Scottish Left Project:

Further thoughts based on the exit poll. It is inevitable that the Blairites will win out in the coming internal strife in Labour. They will spend the next 5 years in Westminster trying to out do the Tories. That means at the next election, it will already be too late to reclaim the savage losses coming to our public services. The crisis of working class representation will have intensified to a point not previously known. In other words, Left politics in England is in deep, deep trouble and demands a quick reconfiguration to combat the decline, underwritten by immediate mobilisations of the various social movements. In Scotland, we might expect a ‘second surge’ to the SNP, who will be dominant. The national question will be higher than ever – and the weapon of choice for many will be the SNP. That means the Left needs to make an immediate impact on the situation, and co-ordinate its forces to provide a non-SNP radical left outlet for anti-Tory anger. In each case, the future of the Left could be down to the actions taken in the next few weeks.

12.01am – Lots of rumours going around that George Galloway has lost his seat in Bradford West. Also that Danny Alexander, Lib Dem Treasury Secretary has lost.

11.30pm – Washington and Sunderland West – UKIP up from 3 percent to 20 percent. First TUSC result: last place with 341 votes, 0.9 percent. Third lost deposit for the LibDems.

11.19pm – UKIP up in Sunderland Central from 2.6 percent in 2010 to 19 percent. LibDems lose deposit again.

11.15pm – Only eight more results expected before 1.30am. Full list of declaration times on the Guardian website.

11.05pmPaul Mason of Channel 4 News making similar points to Polly Toynbee – if exit poll is right, Scotland and England are going in completely different directions, which will “put Scotland on an exit path from the UK.”

10.57pm – Lib Dems lose deposit in Houghton and Sunderland South, but UKIP up from 3 percent in 2010 to 22 percent today.

10.47pm – Polly Toynbee speculates that Tory majority in England and big SNP majority in Scotland may break up the UK.

Toynbee Tweet

10.42pm – Clarification – YouGov didn’t do an exit poll today. They did check some of the people they surveyed yesterday, and they saw no change since then.

10.26pm – YouGov exit poll has quite different result: Tories on 284, Labour 263, SNP 48, LibDem 31.

10.21pm – We’re hoping for a report from Thanet before the declaration, but local anti-UKIP activists have run a great campaign. Here are pics from today of just some of the people who rejected Farage.

People hold "I didn't vote UKIP" signs

10.10pm – If the poll is right, the SNP win all but one seat in Scotland and the Liberal vote has collapsed further than anyone suspected – but it’s impossible for Labour to form a government. This looks grim.

10pm – BBC exit poll suggests win for the Tories with 316 MPs, 239 for Labour, 58 for the SNP, 10 for the LibDems, 2 Greens and 2 for UKIP.

There are 6 comments

  1. RayB

    It’s an election disaster for the majority and a victory for the rich, including Charlotte and all the other royal hangers on. Get rid of the lot of them! Five more years of Tory rule – not a great night for workers or socialist candidates either. UKIP are still pulling in votes so the left needs to find a way to undermine this. The SNP in Scotland stood against austerity and won traditional Labour seats. If Miliband and Labour had done the same instead of promising more cuts like an insipid version of the Tories then they might have done better across the UK. Miliband is finished while Sturgeon goes from strength to strength so I hope Labour learn that lesson instead of electing a leader who panders to Tory voters who will never vote Labour anyway. Poor polling hasn’t stopped Labour peddling austerity in the past so I’m prepared for a new Blairite leader. Elections don’t reveal the true level of discontent so it’ll be interesting to see what kinds of extra-parliamentary opposition to austerity will grow now that it’s clear that Labour offer no solution.

  2. Rob Owen

    RayB if you think this result will see Labour replacing Ed with someone to his left pulling the debate our way I’m afraid you’re living in the clouds. If you think that doesn’t matter I think thats troubling. He’ll be replaced with a more “dynamic” more centre right figure Which will undermine the general class divide and redistribution arguements Miliband did centre his campaign on.

    Unless a social movement over something lifts people in England this consolidation of the right will cow people in the short term. As a snap shot of the population in England it suggests we’re not winning the arguement over austerity or economy.

  3. RayB

    Did you actually read the bit where I wrote, “Poor polling hasn’t stopped Labour peddling austerity in the past so I’m prepared for a new Blairite leader.”? The vote increase for UKIP is worrying but look where the BNP are now for reverses in electoral fortunes. The same might be said of the SNP who did campaign aggressively against austerity and trounced Labour even in it’s strongholds despite loosing the independence vote. This might reverse when the reality of SNP cuts hits home but my point was, had Labour come out against austerity and offered an alternative to the Tories and UKIP then perhaps we would be looking at a different result. They didn’t and won’t in the future so we must carry on building extra-parliamentary opposition, especially in the workplace because that’s where we can thwart the Tory cuts.

  4. Rob Owen

    It’s your final point that I’m focusing on (and only passing comment on your dismissal of the fact in popular terms this was a fairly leftwing labour campaign).

    It is the optimism that the impact of the results will harden the resolve of people to fight back. It also strikes me as unlikely that the workplace will be the central pivot of anti-tory resistance in the short term (as gov attacks are centralised and the unions are unwilling to go for a test of strength). Locally public sector workplaces are fraying at the edges in the face of sector wide austerity as reps battle over cases involving stress and workload rather then collective battles against central policy. There will be big battles (The Eu referendum opens a massive can of racist worms) there hopefully will be social explosions that can be fed into a movement –

    I’m not sure where the basis for your well of discontent is seeing as it didn’t manifest in either votes for the left of centre or higher levels of abstentionism. Elections are a snap shot (maybe not much more) but what it seems to show us is our side in England is both anti-Tory but demoralised with a small but growing radical wing manifesting in the Green vote and the Right is numerically harder (with the LibDem’s collapsing into it) with a slightly larger radicalised right around UKIP.

    Scotland saw the a movement where a movement crystallised – England so far has not.

  5. Chris Lavers

    Today is the saddest day I have ever seen in a UK election, a day when fair electoral representation died completely, when so many votes simply failed to count for anything. If Equality laws were applied to this UK election then the system itself would be found guilty of breaking these laws. It isn’t about the number of UKIP or the Liberal Democrat seats directly, but about a failed system that cannot represent the diverse groups of our electorate. If you take the votes of both UKIP and the Liberal Democrats for their ‘families’ of voters in proportion to allocation of Labour seats then 6,275,275 votes should have translated into 155 MPs, 96 of whom should have been UKIP, and by the same token if 3,875,409 UKIP votes resulted in 1 MP then 9,339,818 Labour votes across the nation should have resulted in only 2 MPs which is simply absurd!
    Clearly all parties have played ‘within the rules’ to get the result we see today, however, let us not fool ourselves that this result is by any means fair, it is a travesty of democracy, and flies in the face of 800 years since Magna Carta. In lieu of VE day it is somewhat ironic then to quote British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s wartime speech made in the darkest days of World War 2: “Never was so much owed by so many to so few”. Never before have so many voted achieve so little a result; without true electoral reform the vast majority of this nation will continue, as they have for decades, to have a disproportionate representation in Parliament. This result will only strengthen the resolve of those seeking electoral reform, hopefully lighting a fuse which will not go out until the old system is blown apart.

  6. RayB

    “It’s your final point that I’m focusing on (and only passing comment on your dismissal of the fact in popular terms this was a fairly leftwing labour campaign).”

    Left wing compared to who, the Tories? Miliband only started focusing on the unfairness of austerity during the election campaign because it was clear that this was very popular with SNP voters. So in England there wasn’t an anti-austerity party of any weight like the SNP in Scotland. Separating out what happened in Scotland as some unique phenomenon that has no relationship with the rest of the UK hides the level of discontent with austerity and the political establishment across the UK. The Tories victory is hardly a ringing endorsement for them and the success of the SNP is testament that Labour didn’t move left enough if at all compared to past Blairite governments. Labour well and truly pandered to anti-immigration and more austerity rhetoric before the election, Ed Balls defeat is a consequence of that, and people have deserted them in droves – not just in Scotland but the rest of the UK as well. I don’t agree that these voters automatically shifted over to UKIP. And those that did have far more complex reasons that involve discontent with the so-called, “establishment” parties.
    Concerning social movements, unless they are linked to workers fighting back then there will be no solid base to sustain them. I am not making predictions – I am simply spelling out that faith in some new social movement coming along and reinvigorating the left without building opposition to austerity in the workplace is misplaced. But that doesn’t rule out the possibility that both these things might emerge if the left in and outside Labour recognise where Labour went wrong and instead of simply stating that English politics has moved to the right, builds a united alternative based on workers fighting back. This is not a passive wait and see strategy but requires actively engaging in building that struggle as I’m sure many RS21 comrades have been doing.

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