1720: I have to drive to the Wairarapa so last update from me for a couple of hours at least.
1716: 100 seats to go. Cons 268. Lab 212. LD 42. Cons need to win 56/100 seats for a majority – this will not happen. If they get 46 though then they can govern with Irish support.
1708: BBC now predicts Conservatives 308 seats. Add in Unionists 8, Alliance 1 and the seat not being contested due to a death which is safe, and they have 318 seats in their corner, out of 446 (excluding Sinn Fein)
1658: BNP Leader Nick Griffin got 6,500 votes in Barking. Far too many, but well off even second place. Labour’s majority has gone up as many Conservatives and Lib Dems voted tactically against Griffin.
1652: Conservatives have 262 of 528 – almost half. But of remaining 121 seats, a fair few are strong Labour. Labour on 199 and Lib Dems 40. Not LD share of vote just 6% less than Labour.
1651: Greens win their first ever seat in Commons with Leader Caroline Lucas elected in Brighton Pavilion
1640: BBC has done formal projection that Conservatives get 306 seats. By coincidence that was exit poll projection also, and my one. If Conservatives get over 300, I think Cameron will be Prime Minister fairly quickly.
1630: Cons 241 and Lab and Lib Dems combined 228. Chance of majority all but gone. Now the focus is on Cons vs Lab/Lib Dem.
1601: Lord Ashcroft now speaking on BBC. I have fond memories of being entertained in Sydney on his super yacht. He is a very smart operator, and very funny guy.
1557: Sinn Fein do not take their seats up so in reality 324 seats will be a majority. If Conservatives do not get a majority (which I think is the case) what will be key is if Labour and Lib Dems combined can form a majority. If so, then Gordon Brown will offer anything. But if Lab/Lib Dems would also need support from a third or forth party, then I think inevitable Cameron will be PM. At this stage Cons has 223 and Lab/Lib Dem 203.
1554: Cons 220 out of 441 seats declared. But some strong Labour areas to come.
1545: Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has lost her seat of Redditch by a massive 6,000 votes. In her concession speech it was noticeable that amongst the people she thanked, she did not mention her husband. He infamously charged the taxpayer for porn films he ordered.
1525: Louise Bagshawe has won Bagley off Labour. She was in NZ recently promoting a recent book.
1519: Yay. A mate of mine, Chris Kelly, has won Dudley South with a huge 9.5% to win the seat off Labour with a 4,000 majority. Well done Chris.
1503: Over half the seats have declared (325/650) and seats are Cons 157, Lab 123, Lib Dems 23, Others 25. Vote share is Cons 36%, Lab 27%, Lib Dems 22%. I can not see a Conservative absolute majority but Conservatives should pick up more seats in second half as mainly English seats to go.
1439: Cons 122 to Lab 108 and Lib Dems 19. Cameron says Labour has lost mandate to govern. I do wish the BBC would do what US networks do and do projections based on safe seats not declared.
1404: Conservatives and Labour now tied on 76 seats each
1357: The Witney count has one person dressed as Boss Hogg and another as Jesus. Hilarious. This is Cameron’s seat and he has won it by a huge 22,000 majority.
1325: One seat just had 13% swing to Conservatives. Huge.
1315: Conservatives now picking up a few seats from Labour. Count is Lab 43, Cons 24, Lib Dem 4.
1248: Turnout in Tooting up 10%. That is good.
1247: Tooting had a big swing to Conservatives but Labour held it as Lib Dems voters went to Labour. Tactical voting like this may mean Conservatives do not do as well as exit polls project
1244: Best seat name so far has been “The Wrekin”. That would be great to say you are the “MP for The Wrekin”. Also amusing that the Conservatives held Christchurch.
1235: Gordon Brown has won his seat but the star was Derek Jackson on the Land is Power party who sent the entire time on stage with a raised clenched fist and wearing sunnies. He got 57 votes.
1204: The seat was a gain from Labour with a 9% swing.
1203: Tories finally win a seat.
Conservatives still yet to win a seat. I do wish they would stop treating the exit poll as holy writ.
Peter Robinson has lost his Belfast seat. He was the First Minister for Northern Ireland with the ad wife who was sleeping with a 19 year old. A huge 22% swing against him.
Sinn Fein has now won a seat and are currently the second largest party in the UK Parliament, according to Phil Lyth.
UPDATE: I’m going to blog in reverse order to normal and up do updates at the top of the post, not the bottom, so easy to see them. Now at Malthouse watching the results. Malthouse have provided free wireless which is great of them.
Am amused that the Conservatives are trying to talk Labour out of power on the basis of the exit polls with claims it is impossible Gordon Brown could continue on. As the Conservatives are yet to win a single seat, I think they are being rather premature.
I’m going to head down to the Malthouse for live viewing of results at 11 am. Use this thread for discussion etc as they come in.
So far just one seat has declared – for Labour.
The BBC exit poll predicts Conservatives will get 307 seats – 19 short of a majority. By coincidence a month or so ago I thought they might fall 20 short. I hope they make it, but 20 short is still a good guess.
The exit poll says Conservatives 38%, Labour 28% and Lib Dems 23%. 38% is the minimum I regard the Conservatives need to get an absolute majority. It could be close.
But it is all guessing. One of the fun things about FPP is that elections are far more unpredictable. Predictions based on uniform swings are rarely right as swings are not uniform.