Closed Hung parliament after UK election – Live

MAS_May_Corbyn_AP_Getty

Prime minister Theresa May’s Conservative party has lost its overall majority while remaining the largest party in a hung parliament, after Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour makes good progress

Key points

  • Theresa May seeks to form a government with support from DUP
  • Tories projected to get 319 seats vs 261 for Labour
  • 326 seats needed for a technical majority
  • Sterling slides 2% against the dollar
  • Big name losers: Lib Dem’s NIck Clegg, SNP’s Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson
  • Ukip leader Nuttall quits
  • Visit our full results page


Good evening and welcome to our live coverage of the results of the UK election. It has been one of the strangest and most traumatic campaigns in living memory. When Theresa May called the snap election in April — just two years after the last vote — her Conservative party riding high in the opinion polls, gambling that an apparent insurmountable lead over the main opposition Labour party would give her a decisive victory.

But with Labour’s campaign widely seen as having been more effective, the Tory lead in the opinion polls has narrowed from 20 points in April to an average of 8 points.


The FT’s chief political correspondent, Jim Pickard, has put together a guide outlining the what are likely to be key contests that should give us pointers as to the likely outcome. You can read it here.


Exit poll due at 10pm

A reminder that the key exit poll is due out just as the polling stations close in 45 minutes time. This poll has proven pretty accurate in recent elections so everyone will be watching it closely. It comes out simultaneously on all three major broadcasters – BBC, Sky and ITV at 10pm BST – and is compiled by Ipsos Mori.


So how does it all work?
The UK has 650 constituencies: 533 in England, 59 in Scotland, 40 in Wales and 18 in Northern Ireland. This means 326 seats are needed to win an overall majority.

There’s two small caveats. Sinn Fein does not recognise the UK parliament it doesn’t send its MPs to Westminster, and we can also factor out the speaker’s seat – meaning the magic number for the majority can be lower.

For those unfamiliar with the British voting system – the UK has a first past the post system, meaning that for each of the 650 seats up for grabs, the candidate with the most votes wins that seat, regardless of whether they have a majority or not.

So a party can win the general election by taking the most seats, but not necessarily winning the highest number of individual votes.

You can read more about how the UK electoral system works here.


Result of 2015 General Election

Here’s a reminder of the number of seats each party won at the last election just over two years ago.

The one seat that is missing is that of the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow. Once appointed as the speaker, a neutral position, the MP resigns as a member of their party – in Mr Bercow’s case the Conservatives – and if the MP in that role stands for re-election the other major party usually do not put up rival candidates.


State of the parties in April

Since the election in 2015, there has been a little movement in the balance of power in the Commons, with Labour losing three seats either through by-elections or in the case of Manchester Gorton, a vacant seat where the by-election was delayed by the Theresa May calling a snap election.


Snap!
Today’s vote is what’s known as a snap election – one that’s been called earlier than expected. UK governments are currently meant to last for five years, and as the last election took place in 2015, the next one was not due until 2020.

In April, UK prime minister Theresa May called a surprise election in a bid to boost her public support before she starts Brexit negotiations. The Fixed-Term Parliaments Act – introduced by the coalition Government in 2011 – required Ms May to call a Parliamentary vote on the matter and secure a two thirds majority of MPs to agree to it before it take place. But approval for today’s election was near unanimous – with 522 MPs voting in favour and only 13 against.

Mrs May took over from David Cameron who resigned after Britain voted to leave the EU last June, so although she has been elected as an MP, she has never been elected prime minister.


First 10 results can give a good steer

Veteran psephologist, Sir David Butler, who recently took to Twitter at the age 92, is providing some great insights on his feed.

https://twitter.com/SirDavidButler/status/872901179105214464

For those that can’t access Twitter, it reads:
The first 10 seats called usually give an accurate steer to the final outcome.


This was a strange campaign (Winston Churchill’s 69-year old grandson Sir Nicholas Soames calls it the strangest since at least 1979). Here are some of the reasons why:

Timing: The vote was called at a short notice, just a year after an exhausting referendum. The last time two general elections were held within two years was 1974.
Terror: The tragic loss of life in Manchester and London led to several days with no campaigning.
Issues: Theresa May didn’t want to talk in detail about Brexit or the economy; Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour largely agreed.
Scrutiny: Mrs May and Mr Corbyn limited media questioning, and there were no presidential-style debates as in 2010.
Polls: Labour’s abrupt rise in the polls was remarkable by historical standards, causing much of the media to forget the lesson of 2015 – namely, don’t pay too much attention to polls.


The FT’s poll of polls puts the Conservative party ahead with 44 per cent of the vote to Labour’s 36 per cent. The Lib Dems are trailing with 8 per cent, followed by UKIP with 4 per cent.

You can follow our poll tracker here.

And tonight’s exit polls and full results – as they come – will be available here.


T-minus 9 and counting

Just under 9 minutes to go before the voting stations close and the exit poll is published


Exit poll results
Emoticon Conservatives are going to be the largest party but with no overall majority – 314 seats vs 266 for Labour. There is shock in the newsroom.


More details from the exit poll

Conservatives – 314
Labour – 266
SNP – 34
Liberal Democrats – 14

Due to convention, the Speakers seat is included in the Conservative total (see post at 9:24pm) hence the exit poll shows the Tories losing 17 seats.


The exit poll hasn’t been off by more than 15 seats since 1992.

Would the Tories definitely be short of a majority if the exit poll is right? Not necessarily.

The exit poll has the Tories on 314, facing a total of 336 non-Tories. Deduct Sinn Fein (who don’t take their seats, and who won 4 seats in 2015), and you could have perhaps 332 non-Tories. If the Northern Irish DUP (8 seats in 2015) supported the Tories, then it would be 322 versus 324. So it’s all very close.


https://twitter.com/GaryLineker/status/872922794073481216

For those who can’t access Twitter, that’s ex-footballer Gary Lineker saying, “I think Theresa May has won own goal of the season.”


George Osborne questions May’s future

“Clearly if she has a worse result than two years ago and she struggles to form a coalition, there is a question over her long term future as Conservative leader,” says the former chancellor, who is no friend of the prime minister.

“I look at these numbers and I can’t make it add up. If you add up the Labour number, the Scottish nationalists and the Liberal Democrats you get to 314. This is a result that falls right between two possible coalitions.”

Are we heading for another election? Ed Balls thinks so: “If this is correct, there will be a second election soon.” Party like it’s 1974.


Massive blow to pound
With the Tories potentially shy of a majority, sterling has taken a heavy blow, falling 1.4 per cent on the day to $1.2766. Nail-biting stuff – and it’s only just beginning.


The shortest serving prime minister since…?

Theresa May has been in office for just under 11 months. If she does resign immediately, she will be the shortest serving prime minister since Ramsay Macdonald in 1924. (He came back five years later.)


A bit more about exit polls

The FT’s resident polling expert has penned a piece about the reliability of exit polls. You can read it here

But in short – in recent elections they have been pretty accurate:


Soft or hard Brexit?
Analysts are now naturally asking what a Corbyn-led government might mean for Brexit? James Knightley, senior economist at ING, says:

Some may say that at least this outcome reduces the chance of “hard” Brexit given a Jeremy Corbyn led government will likely be more relaxed on the issue of controlling immigration in negotiations relative to the Conservatives. They also appear more concerned about getting access to the single market.

As such, there appears greater opportunity for compromise that could potentially yield a “softer” Brexit, something closer to EEA membership enjoyed by Norway.


George Osborne is enjoying himself

“This is completely catastrophic for the Conservatives and Theresa May,” says the former chancellor on ITV. His Evening Standard backed the Conservatives, but it very much enjoyed sticking the knife into the leadership during the campaign. (Osborne was sacked as chancellor when May became prime minister.)


Mixed feelings for SNP

The exit poll does not look great for the SNP, which won 56 seats in the 2015 election and still had 54 before this election was called. Mure Dickie, the FT’s Scotland correspondent, observes:

Winning only 34 seats would obviously be a huge setback from 2015 for the Scottish National party, but gaining a swing vote in the House of Commons would be major compensation.


Could Rudd be in trouble?

One of the FT’s data analysts, Avtar Singh Rai, writes:

Amber Rudd has shot up the Tory ranks in the last two years becoming Home Secretary and, for many, a prime minister in waiting. But if we are to believe this exit poll, she may not even retain her seat in Hastings and Rye. Her victory margin in 2015 was 9.4% over Labour. It has been reported that Labour have sent considerable resources to Peter Chowney, their candidate in Hastings, during this campaign in an attempt to oust her.


Could the exit poll be wrong?

Yes. It has 76 seats too close to call.

In 2015 the exit poll had Conservatives on 316 seats – short of an overall majority. They finished on 331 (including the Speaker).

The exit poll might also be distorted because it doesn’t include postal votes, points out Bloomberg’s Rob Hutton. In 2015, 20.5 per cent of votes were by post. Those voters are likely to be old, and Conservative-leaning. And in 2015 the proportion of postal votes was highest in the north-east, the north-west and Yorkshire and the Humber – all of which are Conservative target regions this time.


Scalps on the line
The first results should start to roll in from 11pm onwards – so whose seats are most at risk? The BBC’s polls put Angus Robertson, the Scottish National party’s deputy leader, and Gavin Barwell, the housing minister, in serious trouble.

From Amber Rudd in Hastings and Rye to former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam, the FT’s Sebastian Payne looks at the top 10 politicians who could be unseated here.


More…uncertainty
Looks like markets have been taken by surprise. Geoffrey Yu, head of the UK investment office at UBS Wealth Management, says:

The night is young but clearly markets were not positioned for this and for now the result is not seen in a positive light because it just means more uncertainty.

New elections are already being discussed so people will choose to stay away from the currency for the time being. Having said that, we are nowhere near the post-Brexit low so it also means markets don’t expect (for now) this makes Brexit harder – ie no deal.

How the options market behaves up ahead will be crucial. Skew was already pointing to short-term uncertainty and this could build as more hedges are put on.


Has Corbyn taken us back to the 1970s already?

1974 to be precise, when Edward Heath called an early election. The electorate made the Labour the largest party without a majority. There was a second election eight months later, leading to Harold Wilson’s minority Labour government.


Tories tongue-tied

The FT’s Sebastian Payne is at election party hosted by Bright Blue, the liberal Tory think tank. He Tweeted a video reaction to the exit poll a bit earlier:

https://twitter.com/sebastianepayne/status/872922161090109440

For those who can’t access Twitter, the Tweet reads: Exit poll received in silence at @WeAreBrightBlue party #ge2017


Sunderland v Newcastle

Sunderland and Newcastle are both striving to be the first place to declare a 2017 general election result – although both insist that this is not a race and that accuracy is paramount.

From the ground at the Sunderland count, the FT’s Chris Tighe says:
Sunderland has enjoyed the limelight of first result since 1992; in 2015 it declared Houghton and Sunderland South, one of three constituencies in its area, at 22.48 – just 48 minutes after the polling stations closed. Giving driving times from outlying areas, this was remarkably rapid. Newcastle’s best chance of rivaling this is with the relatively tightly drawn Newcastle Central.

On the counting floor, the counters are working away intensely and the teams of runners – all dressed in white teeshirts with white gloves to grip the ballot boxes firmly – have already finished their job of racing into the count.


Gove urges caution over exit polls

Speaking on ITV, Michael Gove, one of the architects of Brexit and former Tory cabinet minister who lost out to Theresa May to lead the party said:

In 2015 I remember the exit poll predicted a hung parliament and we ended up with a Conservative majority.


Houghton and Sunderland South
Turnout in Houghton and Sunderland South this time is 61per cent – up
substantially on 56.3per cent in 2015, writes the FT’s Chris Tighe.
This will give encouragement to Labour as it is a solid Labour seat and there had been rumours that turnout would be lower in the north.


Spare a thought for Jim Messina…

Barack Obama’s former campaign manager worked on the wrong side of the EU referendum and of Matteo Renzi’s Italian referendum. He’s currently on the Conservative campaign, and a few hours ago he seemed to think all was going well…

https://twitter.com/Messina2012/status/872827582294523904

(For non-Twitter users, that says: “From London, watching this strong democratic election as my country’s politics slides off the rails. #GeneralElection2017 #Comey.”)


First results

Emoticon Newcastle Central – Labour hold

Swing to Labour was 2.1 per cent, exit poll suggested it should have been 7 per cent. Turnout was up 10 percentage points


How would a hung parliament work?

Read our explainer from 2010 here. In short the sitting prime minister has the first chance to try to form a government. (In 2010 there were negotiations between Labour and the Liberal Democrats – but the numbers didn’t quite add up, the key figures didn’t get on, and Gordon Brown eventually felt duty bound to hand his resignation to the Queen.)

So only if the Conservatives fail to a) achieve a majority, b) put together a workable coalition, or c) go ahead with a minority government, would Labour get the chance to form a government. Labour’s Emily Thornberry has said, “We would put forward a budget, we would put forward a Queen’s speech” – and it would be for other parties (the Scottish National party, the Liberal Democrats, etc) to decide whether they support it.


Houghton & Sunderland South

Emoticon Labour hold


How the pollsters’ election models fared
How does the pre-election polling compare to the 10pm exit polls?
Most analysts projected large Conservative majorities, but pollsters YouGov were an outlier in predicting a hung parliament.

It’s important to note however that the exit poll is itself a projection, so treat with caution…

For more data analysis through the night, follow our data page here.


The DUP hint that they would prop up the Tories

Jeffrey Donaldson, leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party, one of the most obvious potential coalition partners for the Conservatives, said the exit poll was “perfect territory” for his party.

“If the Conservatives are just short of an overall majority, it puts us in a very strong negotiating position and that’s one we will take with relish,” Sir Jeffrey said, according to our political correspondent Robert Wright.

Sir Jeffrey declined to say what his party would seek in any negotiations. But he went on: “In the past, what we’ve done is operate on a vote by vote basis with respect to issues as they come up in the House of Commons.”

The DUP won 8 seats in the 2015 election. If the exit poll is accurate about the Conservative result, the two parties together would very nearly have enough.


Voter health
Two seats in and the FT’s data guru John Burn-Murdoch notes that the more people who report being in poor health, the bigger the swing to the Conservative party…a trend that the data team suspects may hold true throughout the night.


What happened to the Tory landslide?

Matt Singh, the FT’s election analyst and founder of Number Cruncher Politics, has some thoughts on where things might have gone wrong for Theresa May. If the exit poll is accurate but he urges caution as the first two results in show a big divergence with the exit poll.

He writes:

The sensational exit poll suggests that, having sought a strengthened mandate, the Conservatives are likely to lose their majority. If the broadcasters’ projection is correct – and as we wrote earlier exit polls generally have a good record in Britain — the Tories have dropped 17 seats to 314, with Labour jumping 34 to 266.

We will need to wait for a decent crop of real results to understand what has happened. It could be that the Tories have failed to make the sorts of gains in Brexit-voting Labour areas in the North and Midlands that they had hoped, while losing their Remain-leaning marginals in London and the South.

The first couple of results show an unusually large divergence between the exit poll and the results, and in the Tories’ favour. The seats are quite different, but are both in the North East of England. The question is whether that is replicated across the region and across the country.


The exit poll and postal votes

The two actual results so far have not backed up the projection of a huge swing to Labour.

Could it be postal votes, which aren’t included in the exit poll? Both constituencies are in the north-east, where 34.5 per cent of votes were cast by post in 2015. Nationwide the average was 20.5 per cent, according to Electoral Commission.

Update: John Curtice, the academic who works on the exit poll, says the exit poll assumes that the swing is the same among postal voters and in-person voters. Looking at the data gathered at polling stations, “there isn’t any relationship between the swing to the Labour or Conservatives or whatever and the proportion of people in a polling station that were registered to vote by post.” If I understand that correctly, that leaves open the possibility that postal votes could be undermining the accuracy of the exit polls. (Among other things, postal votes are cast earlier.)


Mayday! Mayday!
The European front pages are casting the exit poll figures as a severe
setback for the British prime minister. One Swedish paper leads with “Mayday! Mayday!”, while Germany’s Bild leads with “Why Theresa May has suddenly lost all credit with the Brits”.

https://twitter.com/murraypolitics/status/870408791577300992


More on the nosedive of sterling

The FT’s market’s team has filed an update on the reaction of the pound to the shock exit polls:

Sterling slid 1.5 per cent to $1.2761, and off 1.6 per cent versus the euro at £0.8797, as the exit poll predicted the Conservatives would win only 314 seats, 12 seats short of an overall majority.

Activity is thin, occurring when the foreign exchange market takes a brief hiatus before the onset of the Asian trading day. But the initial reaction indicates how traders have mispriced the pound, having banked on Theresa May delivering her party an enhanced majority.

Read the full story here


Theresa May’s own pre-election prediction

https://twitter.com/theresa_may/status/865855578454806529

(For non-Twitter users, that’s: “If I lose just six seats I will lose this election and Jeremy Corbyn will be sitting down to negotiate with Europe”.)

Of course, that maths is not strictly true: Sinn Fein doesn’t take its seats in Westminster, and the DUP would surely never support a Corbyn government.


Reaction from Houghton & Sunderland

The FT’s Chris Tighe has spoken to the defeated Tory candidate in the second constituency to declare:

Paul Howell, the Conservative Party candidate in Houghton and Sunderland South, said his result, which saw the Tories move from third to second and increase their votes by more than 5,000 to 12,324, was great news for the party.

“It’s very positive for us, the best since 1992,” he said.

Chris Tighe adds that turnout in Sunderland Central, which is set to declare shortly, is 62.1per cent, up from 57.4per cent in 2015.


The UK nationals on Theresa

A windswept Theresa May appears by the caption “Hanging by a thread” on the Daily Mirror, while the Times leads with “May’s big gamble fails”. The Guardian writes of an “Exit poll shock for May”, adding that Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP is predicted to have suffered a sharp decline.

https://twitter.com/ASLuhn/status/872935405271830529


Slight bounce for sterling

After falling sharply after the exit poll was released at 10pm, the pound pared some of its losses in thin Asian morning trading and is now only down 1.1 per cent at $1.2812


Pound down, euro rally?
Paul Brain at Newton Asset Management, tells the FT he expects further pressure on the pound:

Sterling should at least retrench to just below $1.26. Markets won’t like the exit poll as it could mean the Brexit discussions won’t be any simpler, if indeed this was likely. A leadership contest or a small majority once again delays the discussions. The EU 27 are unlikely to be concerned by this. The euro could rally, and not only against sterling.

We need to keep an eye on sterling against the dollar but also against the yen. The yen has been bought recently due to its safe haven characteristics and that may continue further.


Sunderland Central result

Emoticon Labour hold


Labour minority government?
John McDonnell has told Sky News that if the Conservatives do not win a majority Labour “will seek to implement a minority government”.

That said, he’s sounding pretty pessimistic about the accuracy of the exit polls.

https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/872946191595560961


Newcastle East result

Emoticon Labour hold


Coalition of chaos
Just how likely is a Corbyn-led government? As the FT’s political editor George Parker explains here – not too likely.

Firstly, Theresa May, as the leader of the largest party, would have the first shot at trying to form a government. She might be able to form a government with the likely support of about 10 Northern Ireland Unionists.

And what about the prospects of a “progressive coalition” of SNP, Liberal Democrats, Greens and Welsh nationalists? Well Labour has ruled out forming a coalition, while Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat leader, has also said his party would not repeat its painful experience of coalition government between 2010-15.

There are other options, of course – a second election being one.


First result outside the north-east – Swindon North

Emoticon Conservative hold


It’s a nein from Sinn Fein

A question that arose in Belfast immediately after the exit poll was whether Sinn Fein, the Irish republican party, would abandon its long term policy of not taking its seats at Westminster and whether its MPs would sit to support a potential Labour minority government, writes the FT’s Vincent Boland.

Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein leader, has now poured a lot of cold water on that fanciful idea. As he arrived at the count centre in Belfast tonight, he said:

There is no question whatsoever of us taking our seats at Westminster

Sinn Fein won four seats in 2015, and is tipped to pick up at least one tonight.


Mixed picture after four results

This just in from FT’s data analyst, Avtar Singh Rai:

So we now have three results in; Sunderland Central, Houghton and Sunderland South and Newcastle upon Tyne Central and there is encouraging news for both Labour and the Conservatives.

All three seats have seen increased turnout of 5 to 10 percentage points on 2015, which is what the exit poll implies. This is what most of the Labour campaign has attempted to do, in order to drive up the number of young previously apathetic voters who are more favourable to their message.

However, we have also seen, as expected, the complete collapse of the Ukip vote which thus far seems to be favouring the Tories and turning out swings that are less favourable to Labour than the exit poll suggests.

I would urge caution with extrapolating this to suggest the exit poll is wrong. Once we start to get results from areas with lower Ukip 2015 vote shares we should see the exit poll start to making sense, as we have just done in Swindon North.


Washington & Sunderland result

Another Labour hold in the north-east with an increased majority – but also a 2.1 per cent swing for the Conservatives, reflecting the trend in the region. As in the other two Sunderland seats, UKIP’s vote slumped while the Tories’ rose substantially.

Welcoming the result, Labour’s Sharon Hodgson, who was returned as the MP, said

It has sent a clear message to Westminster that it’s time for change.


The view from Ukip

Paul Nuttall’s party is collapsing in vote share. But it does at least have scope to argue that the Conservatives have put Brexit at risk…

https://twitter.com/paulnuttallukip/status/872941450354466817

(For non-Twitter users: “If the exit poll is true then Theresa May has put Brexit in jeopardy. I said at the start this election was wrong. Hubris.”)


SNP setback
If the exit polls are to be believed, then the Scottish National Party could lose around 20 of its 54 seats in Scotland.

Such a result would mark a massive loss of political momentum and a significant blow to the SNP’s push for a second referendum on independence from the UK, writes the FT’s Mure Dickie. Read the full story here.


Newcastle North result

Emoticon Labour hold


Early days

Eight results so far in – this is what the totaliser looks like:


Will June be the end of May?
Thoughts are already turning to who might succeed Theresa May if she ends up stepping down.

The current list of potential replacements includes Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, Brexit secretary David Davis, defence secretary Michael Fallon and rising star Amber Rudd – though exit polls suggest she could lose her seat.


The big names at risk

Here are some possible well-known figures who could lose their seats, with their 2015 margin of victory:

Amber Rudd (home secretary, Conservative) – Hastings & Rye – 9.4%
Ben Gummer (cabinet office minister, Conservative) – Ipswich – 7.7%
Nick Clegg (former leader, Liberal Democrat) – Sheffield Hallam – 4.2%
Angus Robertson (deputy leader, Scottish National party) – Moray – 18.4%
Alex Salmond (former leader, Scottish National party) – Gordon – 15%

Some of those margins look big, but the volatility is increased by the collapse of the Ukip vote and the potential return of the Lib Dems in some areas. In 2015 Clegg was helped by tactical voting by Tories in his constituency; that may not happen this time.


Nuneaton result

Conservatives hold with small swing to Labour of 0.2 percentage points


Broxbourne result

Conservative hold a very safe seat with a 2 percentage point swing to Labour


From Brexit – to austerity?

The FT’s Andy Bounds has been speaking to Judith Blake, Labour leader of Leeds city council. She said young people had turned out in greater numbers than usual and that, ather than an election about Brexit, it had become one about austerity.

We have worked hard to get the message out that young people and women have suffered the most over the last seven years. If you want to change things you have to use your vote.

As soon as the manifesto came out it resonated with people. It didn’t have to be that way.

However, she stressed it was still early in the night.


Middlesbrough result

Another result came in a bit earlier – it was a Labour hold but the swing to the Tories was 1.4 per cent. This is in line with what we have been seeing in the north-east, where the Conservatives are eating Ukip’s lunch, breakfast and dinner.


Workington result

Labour hold on to a seat where they had a majority of 4,686 a margin of 12.2 per cent – there was a swing of 0.9 per cent to Labour in this north-western constituency in Cumbria


Darlington result – Tory target seat

Emoticon Labour hold – there was 0.2 per cent swing to the Conservatives

If the Tories had won this seat it would have put the party on course for a landslide. They had hoped to make gains in the north-east because of the high percentage of Ukip voters.


No fake news here
Some have taken to Twitter to mourn the UK’s apparent lack of clout on the world stage…

https://twitter.com/KarlreMarks/status/872917336881278977


Basildon South

Emoticon Conservative hold – with a 3.2 percentage point swing to Labour

Re-inforcing how badly Ukip is doing, it was the second biggest party in 2015 but has slipped down to third behind Labour


Northern Ireland out in force
We now have the first indication of turnout in Northern Ireland, writes the FT’s Vincent Boland.

In Belfast West, a strongly republican/nationalist constituency, the turnout was 65.4 per cent, up sharply from 56.8 per cent in 2015. Turnout in Belfast East even higher at 67.7 per cent. The Democratic Unionist Party’s Gavin Robinson is tipped to hold this seat, where he had faced a determined challenge from the cross-community Alliance party leader Naomi Long.

The talk here is that turnout across NI is up – and that the winners from that will be both Sinn Fein and the DUP. No results in from NI yet, though.


Swindon South result

Emoticon Conservative hold with a 3.5 percentage point swing to Labour


First Welsh result

Emoticon Wrexham – Labour hold – with a 0.2 percentage point swing to the Conservatives


First Scottish result

Emoticon Rutherglen & Hamilton West – Labour gain from SNP

This is a big swing, the SNP in 2015 had a lead of more than 17 per cent. The swing is almost 9 per cent to Labour.


Tooting result

Emoticon Labour hold with a big 10.6 percentage point swing to Labour from the Tories


Did Brexit play a role in this vote?
Conservatives appear to have captured some Labour leavers, says the FT’s data guru John Burn-Murdoch, making gains relative to Labour in seats where both the Leave vote and 2015 Labour vote were high.


Bookies make Corbyn favourite to be Prime Minister

Betfair now has the Labour leader as favourite to be the next PM


Result from Paisley & Renfrewshire

Emoticon SNP hold

The SNP’s Mhairi Black, Britain’s youngest politician for 350 years, has held on to her seat in Paisley and Renfrewshire South. Ms Black, now 22, was only 20 when she was first elected in 2015.


FTSE reaction
FTSE 100 futures are trading, and off 0.3 per cent with the pound down 1.7 per cent at $1.2730, write the FT’s Michael Mackenzie.

Geoffrey Yu, head of the UK investment office at UBS Wealth Management says a cautious outlook from investors appears to negate the benefit of a weaker pound ”which would normally help the FTSE”.


West Bromwich East

Emoticon Labour hold – the party’s deputy leader Tom Watson retains his seat but with a swing of 2.8 per cent to the Tories


Recount in Stockton South

The ballots are being recounted in this Conservative held seat in the north-east, where the party has a 9.4 per cent lead over Labour.


Ukippers turning red?

There’s plenty of evidence that Ukip voters have not boosted the Conservatives as expected. In Carlisle, Ukip were down 9 percentage points – but both Labour and the Conservatives were up 6. In Llanelli, Ukip fell by 13 points – Labour gained 12, the Conservatives 9. In Wrexham, where Ukip won 16 per cent in 2015 but didn’t stand this time, both Labour and the Conservatives were up 12 percentage points.

Of course, the headline figures may mask complex voter flows, but it’s at least plausible that Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-establishment message chimed with Ukippers.


Vale of Clwyd result

Emoticon Labour gain in this Conservative marginal with a majority of 2,379, representing a 3.4 per cent swing to Labour


Pounded: sterling dives again below exit poll low

Sterling has fallen below its post-exit poll low as major Conservative seats look under threat in the general election.

Sterling has tumbled to $1.2692 against the dollar, breaching the low of $1.2704 hit after the exit poll was released at 10pm (BST) weakening 1.85 per cent, writes the FT’s Mehreen Khan.

The currency has taken another knock as a number of key seats are due to be called in coming hours. They include the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea – a Conservative seat since 1997 – as well as Battersea and Croydon where Labour are all hoping to unseat incumbent Tory MPs.


Angus result

Emoticon Conservative gain from the SNP. This is a hugely unexpected result where the Tories have wiped out a margin of 25 per cent or more than 11,000 votes over the the SNP.


The FT’s front page tomorrow


London Putney result

Emoticon Conservative hold – Justine Greening, education secretary, has just held on to her seat, her majority was cut from 10,180 to 1,554 – the swing Labour was over 10 percentage points


Recount in Perth & North Perthshire

More trouble potentially brewing for the SNP in this seat, where it had a lead over the Conservatives of almost 10,000 votes in 2015, a margin of just under 18 per cent


Angus gives Tories a lift

Matt Singh, the FT’s election analyst observes:

https://twitter.com/MattSingh_/status/872981161643003904

For those who can’t access Twitter it says in reference to the Tory gain in Angus : Tories beefing up their Scottish presence… Northernmost Westminster seat they’ve won since 1992. First Tory win in this seat since 1983.


Nigel Farage could be back

Asked by the BBC if he would come back, the former Ukip leader said he would have “absolutely no choice”. He said that if there were a Labour government – in coalition with the SNP and the Liberal Democrats – “we may well be looking down the barrel of a second referendum.”

By the way, for those interested in the timetable – Brexit talks were due to begin in June 19, but realistically the EU would have to delay if it were a hung parliament.


London Battersea result

Emoticon Labour gain Battersea from the Conservatives, representing another 10 per cent swing for Jeremy Corbyn’s party in London. The losing Tory candidate is Jane Ellison, who was one of the junior Treasury ministers


Stockton South result

Emoticon Labour gain with a swing of 5.7 per cent from the Tories. The seat was 47th on Labour’s target list


Northern Ireland’s Foyle recount
A recount is under way in Foyle in Northern Ireland, the strongly nationalist constituency mainly made up of the city of Derry/Londonderry, after the Social Democratic and Labour party’s Mark Durkan lost his seat by just 170 votes in the first count to Sinn Fein’s Elisha McCallion.

If confirmed, that would be a huge gain for SF – Foyle is the old seat of John Hume, one of the architects of the Good Friday Agreement.


Bury North result

Emoticon Another Labour gain from the Conservatives in a very marginal seat. The swing is 5 percentage points


Tory prospects improve

The BBC has raised its projection for the Tories to 322 seats, which would effectively be enough to govern. Labour are projected to win 261 seats, the SNP 32 and the Liberal Democrats 13.

Sinn Fein are projected to win 7 seats, which they will not take up. So 322 would be enough for a working majority in the House of Commons. That’s a bit of cold water for the bookmakers who make Jeremy Corbyn favourite to be next prime minister.


East Dumbartonshire result

Emoticon Lib Dem gain from the SNP


SNP big names are toppled

Emoticon Conservative gain – Angus Robertson has lost his seat to the Tory challenger – a 14 per cent swing. Robertson (pictured below) was recently elected the SNP’s deputy leader, and was widely praised for his performances at prime minister’s questions, where he asked more focused questions than Jeremy Corbyn.

Two other big SNP names have also lost their seats – John Nicolson, a former television presenter, lost in East Dunbartonshire, and Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, a spokeswoman on foreign affairs, lost in Ochil & South Perthshire.


Full results

Please note we will not be putting all the results on the blog as they come in thick and fast, instead we’ll be focusing on key seats.

For full results please visit our results page here


Theresa’s tweet
A tweet posted by Theresa May several weeks ago is coming back to haunt her.

https://twitter.com/theresa_may/status/865855578454806529

It reads: If I lose just six seats I will lose this election and Jeremy Corbyn will be sitting down to negotiate with Europe.

Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson, who has been re-elected MP for West Bromwich East, promised in a speech to hold the prime minister to account over the tweet.


Scotland could save Theresa May

The Tories are doing better than expected north of the border. It could deliver May the numbers she need for a majority, as our chief political correspondent Jim Pickard points out:

https://twitter.com/PickardJE/status/872989101515042818

(The tweet reads: “Trying to get my head around the concept that Remain-voting Scotland might deliver enough Tory MPs for May to deliver Hard Brexit.”)


Renfrewshire East result

Conservative gain from the SNP – Tories move up from third place in 2015 to take a seat they last held in the 1992 election, albeit there have been some boundary changes


Bad news for the Liberal Democrats

They have lost Southport to the Conservatives. The BBC’s exit poll had suggested the Lib Dems had a 76 per cent chance of retaining the seat, but they finished third.

There are also reports that former leader Nick Clegg may have lost his seat, Sheffield Hallam, and that the current leader Tim Farron is facing a fight to retain Westmorland & Lonsdale. The good news for the party is the return of Jo Swinson in East Dunbartonshire.


Foyle result
Following a recount, Sinn Fein’s Elisha McCallion has gained Foyle, the strongly nationalist constituency mainly made up of the city of Derry/Londonderry.

Ms McCallion won the seat from the Social Democratic and Labour party’s Mark Durkan by a slender 169 votes. It’s a huge gain for SF – Foyle is the old seat of John Hume, one of the architects of the Good Friday Agreement.


Rumours of more recounts

Unconfirmed reports of a recount in Peterborough and a second recount in Hastings. The latter seat is held by the Conservative’s Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary


Sheffield Hallam result

Emoticon Labour gain from Lib Dems – this was the seat of Nick Clegg, the former party leader and deputy prime minister in the coalition government. Labour have never won this seat, says the FT’s Matt Singh.


Sky forecasts May to win 308 to 328 seats
Like the BBC, Sky News has produced its own forecast for the final results. It’s less precise though, predicting the Tories will take between 308 and 328 seats.

Sky’s central forecast is 318, four below the BBC’s forecast of 322 but higher than the 314 prediction in the 10pm exit poll.

https://twitter.com/SkyNewsBreak/status/872991286109798400


Twickenham result

Emoticon Lib Dem gain from Conservatives – Vince Cable, the former business secretary in the coalition government, is back as an MP after losing his seat in 2015


Recount in Tim Farron’s seat

They are going back over the ballots in the Lib Dem leader’s seat in Westmorland & Lonsdale in the north-west


Glasgow North East

Emoticon Labour gain from SNP by a waver-thin margin of about 300 votes


Jeremy Corbyn’s seat result

Emoticon No surprise here – Labour hold Islington North. Corbyn’s victory speech includes the line: “Politics isn’t going back into the box where it was before.” He adds people are tired of austerity.


Boris Johnson holds Uxbridge and Ruislip South

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson was re-elected in Uxbridge & South Ruislip.
There are already rumours that he is positioning himself to take the reins if Theresa May steps down…


The numbers so far suggest that former UKIP voters are splitting between the Labour and Conservative party.

For more results graphics, see here.


Bookies change their tune

Theresa May is now odds on favourite to be the next PM after the bookies were tipping Jeremy Corbyn about an hour and a half ago.

This from Betfair:


Bath result

Emoticon LIbDems gain from Conservatives having lost the seat in 2015.


Corbyn calls for May to go

“The prime minister called an 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’s enough to go actually and make way for a government that will be representative of all of the people of this country,” the Labour leader says in his victory speech in the seat of Islington North.

But the broadcasters’ projections suggest the Tories could still have a working majority.


Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath

Emoticon Labour gain from SNP having lost what was former leader Gordon Brown’s old seat in 2015


Bedford result

Emoticon Labour gain from the Conservatives. The Tories have held this seat in 2010


Result for Theresa May’s seat

Emoticon Again no surprise, the Conservative leader has held her seat of Maidenhead


Tories doing well in Scotland

Emoticon Conservatives gain from SNP in Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock with a 17 per cent swing – that’s the Tories sixth seat in Scotland. They haven’t held more than one since 1992 and could be heading for double figures, says the FT’s electoral analyst, Matt Singh


Tim Farron retains his seat

Emoticon After a recount, the LibDem leader has held on


Eastbourne result

Emoticon LibDems gain from the Conservatives


Boston & Skegness result

Emoticon Conservative hold the seat where Ukip leader Paul Nuttall ended up in a distant third place


Theresa May says Tories to deliver stability
Speaking after being re-elected to her Maidenhead seat, Theresa May thanked the police and her supporters. If they win the most seats and the highest number of votes, it would be “incumbent” on the Conservative party to ensure a “period of stability”, she added.

The careful wording (no mention of the word ‘majority’) might suggest she expects a hung parliament – but intends to stay in power.

This all against the backdrop of a colourful line-up of contenders:

https://twitter.com/kadhimshubber/status/873001914409123840


Results so far

This is how things stand at the moment:


Kingston & Surbiton result

Lib Dem gain from the Conservatives – Sir Ed Davey, the former energy secretary in the coalition government, is back as an MP


Canterbury result

Emoticon Labour gain from Conservatives, a seat held by the Tories since 1918. A big university town and the kind of seat that Labour were hoping to win saw a swing of 9.4 per cent – and a thin majority of 187 votes. It’s worth noting that Tory officials were mocking YouGov’s model predicting a hung parliament precisely because it said Labour would gain seats like Canterbury.


Northern Ireland’s SDLP wiped out
This has been a terrible night for Northern Ireland’s Social Democratic and Labour party, the longstanding voice of moderate Irish nationalism north of the Irish border, says the FT’s Vincent Boland.

The party has lost all of its three seats – Foyle, South Down, and Belfast South. Two of the seats have fallen to Sinn Fein, and one to the Democratic Unionist party. As a chastened Colum Eastwood, SDLP leader, points out, the wipeout means that for the first time in perhaps a century and a half, there will be no Irish nationalist voice at Westminster, since Sinn Fein does not take its seats in the British parliament.


Another SNP loss

Lib Dem gain Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross up in the north of Scotland from the SNP


Nicola Sturgeon defends SNP
Nicola Sturgeon has been speaking to the media, writes the FT’s Nathalie Thomas. “I’m not going to stand here and say I’m not disappointed at the SNP losses”, she said.

But she insisted this has been the SNP’s “second best result ever in a Westminster general election”, adding that she would not be making any “rash decisions” about a second independence referendum.


May beats Thatcher

Peter Kellner, a pollster, points out that the Conservatives are actually doing very well in vote share. Theresa May’s party is on course for 44 per cent.

That is more than Tony Blair’s Labour party won in its 1997 landslide, and more than Margaret Thatcher won in her big victory in 1983. The difference, as Kellner says, is that this is a return to two party politics: the Liberal Democrats are not taking a huge chunk of votes.


Front page of the FT – 3am edition


Results map so far
The FT’s results map is now beginning to fill out nicely. It shows the Conservative party winning large swathes of the south of England – and some unlikely constituencies in Scotland – while Labour wins so far have been concentrated in London and the north west of England.

You can find more results graphics here.


Did the Leave vote prove decisive?
One of the strongest factors behind Con/Lab swing we’re seeing so far is the Brexit divide, according to analysis by the FT’s data team.


Press Association forecasts Tories with 321 seats
The Press Association forecast, which came out at 4am, puts the Conservatives still shy of a technical majority with 321 seats to Labour’s 260 seats.

https://twitter.com/ian_a_jones/status/873012516456148992


Mansfield result

Emoticon Conservative gain from Labour in a constituency where Ukip had a respectable third place in 2015 with 11,850 votes. The Tory majority is just over 1,000, having registered 23,392 this time versus 13,288 in 2015. Labour were pushed into second on 22,335, up from 18,603 in 2015


Gordon result

Emoticon Conservatives gain from SNP, ousting Alex Salmond, the party’s former leader


Plymouth Sutton & Devonport

Emoticon Labour gain from Conservatives in a very marginal seat – Tory majority in 2015 was just 523


No chance of a second Scottish referendum, says Ruth Davidson
Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson has dismissed the idea of a second Scottish referendum, as high profile SNP members Alex Salmond, Angus Robertson and other high-profile party members were all unseated.

Ms Davidson told the BBC:

There was one big issue in this campaign: that was Nicola Sturgeon trying to ram through a second independence referendum in March and the country’s reaction to that. Indyref2 is dead. That is what has happened tonight.

Elsewhere in the country, the biggest shock of the night was when Mr Salmond, former Scottish first minister, lost his seat in Gordon to the Scottish Conservative party Colin Clark, the FT’s Nathalie Thomas says.

Mr Clark said:

The silent majority have spoken, we are proud to be part of the United Kingdom.

Salmond said it had been the “privilege of my life” to have served as a parliamentarian in the north east of Scotland for 30 years. He acknowledged the SNP’s losses but added: “Overall the results in Scotland show the SNP will have won a majority of the seats in this country.”

He said the SNP may be in reduced numbers at Westminster but it could find itself in a “position of very substantial influence indeed” and his colleagues would fight against the “calamity” of a hard Brexit.


The final Northern Ireland count
All the results for Northern Ireland’s eighteen seats have now been declared, and it’s pretty much a clean sweep for the Democratic Unionists and Sinn Fein, writes the FT’s Vincent Boland.

The DUP have won 10 seats – two more than they got in 2015, and Sinn Fein have won seven – a rise of three. The one seat that defied the duopoly was North Down, where Lady Sylvia Hermon, an independent unionist, held on. As far as the Westminster parliament is concerned, Northern Ireland is now a two-party state. How that will impact on local politics is now the question.


Two party politics is back with 550 results in so far

The BBC is predicting the Tories on 43% (up 6 points on 2015) and Labour on 40% (up 10 points) in terms of national vote share


Anna Soubry suggests that May should go

“She needs to consider her position. I’m not going any further than that… It’s a dreadful night,” the pro-EU Conservative MP says about the prime minister. “This is very bad moment for the Conservative party.”

Soubry, who held her own seat against some expectations, said the Conservatives had waged “a dreadful campaign”, highlighting the social care policy.


Brighton Kemptown results

Emoticon Labour gain with a big majority of almost 10,000 in another marginal. In 2015 the Tories had a slim majority of just 700


Results so far with 577 of 650 seats declared


Tories set for best result in Scotland since 1983

The FT’s Matt Singh says the Conservatives are on course to win 13 Scottish seats out 59. In Margaret Thatcher’s second term in 1983, the party won 22 seats but there were 72 constituencies back then.


Hastings result – Amber Rudd holds on

Emoticon Conservatives hold in the constituency of Home Secretary Amber Rudd after a recount. The winning margin was a mere 300 votes, down from a majority of just under 4,800 in 2015


Enfield Southgate result

Labour gain from Conservatives


Derbyshire North East result

Conservatives gain from Labour


Results so far with 609 of 650 seats declared


Markets update

The FT’s Jamie Chisholm reports that sterling is still trading around the same range it hit after taking a tumble when exit polls were published late on Thursday. The pound is down 1.6 per cent to $1.2748 and the euro has gained 1.5 per cent to £0.8784.

However, London equities look set to open with only minor losses, the FTSE 100 on course to dip less than 20 points to 7,430 as foreign currency earners are seen being supported by the wilting pound.

Global markets currently seem unperturbed. Supposed haven assets like the yen and gold are actually weaker and US equity futures are barely changed.


Ulster’s unionists to hold sway?

On current projections, the Democratic Unionists’ 10 seats would take the Conservatives over the winning line, writes Matt Singh, the FT’s election analyst.

This would not be the first time that a unionist party from Northern Ireland has provided a Westminster government with its majority — James Callaghan’s Labour minority administrator in the late 1970s relied on the support of the Ulster Unionist Party, as John Major after his Tory government lost its majority in 1996.

However it would be the first such situation of its type for the DUP since the party founded by the late Ian Paisley became the main unionist party in Northern Ireland. There will be a lot of focus on Nigel Dodds (below), the DUP’s leader in Westminster and the party’s deputy leader, in the next few days.


Some of the key discussion points

- Can Theresa May hang on? If not, she will become the shortest serving prime minister since Andrew Bonar Law, who resigned in 1923 on health grounds.
- Who would succeed May? Names include Boris Johnson, David Davis and Amber Rudd, who only held her seat by 346 votes.
- How would a Conservative leadership transition fit with Brexit talks, which are due to begin on June 19?
- Why did Labour outperform? “I have no idea,” said one of its centrist MPs, John Woodcock.
- Is the end of a second Scottish independence referendum? The SNP are projected to lose 20 seats.


BBC forecasts hung parliament

Conservatives 318 seats.
Labour 262

But the Northern Irish DUP have 10 seats, which would get the Conservatives over the line for a majority (326).


Hung parliament confirmed

Emoticon Labour hold the Southampton Test, which means the UK has a hung parliament. The Tories had high hopes of taking the seat – Theresa May visited it twice, including early on Wednesday morning.


Tories have 13 seats in Scotland

The Conservatives have held Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale giving the party the best return in Scotland since 1983


Brighton Pavilion – Green HOLD

Greens co-leader Caroline Lucas has almost doubled her majority in Brighton, from just under 8,000 in 2015 to just under 15,000 now.


Turnout highest since 1997

It looks like the turnout is 69 per cent compared to 66 per cent in 2015 but down from 72 per cent in the EU referendum. That is the highest turnout since 1997, when the figure was 71.4 per cent.


Markets update – FTSE to open higher?

The FT’s Jamie Chisholm reports that spreadbetters are now calling the FTSE 100, London’s blue-chip equity index, to open about 20 points higher at 7,470.
The Footsie is populated by many companies with a global exposure, rather than just the UK, and as foreign currency earners they tend to benefit from a weaker pound.


North East Fife – SNP HOLD…. just!

The SNP have held on to the seat, beating the Lib Dem candidate by just 2 votes. We reckon that is only the second time since the second world war that a winning margin has been so small.


According to Boris Johnson’s former adviser, the ex-mayor of London is in bed.

https://twitter.com/theousherwood/status/873045183662702597


Questions mount over May’s future

A senior backbench Tory said that Mrs May should carry on in the leadership for the moment, although a change will be needed “before the next election”.

Some backbenchers were saying similar things at this point in the morning after the EU referendum last year, mind you – it did not stop David Cameron from resigning later that day.


The former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had some harsh words earlier for Theresa May’s campaign guru. Crosby helped Tony Abbott defeat Rudd in 2013.

https://twitter.com/MrKRudd/status/873005598106943488


The Independent newspaper has gone with a single word headline on the front page this morning: Mayhem.

https://twitter.com/maybulman/status/873044941391282176


Traders await London open

The markets have begun to contemplate what the election results mean for investors, with analysts warning of a bumpy ride to come.

“Risk appetite could be well tested in Friday trading,” said Credit Suisse analysts, while Nigel Green, founder of financial advisers deVere Group, warned of an “enormous storm cloud of uncertainty” that was set to hit the markets on Friday.
“Volatility is the only certainty,” he said.

The pound hit its lowest level in more than a month in early trading in Asia this morning, dipping by 2 per cent to $1.2695, but has since settled just above the $1.27 level as traders wait for the London markets to open.


Delay in Brexit talks?

Reuters reports that:

The European Union’s budget commissioner Guenther Oettinger on Friday said he was unsure if Britain’s negotiations about leaving the bloc could begin on time after Thursday’s U.K. parliamentary election failed to elect a clear winner. Oettinger told Germany’s Deutschlandfunk broadcaster a weak negotiating partner in Britain could result in a poor outcome.


Douglas Carswell, the Tory-turned-Ukip-turned-independent-turned author, has this prediction for what happens next: two Brexiters battle it out for No. 10, then (yet) another election.

https://twitter.com/DouglasCarswell/status/873054521068408832


Is a softer Brexit on the cards?

Simon Tilford, deputy head of the Centre for European Reform, says that the result offers some succour to those who voted Remain in last year’s referendum.

https://twitter.com/SimonTilford/status/873054083904446464


The changing face of Northern Irish nationalism

A lesser-noticed loser in this election is Northern Ireland’s Social Democratic & Labour Party, which lost all three of its Westminster seats. The moderate nationalist party lost out to the Democratic Unionist Party on one hand, and Sinn Fein on the other. Sinn Fein took an extra three seats to end up with seven, making them the night’s biggest winners in Northern Ireland.

In accordance with their longstanding policy, Sinn Fein will not take up their seats – meaning this will be the first Parliament for more than 100 years that does not include Irish nationalist representatives.


Further falls for the pound

Sterling has taken another leg down in the London morning, and is now off 2 per cent through the night.


Richmond Park – Tory GAIN

The Brexit-backing millionaire Zac Goldsmith, who lost his seat in December after calling a by-election over Heathrow expansion, has beaten the Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney. He won by just 45 votes.

The neighbouring seats of Twickenham and Kingston switched the other way – from the Conservatives to the Lib Dems. But in all three cases, the best known candidate won.


A clutch of Conservative ministers unseated

If Theresa May stays on as prime minister she will have some gaps to fill on the government benches. The highest-profile casualty was Ben Gummer, the up-and-coming Downing St favourite who co-authored the party’s election manifesto. He had been tipped in the press as a successor to David Davis as Brexit secretary, should Mrs May decide to reshuffle the cabinet.

Other ministerial casualties included housing minister Gavin Barwell in the ultra-marginal Croydon Central and financial secretary to the Treasury Jane Ellison in Battersea, which saw a big swing to Labour.

Her departmental colleague Simon Kirby – the economic secretary to the Treasury – lost his Brighton Kemptown seat.

The Tories also lost Edward Timpson (a junior education minister), David Mowat and Nicola Blackwood (the health department), James Wharton (at international development) and Rob Wilson (from culture, media and sport).


Lord Ashcroft reckons the Tories will end up just 1 seat short of a majority…

https://twitter.com/LordAshcroft/status/873060285040402432


Scotland in full: good for Tories, Labour, bad for the SNP

Here’s a roundup from Avtar Rai on the FT’s data team:

The final result for Scotland is now in and the exit poll released at 10pm last night seems to have got it right. It has been a bad night for the SNP with the party losing its virtual monopoly on Scottish Westminster seats by falling from 54 seats to 35.

Scottish Conservatives will be ecstatic with their performance rising from one seat to 13; a total which may prove decisive in the hung parliament negotiations to come.

Scottish Labour too will be extremely happy with their 7 seat total, up from just 1 in 2015. Gaining a foothold back in Scotland is going to be crucial in order for Labour to govern again in the future.

For the SNP it is difficult to find positives. A loss of 21 seats actually masks some of the problems they experienced tonight with wild swings against the SNP being seen in seats across Scotland. The party lost its two most high profile politicians in Westminster with both Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson being ousted in dramatic fashion.

Crucially, the SNP still hold a majority of Scottish seats however the campaign for Scottish independence has unquestionably been severely damaged after tonight.

History was also made in North East Fife with the SNP candidate Stephen Gethins beating Liberal Democrat candidate Elizabeth Riches by just 2 votes. This is the joint smallest margin seen in a general election in the postwar period.


The knives are coming out for May

Even recent Downing St insiders have begun to put the boot into Theresa May …

https://twitter.com/michaelsavage/status/873055604981420033

Worth bearing in mind that Katie Perrior was PR chief on both of Boris Johnson’s successful London mayoral campaigns.


But will May stay?

The BBC’s political editor has been told that the PM is not planning to quit.

https://twitter.com/bbclaurak/status/873064713176797184

That is being echoed by her counterpart at ITV.

https://twitter.com/Peston/status/873065139741655041


A number of newspapers strongly backed May ahead of the election. Here’s how they are covering the results this morning:

https://twitter.com/hendopolis/status/873041054370455552

https://twitter.com/hendopolis/status/873038773491187712

https://twitter.com/hendopolis/status/872994601703010304


“We shot ourselves in the head”

Conservative MP Nigel Evans has told BBC Radio 5 Live that the election has been an “absolute disaster” and the Tories “did a full-frontal assault on our core voters – the elderly”.

The party had been heading for a “very, very big majority” but “our own campaign was hijacked by ourselves” so instead of talking about Brexit and the economy, the Tories were talking about social care and pensioners’ winter fuel payments and cancelling school meals and fox hunting.

“We didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot, we shot ourselves in the head,” he said. “We were up against Jeremy Corbyn, a leader who two thirds of his party wanted to get rid of. It’s quite remarkable what we’ve achieved.”


The new UK parliament will now have a record number of women, according to Ian Jones of the PA.

https://twitter.com/ian_a_jones/status/873045031761854465


Turnout highest since 1997

69 per cent of registered voters went to the ballot box yesterday, according to official figures – the highest turnout in a UK general election since Labour’s 1997 landslide victory. It is still well below the 72 per cent turnout for last year’s EU referendum, though.


Kensington and Chelsea count suspended

In this Tory stronghold, the vote is so close that the count is now on hold. There had already been two recounts, but tellers have been sent home to rest.


St Ives – Tory HOLD

Derek Thomas has held on to his seat in Cornwall, with a much smaller majority. He beat his Lib Dem rival by just over 300 votes.


A bad result for Welsh Tories

The Conservatives have lost three seats in Wales, dropping down to eight, while Labour has gained three, taking their total number of Welsh seats to 28.

The Liberal Democrats lost their only Welsh seat while Plaid Cymru added one to their roster, taking their total to four.


Will the PM stay or will she go?

Some Tories and former advisors offer their take

Anna Soubry, a former Tory business minister and leading Remainer, says:

“She has to consider whether she is going to stay on as our prime minister and leader of the party because this has been a disaster, the results are dreadful. and unfortunately in the campaign a series of rather profound mistakes were made. It’s not as simple as just saying it was a bad campaign.”

Andrew (Lord) Turnbull, former cabinet secretary says she must be replaced:

“I don’t think she has the skills set. She doesn’t engage with people. Her judgements are fallible”.

Iain Duncan Smith, former Tory leader and cabinet minister, says:

“I think it would be a grave error for us to go into the turmoil of a leadership election. We need some stability right now”

Ed Vaizey, another former minister from the Cameron era, says:

“I think she can hold on. If she wants to stay on as leader I will support her.”

But he suggested she would have to change her hard stance on Brexit, arguing this was a time to “unite from the shock of a very unexpected result”.

“If we can dial down the rhetoric on Brexit and understand the country was split in two and there are Remainers like me who feel passionately that we want to maintain our relationship with the European Union and not simply walk away if we get no deal, then I think she can bring the party together.”


Martin Schulz, former president of the European Parliament, seems to be making some new British friends this morning.

https://twitter.com/MartinSchulz/status/873070061908402176


The markets have opened in London

The FT’s Michael Hunter reports:

London’s FTSE 100 has opened up 0.6 per cent at 7,497.0.The main London index is home to a series of multinational companies which benefit from a weaker pound, which makes exports more competitive and flatters earnings made in foreign currency when translated back into sterling.

The FTSE 250, which has a greater degree of exposure to the domestic UK economy, is weaker. The mid-cap index is down 0.3 per cent at 19,673.0.

The yield on the UK’s benchmark 10-year gilt is flat at 1.03 per cent.

Paul Brain, head of fixed income at Newton, said:

“The uncertainty about who is in charge and how we will approach Brexit negotiations combined with the chance of another election all point to a demand for gilts as a safe haven. Investment is likely to be delayed and the property market could slip. But that being said the rolling back of austerity and the possibility of some giveaways to support a weak coalition, also softer sterling leading to higher inflation, should push yields up in the near term.”


FTSE 100 gathers momentum

The FT’s Michael Hunter reports:

The FTSE 100 is gathering momentum in initial trade. It is up by 1.1 per cent at 7,537.9. That sets it on course back toward its record close of 7,598.99 set on June 2.

The strength on the FTSE 100 is all about sterling. The pound is down 2.1 per cent at $1.2682, taking it back to the middle of its trading range on April 18, when Theresa May called the election.

Bill Street, head of investment for EMEA at State Street Global Advisors, said:

“While sterling weakened in the final weeks of the election campaign, markets still expected a Conservative majority, therefore this initial sterling weakness is no surprise and is likely to continue as international investors demand a higher risk premium. Sterling is already substantially undervalued against the dollar and euro, reflecting future uncertainties. Such under-valuations do tend to correct over long time horizons and it is possible the election result will lead to a softer Brexit. However, any move higher is likely to be delayed until there is greater certainty.”


Believe the youth …

It’s not all doom and gloom in pollster-land. Ipsos Mori’s Ben Page tells the FT that pollsters “who believed young people” when they claimed they were going to turn out and vote “got it close”.

In 2015 pollsters overstated Labour’s vote because they believed young people who said they intended to vote – but those voters did not then turn out on the night. This time pollsters used people’s past voting behaviour as a guide – and so ended up underestimating Labour’s vote.

“The political weather has changed – now we have to believe them!” he said.

It looks as though a new political generation has emerged onto the scene, and pollsters will have to adjust their models accordingly.


Time for a Brexit rethink?

Tory MEP Charles Tannock says the party needs to rethink its stance on Brexit.

https://twitter.com/CharlesTannock/status/873068639649316864

Keir Starmer, Labour’s shadow minister for Brexit, called for a ‘reset’ following the election result.

Labour MP David Lammy declares today ‘the end of Hard Brexit’.

https://twitter.com/DavidLammy/status/873042971125469184

Expect to hear much more of this through the day.


More reaction from Europe

Manfred Weber, leader of the EPP, the largest group in the European parliament tells BBC’s Today programme:

One year after the decision of the British people to leave the European Union, we see that Europe – Paris, Berlin and even Brussels – are stable. We are ready but we see disorientation in London, and that’s why it’s not a positive thing we experienced last night

It’s purely a domestic decision who is our partner but we want to start ( the negotiations). Time is running. Instability, losing time is not in our EU interest . We want to have an agreement. Europe is for the moment strong and united and we wait for Britain

It’s more a problem in London than in Brussels at the moment. So we need a strong partner on the British side and that’s not the case after this vote


Ukip’s collapse

Sky News has this great chart showing one of the big stories of the night – the collapse of Ukip (and the revival of 2-party politics). At 40.1 per cent, this would be Labour’s highest showing since 1997, while the Tories got their largest slice since 1987.


Some more City reaction, via the FT’s Michael Hunter:

James Illsley, portfolio manager at JP Morgan Asset Management, said:

“Domestically-oriented companies are likely to be volatile because the path of domestic policy is now very opaque. As seen after the UK referendum, the weakness in currency is likely to be at least a short term boost to those companies generating earnings from overseas and this is what the market is initially indicating. Overseas earners also benefit from exposure to the recovering global economy, which means they have better visibility.”


Britain ‘self-absorbed and adrift’ – Clegg

Former deputy prime minister and – as of last night – former Liberal Democrat MP Nick Clegg has told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme that Britain looks “self absorbed and adrift” to the rest of the EU.

Britain was in the “ludicrous position” of “starting the stopwatch” of Brexit negotiations by triggering Article 50 but “now we are not in a position to negotiate at all”, he said. Either the country needs to reach a more moderate Brexit stance with cross-party consensus or go back to the electorate for another poll, he said.

“I can’t think of any example of a modern, mature democracy putting itself in such a vulnerable a position as we are in now and it worries me immensely,” he said.

On local matters, Mr Clegg speculated that he may have lost his seat because of his loud opposition to Brexit.


May’s “own goal”

Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Liberal group in the European Parliament – and its chief Brexit negotiator – has a rather gloomy assessment of the UK result.

https://twitter.com/GuyVerhofstadt/status/873083642255360000

Manfred Weber, a German MEP, is also very critical of the UK’s political leaders.

https://twitter.com/ManfredWeber/status/873084045193748486


McDonnell – Labour wants to form a minority government

Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell has called Theresa May a “lame duck” prime minister and said that his party is seeking to form a minority government.

“I can’t see a stable government coming from” the Conservatives, he told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme. A Conservative deal with the DUP would be a “coalition of chaos”. Instead “we will put ourselves forward to serve the country and form a minority government.”

“We wouldn’t do a coalition, we wouldn’t do deals,” he said, but Labour would put forward a set of policies in a Queen’s speech which it would then try to implement without a majority, by seeking support from other parties.

“I think we most probably would secure a whole range of MPs voting from other parties not through deals or anything like that but because the policies are the ones the country needs at the moment,” he said.


Tory troops on the ground aren’t happy

Here’s the Conservatives’ election agent for Wakefield – one of the seats on their target list – replying to Mark Wallace, the executive editor of Tory website ConservativeHome. Suffice to say Mr Homewood is not too pleased with the election results:

https://twitter.com/TonyHomewood/status/872994232558026752

https://twitter.com/TonyHomewood/status/873000380535382016

https://twitter.com/TonyHomewood/status/873052604510552065


Winners and losers

Who’s out? High profile scalps include Nick Clegg, Ben Gummer, Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson.

And look who’s back: Vince Cable, Jo Swinson, Ed Davey and Zac Goldsmith are all back in parliament.


Tory thinktank calls for leadership election

The Bow Group, a Conservative thinktank, has called for a “grassroots revolution” in the party and a leadership election.

Ben Harris-Quinney, its chairman, said: “What is required is nothing short of internal revolution. The only way to regain momentum and achieve majority government is to reinvigorate the party from within with democratic reform, beginning with a leadership election.”

He wants the party’s rules to be reformed so that its members elect the leader at least once every five years, while electing a party chairman annually. He also wants to see all election candidates being put through a primary selection process.

Members should be able to vote on policy and speak from the floor at party conference, he added.


DUP leader says ‘difficult’ for May to survive as PM

Our political correspondent Robert Wright reports:

Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, has said it would be “difficult” for Mrs May to survive as prime minister. Her view is potentially critical because the DUP’s 10 seats could prove vital to Mrs May’s efforts to form a coalition government or seek support for a minority administration to stay in government.

“It will be difficult for her to survive given that she was presumed at the start of the campaign, which seems an awfully long time ago, to come back with maybe 100, maybe more, in terms of her majority,” Ms Foster said last night in an interview with BBC Radio Ulster

“Now we’re in the position we find ourselves in tonight so it will be an incredibly difficult evening for her,” Ms Foster said.

The unionist party, which supported Brexit in contrast with the official Ulster Unionists’ support for remaining in the EU, said it was “too soon” to say how the DUP would handle any coalition negotiations.

“There will be contact made over the weekend, but it is too soon to work out what we are going to do,” she said.


Brexit talks could be delayed, says EU team

Michel Barnier, the European Union’s Brexit negotiator, suggests start of talks could be delayed.

https://twitter.com/MichelBarnier/status/873090975999983617

But European impatience more in evidence in this comment from Siegfried Muresan, spokesman for the largest party in the European parliament, the EPP

https://twitter.com/SMuresan/status/873092620842541056


David Miliband: “brutal Brexit rejected”

One time Labour leadership candidate and heir apparent to Blair, David Miliband hails Corbyn’s surge and the high reported youth turnout.

https://twitter.com/DMiliband/status/873095828834996225


History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme

The Twitter account On This Day In Labour History published an interesting piece about the 1974 general election a few days ago.

It is about the election in which the Conservatives asked the electorate the question, ‘Who governs?’ – and got an answer they weren’t expecting. It’s worth a read.

https://twitter.com/labour_history/status/872940846324297729


Winners who lost ground

Some MPs held on to their seats but saw their majorities shrink dramatically. The two biggest names in that category: Amber Rudd, the home secretary, and Lib Dem leader Tim Farron.

Rudd squeaked back in with a majority of just 346, down from over 4,000 in 2015

Meanwhile Farron’s lead dropped to 777 votes, a fall of over 8,000.


Tusk speaks

European Council president Donald Tusk has become the latest EU politician to chip in on the UK’s election result and its implications for the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

https://twitter.com/eucopresident/status/873098422726701056

The clock’s already ticking ….


“We need adults round the table quickly”

Corporate lobby group London First says that businesses in the capital are “coping with extraordinary levels of uncertainty” which “cannot continue”.

Its chief executive Jasmine Whitbread said: “We need adults round the table quickly to chart the way forward.”

Businesses in the capital “must have access to the people we need to keep our economy going”, she said, in a clear allusion to the potential migration constraints that could come after Brexit.


Nicky Morgan, former education secretary, says Theresa May should stay on as PM.


Gianni Pittella, chairman of the Socialists & Democrats grouping in the European Parliament, has congratulated Jeremy Corbyn on the election result and called on Theresa May to resign, saying she has “no credibility” in Europe.

https://twitter.com/giannipittella/status/873100462609768453


Our M&A correspondent Arash Massoudi notes that Sky shares are down this morning as the markets digest the election result …

https://twitter.com/ArashMassoudi/status/873100006869262337


EmoticonTheresa May will head to Buckingham Palace at 12:30pm to seek permission from the Queen to form a government.


What does the DUP think about Brexit?

The DUP campaigned for Brexit; here is its wishlist for the negotiations, taken from its Northern Ireland Assembly election manifesto earlier this year.

It emphasises “mutual access to our markets to pursue common interests” but perhaps the most important bit is its desire for a “seamless, frictionless border” with the Republic of Ireland – something which has significant implications for the UK’s place in the customs union. Is this a sign that a softer Brexit could be on the horizon?


George Osborne elected as MP for Schadenfreude Central

Former chancellor turned Evening Standard editor George Osborne has Tweeted a picture of the paper’s early edition front page. Given that he was famously sacked by Theresa May, is there a chance that he’s enjoying this situation just a little bit?

https://twitter.com/George_Osborne/status/873107020752101376

Hat-tip: the title of this post comes courtesy of several different Twitter users …


Sturgeon: “bitterly disappointed”

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon vows to battle austerity and hard Brexit, but voices her disappointment at losing 21 seats.

https://twitter.com/NicolaSturgeon/status/873108292356128768


Adventures in publishing

One of last night’s losers was housing minister Gavin Barwell, best-known at Westminster for writing a book titled How To Win A Marginal Seat.
This headline by the Independent summed his loss up pretty well. At least he’ll have enough time on his hands to write a follow-up now.

https://twitter.com/AsherGoldman/status/873055612254302208


Emoticon Paul Nuttall has resigned at Ukip leader. He failed to win a seat in parliament, as did his party. It’s the first resignation of the day.

Ukip took 1.8 per cent of the national vote, down from 12.7 per cent in 2015.


The Tories’ strategy guru and former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina probably isn’t laughing quite as much this morning, given that YouGov’s controversial election model seems to have got it pretty near right.

https://twitter.com/Messina2012/status/869928746974949378


“Delay Brexit talks” say small businesses

The Federation of Small Businesses has called for a delay to Britain’s EU exit talks in the wake of the general election result.

Its chairman Mike Cherry said:

“Business needs immediate reassurance from the government that emerges about how it will protect the economy from any political turmoil. The UK must be seen to remain open for business … It is important to go into the Brexit talks from a position of strength … Negotiations should be led by a government and a prime minister that will be in place for the duration, and so we call for a delay to the scheduled start of negotiations rather than a rush to begin.”

The talks are set to start in 10 days’ time.


Pro-EU newspaper The New European is not pulling its punches. Here’s the front cover for tomorrow’s edition:


Fox hunting and social care blamed for seat losses

Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston has put the boot in to Theresa May’s whole campaign, pointing to the social care and pro-fox hunting policies as important missteps.

https://twitter.com/sarahwollaston/status/873114843904999425

https://twitter.com/sarahwollaston/status/873115905525293060


Varoufakis hails Corbyn

Everyone’s favourite former Greek finance minister has congratulated Jeremy Corbyn on Labour’s performance:

https://twitter.com/yanisvaroufakis/status/873068521403465728

[For those who can't access Twitter, it says: "Jeremy Corbyn just demonstrated the potential of principled progressive politics. Last night was one for the true believers. Onwards now!"]


Rupert Harrison, former chief of staff to then-chancellor George Osborne, doffs his cap to the electorate:

Yet again the voters nailed it: didn’t want PM Corbyn, or PM May & bit iffy about hard Brexit. Pretty much only seat combo that does all 3


Our colleagues on the data team have produced this useful look at the election in seven charts, including this gem showing how various out-turn models performed:

Take a look here.


Janan Ganesh points out that – though not quite the revenge of the Remainers – the result will undoubtedly cause some to rethink May’s Brexit missteps, and possibly open the door to a more pragmatic approach.


Incoming Ireland PM: “No mandate for hard Brexit”

Incoming Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar has welcomed the Conservative party’s loss of its parliamentary majority as a sign that “there is no strong mandate to proceed with a hard Brexit”.

Read more here.


Electoral Reform Society: “Voting system has fundamentally failed”

The Electoral Reform Society has criticised Britain’s voting system, saying that it has failed for the third time in a row to produce a stable government.

ERS chief executive Katie Ghose said the result “shows the distorted picture you get when 21st century voting habits collide with a 19th century voting system”.

First past the post “is meant to give us decisive victories – clearly it no longer can”, she said.

ERS is an independent charity which campaigns for electoral reform. It backs a proportional representation system.


Germany sees vote as rejection of hard Brexit

German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel has been speaking to the local press, with some strong(ish) words for the UK:

“I find that the British voters showed they won’t be played with… The message of the election is this: Have fair discussions with the EU, and have another think about whether it is good for Britain to leave the EU in this way.”

A little bit more, in German on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/dw_politics/status/873118649606746112


S&P reiterates UK’s negative outlook

From our FastFT reporter Nicholas Megaw:

Ratings agency S&P said the lack of a Conservative majority “is likely to delay Brexit negotiations”, and said it would “not exclude the possibility of another snap election” that could push them back further. However, it added that these dangers were factored in to the UK government’s credit rating, which already has a negative outlook.

The UK lost its top AAA rating with S&P after the Brexit vote last year, and the negative outlook suggests the ratings agency gives the government a one in three chance of being downgraded in the next two years.


Trade union Unison, one of Labour’s biggest financial backers, has hailed the election result.

Its general secretary Dave Prentis said it was “a remarkable result that few predicted at the start of the campaign”.

“From the outset Unison believed that if Labour shifted the debate onto public services it could strike a chord with the electorate,” he said.

Mr Corbyn had “inspired millions to vote for the first time and reinvigorated the fortunes of the Labour Party”, according to Mr Prentis.


Kensington count to resume this evening

There is just one seat left to report in the UK’s general election and that’s Kensington in London where the Tories are fighting off a surprisingly strong Labour challenge.

After counting the votes twice, polling staff were sent home earlier this morning to get some rest. The count will resume this evening, the returning officer said:

The provisional result of the election was known at approximately 2am. That result was very close and a recount was therefore requested. The result on that recount also remained very close. A request for a third count was therefore made. At this stage staff had been up all night and were becoming visibly tired. In order to have confidence in its accuracy, the recount has been suspended to allow staff to rest and recuperate.


Operation Black Vote: election “a testament to multicultural Britain”

Campaign group Operation Black Vote says that the number of black and minority ethnic MPs in the new Parliament has risen by a quarter, to 51.

10 new BME MPs have been elected, OBV said. Its director Simon Woolley hailed the result as “a great testament to multicultural Britain”.

“More talented BME faces will help transform Parliament and inspire many more to believe that we all have a voice and a place in our society. Britain’s diversity is one of its greatest strengths. Today we celebrate that.”


Farron calls on May to go

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has just given his reaction to the result. He started by paying tribute to Nick Clegg, who lost his seat. He pointed to many of Clegg’s achievements while in coalition, including gay marriage and the increase to the income tax threshold.

He went on to criticise Theresa May, saying she called the election out of “arrogance and vanity” and that she should be “ashamed”. He called on her to resign, adding that her mandate for an “extreme Brexit” had been rejected by the British people. He urged the government to put talks with the EU on hold.


Our science editor Clive Cookson reports:

Sarah Main, executive director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering, has said that “science has a lot to lose from a hard Brexit”.

The inconclusive election result could be a positive, she said:

“With the Conservatives in a minority government we could see the DUP’s insistence on a soft Brexit, Labour’s pledge for ‘fair rules and reasonable management’ of the migration system, and the Lib Dem’s commitment to ‘retain access’ to EU research and development programmes bring welcome dialogue that could benefit science and maximise the fruits of the​ government’s investment ​in R&D.​”


Sturgeon calls for cross-party support for staying in the single market

Nicola Sturgeon has also been speaking, hailing the accomplishments of SNP MPs, including Alex Salmond, who lost their seats.

She said her party will work with others to keep the Tories out of power. “In less than a year they have caused chaos on an industrial scale.”

She also said the “reckless pursuit of hard Brexit must be abandoned”, and called for cross-party support to keep the UK in the European single market.


Will the election result “embolden” Opposition peers?

Our political correspondent Robert Wright reports:

One prominent Conservative, speaking on condition of anonymity, pointed out that a number of policy areas could become more difficult for Mrs May as a result of her lost majority.

“It’s going to be government on a day-by-day basis,” the person said.

There was a possibility things would calm down as time went on, he added. “I think if things progress sensibly, it might settle down; it might become relatively easier as time goes on,” he said.

However, the person also pointed out that the House of Lords had the potential to disrupt Mrs May’s agenda and might feel less bound than it otherwise would have done to allow Mrs May to push through key provisions of her manifesto.

“You may find the House of Lords are somewhat emboldened in some matters, like grammar schools,” he said.


May meeting with the Queen

We have reached the stage in UK politics when broadcasters send up the choppers to provide nice aerial shots of Buckingham House. Theresa May is inside, meeting with the Queen.


Record number of women elected

The number of women MPs has topped 200 for the first time in Britain’s history, according to the Fawcett Society – but it dubbed the rate of progress “embarrassingly slow”.

Sam Smethers, the Society’s chief executive, said:

“The number of women MPs in parliament has broken the 200 barrier for the first time with 207 women elected so far with one result remaining. But while this is progress the fact remains that just 32% of our MPs are women, up from 30% before the election. We are moving forward at a snail’s pace and this is embarrassingly slow. It is time for a radical new approach. We have to legislate to require the parties to select at least 45% women candidates.”


The liberal wing of the Tory party could be warming up for a fight. Ryan Shorthouse, of think tank Bright Blue, tells the Guardian:

As the successes of David Cameron and Ruth Davidson show, the Conservative Party wins when they are led by a liberal Tory.

He called on Theresa May to resign as soon as possible.


May to form government, sticks to Brexit timetable

Theresa May says she will form a government, promises to deliver Brexit and continue with EU talks scheduled for June 19.

She also talks of her “friends and allies” in the DUP, whose support she will now rely upon.

She ends by saying: “Now let’s get to work.”


The FT’s Chris Giles sums up May short address as “extraordinary”:

https://twitter.com/ChrisGiles_/status/873146636880531456


Bruce Anderson says Theresa May is finished, despite her statement moments ago in which she vowed to stay on and push ahead with Brexit negotiations.

Read more here.


Theresa May’s full statement on the steps of No. 10

I have just been to see Her Majesty the Queen and I will now form a government, a government that can provide certainty and lead Britain forward at at this critical time for our country. This government will guide the country through the crucial Brexit talks that begin in just 10 days, and deliver on the will of the British people by taking the UK out of the European Union .

It will work to keep our nation safe and secure by delivering the change I set out following the appalling attacks in Manchester and London, cracking down on the ideology of islamist extremism and all those who support it. And giving the police and the authorities the powers they need to keep our country safe.

The government I lead will put fairness and opportunity at the heart of everything we do, so that we will fulfil the promise of Brexit together, and over the next 5 years build a country in which no one and no community is left behind, a country in which prosperity and opportunity are shared right across this united kingdom.

What the country needs more than ever is certainty. And having secured the largest number of votes and the greatest number of seats in the general election it is clear that only the Conservative and Unionist party has the legitimacy and ability to provide that certainty by commanding a majority in the House of Commons. As we do, we will continue to work with our friends and allies in the Democratic Unionist party in particular. Our two parties have enjoyed a strong relationship over many years and this gives me the confidence to believe that we will be able to work together in the interests of the whole united kingdom.

This will allow us to come together as a country. and channel our energies towards a successful Brexit deal that works for everyone in this country, securing a new partnership with the EU, which guarantees our long term prosperity. That’s what people voted for last June. That’s what we will deliver. Now let’s get to work.


Danielle Haralambous, analyst at EIU, says May’s plan to hold on to power looks very unlikely to last:

https://twitter.com/DHaralambous/status/873147924431196160


George Osborne, it’s fair to say, seems to have enjoyed the last 24 hours. His Evening Standard final edition headline: Queen of Denial.

https://twitter.com/hendopolis/status/873157781263659008


Arlene Foster, the Democratic Unionist leader, says she will be looking for a deal that recognises Northern Ireland’s “history and geography” as the price for her support for a Theresa May-led minority government.

Speaking after the DUP secured 10 of the province’s 18 seats, but before the prime minister’s statement about forming a minority administration, Ms Foster told BBC Ulster:

“What we want to see happening is a recognition of the particular circumstances of Northern Ireland, recognising our history and our geography. We’ve always said that we want the best deal for Northern Ireland and that’s certainly what we’ll be pushing for .”


Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the Scottish National Party, has said that her party’s calls for a second independence referendum was a factor in the result. The SNP lost 21 seats in the election after having won 56 of Scotland’s 59 seats in 2015.

However while she said that independence was “undoubtedly” an issue, a lot of pro-independence Scots likely voted for Jeremy Corbyn as they liked his offer.


Davidson calls for “open Brexit”

BuzzFeed’s Jamie Ross is listening in to Ruth Davidson. Now strengthened by her party’s good showing in Scotland, she’s calling for “an open Brexit” that puts the economy first. Perhaps a hint at keeping the UK in the Customs Union, and even the European single market?

https://twitter.com/JamieRoss7/status/873164003937222660


According to Sky News, the DUP have NOT struck a deal with Theresa May, but have only agreed to talk.

https://twitter.com/KayBurley/status/873163775519731713


Jeremy Corbyn has received plaudits from an unusual source – Peter Mandelson, the former cabinet minister and architect of New Labour who is normally one of the Labour leader’s harshest critics.

Lord Mandelson told the BBC he was “very surprised” at the election result. but he admitted:

An earthquake has happened in British politics. I did not forsee it. I acknowledge he has been very sure footed in this campaign

He conceded Mr Corbyn had “inspired very strong and passionate support”.

But now he’s got to go beyond that, if he wants the Labour party to win the next election, and come first, as opposed to a good second. He’s got to build on what he’s achieved here and in building on it, he’s got to be, in my view, very much more ecumenical in his approach starting with the Labour party itself.


That’s it from us, after another UK electoral shocker. Thanks for joining us.