Richard North, 13/12/2019  
 

05:40 And, on a local note, Labour's Naz Shahb retakes Bradford West with an increased vote of 33,736 against 29,444 in 2017 - a swing of 11.5 percent to Labour. This is the Moslem block vote in action, pushing the Tory down from 7,542 in 2017 to 6,717. Turnout is a modest 62.6 percent, dropping from 67.4 percent in 2017.

Bradford East brings in 27,825 for Labour, while the Tories trail behind with a miserable 9,681 votes, and a swing of 1.5 percent. Turnout struggles in at 60.4 percent, down from 64.8 percent in 2017.

As for my own constituency, Bradford South, this as I predicted stays Labour. Judith Cummins takes 18,390 votes, with a swing against her of 8.2 percent. The Tory parachutist picks up 16,044 votes and the Brexit Party gets 2,819 – a fraction of the 9,057 that Jason Smith got for Ukip in 2015. Nevertheless, the combined vote reaches 18,863, less than a hundred below the 2015 combined Tory/UKIP figure, and in both cases exceeding the Labour vote.

Arguably, for the second time in recent history, the "Ukip effect" has kept Bradford South in the Labour camp. But the lacklustre campaign has taken its toll, with a turnout at 57.6 percent, down from even the mediocrity of 60.6 percent in 2017. Through the '70s, and then the '80s, when there was a real change of a change, turnout was consistently above 70 percent. Now we are the city where politics doesn't happen.

And, with that, I will take a break and pick up later in the day.

05:06 Yvette Cooper acknowledges that the Labour Party must change. The losses are "not just about Brexit". And, at this point, the election has been formally won by the Conservatives, the party having taken 327 seats giving them an absolute majority. Says the BBC, we will now be leaving the EU next month.

04:40 540 results in with the Conservatives expected to gain a majority of about 60. So far, they have gained 40 seats while Labour has lost 52.

04:20 Theresa May, in one of the safest Tory seats in the country, regains her status as a backbencher, but with a reduced vote, down to 32,620 votes from 37,718 in 2017, a swing against her of seven percent. Turnout is relatively high at 73.7, but down from 76.4 in the previous election. The main challengers, the Lib Dems, increase their vote from 6,540 to 13,774, shunting Labour into third place.


03:46 Sadly, Johnson has also kept his seat. And despite spirited efforts to unseat him, he takes 25,351 votes, up from 23,716 in 2017. Swinson, on the other hand, loses her Dunbartonshire East seat to Amy Callaghan of the SNP, by a mere 149 votes. Turnout was a staggering 80 percent, demonstrating that voters will turn out when there us something to play for. This also demolishes the "Bollocks to Brexit" meme and puts to bed the idea of revoking Art 50.

03:35 Predictably, Jeremy Corbyn keeps his seat, but with his 2017 majority of 40,086 reduced to 34,603. But with that level of support, the other parties don't get a look in. Sedgefield, however, has fallen to the Tories, as has Doncaster. Corbyn acknowledges that it has been a "disappointing night". He says he will not lead his party in any future election campaign but, for the moment will lead it in "a process of reflection". He will remain the MP for Islington North.

03:17 Zac Goldsmith loses Richmond, heavily defeated by the Lib-Dems, with a turnout of 79 percent.

03:12 A revised BBC projection gives the Tories 357 seats, Lab pulls in 201, the SNP 55 and the Lib-Dems 13. Farage's commercial enterprise fails to get a single seat.

02:58 Getting round to looking at Putney, what may well be a very rare bird – a Labour gain – we find some interesting developments. Labour gets 22,780 votes and 45.1 percent of the vote, going against the grain with a 4.4 percent swing. The Tories get 18,006 (35.7 percent, with an 8.4 percent swing against them). The Lib-Dems get 8,548 (16.9 percent with a 5.3 percent swing). But what is really remarkable is that turnout is up 4.9 percent to 77 percent – contrary to the observed trend.

In 2017, Justine Greening took 20,679 votes for the Conservatives and Labour took 19,125 votes, with the Tories holding the seat. This could very well be a "new voter" effect.

02:37 102 of 650 seats declared. The Tories have 45 seats, gaining six. Labour also have 45 seats, but they have lost eight. The SNP has six seats so far, having taken two, one off Labour and the other from the Tories. They are having a good night, unlike the Lib-Dems who have held on to one. Overall, Labour is down 12 points while the Conservatives are up seven. Labour is losing faster than the Tories can gain.

02:24 Going back up North, it's worth looking at that other Tory gain, Darlington. As a constituency, it has changed character enormously. The mining and the heavy industry have gone and many of the areas have been gentrified, to become dormitory areas for Newcastle. Thus, there is a growing Tory vote which was always going to put the seat on Labour's danger list.

As to the actual results, the Conservative's Peter Gibson gets 20,901 votes with a 48.1 percentage share, giving a fairly modest swing of 4.8 percent. Labour's Jenny Chapman, however, only picks up 17,607 votes, with a swing of 10.1 percent against her. Farage's party is in the fray, but it only takes 1,544 votes, a mere 3.5 percent of the vote. Its presence has no impact on the result. Turnout is 65.5 percent, down two full points.

The comparison with the 2017 result tells a now familiar. The Tory candidate is on 19,401 and Labour is on 22,681. Ukip takes 1,180 votes. In effect, when it comes to 2019, Labour loses 5K while the Tories gain just over a thousand votes, om a reduced turnout. Once again, the Tories didn't win this seat. Labour lost it.

02:05 Labour gains Putney. Recalling the early-morning queues in the constituency, this may be a new-voter millennial effect. By way of compensation, the Tories take Peterborough. BBC notes that the Tory vote has remained unchanged but the Labour vote has dropped. This is becoming an established trend – Labour is losing this election, and there are few people doubting that this is down to Corbyn.


01:34 Over three hours into the count and we have 14 of the 650 seats declared. Included in that is a genuine south-eastern seat – Broxbourne in the northern home counties. This is a Tory hold, with Charles Walker taking 30,631votes, against Labour's 10,824. There is no Farage rep, and the turnout is marginally down on 63.8 percent – down 0.8 percent.

From 2017, the Tory vote has barely changed, when Charles Walker took 29,515 votes. But Labour pulled in nearly 3K more votes, getting 13,723 votes. Ukip pulls 1,919 votes so we have an interesting scenario where Labour and Ukip combined go into 2019 shedding nearly 5K votes while the Tories only pick up only a thousand. This is not a huge vote of confidence for Johnson.

01:10 Ten seats so far declared. Picking up on Swindon North – the Tory hold - this was the first to be declared outside the North. We see Justin Tomlinson get 32,584 with a vote share of 59.1 percent. Labour's Kate Linnegar gets 16,413 on 29.8 percent. There is no Brexit candidate. Turnout is 66.9 percent, down 1.6 percent.

In the 2017 election, the Conservative's Tomlinson got 29,431 while Labour got 21,096, a significant drop which is larger than the Tory gain. Ukip picked up 1,564 votes, and the turnout was 68.5 percent. But if we go back to 2015, we see the Tories on 26,295 and Labour on 14,509 – with Ukip taking 8,011.

This seat – which was Labour in 2005 – is showing a gradual consolidation of the Tory vote, reflecting demographic changes in the constituency. Neither Labour nor the Lib-Dems could have mounted a credible challenge.

00:35 According to the BBC, Swindon North is in the southeast of England. The seat is now declared - a Tory hold.

00:14 Now looking at Newcastle upon Tyne Central (also declared earlier), this is another Labour hold, with Chi Onwurah getting 21,568 votes. The Tories get a mere 9,290 votes and the Farage party makes 2,542. Turnout is 64.8 percent, down 2.2 percent.

In 2017, Chi Onwurah gets 24,071 and 64.9 percent of the vote. The Tories are on 9,134, taking 24.6 percent. There is virtually no change between the 2017 and the 2019 results. Ukip gets 1,482 votes, and the turnout is 67 percent.

What comes over therefore – albeit on limited data - is that the Tories are not winning this election. Labour is losing it.

00:02 Houghton & Sunderland South (declared earlier) brings in Bridget Phillipson for Labour with 16,210 votes and a vote share of 40.7 percent. The Tory, Christopher Howarth, gets 13,095 votes, and 32.9 percent of the vote. But here, Farage's party pulls in 6,165 votes - a 15.5 percent share. If one adds the Tory and Brexit Party vote, this comes to 19,260. The turnout is 57.8 percent, down 3.0 percent.

Compared with 2017, then we see Bridget Phillipson gain 24,665 votes and 59.5 percent of the vote. The Conservatives get 12,324 votes and a 29.7 percent share. Ukip get 2,379 votes and 5.7 percent of the vote.

But if we go back to the 2015 election, we see that Ukip got 8,280 votes and 21.5 percent of the vote (more than the Brexit Party this time round), taking second place ahead of the Tories with 7,105 votes and 18.5 percent of the vote. Turnout was 56.3 percent. What we seem to be seeing, therefore, is a combination of a lower turnout and a severe drop in the Labour vote.

23:44 Turnout for Blyth Valley is 63.4 percent, down 3.6 percent from 2017. This is closer to 2015 levels, when 62.8 percent of the constituency turned out.

23:40 Two results in: Newcastle and Sunderland. Both Labour holds. Blyth Valley also in. A Tory win. , but one which the exit poll also held to be too close to call. The Conservative Ian Levy took 17,440 votes, with a 42.7 percent share on a 5.4 percent swing. Labour's Susan Dungworth got 16,728 votes and the Brexit Party gained 3,394 votes, with 8.3 percent of the vote.

23:25 The BBC is running a constituency checker based on the exit poll. Interestingly, my constituency – Bradford South – is cited as "too close to forecast winning party". According to the poll, there is a 72 percent chance of Conservative gain and a 28 percent chance of Labour hold. The result will not be declared until 05:00.

23:12 Blyth Valley – a safe Labour seat. It was expected to be the first to declare, but now there is talk of a recount. ADDS @ 23:22. A "bundle" recount is announced.


23:05 A reminder of what's been on the Telegraph website all day. It looks as if there needs to be some blood-letting in the polling industry as well.

22:50 First declaration expected momentarily.


22:42 Lots of mixed messages on turnout, but it is said that there were big queues for voting in Wakefield. The picture above is from Putney earlier this morning. Other polling stations in London were reported with queues. The Lincoln University station also had queues.

22:38 The BBC's Nick Robinson thinks that Corbyn will have to go. A new battle will "rage" in the Labour party.

22:27 A sombre John McDonnell acknowledges that, if this exit poll is correct, the result will be "extremely disappointing" for the party overall. But he denies that the problem is Jeremy Corbyn. People wanted to get Brexit done.

22:05 Exit poll predicts Tory victory of 368 seats. Labour gets 191, SNP 55 and Lib-Dems 13. This compares with the most recent YouGov MRP poll which gave the Tories 339 seats, and 359 seats in the previous one. It looks as if the YouGov crown is slipping.

The first YouGov MRP survey had Labour trailing with a mere 211 seats, only two more than Michael Foot got in 1983. In the second, more recent poll, the prediction stood at 231 seats. The exit poll prediction of 191, if confirmed, would be the worst result since 1935.






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