General Election Results: Live updates and analysis

9 Jun

Theresa May is facing disaster after her election gamble humiliatingly backfired today – leaving her on the brink of being kicked out of Downing Street.

After Mrs May called the contest three years early while she was riding high in the polls, the Tories are suffering losses on a scale that suggests they are at risk of doing even worse than a bombshell forecast which said they would lose their overall majority.

In a dramatic turnaround, the odds on Jeremy Corbyn becoming the next PM have been slashed, while Mrs May is already being savaged by her own party. Voters appear to be punishing her for calling the ballot unnecessarily and a catastrophic campaign in which she was seen as having performed dreadfully.

As he walked into his Islington North count this morning, Mr Corbyn said: ‘Welcome to the Labour parliament.’ Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson said Mrs May would ‘never recover’ and mocked her claim to be a ‘bloody difficult woman’, saying she was now finding it ‘all too bloody difficult’.

Despite Tory hopes they would benefit from a Ukip collapse, the exit poll indicated they were on track to lose 16 seats, leaving them on 314 and well short of a majority – while Labour was up from 232 to 266.

However, things became even more grim for Mrs May, with Education Secretary Justine Greening barely clinging on in Putney and Treasury minister Jane Ellison losing Battersea amid a London meltdown. 

Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer hs been defeated in Canterbury, and there has also been a miserable showing in Wales, while Home Secretary Amber Rudd could fall with a recount under way in her Hastings seat.

The only bright spot appears to be Scotland, where they are making gains from the SNP including unseating the party’s Westminster leader Angus Robertson in Moray. The BBC is currently forecasting that the Tories could end up with 322 seats to Labour’s 261, enough for a working majority. 

Meanwhile, former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg became the biggest casualty so far as he lost Sheffield Hallam to Labour.

A hung parliament could throw Britain into chaos, leaving us effectively rudderless barely a week before negotiations with the EU are due to get under way. Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage said he was ready to return to politics, warning that he feared a second referendum on Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May had her husband Philip by her side as she arrived at her count in Maidenhead this morning

Prime Minister Theresa May had her husband Philip by her side as she arrived at her count in Maidenhead this morning

Prime Minister Theresa May had her husband Philip by her side as she arrived at her count in Maidenhead this morning

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, pictured leaving his home in Islington North this morning, is now odds-on to be the next PM

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, pictured leaving his home in Islington North this morning, is now odds-on to be the next PM

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, pictured leaving his home in Islington North this morning, is now odds-on to be the next PM

As he walked into his Islington North count this morning, Mr Corbyn said: 'Welcome to the Labour parliament.'

As he walked into his Islington North count this morning, Mr Corbyn said: 'Welcome to the Labour parliament.'

As he walked into his Islington North count this morning, Mr Corbyn said: ‘Welcome to the Labour parliament.’

Mr Corbyn was joined by shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry as he celebrated his better than expected showing in Islington this morning

Mr Corbyn was joined by shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry as he celebrated his better than expected showing in Islington this morning

Mr Corbyn was joined by shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry as he celebrated his better than expected showing in Islington this morning

Home Secretary Amber Rudd (pictured tonight) is widely expected to lose her Hastings seat in what is looking like a grim night for the Conservatives 

Home Secretary Amber Rudd (pictured tonight) is widely expected to lose her Hastings seat in what is looking like a grim night for the Conservatives 

Home Secretary Amber Rudd (pictured tonight) is widely expected to lose her Hastings seat in what is looking like a grim night for the Conservatives 

The pound slumped on the bombshell news overnight, as markets had priced in a solid Conservative victory

The pound slumped on the bombshell news overnight, as markets had priced in a solid Conservative victory

The Conservatives are predicted to be on 314, with Labour on 266, the SNP on 34 and the Lib Dems on 14

The Conservatives are predicted to be on 314, with Labour on 266, the SNP on 34 and the Lib Dems on 14

The pound slumped on the bombshell news overnight (left) as markets had priced on a Tory victory. The Conservatives are predicted to be on 314, with Labour on 266, the SNP on 34 and the Lib Dems on 14 (pictured right)

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Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry turned the screw by demanding that Mrs May resign immediately. She said the PM was being punished for ‘hubris’ in calling an election to get a ‘blank cheque’ for Brexit – and made clear that Labour will seek to form a government if it can.

High turnout and unprecedented localised shifts in voter allegiance have made the picture extremely complicated with some areas swinging towards Labour and others towards the Tories.

BBC presenter David Dimbleby confessed of the exit poll: ‘We’ll all be hung drawn and quartered if this is wrong.’  

But as the shape of the voters’ verdict emerged in yet another night of rollercoaster political drama:

  • Results suggested that Mr Corbyn is within touching distance of No 10, depending on the final tally.
  • It could also lay the ground for a fresh general election to sort out the chaos likely to ensue at Westminster as no party could be assured of control of the House of Commons. 
  • Home Secretary Amber Rudd is at serious risk in her Hastings constituency, with rumours that there might have to be a recount. 
  • London is said to be a horrorshow for the Conservatives, with Education Secretary Justine Greening only just hanging on in Putney and Treasury minister Jane Ellison losing in Battersea after a 10 per cent swing to Labour. In a fresh shock, Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer was defeated in Canterbury.
  • The Conservatives held the bellwether of Nuneaton, but their hopes of a majority received a huge hit as they lost Bury North and failed to take Darlington from Labour, managing only a small swing.
  • Wales is also looking grim for Mrs May, with a failure to gain Wrexham and Labour looking to consolidate by scooping up several seats. 
  • The SNP also looks set for a dreadful showing with their numbers at Westminster forecast to plummet from 54 to 34. The party’s Westminster leader Angus Robertson has lost Moray to the Tories, while Alex Salmond is also in the firing line.
  • Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage said he would have ‘absolutely no choice’ but to return to active politics if this result means Brexit under threat. ‘We may well be looking down the barrel of a second referendum,’ he said. 
  • The pound tumbled dramatically against the US dollar and the euro as markets had priced in a solid Tory victory.
  • The Liberal Democrats were estimated to get 14 seats, up from nine, despite widespread expectations that they would be put to the sword after a dire campaign. 
  • But former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is under serious threat from Labour in Sheffield Hallam, as traditional party strongholds seem to be blurring. 

Mr Corbyn thanked voters and campaigners on Twitter: ‘It’s great that we have won so much support across the country. Whatever the final result, our positive campaign has changed politics for the better

The exit poll has previously proved fairly accurate, although in 2015 it did underestimate the scale of David Cameron’s victory.

Historically the record is more mixed. In 1992 it pointed to a hung parliament, but the result was a slim Tory majority. In October 1974, the exit poll predicted a majority of 132 for Harold Wilson – he actually secured a majority of 3. 

CAN YOU TRUST THE EXIT POLL? WHY THE 10PM SURVEY SHOULD BE RIGHT 

The exit poll commissioned by the BBC, Sky and ITV tonight is a vast, secretive exercise overseen by elections expert Professor John Curtice. 

It was carried out by NOP/Ipsos MORI and asked 30,450 people at 144 polling stations how they voted in today’s general election – far more than the normal 1,000 person sample. 

The data was all filtered back to Professor Curtice’s election centre in London.  

In recent elections exit polls have been close to the result – getting it almost exactly right in 2001, 2005 and 2010.

The exit poll stunned Westminster in 2015 by showing David Cameron as on course for victory after a campaign thought to have been neck and neck.

Historically the record is more mixed. 

In 1992 it pointed to a hung parliament, but the result was a slim Tory majority.

In October 1974, the exit poll predicted a majority of 132 for Harold Wilson – he actually secured a majority of 3. 

There was no exit poll after the EU referendum last year – one of the reasons the final result was such a shock.  

Losing seats would be a potentially terminal setback for a Prime Minister who called a snap election while riding high in the polls. A slew of senior figures including home secretary Amber Rudd and former minister Anna Soubry could be axed. Labour was said to be confident of taking Ms Rudd’s Hastings constituency.

The estimate was greeted with disbelief on social media, with Gary Lineker branding it the ‘biggest own goal’ in history. Piers Morgan said the PM was ‘toast’.

However, there is a note of caution as the exit poll – which interviewed 30,450 people as they left 144 polling stations across the UK – appears to have found that dozens of constituencies are too close to call, suggesting the picture could change.

YouGov’s Peter Kellner told BBC News there could end up being a majority of ’30 or 40′.

Prof Curtice conceded that it was possible the Tories would end up with a majority of 30.

Conservative Defence Secretary Michael Fallon cautioned against reading too much into projections ‘before we have had a single actual result’, while International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said it was still possible there could be a solid result. 

Labour’s John McDonnell agreed that it was too early to call the result, but added that if the poll was correct it would ‘change the nature of politics’ in the UK. 

‘If it is right, then I think her position is becoming increasingly untenable. I tell you why – if you listen to what people are saying, Theresa May promised on seven different occasions that she wouldn’t go for a snap general election,’ he told the BBC.

‘And she went for it on the basis that she wanted to secure a mandate that she already had. People just saw through that. They saw this as an election which was for party advantage rather than the interests of the country. And it looks as though they’ve rejected her as a result.’ 

Mrs Thornberry was jubilant, saying: ‘Just think only seven weeks ago the hubris of the Prime Minister who was 20 points ahead, who wanted to have a blank cheque, she wanted to do whatever she wanted with the country with Brexit, with the economy, with our National Health Service and we said no and we meant it.

‘And we put forward a popular manifesto with a leader of the party who has withstood the most extraordinary personal attacks, and has actually shown if anybody was strong and stable it was him.

‘And this is a great result, if it’s true.’

Prof John Curtice - who ran the exit poll - admitted it was possible the Tories could have a 30 seat majority

Prof John Curtice - who ran the exit poll - admitted it was possible the Tories could have a 30 seat majority

Former YouGov chief Peter Kellner suggested if the outcomes from Newcastle Central and Houghton & Sunderland South were replicated across the country the Conservatives could actually romp home

Former YouGov chief Peter Kellner suggested if the outcomes from Newcastle Central and Houghton & Sunderland South were replicated across the country the Conservatives could actually romp home

Former YouGov chief Peter Kellner (pictured right) suggested if the outcomes from Newcastle Central and Houghton & Sunderland South were replicated across the country the Conservatives could actually romp home

Ms Thornberry said Mrs May should ‘consider her position’ as she will have ‘manifestly failed’ if the exit poll turns out to be correct.

On what Labour would do, she added: ‘We will see what happens next but if the Labour Party is called on to provide the next government, we will do so and do it in a unified way under a popular manifesto… with a leader who is strong.’ 

Former chancellor George Osborne told ITV the numbers in the forecast implied that no party would be able to form a stable government. 

‘If the poll is anything like accurate this is completely catastrophic for the Conservatives and for Theresa May,’ he said.

‘It’s difficult to see, if these numbers are right, how they would put together the coalition to remain in office.

‘But equally it’s quite difficult to see how Labour could put together a coalition.

‘It’s on a real knife-edge.’

He added: ‘Clearly if she’s got a worse result than two years ago and is almost unable to form a government then she I doubt will survive in the long term as Conservative party leader.’ 

Former shadow chancellor Ed Balls, appearing alongside Mr Osborne on ITV tonight, said: ‘If this is correct we’ll have another general election soon.’ 

Early results from Newcastle Central and Sunderland South showed Labour holding the seats as the two main parties shared out voters who have abandoned Ukip. Turnout also appeared to have surged from the last general election.

In Newcastle Central, Labour’s vote was up 9.9 per cent and the Tories’ 5.7 per cent, while Ukip fell 10.9 per cent. That equated to a 2.1 per cent swing from the Conservatives to Labour

But bafflingly, in Houghton & Sunderland South there was 3.5 per cent swing from Labour to Tories.

In Sunderland Central there was a 2.3 per cent swing towards the Tories, and in Sunderland West the figure was 2.1 per cent. All four were ultra safe seats for Labour.

In Sunderland South there was a 3.5 per cent move from Labour to the Conservatives – the opposite to what the exit poll found. In Sunderland Central there was a 2.3 per cent swing to the Tories. 

The Conservatives held Swindon North, but their majority was reduced as Labour picked up votes.

Mrs May called the election seven weeks ago while enjoying record-breaking advantages and was never thought to be behind during the campaign.

The loss of seats will raise immediate questions about Mrs May’s future as Conservative leader – even if she is able to cobble together the votes in Parliament to stagger on at the head of a minority government.

The failure of either side to win outright would plunge Britain into chaos just 11 days before negotiations with Brussels are due to start.

The country could be forced to head back to the polls within months.

There have already been a major backlash about Mrs May’s campaign – which was widely regarded as the party’s worst since 2001.

The Conservative manifesto backfired after measures to curb costs of social care were branded a ‘Dementia Tax’, forcing Mrs May to perform a painful public U-turn.

There was also significant fallout from the PM’s decision to refuse to take part in televised debates. 

Meanwhile, she was ridiculed for her robotic repetition of the phrase ‘strong and stable’ and refusal to answer questions directly. 

The shock exit poll flew in the face of research during the campaign that consistently gave the Tories a big lead

The shock exit poll flew in the face of research during the campaign that consistently gave the Tories a big lead

The shock exit poll flew in the face of research during the campaign that consistently gave the Tories a big lead

Despite the spectacular exit poll tonight, there is still a long way to go until the final seat scores are known

Despite the spectacular exit poll tonight, there is still a long way to go until the final seat scores are known

Despite the spectacular exit poll tonight, there is still a long way to go until the final seat scores are known

Labour's Bridget Phillipson won the Houghton & Sunderland South seat in one of the first results to declare

Labour's Bridget Phillipson won the Houghton & Sunderland South seat in one of the first results to declare

Labour’s Bridget Phillipson won the Houghton & Sunderland South seat in one of the first results to declare

Sunderland is traditionally one of the earliest seats to declare its results. It is a safe Labour constituency

Sunderland is traditionally one of the earliest seats to declare its results. It is a safe Labour constituency

Sunderland is traditionally one of the earliest seats to declare its results. It is a safe Labour constituency

Former chancellor George Osborne , pictured acting as a pundit for ITV alongside former political foe Ed Balls tonight, said the forecast appeared to be 'catastrophic' for the Tories, and questioned whether any party would be able to form a government

Former chancellor George Osborne , pictured acting as a pundit for ITV alongside former political foe Ed Balls tonight, said the forecast appeared to be 'catastrophic' for the Tories, and questioned whether any party would be able to form a government

Former chancellor George Osborne , pictured acting as a pundit for ITV alongside former political foe Ed Balls tonight, said the forecast appeared to be ‘catastrophic’ for the Tories, and questioned whether any party would be able to form a government

Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn was seen to have performed above expectations, with the Labour manifesto being relatively well received and the leader even managing to dress more smartly.

As a result the polls narrowed dramatically over the course of the past three weeks, with some showing the gap down to as little as a single point.

HOW DOES MAY’S SCORE STACK UP?  

Theresa May is on track to lose her majority with just 314 seats according to tonight’s exit poll.

This is how it compares to other results of recent decades:

David Cameron in 2015: Tory majority of 12

Tony Blair in 2005: Labour majority of 66

Tony Blair in 1997: Labour majority of 179

Margaret Thatcher in 1983: Tory majority of 144

Margaret Thatcher in 1979: Tory majority of 43  

But Tories had pinned their hopes on the veteran left-winger’s track record of supporting the IRA during the 1980s, refusal to back the nuclear deterrent, and soft stance on terrorism continued to dog him. 

There were also a series of car-crash interviews by shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, ending when he was forced to sideline her from the post citing ‘illness’.

Just hours ago a final model produced by Lord Ashcroft suggested Tory support has ‘hardened’ in recent days and Mrs May was on course for a majority of 96. 

This would have been a substantial increase on the majority of 12 seats the Tories got in the 2015 election. 

The latest figures from Lord Ashcroft were based on surveys carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday which showed that Tory supporters indicated that they were more likely to go out and vote than they had in previous surveys. 

Mrs May shocked the the nation when she called the snap election in a surprise speech on the steps of no 10 in April.

She described the election as the most important in her lifetime and stressed that only she can be trusted to stand up to Brussels and deliver Brexit.

But the campaign has been overshadowed by he terror attacks in Manchester and London.  

Mr Corbyn has claimed that he has changed the face of British politics by putting forward a tax and spend manifesto which exerts said is the most left-wing in the party’s history.

Theresa May arrives at the polling station in her constituency of Maidenhead this morning to cast her ballot  - as the polls suggested her support has hardened in the closing days

Theresa May arrives at the polling station in her constituency of Maidenhead this morning to cast her ballot  - as the polls suggested her support has hardened in the closing days

Theresa May arrives at the polling station in her constituency of Maidenhead this morning to cast her ballot  – as the polls suggested her support has hardened in the closing days

 

 

 

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