10.30pm: Mark Wallace here for our final post of election results day. We kept the blog open until now in the hope of a final, confirmed result in the London Mayoral election. Unfortunately, for some unknown reason it now won’t be announced until at least midnight. So with that news, we leave you with the BBC’s numbers for the first preferences, pictured above. Thanks for reading – and goodnight.
- 13 out of 14 London Assembly seats have been declared.
- Labour have won eight seats: Barnet & Camden, Brent & Harrow, Enfield & Haringey, Greenwich & Lewisham, Lambeth & Southwark, City & East, Ealing & Hillingdon and Merton & Wandsworth.
- The Conservatives have won Croydon & Sutton, Bexley & Bromley, Havering & Redbridge, South West, and West Central.
- Merton & Wandsworth is the only one of those seats to change hands.
- Boris won Ealing & Hillingdon, Merton & Wandsworth in 2012. Khan won them yesterday – so only two of the 14 seats “changed hands” in the Mayoral poll.
5.00pm: Afternoon all – Mark Wallace here. As the afternoon has progressed, we’ve started to get the first results of Police and Crime Commissioner elections. In 2012 16 Conservatives, 13 Labour and 12 independents were elected to these posts, on an average turnout of 15 per cent.
So far today, 14 Conservatives have won, as have eight Labour candidates and two independents. The only story so far has been Conservatives unseating independent incumbents, which has happened in:
- and West Mercia.
Those are good gains on a solid topic for the Conservatives – it seems that when the jobs were new and turnout was way down, the elections were decided by voters who strongly opposed having politically aligned PCCs. The trend from 2012 appears to be wearing off, mostly to the benefit of Tory candidates.
By my calculation, the turnout so far is about 24.4 per cent – an increase on last time, though still not equal to the local election turnout (thought of course in some areas where there weren’t council elections taking place that’s understandable). Evidently it’s still going to take time for the posts to bed in among the electorate.
- The Liberal Democrats are up by one council in England as I write, and up by 34 councillors. In Scotland, they held five seats; in Wales, they lost four – clearly feeling the UKIP effect. This doesn’t look like much a revival to me, though in Scotland they gained both North East Fife (for their leader, Willie Rennie) and Edinburgh Western from the SNP.
- UKIP gained no councils in England, and have gained 26 new councillors. As we have seen, Farage’s party got a fine result in Wales, filling the gap left by Labour’s decline. But they got nowhere at all in Scotland, failing to make any impact at all.
- The unofficial inquest into Zac’s campaign in London, kicked off yesterday by Andrew Boff, is gathering pace. Roger Evans, one of Boris’s deputy mayors, has now said that he is concerned the campaign will “leave a negative legacy”. Mark Field has been critical. Meanwhile, Labour has gained Merton & Wandsworth in the assembly elections.
- Meanwhile, above, a cloud that is now a great deal bigger than a man’s hand. Eight police forces are now investigating alleged irregularities in Conservative election expenses – a Michael Crick-driven story that has been gathering pace for a while now, but about which Labour has been keeping very quiet indeed.
- In Scotland, it’s been a terrific election for Ruth Davidson and the Conservatives. They won 31 seats in the Scottish Parliamentary election, an increase of 16. The Tories will be the official opposition, and the SNP failed to win a majority. As Mark Wallace noted in this blog earlier today, the result has important implications for the EU referendum: by making a second referendum on Scottish independence less likely, it weakens the Remain argument that a Leave vote would cause the break-up of Britain.
- In England, Labour is one point ahead of the Conservatives in the national share of the vote. Jeremy Corbyn’s party is at 31 per cent, 7 points down on where it was when these seats were last fought. The Tories are on 30 per cent, one point down on when these seats were last fought. Labour has lost a council; In short, it’s a dire result for Labour (they have lost more councillors than the Tories, 25 to 18 as I write), but not a catastrophic one (since they have only lost one council, Peterborough, and that to no overall control).
- In Wales, the Conservatives went into these elections on the back of the best Tory election result there since 1983: the party gained three seats. However, they lost three seats yesterday, and saw UKIP move into the gap opened up by Labour’s weakness. Labour is down a seat, and UKIP gained seven: Neil Hamilton and Mark Reckless will be among their AMs. Questions will be asked about the Conservatives’ leadership and efficiency in Wales at Assembly level – in contrast to the rising national fortunes of Stephen Crabb.
- Overall, these elections seem to me to bring best possible result for David Cameron, in that they’re bad enough for Corbyn to represent no real progress, but not so bad to be likely to spark a coup. However, The London Mayoral election looks to be a desperately meagre result for the Party. If Khan beats Goldsmith by the margin predicated, there will be a big Tory internal row – contrasting Davidson’s positive campaign in Scotland with what will be labelled the Crosby-style negative campaign in London.
2.00pm: The Police and Crime Commissioner election results have started to come in. Ron Hogg has been re-elected for Labour in Durham. Vera Baird has been re-elected for Labour in Northumbria but with a reduced share of the vote.
- With 75 per cent of the votes counted for the Mayor of London election, Sadiq Khan has a lead of nine points on the first round.
- Kezia Dugdale has said she will stay on as Scottish Labour leader despite a “heartbreaking” result for the party.
- The Lib Dems have gained seats from Labour in Knowsley
- The Shadow Scottish Secretary says that Labour “should reflect” on the evidence that under Jeremy Corbyn the public do not regard Labour as “a credible party of future Government.”
- A Labour councillor in Bury has blamed Ken Livingstone for a decline in Labour supporter in areas with a large Jewish community.
- Sir Eric Pickles says that the results in Scotland show the Conservatives that “where we are united, where we are acting as a team we take seats.”
- Owen Jones warns that Labour is “not on course to win in four years based on these figures.”
1.00pm: David Cameron has visited Peterborough and give his reaction to the election results in a speech outside the Peterborough Conservative Club:
“After six years in power we are actually strengthening our position in local government.
“The Labour party have completely lost touch with the hardworking people they are supposed to represent. They are so obsessed with their left wing causes and unworkable economic policies that they forgot that people want jobs, people want livelihoods, people want lower taxes, people want homes they can live in and afford to own. Where we are a united mainstream, one nation, compassionate Conservative party we can win, we can serve our country and our communities.”
He paid tribute to Ruth Davidson for the results in Scotland. If someone had told him six years ago that the Conservatives would become the second largest party in Scotland, he would have told them “to go away and lie down”.
- With more than half the votes counted in the election for Mayor of London there is still a clear lead for Sadiq Khan. The results can be seen here.
- The Lib Dems have gained a seat in Manchester breaking the Labour monopoly. The Lib Dems have also gained three seats from Labour in Burnley.
- The Green Party have lost seats in Oxford and Norwich.
- Congratulations to Lynton Crosby , the General Election strategist for the Conservatives, who received his knighthood this morning. Arise Sir Lynton!
Noon: As we wait for some more councils to report, it’s worth looking at the possible impact of the recent scandal about Labour anti-semitism. Of course, it’s impossible to accurately measure the impact on the wider electorate – for many it may be one extra factor added in with others in their voting calculation. But there are a few areas which have large Jewish populations, and they are showing signs of a swing away from Labour.
In Bury, there is a large Jewish population in the Prestwich area – in Sedgely Ward Labour’s 1,210 majority changed to a Tory majority of 60; in Holyrood Ward the Lib Dems oveturned a 151 majority to win by 270 votes; and in St Mary’s Ward Labour’s majority was whittled down to 19. There may yet be other council races elsewhere which are directly affected but are yet to count.
Meanwhile, in the Barnet and Camden constituency on the London Assembly, which Andrew Dismore won for Labour in 2012 with a 12.8 per cent majority, the race is neck and neck – with 37 per cent of the votes counted, the Conservative and Labour candidates are only one per cent apart. If the result is tight, we may of course see any appeal due to the voting problems in Barnet yesterday.
11.00am: Welcome to the ConHome live blog for the results of yesterday’s elections – it’s Mark Wallace here. As you know, there were a multiplicity of different bodies and seats up for election, and various counts are going on during the day, so it may be a complex set of results to unravel. Here are our some initial thoughts on what we know so far:
- She did it! Ruth Davidson’s success in winning second place for the Scottish Conservatives in Holyrood is the big story so far, accompanied by Labour’s collapse to their worst share of the vote since 1910. Meanwhile, the SNP have lost their majority and with it any serious prospect of claiming a mandate for a second referendum. Read more analysis of the result here.
- Possible trouble for Labour in Wales. Corbyn’s Party are faring better in Wales than in Scotland, but there are still signs of trouble ahead – currently they are two short of a majority, with four seats left to declare, which means they could end up in a minority administration or a coalition of some sort. Plaid Cymru’s leader, Leanne Wood, secured a shock victory in Rhondda, which might cause some sleepless nights for the Rhondda MP, Chris Bryant. Meanwhile, Wales delivered UKIP’s biggest success of the night.
- The People’s Army get a Cymru branch. It may be a surreal sight, but Neil Hamilton is now an Assembly Member, along with Mark Reckless and four others. This is interesting for two reasons: 1) UKIP are trying to pivot to target traditional Labour voters, and here in particular it seems to be working, and 2) the Party’s success poses some challenges for its leader – Farage tried to prevent Hamilton from getting nominated, but was denied by UKIP Wales members. The People’s Army is understandably delighted about its Welsh breakthrough, but its Generalissimo will be aware that this success will make it harder for him to exercise complete central control of his Party. With several council gains in UKIP target areas like Thurrock, it will also be interesting to see if there are hints of their strategy for 2020.
- Not much change in the local elections. There are many councils yet to report their results, but so far there aren’t any huge changes. Labour are down 24 seats, with the Conservatives up eight, Lib Dems up 12 and UKIP up 20. There may be some upsets to come, but so far it’s mostly no change.
- The London count has begun. Helpfully, there is an online tracker of the latest count totals for London – as expected, they show Sadiq Khan ahead on first preferences. Watch it here. If Zac is heavily defeated, there will be recriminations – indeed, recriminations began last night.
- No joy for Corbyn. All of this spells not a great night for Jeremy Corbyn. Despite his fans’ (and the BBC’s) best attempts to insist the results should be compared to 2015, not 2012, the truth is the local elections point to the worst Opposition showing for 30 years. The crisis in Scotland is a severe problem for Labour nationally if it hopes to pose a real challenge in 2020. And the prospect of UKIP eating up votes in Labour heartlands is troubling a number of MPs. However, it seems like his reputation is so poor that he might be able to portray this as not-as-bad-as-expected, and thus avoid a leadership challenge – so the car crash may continue.