Election 2010 – into the night

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    Well, that’s it from us – will the SNP increase it’s seat count at all?  It’s looking gloomy at the moment.

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    Downing Street confirm that Brown will try to stay in power if possible – even if Conservatives are largest party.  What will English reaction be if England vote Tory but get Brown?

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    Motherwell and Wishaw – Lab hold with 3% increase, SNP +1% but LD’s down 3%.  SNP making small gains but LD’s again losing most.

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    East Kilbride – Lab hold.  Lab +5, SNP +2, LD -7.  Swing 1.5% SNP to Lab.

    Two elections may be evident – England embrace Tories whilst Scots may be opting for Labour.  First result in Scotland not good for SNP but worse for LD’s.

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    Con gain from Labour – important target for Conservatives.  Con +8%, Lab -11%, Lib -1%, swing 9.4%.

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    Plaid take a seat from Labour in Wales, perhaps a good result for SNP who hope to form a partnership with Plaid.

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    Peter Robinson loses seat, tactically bad result for Tories who may be looking to the DUP to form an alliance.

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    Salmond commenting on electoral problems South of the border.  Also remarks about the exclusion of the SNP from the TV debates.  Salmond accuses the electoral commission of passing the buck to returning officers in England.  A third world lack of democracy says First Minister.

    Attacks by SNP on BBC exclusions may well suggest a disappointing night for the party.

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    100’s of postal votes missing in York.  By-elections may be necessary shortly after the actual election.

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    Suggestions that Jim Murphy may well hold onto his seat in East Renfrewshire.  SNP vote appears to have gone tactically to Murphy in order to keep the Tories out.  Disappointment perhaps for many SNP supporters but long term perhaps assisting the SNP if the Tory influence and mandate in Scotland is reduced.

    Will the Tories gain any seats in Scotland other than the one they currently hold?  Will they even hold this seat?

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    Mike Russell very strong in his condemnation of BBC’s exclusion of SNP in UK leaders debate.  Accuses the BBC of conspiring with the London parties and of having distorted the electoral result in Scotland.

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    Labour confident of victory in Glasgow East (Mason won in by-election), disappointing for SNP but not earth shattering.  Reports that Glasgow North under threat from Lib Dems – huge shock if Labour lose here.

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    Greens reported to be considering legal action in Islington.

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    Turnout well up on 2005.  Dunfermline and West Fife 67% – up 7%.  Brown’s constituency 62% also up on 2005.  Stirling turnout 71% up 3% on 2005.

    Feeling that fear of Tories in Scotland may have outweighed disillusionment with Labour.  Is this bad news for the SNP?

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    Breaking news from the Electoral Commission that they will be investigating the shambles in England.  Cause for serious concern they say.  The law states that stations must close at 22:00, no ballot papers issued after 22:00.  However reports already that some people were locked in and allowed to vote after 22:00.

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    War of words brewing over suggestions that Brown may try to cling to power should result offer possibility of coalition with Lib Dems.

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    Voter turnout expected to be higher than usual.  Trouble and anger in numerous polling stations in England.

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    Third result from England – Lab hold – Lab -5%, Con +5%, LD N/C swing to Con 4.8%.  Swing down on other two results.  Is Labour vote energised where they see a Tory threat?  Does this have implications for Jim Murphy in East Renfrewshire?

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    Police called in Islington, sit down protest in Clegg’s constutuency, talk of legal challenges.  Reminiscent not only of Scotland 2007 but Bush’s ‘hanging chad’ episode.  This will be the big story tomorrow.

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    Second English result – Lab hold – Con +7% Swing to Con is 11.6%.  Swing needed for majority is 6.9% (not 6.4%).

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    Apologies from returning officer in Sheffield over voting chaos, possibly 1000’s.  Stories of similar all over England – is this to be England’s version of the 2007 Holyrood election shambles.

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    00:45 first expected result from Scotland is Dunfermline and West Fife (Rennie won in by-election).  LD’s confident of victory – Labour quiet, will be a bad result if Labour do not regain this seat.

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    Reports across England that people prevented from voting due to large queues, confusion over law.  One station runs out of ballot papers.  Revised exit figures Con 305, Lab 255, LD 61, Others 29 – Labour figures suggesting Brown would try to hold onto power in such a scenario.

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    First result in England is Labour hold but big increase in Conservative vote.  Lab -12%, Con +5%, LD -1%. Swing to Con 8.4%, swing needed for overall majority 6.5%.

    Worrying for LD’s?  Concerns raised over the accuracy of the exit polls.

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    Angry scenes in Sheffield as people unable to vote after queueing for hours.

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    Exit polls suggesting Tory victory but short of overall majority by 19.  Con 307, Lab 255, LD 59, Others 29.

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    Well, the votes have been cast and the count will shortly begin.  In Scotland we know that the FPTP system will mean Labour strolling off with their usual bulging ‘swag bag’ containing in excess of 30 seats.

    However the excitement and interest in Caledonia centres around three specific areas: Will the Tories be wiped out, can the SNP hit double figures for seats and what will the SNP’s national percentage vote be? – 10 and 25% are probably their respective targets.

    Some marginals:

    • Aberdeen South – Lib hope to gain from Lab
    • Angus – SNP need to hold
    • Dumfries and Galloway – Con hope to gain from Lab
    • Dundee West – SNP hope to gain from Lab
    • Dunfermline and West Fife – Lab want to gain from Lib
    • Edin North and Leith – Lib hope to gain from Lab
    • Edin South – Lib hope to gain from Lab
    • Glasgow East – SNP might hold
    • Ochil & South Perthshire – SNP need to gain from Lab

    Seats that might surprise:
    Glasgow Central, Glenrothes, Kilmarnock, Midlothian, Livingston, Linlithgow, Glasgow North, Edinburgh South West (Darling’s seat), Edinburgh East, East Lothian, Falkirk, Dumfriesshire Clydesdale and Tweeddale, Dumfries and Galloway, Berwickshire, Argyle, Ayrshire North and Arran, Bute, Stirling and of course East Renfrewshire.

    The results, when they finally do come in might leave even more questions to be answered.  Not least of which will be the possibility of a Tory government at Westminster and an SNP government at Holyrood and what it will lead to.{jcomments on}