Live Blog: Westminster General Election 2017

Westminster Parliament. Picture: Ged Carroll (CC BY 2.0)

6.13am

Final results for Wales: Labour take three Tory seats, Plaid take the only Lib Dem seat. Who would have predicted that 12 hours ago?

Thank you very much for your company throughout the night. I hope you’ve enjoyed Nation.Cymru’s inaugural live blog!

6.11am 

I think we can tell from the smile on Ben Lake’s face that Plaid have taken Ceredigion…

6am

ITV’s Welsh political editor is claiming that Plaid have certainly won Ceredigion…

But the Cambrian News Twitter account has said that it’s too early to call officially…

5.50am

Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkins says: “Re Plaid. Regardless of Ceredigion we need proper de-brief on target areas- how it’s done and how we are way out in many instances…”

5.37am

Bong! The BBC have declared that it is a hung parliament.

5.35am

Plaid Cymru have got 10% of the vote across Wales so far. That’s actually slightly up on what the last set of YouGove polls were giving them.

5.34am

Ed Miliband tweets: “We know Theresa May can’t now negotiate Brexit for Britain because she told us losing majority would destroy her authority—and it has.”

5.24am

The popcorn and chocolate is all eaten, and the Lucozade is drunk. Come on, Ceredigion! I’ll drive down to Aberaeron myself to help with the count if it will speed things up.

5.20am

Has the right-wing tabloid press lost their bite? They mauled Corbyn relentlessly, but it didn’t work.

5.15am

What a roller-coaster ride of a night. The sun’s coming up here, but I must say that it has flown by.

5.12am

Preseli Pembrokeshire at last – Stephen Crabb retains the seat for the Conservatives. 314 votes in it.

5.07am

How likely is a hard Brexit now that the Conservatives are likely to be dependent on the DUP’s support? They will be keen to avoid any deal that disadvantages Northern Ireland.

4.53am

Win or lose Ben Lake will have done much better than expected in Ceredigion. The seat wasn’t on anyone’s radar a month ago. I, and many others I suspect, expected him to cut his teeth on this campaign before challenging seriously for the seat in another five or ten years.

4.40am

Another recount in Ceredigion – Plaid Cymru ahead by around 100 votes.

4.37am

The BBC forsee that UKIP will only have won 2% of the vote, a collapse of 11% on two years ago.

4.32am

Scot Tory leader Ruth Davidson says a second independence referendum is now ‘dead’. The SNP won the election quite handily, however, despite losing seats.

4.22am

We’re awaiting the result in Ceredigion and Preseli Pembrokeshire. Stephen Crabb is narrowly defending a strong Welsh Labour challenge there.

4.21am

Former SNP leader Alex Salmond has lost his seat to the Conservatives.

4.18am

What will be the effect of these results on Leanne Wood’s leadership?

A win in Ceredigion would give the night a certain sheen, but after bitterly disappointing results elsewhere.

Leanne Wood had little connection with Ceredigion, and was expected to boost Plaid’s result in the valleys, where they went backwards.

But do Plaid have someone who could do a better job?

4.11am

Plaid Cymru activists are getting excited in Ceredigion. But nothing’s set in stone yet.

4.08am

Oh dear… Professor Richard Wyn Jones predicts there could be another General Election soon.

4am

If the Lib Dems lose Ceredigion, it will be the first time since 1859 the Liberals have failed to win a seat in Wales.

3.56am

Is it me or do they count much faster for Westminster than Welsh General Elections? Cardiff were only getting started this time last year.

3.53am

There seems to have been a slight break in the results. So who will be happy so far with the results in Wales?

Labour – overjoyed

Conservatives – despondent

Plaid Cymru – diasppointed (so far – they could still take Ceredigion)

Lib Dems – sinking into invisibility

UKIP – over and out

3.42am

Conservatives retain Carmarthen West and Pembrokeshire.

3.36am

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies, who went on holiday during the campaign, will have questions to answer, one suspects. Complacency abounded.

3.33am

Paul Nuttall embarrassed – only wins 3308 votes.

Labour retain Cardiff West.

3.32am

Theresa May has declared that the UK needs a period of stability with the Tories in charge.

3.29am

Tim Farron has been reelected by a whisker.

Labour have held Cardiff South and Penarth, a seat that seemed in doubt a few weeks ago.

3.24am

Nye Davies on Twitter: “Darren Millar speaking of the need to have a more ‘Welsh’ Conservative campaign. ‘Clear blue water’?”

3.23am

The Lib Dems have only won 4% of the vote in Wales so far.

3.21am

Theresa May will be the shortest serving PM since the Earl of Bute in 1762 if she resigns.

3.18am

Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected.

Labour have also held Merthyr.

3.13am

The Conservatives last lost Cardiff North to Labour. A big step back for them in Wales.

3.08am

A full recount in Ceredigion! Rumours Plaid are 150 votes ahead. Plaid may have met a party having a worse night than them. Lib Dems have requested a recount.

3.01am

Five minutes until Cardiff North, an expected Labour gain now.

Labour keep Swansea West with no problems.

2.55am

Former Tory Welsh Secretary David Jones has retained Clwyd West.

Vince Cable has won Twickenham back after losing the seat in 2015.

2.52am

Former deputy-PM Nick Clegg has lost his seat. A recount in Tim Farron’s seat.

2.49am

Good news for Plaid Cymru at last. Liz Saville Roberts increases her majority in Dwyfor Meirionnydd.

2.48am

Labour win Gower back from the Tories, after losing it from 26 votes in 2015.

Great night for Labour, bad for the Tories.

2.41am

Result coming in Ceredigion shortly.

Tory David Davies (not David Davis) retains Monmouthshire.

Conservatives also hold Brecon and Radnorshire.

2.37am

Labour keep Cardiff Central. There was a suggestion at the beginning of the campaign that the Lib Dems could challenge here.

Labour retains Swansea West too.

2.33am

Tory Guto Bebb keeps his Aberconwy seat – Labour thought they had taken the seat earlier in the night.

2.29am

Plaid Cymru fail to take their top target in Ynys Mon, and fall to third place. Labour hold.

Conservative Glyn Davies elected in Montgomeryshire.

2.26am

Labour keep Bridgend, which was a top Tory target. It was visited by Theresa May early in the campaign.

2.25am

Angus Robertson, SNP’s leader at Westminster, has lost his seat.

2.21am

Huge majority for Laour in Rhondda. Plaid not close to recreating Leanne Wood’s shock win last year.

2.12am

Labour keep Ogmore. Paul Flynnh has retained Newport West, which was under threat by the Conservatives.

Roger Scully suggests they could even be on course for their best result since 1997.

2.06am

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns keeps his seat in the Vale of Glamorgan. Labour retain Blaenau Gwent.

2.01am

Neil Hamilton, UKIP AM, only won 985 votes in Carmarthen East. *chuckle*

2am

Plaid have avoided calamity by keeping Arfon and Carmarthen East. The first by the thinnest of whiskers.

1.51am

Labour keep Torfaen, but you knew that. But they also hold Newport East, which there was some concern about.

1.48am

Betfair now has Jeremy Corbyn as more likely to be PM than Theresa May. Let that sink in…

1.42am

Labour keep Clwyd South without any problems. It had been predicted that the Conservatives could take it.

1.41am

Labour take the Vale of Clwyd from the Conservatives.

1.36am

Hearing that there are only about 100 votes in it in Arfon.

1.35am

The Tories now feel that Cardiff North and Aberconwy are beyond them.

1.33am

Hearing that Plaid Cymru might have held Arfon by the skin of their teeth, although there will be a recount to be sure.

1.22am

Are the young seeking revenge over an older generation they believe have shafted them over Brexit and other issues?

1.19am

It seems that the Conservatives have come to the conclusion that they will not win a majority.

1.15am

Big win for Labour in Scotland – 16% swing in Rutherglen and Hamilton West from the SNP. Looks like being a difficult night for them.

1.12am

Llafur keep Wrexham and Llanelli. Plaid third in Llanelli, in a target seat.

1.10am

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns’ seat is apparently under threat.

1.06am

Darran Hill on Twitter: “If Plaid lose Arfon to a Labour candidate from London it will be their worst blow since Gwynfor lost Carmarthen.”

1.05am

What a night! Started off keeping an eye on Rhondda, Ynys Mon, Bridgend, Newport West, Wrexham. All now seem solid for Labour. Now looking at seats such as Arfon,  Aberconwy…

12.55am

Labour keep Darlington. This was a top Tory taget seat, but Labour increased their majority. An important win and could be significant.

12.50am

Lib Dem sources believe former leader Nick Clegg has lost his seat to Labour.

12.48am

Conservative MP Guto Bebb could be in trouble in Aberconwy. This is a seat there was almost no discussion about prior to the election.

12.44am

Plaid Cymru AM Rhun ap Iorwerth feels that this was an “impossible” election for Plaid Cymru as it had developed into a ‘presidential election’ between May and Corbyn.

12.31am

If Plaid Cymru are in danger of losing Arfon, how safe is Carmarthen East? If they were going to lose one, I would have bet on the latter.

12.21am

Suggestions that the Labour and Conservative vote are up significantly in Ceredigion – that could bode well for Plaid Cymru.

12.18am

A Plaid Cymru member in Arfon has gotten in touch to say it’s now likely they’ve lost the seat. It’s too early to tell, but it’s a small constituency so the counting should be brisk.

12.13am

Conservatives feel they could come second in Llanelli. They may just be stirring but it would deepen the gloom around Plaid Cymru.

12.05am

There are reports that there’s been a good turnout in Labour-supporting areas of Arfon. It’s making Plaid Cymru jittery.

12.01am

Scottish Tories feel all the seats across the southern border are theirs.

11.50pm

Tories feel they’ve lost Gower and won’t win Bridgend or the two Newport seats.

11.47pm

A very interesting point by Leighton V Williams: “Exit poll is assuming increased turnout in ballot box by young Labour voters is duplicated in postal votes. Possible fatal error.”

11.44pm

Some non-Plaid Cymru news – the Tories fear that they’ve lost Gower, Cardiff North and the Vale of Clwyd. They still hope to win a few seats in the north-east, such as Wrexham.

11.33pm

There are suggestions that Plaid Cymru could now be in difficulties in Arfon. Could a disappointing night become a calamitous one for them?

11.27pm

Labour believe they’ve held Anglesey. Quite a turnaround from the start of the campaign, when it was felt that it was between the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru.

A huge disappointment for Plaid who had been confident of taking the seat.

11.24pm

The Green Party’s candidate in Ceredigion, Grenville Ham, believes that Plaid Cymru’s Ben Lake has taken the seat. It’s far too early to know one way or the other of course.

11.20pm

Tories are briefing that the exit poll is wrong – it doesn’t tally with their own internal data.

11.16pm

More news from Scotland – the SNP expect to lose around 10 seats, with another 10 becoming close.

Scottish Labour are playing down the exit poll. They don’t expect to win as many seats from the SNP as suggested.

11.14pm

Journalist Harry Smith: “Now that voting is over I can say Theresa May has been the most disastrous candidate I followed in years.”

11.08pm

Worth noting that the swing towards Labour in Newcastle Central was smaller than the exit poll suggested it would be – 2% rather than 7%.

11.03pm

The exit poll suggests that the Conservatives may do quite well in north-east Wales – seats like Wrexham, Delyn and Alyn and Deeside could still be in the balance.

The first result is in from Newcastle Central. A swing towards Labour and a big collapse in the UKIP vote.

Has more of the UKIP vote broken towards Labour than expected?

10.56pm

The Lib Dems are saying post-exit poll that they don’t want a coalition. It’s hard to blame them after the last one. But if the Tories don’t get a majority, who is going to run things from London?

10.48pm

It does sound as if many of the Tories’ losses could come in London. These are the kind of young, urban, Brexit-opposing constituencies where the Labour vote was expected to hold up quite well.

10.46pm

If the exit poll is correct it makes a straightforward, hard Brexit much less likely.

Less likely as well would be a referendum on independence for Scotland any time soon. Tactical unionist voting may have succeeded in hobbling the SNP there.

10.37pm

Plaid Cymru are playing down Ynys Mon. If that is the case then it’s likely to be a rather disappointing night for them.

Talk of taking Ceredigion seems far-fetched to me at this point. I’ve heard good things in previous elections at this time of night!

10.28pm

The expectation in Rhondda is that Plaid could come up short, but things seem promising in Ceredigion.

The big rumour of the night is that Amber Rudd could have lost her seat. She stood in for Theresa May in the BBC Leader’s Debate.

10.27pm

Roger Scully weighs in: “Last person to defeat Labour in general election in Wales was Lloyd George. Doesn’t look like Theresa May will break that run.”

10.24pm

What does the exit poll suggest for Wales?

It suggests that the Tories won’t take Bridgend and Wrexham, and that Labour could snatch Gower.

It also hints that Plaid Cymru or the Liberal Democrats won’t gain any ground.

10.21pm

Might George Osborne be regretting his career choice? There may be a vacancy at the top of the Conservative party…

10.18pm

The Conservatives may now need unionists in Northern Ireland to stay in power. There would be a tasty irony there after Theresa May was accused of ignoring Northern Ireland when dealing with Brexit.

10.16pm

The exit poll was also bad news for the SNP – it has them down 22 seats, to 34. That’s far more than they expected to lose.

10.15pm

The Pound has plunged sharply against the US dollar after the exit poll said the Conservatives would hold 314 seats, down from 330.

10.11pm

If the exit poll is correct, it’s quite the disaster for Theresa May. Could she be resigning in the morning?

Looks like that trip up Cader Idris made her a madwoman, not a poet.

It’s impossible to know of course if seats across the UK will reflect the patterns seen in this small sample.

10.06pm

Plaid Cymru are not expected to increase their number of seats according to the opinion poll. But it’s an UK wide poll and unlikely to reflect what’s going on on a seat by seat basis.

10.03pm

So – a hung parliament! If true, tonight is about to get very interesting.

10pm

Exit poll –

Con: 314 Lab: 266 SNP: 34 LDem: 14

9.54pm

What would be a good result for the Lib Dems in Wales?

There was some hope at the start of the campaign of taking Cardiff Central from Labour. But it’s exactly the kind of young, urban seat where Labour are now expected to do well.

It all boils down to Ceredigion, the seat of their leader in Wales, Mark Williams.

They should keep it by approx 1,000 votes – if their conservative, rural base doesn’t abandon them post-Brexit.

9.38pm

What would a good night for Plaid Cymru look like?

Winning Ynys Môn, basically.

As in other Westminster General Election campaigns, Plaid tend to be buffeted by winds that are beyond their control.

It looked at the start of the campaign that the Labour vote in Wales would be significantly down and that the Liberal Democrat vote would enjoy a Brexit-surge.

So they duly targeted Labour seats such as Rhondda, Blaenau Gwent and Llanelli, and perhaps didn’t fancy their chances so much in Ceredigion.

It’s starting to look as if Labour could consolidate their vote in their relatively safe seats, however, while the Liberal Democrats could be in real trouble of going backwards.

So in my opinion a lot comes down to Ynys Môn. They should win it:

 

  • Former AM and MP Ieuan Wyn Jones is back

 

  • They hold the seat by a considerable margin in the Welsh Assembly

 

  • They only have a 500 vote Labour majority to break down

 

Can they do it? If not, I could imagine some major ructions within the party. A new leader?

9.30pm

Ben Page of IPSOS Mori has just remarked that the result of tonight’s exit poll is ‘fascinating’. A close contest perhaps? It’s illegal to release them before 10pm so we’ll have to depend on hype until then.

9.05pm

Less than an hour to go until the exit poll.

I expect two seats to change hands tonight – Wrexham and also Bridgend. If these don’t switch then Carwyn Jones can wipe the sweat off his brow.

It’s also worth keeping an eye on the following:

Ynys Môn – a three-way marginal between Labour, Plaid Cymru and Conservatives

Rhondda – Plaid took this seat off Labour at last year’s Welsh Assembly Election

Ceredigion – Lib Dems switching to Tories could put this in Plaid’s column

Newport West – A Labour held Tory target

Clwyd South – Ditto

Delyn – Ditto

Gower – If Labour have staged a comeback in Wales, they coukd take back this ultra-marginal

If Labour have a stinker then Newport East, Alyn and Deeside, and Cardiff South and Penarth could go to the Conservatives. But these seats are a little younger and urbaner.

8.47pm

If you’d like to spice up your night, I’ve put together a little treat for you:

The Election Night Drinking Game for Wales! (with apologies to Dai Lama)

 

Results

The Tories win a seat off Labour in Wales – two fingers

Labour win a seat off the Tories in Wales – three fingers

Plaid Cymru or the Lib Dems take a seat – finish your drink

Theresa May wins a majority – keep drinking, it’s going to be a long five years…

Jeremy Corbyn wins a majority – stop drinking, you’ve had enough

 

Times

Recount in a Welsh seat – three fingers

Sunderland declares – one finger

The first seat in Wales declares – three fingers

A seat in Cardiff declares – it’s time to stop drinking and go to work

 

Democratic deficit alert

A devolved issue is mentioned in the context of Westminster – two fingers

The existence of a Welsh polity is remarked upon at all – three fingers

 

Fancy gizmos

BBC has spent millions on a fancy new virtual reality gizmo – one finger

S4C has spent millions on a fancy new virtual reality gizmo – finish your drink

 

Lording it

A Kinnock appears – two fingers

He’s in Denmark – three fingers

Any politician you though was dead appears – two fingers

A party grandee doesn’t believe the exit poll – finish your drink

 

 

Welsh pundit watch

Richard Wyn Jones switches between S4C and BBC, or back – two fingers

Vaughan Roderick reminisces about elections past – three fingers

Roger Scully appears – one finger

Roger Scully appears on S4C – two fingers

Roger Scully appears on more than one channel at the same time – finish your drink

He’s shaved his beard – finish the drink of the person next to you

Dewi Llwyd is wearing a colourful tie – two fingers

Dewi Llwyd changes his tie – finish your drink

 

From the count

An elected representative lays into their leader after the polls close – three fingers

Man in silly hat or costume at a count – one finger

Reporter forced to report from a count but has no update – two fingers

The studio interviewer and a politician have a little tiff – three fingers

 

Clichés

‘Disappointed faces’ – two fingers

‘Strong and stable’ – regurgitate one finger back into the cup

‘Labour surge’ – three fingers

‘Social media election’ – two fingers

 

Nuclear war alert

Donald Trump tweets something insulting at a British politician – three fingers

 

8.30pm

Wrexham will declare around 1.30am alongside a few other Labour towns, and that should answer two key questions: What kind of night will it be for Labour across the UK? And also, will Labour in Wales insulated from what is going to happen across the rest of the UK?

There is a suspicion that Labour could be piling up the votes in urban seats while leaking them in the towns, which are home to an older demographic.

If Wrexham and similar constituencies go Tory at 1.30am, it’s going to be a very long night for team Corbyn.

8.19pm

I get the feeling that this could be a long night for all the parties. The Conservatives won’t get the huge majority they had hoped for at the start of the campaign; Labour won’t be massacred, but will lose some key seats and big names (and be stuck with Corbyn for the foreseeable); while the other parties could struggle to gain momentum or even lose some seats as they’re squeezed out by the ‘big two’.

I’m just guessing of course. The 2015 election had a shock result and we could see one tonight as well.

8pm

Hello and welcome to the first ever Nation.Cymru live blog! Hopefully it will be the first of many, incuding the Rejoining the European Union Live Blog of 2025, and the Welsh Independence Referendum live blog of 2033. Something to look forward to there.

This is my eleventh election/referendum live blog, but tonight I’m going to attempt something I haven’t ever done before – running two blogs at the same time, in Welsh and English. My left hand will be grappling with the Welsh-language blog over at Golwg 360, and my right will be picking my no- I mean, right here keeping you informed throughout the night.

I have chocolate, lucozade, popcorn and coffee. We’ll see how it goes. If I start posting in Welsh here in the early hours of the morning, just switch me off and on again and I should get back on track.

Remember that you can contribute, either by leaving a comment here, sending me an email at ifanjones@gmail.com, or on twitter @ifanmj or @nationcymru.

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6 Comments

  1. Good luck Ifan! Hope you’ve got plenty of that lucozade!

  2. Best wishes Ifan! I will be following this along with the Channel 4 coverage 🙂

  3. Gwaith fory a heb stocio fyny ar y diod. Trueni. Mae’r gêm yn swnio’n un ddifyr!

  4. Great coverage from a news website only days old! Thank you!

  5. I went and read back through – interesting to see how things developed. what what accurate, what turned out differently. Def a great feature.

  6. Well done Ifan. I wonder if you are suffering from an election hangover today, I know I certainly am, and there wasn’t even any alcohol involved !

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