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Live Blog: Westminster General Election 2019

12 Dec 2019 32 minute read
Westminster at sunset

4.52am: So what is the story of the night?

The Conservative have gained six seats from Labour to grow to 14 seats, matching their best ever result in Wales. However, their vote only actually went up 3% on 2017. Their gains were mainly as a result of a big collapse of -8% in Labour’s vote.

Labour suffered an almost total wipeout in the north of Wales, losing all but Alyn and Deeside which they kept hold of by just 213 votes. The Conservatives were less successful in the south however, only picking up Bridgend. They did not come close in their target seats of Gower and Cardiff North.

Plaid Cymru held all their seats, with increased majorities in the case of Arfon and Ceredigion. Their vote went down -1% across Wales, but given that they did not stand in five seats due to the Remain Alliance this stat does not seem particularly meaningful.

The Liberal Democrats’ vote went up 1% but they lost their only seat, Brecon and Radnorshire, and came third in Ceredigion, and are quickly sliding into irrelevance in Wales.

The political fallout will no doubt continue tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who stuck with us throughout the night. Good night! Or should that be good morning?

4.45am: The final seat in Wales! Labour keep Cardiff West.

4.37am: Professor Richard Wyn Jones says on S4C that we are moving to three party politics in Wales. The Lib Dems are collapsing, he says. They poured money into Ceredigion and came third.

4.33am: The Labour party have retained a seat in the north of Wales! Only 213 votes in it in Alyn and Deeside, but that’s a morale boost for the Labour party.

LAB: 42.5% (-9.6) CON: 42.0% (+1.6) BREX: 6.2% (+6.2) LDEM: 5.9% (+3.5) PC: 3.4% (+0.8)

4.31am: Despite it seeming as if a massive Conservative tide has swept over Wales their vote only actually went up by 3%. The Labour vote just collapsed by -8%.

4.30am: Just Alyn and Deeside and Cardiff West to go. I said at the start of the night that I didn’t believe those Cardiff declaration times. They always keep us waiting. I take it that Alyn and Deeside is just extremely close.

4.28am: At the beginning of the night we asked what a good night would look like for the different parties.

It’s been a bit of a mixed picture. The Conservatives have swept all before them in the north of Wales, but although they cut big majorities in the south, Labour withstood them in all but one marginal seat.

It’s been an all-round terrible night for the Liberal Democrats. Abysmal. They are hanging on to any kind of relevancy in Wales by their fingertips. This could have a big impact on the Senedd elections in 2021 too as they would have been handy coalition partners if the Welsh parliament is fractured three ways.

Plaid Cymru will be happy. Westminster elections are hard for them and what they really needed to avoid was a narrative that they were going backwards. In their two marginal seats that they really feared they would lose, they added healthy majorities.

They will be looking at some of the results in the valleys and elsewhere with concern, however. These are places they really need to win to even think about forming a government in 2021 but while they haven’t gone backwards they don’t seem to have made any real headway under new leader Adam Price.

4.19am: Only a handful of seats left. One is Cardiff North, where Labour have withstood the Conservative surge with a big majority. They have been far more successful in keeping their marginal seats in the south of Wales than in the north.

4.08am: Conservatives hold Montgomeryshire as expected.

4.06am: Both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s old Labour seats have been losr tonight, the first to the Conservatives and the second to the SNP.

4.00am: Conservatives keep Preseli Pembrokeshire with an inflated majority of 5,000 after an extremely tight result in 2017. Stephen Crabb continues as an MP. This was a seat Labour needed to win to get a majority – they are very far off that.

3.57am: Labour keep Cardiff Central with a stonking majority of 17,000. It shows that Labour MPs who broke ranks and argued for Remain, in urban areas, could win big. The Liberal Democrats in 3rd, continuing their bad run.

3.55am: The Brexit Party second to Labour in Blaenau Gwent. A bad result for Plaid Cymru where they have lost 16% of their vote.

3.53am: This is the moment I realised the Lib Dems were going to have a bad election:

3.43am: Count Binface beaten by Lord Buckethead in Uxbridge. Oh and some Boris Johnson fellow elected.

CON: 52.6% (+1.8) LAB: 37.6% (-2.4) LDEM: 6.3% (+2.4) GRN: 2.3% (+0.4) UKIP: 0.6% (-2.8) Swing: +1.8 Turnout: 68.5%

3.41am: More bad news for the Lib Dems. The Conservative party win Brecon and Radnorshire, taking the seat from Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds who only won the seat in August.

That’s the Liberal Democrats wiped out in Wales.

3.40am: Poor Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has lost her seat in East Dunbartonshire. She said she could be PM, now she won’t even be an MP.

It was a very close result. A very big blow for her and the party.

SNP: 37.1% (+6.8) LDEM: 36.8% (-3.8) CON: 14.1% (-0.5) LAB: 9.1% (-5.4) GRN: 1.7% (+1.7) Swing: LD to SNP (+5.3) Turnout: 80.3%

3.36am: Susan Elen Jones, former Labour MP for Clwyd South, is saying on S4C that the Labour campaign was “disgraceful” and that a change of leadership is needed.

3.27am: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has announced that he is to resign. Inevitable, really after the trouncing they have suffered.

3.15am: Labour seats in the north of Wales are dropping like flies. The Conservatives take Delyn.

CON: 43.7% (+2.3) LAB: 41.4% (-10.8) LDEM: 6.1% (+3.5) BREX: 5.1% (+5.1) PC: 3.7% (-0.1) Swing: Lab to Con (+6.6)

3.24am: Plaid Cymru’s Ben Lake wins Ceredigion with a stonking majority of 6,329 votes. That’s a massive win for him.

The Liberal Democrats come 3rd and almost 4th behind Labour – a terrible result for them after losing so narrowly by 104 votes in 2017.

The entire Cardigan Bay is now Plaid Cymru / Conservative seats.

3.16am: Professor Richard Wyn Jones has a theory on S4C that the failures of the Betsi Cadwaladr health board is behind Labour’s worse performance in the north of Wales. I think that may be true but there’s a more general feeling in the north of Wales that the Labour Welsh Government is something south Wales centric and far away.

3.13am: Newport West is an extremely narrow hold for Labour. Apart from Bridgend they are hanging on by the skin of their teeth in the south of Wales. This is not as bad a night for them in Wales as the exit poll suggested.

3.09am: Labour had been holding form in the south of Wales but have lost Bridgend. The seat held by former Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones at the Senedd.

CON: 43.1% (+3.3) LAB: 40.3% (-10.4) LDEM: 5.6% (+3.5) PC: 4.8% (+0.7) BREX: 4.3% (+4.3) Swing: Lab to Con (+6.9) Turnout: 68.8%

3.06am: Labour hold Merthyr Tydfil. The independence march in September doesn’t seem to have done for the Plaid Cymru vote.

LAB: 52.4% (-14.4) CON: 19.6% (+1.5) BREX: 11.2% (+11.2) PC: 7.6% (-0.6) IND (Hughes): 5.8%

3.04am: Oof. Plaid Cymru’s Jonathan Edwards re-elected in Carmarthen East and Dinefwr but now a marginal Plaid Cymru-Conservative seat. If the Brexit Party hadn’t stood perhaps the Conservatives could have won?

Plaid Cymru’s vote hasn’t changed but there’s been a big swing from Labour to the Conservatives.

PC: 38.9% (-0.4) CON: 34.5% (+8.2) LAB: 21.0% (-8.8) BREX: 5.6% (+5.6)

3.01am: Daran Hill of Positif politics: “Labour holding Newport West and Gower shows Wales is split North-South in this election.”

2.58am: Labour hold Newport East, a seat that had been at the outer edges of what the Conservatives could compete for. And it was fairly close…

LAB: 44.4% (-12.1) CON: 39.0% (+4.2) BREX: 6.8% (+6.8) LDEM: 5.8% (+3.2) PC: 2.4% (0.0) Swing: -12.1 Turnout: 62.0%

2.45am: The Conservatives win Ynys Môn. That’s four wins for them in the north of Wales.

We’re seeing a different picture developing in the south and north. In the south, Labour are holding on to the key seats, in the north they seem to be relinquishing them. Could it be linked to the feeling in the north Wales that the Welsh Government doesn’t care about them?

Plaid Cymru will be disappointed to stand still but although close they never realistically seemed the most likely to win it. I had heard grumblings that Plaid Cymru need to professionalise their ground game in Ynys Môn if they are to have a hope of competing for the seat at Westminster.

CON: 35.5% (+7.7) LAB: 30.1% (-11.8) PC: 28.5% (+1.1) BREX: 6.0% (+6.0) Swing: Lab to Con (+9.7) Turnout: 70.4%

2.40am: Labour hold Gower. That’s a big win for them – it was a seat that was in the balance and given the national swing it was one that you would have expected the Conservatives to win.

If Labour can hold on to one or two of those northern seats they will have done somewhat better in Wales than in England.

LAB: 32.9% (-17.0) CON: 29.9% (-12.8) BREX: 29.9% (+29.9) PC: 3.7% (0.0) LDEM: 3.6% (+1.6)

2.38am: Chris Bryant elected again in the Rhondda. Labour down 10% but also Plaid Cymru down 9% in this poll. That’s Plaid Cymru’s first big drop of the night. A concern for them perhaps since they hold the seat in the Senedd.

2.35am: An interesting point from Lord Ashcroft: “Amongst other matters Parliament can now implement the constituency boundary changes reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600 during the next Parliament.”

It would cut the number of constituencies in Wales by a quarter, from 40 to 29.

2.29am: Labour hold Abaeravon, their safest seat, but again there’s a big swing away from Labour. These huge majorities are becoming a little more competitive. 6,000 votes shaved off.

LAB: 54.6% (-13.5) CON: 20.9% (+3.2) BREX: 10.0% (+10.0) PC: 8.7% (+0.4) LDEM: 3.4% (+1.6) Swing: -13.5 Turnout: 61.4%

2.24am: Labour hold Ogmore.

LAB: 49.7% (-12.7) CON: 27.7% (+2.6) BREX: 8.5% (+8.5) PC: 8.2% (+0.7) LDEM: 4.1% (+2.5) Swing: -12.7 Turnout: 63.0%

2.23am: Plaid Cymru hold Dwyfor Meirionnydd with a slightly smaller majority, Conservatives in second.

PC: 48.3% (+3.2) CON: 32.4% (+3.3) LAB: 13.4% (-7.3) BREX: 5.9% (+5.9) Swing: +3.2 Turnout: 67.5%

2.21am: Labour hold Swansea East.

LAB: 51.8% (-11.6) CON: 28.1% (+2.1) BREX: 8.5% (+8.5) PC: 5.7% (+0.9) LDEM: 4.2% (+2.4) Swing: -11.6

2.15am: I’m hearing that Ben Lake has certainly won Ceredigion, with an increased majority of a few thousand rather than the 104 he had.

2.12am: Labour hold Llanelli with a much smaller majority.

Slight drop of a few hundred in Plaid Cymru’s vote. The Remain Alliance doesn’t seem to have done Plaid Cymru any harm, but it doesn’t seem to have helped either.

2.10am: Clwyd South is the third seat to flip to the Conservatives in Wales.

CON: 44.7% (+5.6) LAB: 41.3% (-9.4) PC: 5.9% (-0.2) LDEM: 4.1% (+2.1) BREX: 4.0% (+4.0) Swing: Lab to Con (+7.5) Turnout: 67.3%

2.05am: Former Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns keeps hold of the Vale of Glamorgan. Gwlad Gwlad win… 508 votes!

After all of the hype about unseating Alun Cairns his percent of the vote went up and Labour’s remained static.

CON: 49.8% (+2.3) LAB: 43.3% (-0.1) GRN: 5.9% (+5.1) OTH: 0.9% (+0.9)

2.00am: Labour hold Swansea West. This seat was at the far end of the seats that the Conservatives were targetting.

LAB: 51.6% (-8.2) CON: 29.0% (-2.3) LDEM: 8.4% (+5.0) PC: 5.5% (+1.4) BREX: 5.5% (+5.5)

1.56am: Plaid Cymru win Arfon. They had been sweating over this one. A considerably bigger majority than the 92 votes in 2017.

There has been a pattern of Plaid Cymru gains so far, and Labour falls of between 10-5%.

PC: 45.2% (+4.4) LAB: 35.6% (-4.9) CON: 15.2% (-1.2) BREX: 4.0% (+4.0) Swing: +4.4 Turnout: 68.9%

1.52am: So it looks like the north east of Wales is following the pattern in England, but with a smaller swing to the Conservatives. The Conservatives aren’t doing particularly better but the Labour vote is down considerably, but not as poorly as in England.

1.49am: Second Welsh seat falls to the Conservatives – Wrexham. The domino rally begins?

Kudos to Sly Tim the Lib Dem candidate for having the best candidate name in Wales.

The first female Welsh Conservative member ever.

CON: 45.3% (+1.6) LAB: 39.0% (-9.9) PC: 6.4% (+1.4) LDEM: 4.3% (+1.8) BREX: 3.6% (+3.6) Swing: Lab to Con (+5.7) Turnout: 67.4%

1.48am: First Welsh seat falls to the Conservatives – Vale of Clwyd.

CON: 46.4% (+2.3) LAB: 41.5% (-8.7) PC: 4.2% (+0.2) BREX: 4.0% (+4.0) LDEM: 4.0% (+2.3) Swing: Lab to Con (+5.5) Turnout: 65.7%

1.44am: First Wales seat! Caerphilly. Wayne David re-elected with a reduced majority. No relation to the Assembly Member Hefin David.

A decent showing for the Brexit Party – four times more than UKIP managed in 2017.

Plaid Cymru add a thousand votes to their tally and come third.

LAB: 44.9% (-9.6) CON: 27.9% (+2.7) PC: 16.0% (+1.6) BREX: 11.2% (+11.2) Swing: -9.6 Turnout: 63.5%

1.36am: Hearing that the Conservatives have won the Vale of Clwyd from Labour by a fairly comfortable majority. Two thousand votes or so.

1.35am: Vaughan Roderick on S4C: “Labour not holding a seat outside the south-east would be an event of great importance in our national history.” He says the party has arguably been the only national party Wales has ever had.

There is also a recount in Bridgend, which has become a close Labour and Conservative marginal.

1.31am: Hearing that Plaid Cymru may lose their despoit in Cardiff North. It suggests there’s been a lot of tactical voting in the seat in order to keep Labour’s Anna McMorrin in situ.

Anna McMorrin, Labour MP for Cardiff North. Picture by the House of Commons. (CC BY 3.0)

1.30am: From Carl J. Harris, the brain behind Plaid Cymru’s election campaign: “Tory counting agent in Carmarthenshire causes a scene by telling official ballot counter to stop speaking Welsh. Counting volunteers appear genuinely upset.”

1.28am: It looks like Labour will buck the trend in Cardiff North and win with an increased majority, up from around 5,000 to 7,000.

1.25am: ‘Workington man’ has voted Conservative with a 9.7% swing to the Conservatives from Labour. Boris Johnson’s tactic of targetting working-class, post-industrial communities has paid off.

1.23am: Turnout in Alyn and Deeside down to 68% compared to 71% last year. Just a winter election or did many Labour voters just stay home?

1.21am: Ian Lavery, chair of the Labour party, has clung on in Wansbeck but his majority has fallen from 10,435 to 814. Ouch!

1.17am: Wise words by former Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones for the Labour party on S4C. “You can try to be pure, but if you can’t win elections you can’t achieve anything. Your members aren’t the public and you have to appeal to the public.”

1.10am: The result from Nuneaton is very interesting: Conservative on 60.6% (+9.0) and Labour on 31.5% (-9.8). This is the kind of middle England seat Labour realistically need to win in order to get a majority. They’re almost 30% short here. They have a huge mountain to climb in the future.

1.05am: Turnout in Ceredigion has just been announced as 71.34%, which is slightly down on 75.2% in 2017. But that was in July and it really was ‘raining old women with sticks’ today.

It sounds like Ceredigion could be wrapped up quite quickly tonight, in contrast to 2017 when it kept us up until 6.30am.

12.59am: We hear it’s looking good for the Conservatives in the Vale of Clwyd, but not by a huge margin.

12.56am: The Lib Dems in Ceredigion are now suggesting they will be lucky to stay in 3rd place. Was Mark Williams running again after losing in 2017 a good idea? Shades of Ieuan Wyn Jones running on Anglesey in 2017 – was he seen as yesterday’s man?

The Liberal Democrat campaign was quite bad in Ceredigion – I tried to be diplomatic about it here.

12.47am: There have been some suggestions that Labour are in trouble in Blaenau Gwent with both the Brexit Party and the Conservatives splitting the vote. But I’ll believe that when I see it.

12.40am: After seven seats declared here are the swings so far: Labour -12%, Brexit Party +6%, Lib Dems +3%, Conservatives +3%, Greens +2%.

It doesn’t seem as if the Conservatives had had to do much to win this election. Labour’s vote has collapsed.

12.31am: Plaid Cymru’s Ben Lake is more confident of retaining his seat in Ceredigion. The Conservatives are certainly in second place.

12.18am: A possible fly in the ointment for the Conservatives. It seems the Brexit Party may have narrowly prevented a Tory win in Alyn and Deeside. That may be wone Labour seat in north Wales saved. But Alyn and Deeside was the seat that needed the biggest swing from Labour to Conservative. If the result there was narrow it looks like the Conservatives will have taken other seats in the vicinity.

12.26am: North Wales Local Democracy Reporter Gareth Wyn Williams says: “Some smiles are starting to appear on some Conservative faces here at Plas Arthur.” That’s in Ynys Môn, a three-way marginal between Plaid Cymru, Labour and the Conservatives.

12.23am: S4C winning the battle for best election coverage so far. There’s no flying around the country for pre-prepared segments and fancy CGI. Just extremely well-informed experts with decades of experience covering and standing in elections talking about the results.

12.19am: It looks like Jo Swinson will lose her seat in Dunbartonshire East. ‘Jo Swinon’s Lib Dems’ are no more.

12.15am: Daran Hill of Positif politics is “calling” Ynys Môn for the Conservatives. That would suggest that the north of Wales is lost to Labour, if the elections there play out as we expect.

12.14am: Things are looking good for Labour in Cardiff North. Labour may not be seeing the same kind of big drop in their vote in Remainy, urban areas.

12.10am: Plaid Cymru seem increasingly confident in Ceredigion, unless boxes from the north of the county change things significantly.

12.08am: More bad news for the Liberal Democrats. I hear they’re running third in Ceredigion and may lose their deposits in Pembrokeshire.

The Conservatives are doing very well in Pembrokeshire and are in second place in Ceredigion.

12.04am: As we await the first results from Wales, here’s a summary of how we expect things to happen:

  • The Conservative Party will crush Labour in the north east of Wales
  • Labour still have some hope of hanging on in some swing seats in the south of Wales, and Ynys Môn
  • Plaid Cymru quietly confident of keeping their present seats but facing a Conservative surge
  • It doesn’t look good for the Liberal Democrats anywhere

12.01am: Llanelli Assembly Member Lee Waters says: “My only consolation is that Labour voters who said they weren’t backing us this time because of Jeremy Corbyn said they will come back to Labour with a different leader.”

12.00am: Nicolas Webb from the board of the Gorwel think tank makes an interesting point: “This Conservative Parliamentary Party will be very different to any we’ve seen recently. Those who’ve stepped down, were purged or left have been replaced by Brexit purists. They’ll get Brexit done, but how will they respond to the many other issues to arise?”

11.53pm: As expected after that exit poll, it seems they are weighing the Conservative vote in Wrexham as they are in Pembrokeshire. Wrexham is a seat that has been in Labour hands since the 1935 General Election.

11.46pm: There were some concerns by Plaid Cymru about Arfon in the run up to the election, with suggestions it could be lost to Labour, but the latest I’m hearing is that it’s looking safe for Plaid Cymru. Jeremy Corbyn held a big rally at Bangor’s Pontio centre on the last weekend of campaigning.

11.45pm: The sounds coming out of Scotland suggest that the SNP may have significantly overshot their expected share of the vote, winning up to 50% of the vote. That would be a big mandate for a second independence referendum.

11.43pm: Another Cardiff University Professor, Richard Wyn Jones, on S4C has just made the very interesting suggestion that if the big swing to the Conservatives is tied to a strong English identity, as his research suggests, then the swing may be less in Wales.

If not we may be looking at the end of Labour dominance in Wales after 100 years.

11.40pm: Cardiff University’s Professor Roger Scully is at the count in the Vale of Glamorgan and suggests that the Conservatives there seem fairly happy. Will Alun Cairns be Welsh Secretary again by Monday?

11.34pm: So it begins. Blythe Valley, which has been Labour since 1950, has been won by the Conservatives by 17,440 to 16,728. A swing of 10% from Labour to the Conservatives. So the exit poll definitely seems to have been close to the mark.

11.28pm: The first result is in across the UKNewcastle Upon Tyne Central. Safe Labour seat, Remain city, and a 3.8% swing since 2017. Chi Onwurah re-elected.

Sunderland South also in. This one was closer – Labour down 19% and Brexit Party up 15%. Swing of 11% from Labour to Conservatives, which would seem to suggest that the exit poll swing isn’t far off.

11.21pm: While things look fairly positive for Labour on Ynys Môn and in the south of Wales, it’s not looking great in the north east of Wales. The Conservative have a 99%+ chance of taking Wrexham and the Vale of Clwyd, a 94% chance of taking Clwyd South, a 95% chance of taking Alyn and Deeside, and a 97% chance of taking Delyn, all according to the exit poll.

11.17pm: The exit poll gives Labour a 99% chance of holding Ynys Môn which seems at odds with the large swing to the Conservative elsewhere.

They only have a 4% chance of holding Bridgend, but a 50% of holding Gower and 51% of holding Cardiff North.

11.12pm: The exit poll suggests a 99% chance that Plaid Cymru will hold Arfon, a 91% of winning Dwyfor Meirionnydd and a 97% of holding Carmarthen East and Dinefwr.

In Ceredigion, there is a 46% chance of a Plaid Cymru win but what we’re hearing from Aberaeron sounds hopeful for them, with the Conservatives not the Liberal Democrats in second place.

They have a 0% chance of winning Ynys Môn, which seems quite definitive. The night is young, however.

11.05pm: Hearing that they’re weighing the Conservative votes in Preseli Pembrokeshire, and Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire. Could Stephen Crabb see a return to government?

10.58pm: News from Ceredigion. It’s looking good for Plaid Cymru at the moment, with a suggestion that the Conservatives will be in second place. We’re hearing a similar tale from Carmarthen East.

10.57pm: One of the big stories of this election nights looks to be the SNP performance in Scotland. Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said she would swim naked in Loch Ness if the SNP wins 50 or more seats at this General Election. According to the exit poll they’re on course for 55…

Nicola Sturgeon. Picture by Y Byd yn ei Le

10.55pm: It seems that Ceredigion is in the ‘too close to call’ bracket in the exit poll, with a 48% change of a Liberal Democrat win and a 46% of a Plaid Cymru hold. Only a 6% chance of a Conservative gain.

So it seems that whether Plaid Cymru wins three or four seats will again depend on a very tight result in Ceredigion. I am hearing that things are going well in Arfon. But with a big swing it could be that Ynys Môn is beyond Plaid Cymru.

I had heard over the last few weeks that Ynys Môn might be a tough nut to crack for Plaid Cymru in this election, so that isn’t a big shock.

10.40pm: Some news from Arfon. This is a seat that Plaid Cymru was worried about. I am hearing that things are looking up there. If the Labour vote is down there it would chime with the exit poll.

I am still scratching my head how Plaid Cymru would be down to three seats in the exit poll, if the Liberal Democrats aren’t predicted to make any significant gains.

10.35pm: The exit poll would seem to suggest a swing of 11% from Labour to the Conservatives. That if replicated in Wales could mean that the Conservatives win Ynys Môn, Newport East, Newport West, Clwyd South, Ayn and Deeside, Delyn, Bridgend, Cardiff North, Gower, Vale of Clwyd, Wrexham, and Brecon and Radnorshire.

10.25pm: Labour centrally have put a message out saying that although it is a “challenging” election they have “changed the debate in British politics”. John McDonnell also just said that they “won the argument” on Sky News. Perhaps they’re shell-shocked but Labour need to find a leadership that are in touch with reality.

If the exit poll is correct they will be down by 71 seats, which means that the pool they have to pick from for future leadership is rather smaller.

10.20pm: The story of this election ultimately seems to be that the Conservatives and Labour had unpopular leaders, and the Conservatives dumped theirs while Labour stuck with theirs.

More than that, the Conservatives had a clear message on the biggest issue of the day, Brexit, while Labour did not.

The good news for Labour is that these problems are largely self-inflicted and can be fixed.

10.15pm: So what does this mean for Wales tonight? Well, it looks very likely that north Wales is gone for the Labour party. Wrexham, Ynys Môn, Clwyd South, Alyn and Deeside, Delyn, and the Vale of Clwyd could be won by the Conservatives.

They could also do better than expected in Gower, Bridgend and Cardiff North.

The Conservatives could also win Brecon and Radnorshire.

On these figures, it doesn’t seem as if any other parties in Wales will be smiling tonight!

10.00pm: The exit poll is Con 368 Lab 191. That would be a terrible, terrible result for Labour. The worst since 1935. That’s a Conservative majority of 86.

Plaid Cymru are on three, suggesting they will win Arfon but lose Ceredigion. But it’s very difficult to extrapolate such specific results to individual seats. The Lib Dems are only up one seat. Are they suggesting Plaid Cymru lose Ceredigion to the Conservatives?

It also predicts the SNP up 20 seats to 55, which would suggest another independence referendum is imminent.

9.55pm: What would be a good night for Plaid Cymru? I think just keeping all of their present seats would be a big relief for them. Westminster elections do not favour Plaid Cymru – they are something to be survived without a narrative developing that they as a party are going backwards. Arfon and Ceredigion were secured by such tight margins last time that enlarging that margin a little bit would be very welcome to them. Winning Ynys Môn as well would turn a good night into their best ever at a General Election.

A terrible night for Plaid Cymru would be to lose both Arfon and Ceredigion, and take a big step backwards in Dwyfor Meirionnydd and Carmarthen East and Dinefwr.

The margin between a very good and very bad result could be a few hundred votes….

Adam Price

9.52pm: What would be a good night for the Liberal Democrats? In a word: Survival. If they can either keep Brecon and Radnorshire or win Ceredigion back from Plaid Cymru I think they will consider it a successful night overall. Expectations have been lowered so much as the General Election has progressed and their polls have been squeezed by the Labour party.

A bad night would be not just losing these seats but falling out of the running. On a terrible night they might be replaced by the Conservatives or Labour as the largest challengers in Ceredigion and by Labour in Montgomeryshire.

Welsh Liberal Democrats leader Jane Dodds

9.50pm: What would be a good night look like for Labour? There are little hopes of a majority so it all comes down to ensuring their support is as sticky as possible. It seems to be too late for some seats like Wrexham which have already fallen to the incoming blue tide, but if they can defend Cardiff North, Gower, Bridgend, Ynys Môn and the Vale of Clwyd they will have proven that Wales hasn’t been their fortress for 100 years for nothing. Winning the Vale of Glamorgan would be the cherry on the cake.

A bad night for Labour? Losing all their seats in the north of Wales and the Conservatives punching holes along the M4 corridor from Cardiff North through Bridgend and to Gower.

First Minister Mark Drakeford AM.
First Minister Mark Drakeford AM. Mark Hawkins / Alamy Stock Photo

9.42pm: What would a good night look like for the Conservatives in Wales? They will be hoping, in particular, to pick off the seats in the north-east of Wales. If they can grab Wrexham, the Vale of Clwyd and Delyn I think they will be on their way to a majority in the House of Commons and would be satisfied by that. Any seat in south Wales such as Gower or Cardiff North would be a bonus but look more difficult at the moment. A fantastic night for them would be winning Alyn and Deeside, Clwyd South and Ynys Môn as well.

A disappointing night for them would be hitting a brick wall in the north-east, perhaps only picking up Wrexham. A terrible one would be to lose seats such as the Vale of Glamorgan and Preseli Pembrokeshire to Labour.

Welsh Conservative leader Paul Davies. © Russell Hart/Alamy Live News.

9.35pm: The very first seats to declare are usually Newcastle upon Tyne Central or Houghton and Sunderland South, who seem to have developed some kind of North-East England derby when it comes to getting the results out. We should expect those results around an hour after the polls close. They’re usually rock solid Labour seats but if there’s a big uptick in the Conservative vote, particularly in Brexity Sunderland, it could be indicative of things to come.

9.30pm: If you’re still awake at 4am you should be up for the declaration of Ceredigion. Unless, as happened last time, there are multiple recounts and it ends up being closer to 6am when they do declare! This could well be the very last seat in Wales to declare, so if everything runs as a watch everyone should be able to pack up and go to sleep at this point.

Ceredigion might well be worth staying up for, however. It is developing into a very interesting four-way contest between Plaid Cymru, the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives and Labour.

Of course, with such a high number of close seats in Wales it would be a shock if every count was definitive on the first go. I suspect at least one or two constituencies will keep us up beyond 5am at least.

A row of election signs in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

9.20pm: Closing in on 3am the trickle of seats should begin to turn into a raging torrent.

The seats of Brecon & Radnorshire should declare around this time, giving us a good idea of whether the Liberal Democrats will keep their one foothold in Wales or will once again be without a seat here. The signs at the moment aren’t looking great for them.

At 3am the seats in Cardiff should also declare, although I would take these estimates with a pinch of salt as they have been much later in the past. Cardiff North is the key battleground seat between Labour and the Conservatives, with a suggestion at the moment that Labour may keep it.

Before the hour is up we should also see the resolution of the three-way contest that is Ynys Môn. I have been convinced at times that every party is going to win this one – I have no idea!

Wylfa Power Station on Ynys Môn. Picture: Andrew Woodvine (CC BY-SA 2.0)

9.15pm: So, when can we expect the first results to start to come in, and what will they tell us about the wider picture in Wales?

The key seats to look out for will declare around 2am. One of these will be Wrexham. At this point we will get a sense of whether the Conservative party have breached the ‘red wall’ in Wales based on the size of the swing here.

If they win Wrexham by 16% or so it’s very possible that Labour will lose every seat they hold in the north east of Wales. If Labour keep it then Boris Johnson is in deep doo-doo and his path to a majority will be in peril.

Around the same time we will also get Arfon, which should tell us what kind of night Plaid Cymru will be having. If Plaid Cymru keep this seat comfortable they will breathe a big sigh of relief. Lose it and it’s going to be a very, very long night for them.

Around 2am we should also get the result for former Welsh Secretary of State Alun Cairns’ seat. If he’s unseated by Labour it could be one of the big political stories of the night.

Arfon looking towards Caernarfon. Picture by Reading Tom (CC BY 2.0)

9.10pm: As well as the wider battle between Labour and the Conservatives raging across the UK the smaller parties will also be hoping for a good performance. A decent challenge by the Liberal Democrats and the SNP in England and Scotland will be key to robbing Boris Johson of a majority.

Plaid Cymru are in a tricky situation where they face the prospect of winning their most ever MPs – five – but also being reduced to two or three. Two of the seats they hold  – Arfon and Ceredigion – are very marginal and no one has any idea what will happen on Labour-held Ynys Môn. Furthermore, there are fears of a swing towards the Conservatives in the rural constituencies of Carmarthen East and Dinefwr and Dwyfor Meirionnydd. It’s unlikely to be a big enough swing to unseat the MPs but it could bring these previously safe seats into play.

Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price and Liz Saville-Roberts. Picture by Plaid Cymru.

9.00pm: There is just an hour left to vote. It has been raining heavily in Wales almost all day and with winter elections so rare, it will be interesting to see if the turnout is lower. In 2017 it was up 3% to 68.6% in Wales, 0.2% lower that the UK average. There have been reports of busy polling stations across the UK, suggesting that it is not deterring people, but perhaps more wanted to get their vote in before the early sunset at 4pm.

A polling station in Carmarthen East and Dinefwr. Picture by Catrin Davies

8.50pm: One seat that many eyes will be trained on tonight is the Vale of Glamorgan, where former Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns will be hoping to retain his seat against a Labour challenge.

Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats are not contesting the seat this time as part of the Remain Alliance, purportedly to support the Greens. But it gives Labour something of a free run at Cairns.

Alun Cairns’ resignation as Welsh Secretary came right at the start of the campaign after a rape victim called on a UK cabinet minister to quit after his former aide “sabotaged” her trial.

According to the latest YouGov MRP poll it could not be closer in the seat, with the Conservatives on 47% and Labour on 45%.

Former Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns. Picture by Cabinet Office (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

8.30pm: Welcome to the Nation.Cymru Westminster General Election 2019 live blog!

This is the seventh election I’ve live-blogged if you count Westminster and Senedd elections and I can’t remember another when the fate of so many seats in Wales was so uncertain. In fact, considering the Labour party’s dominance in Wales over the last 100 years it may be the most unpredictable elections in our nation since universal sufferage.

The big question tonight is whether Labour can hold on and even eke out an extra seat or so in places such as the Vale of Glamorgan, Aberconwy and Preseli Pembrokeshire, our will we see those dominos start to fall to the Conservative party.

There are a number of Labour seats, particularly in the north east of Wales, that with a 5-7% swing to the Conservatives would fall. These include Wrexham, Clwyd South, Alyn and Deeside, and the Vale of Clwyd.

In the south of Wales too the Conservatives will be hoping to pick off Gower, Bridgend and Cardiff North.

There are a number of other seats that are in the balance as well: Plaid Cymru will hope to defend Ceredigion from the Liberal Democrats and Arfon from Labour. The Liberal Democrats will be hoping to hold on to Brecon and Radnorshire, won only in August in a by-election.

And then there’s the three-way contest between Plaid Cymru, Labour and the Conservatives in Ynys Môn, deemed the hardest seat to call in all of the UK by bookmakers Ladbrokes.

Even where seats are unlikely to be changing hands there are things to look for. Will Labour’s support in the valleys seats be eroded by the Brexit Party or Plaid Cymru? Will we see changes in voting patterns from the Liberal Democrats and Labour to the Conservatives across rural seats such as Carmarthen East and Dinefwr as a result of Brexit?

In a few hours from now these questions will be answered! I hope you follow us throughout the night for news from across Wales and analysis of the results.


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4 years ago

That’s it for the Senedd as far as I can see as the seeds have already been sown for this liar and coward to large it over the people of Wales. With Scotland edging towards independence, NI seemingly cut adrift it would seem that we in Wales will become the punchbag for the upper class once again in England. I can see the bleak and feeble government in Wales attempting to appease when they’ve already done the worst damage by showing no resistance to Westminster interference in the past three years. They’ve let them dictate the rules of the game… Read more »

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
4 years ago
Reply to  KK

With apologies to Edward H Dafis. Mae’r Ffordd Newydd Eingl-Americanaidd Gret o Fyw, yn wir wedi cyrraedd. Mae’n debyg mae Can Mewn Ofer yw ymladd Yn Erbyn Y Ffactore mawr yn Westminster.
A mae’n edrych fel ‘Sneb yn Becso Dam!
Perhaps an English song is better. Something like I Get knocked down but I Get Up Again?
Then again I still like Yma O Hyd!

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
4 years ago
Reply to  Huw Davies

neu “paid digalonu” gan ei bod yn amlwg taw canolbwyntio ar Brexit wnaeth y mwyafrif o’r bobol wrth fwrw eu pleidlais. Wedi i Boris gyflawnu y wyrth o gael cytundeb ffrwythlon i Brydain, neu whampen o gawlach a dinistr, bydd cyfle i’r etholwyr fynd yn ol i’w safbwyntau gwreiddiol, neu well byth adolygu yn fanwl yr hyn a ddaw a penderfynu fod angen ymateb dipyn mwy creadigol ar sail dadansoddiad dyfnach o’n cyflwr cenedlaethol. Os taw yn ol i’w safbwyntau gwreiddol fyddant yn troi welwn ddim ond fersiwn arall o’r AngloBrit supremacy , ond os bydd tipyn o adlewyrchad dyfnach… Read more »

Robert Llewellyn Tyler
Robert Llewellyn Tyler
4 years ago

Depressing news, but you did a great job. Thanks

4 years ago

Plaid Cymrus EU stance did them no favours outside arfon and ceredigion

Out of 15 ppl I knew who vote Plaid Cymru regularly… only I bothered. Most abstained or a few voted tory or brexit party for “democratic principle to honour the referendum result”
Hope Plaid Cymru wake up

4 years ago
Reply to  Penderyn

I look on in admiration and envy at Nicola Sturgeon because she is a superb leader who surrounds herself with the best people. I think that Adam Price will need to learn a lot more from this election and recognise that in order to be heard we need people like Neil McEvoy in the party at least. He connects with the ordinary person far better than most and has an abrasive presence which angers others no end.

Aled Gwyn Job
Aled Gwyn Job
4 years ago

Brilliant coverage Ifan.

Diolch yn fawr.

4 years ago

Even bloody Cairns.?

Anthony Mitchell
Anthony Mitchell
4 years ago

Let’s get brexit out the way and then we can start talking about the break up of the union then.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
4 years ago

Plaid Cymru mostly kept its vote, kept its 4 seats. Now Plaid needs to work with Yes Cymru (and AUOB) to convase for the future for Wales. What does the UK offer us in return to trusting their neo-imperialist parties? Our representation could be reduced to just 29 seats in boundary changes to bring more power to English Tories. It is a rigged system – FPTP. The campaign starts now for 2021 and beyond, there is no future for Wales in the UK (basically they don’t even like us). Plaid Cymru is our party and we need to start the… Read more »

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
4 years ago

Adam, Rethink that legislation on MP lying in parliament.
Remember the 1st act an MP must do is to lie….. It’s in the oath of allegance to HM the Queen.
We should be making an oath to our people – the ones that elect the office holder (and pay their salaries).

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
4 years ago

Of course, I hope Wales and Scotland leaves the UK before long.

Ann Owen
Ann Owen
4 years ago

Today’s interview with Mark Drakeford was very interesting in the context of Labour not seeing what’s happening up here in the north – i.e. “we kept our heartlands”, and when pressed on losing the 6 northern seats again replied, “we kept our heartlands in the valleys”. As you say a London based party not working for the whole of Wales. Plaid Cymru works very hard to represent the whole of Wales in all its variety.

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