Friday, 13 November 2019

05.12: Conservatives Win the General Election

The Conservatives have passed the 326 barrier, meaning that they will be able to form an absolute majority in Parliament.

05.07: Sanctimonious Bercow Dominates Sky Election Coverage

… on a night when the voters have resoundingly sent a message to Parliament that they want Brexit done.

Just hour after hour of self-justification, eulogies for remainers, and finger-pointing at leavers, not even the pretense of objectivity, and barely any pushback on how his fingers on the scale created this tidal wave of popular anger across the heartlands of our country at his frustration of the democratic will. This is so symptomatic of how out-of-touch Islington (or Battersea) elites have become!

Who schedules this stuff, Sky?

04.52: Israeli Politicians Congratulate Boris Johnson

There were congratulations from across the political spectrum.

MK Gideon Sa’ar of the Likud congratulated Johnson on his victory and tweeted, “Congratulations to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the British Conservative Party on an impressive electoral victory.”

“The Corbyn-led Labour has led a decidedly anti-Israeli policy, extreme friendship with Israel’s enemies, alongside scents that are more than anti-Semitic. His defeat is a joy and a relief to Britain’s Jewish community,” Sa’ar added.

MK Nir Barkat from the Likud said, “My friend, Boris Johnson, warm congratulations on your victory in the UK elections and the defeat you inflicted on anti-Semitic Corbyn. Knowing you as the Mayor of London, as a parliamentarian and as Prime Minister, I have no doubt that you will successfully lead the British nation, and strengthen and deepen the partnership between the United Kingdom and the State of Israel.”

MK Yoaz Hendel of Blue and White said, “Victory to the voice of logic in Britain over old hatred”, and MK Matan Kahane of the New Right said, “Thanks to God and the citizens of the UK for making the right choice.”

Even MK Itzik Shmuli of the Labor-Gesher party welcomed the victory, writing on Twitter, “I never imagined I would be so satisfied by a Labour defeat.”

04.39: Corbyn’s Getting Blamed for the Labour Result

04.24: Caroline Lucas Back with Increased Majority

The Green toehold on the south coast has held.

04.10: Donald Trump States the Obvious

04.00: SNP Celebrating Great Results in Scotland

Ayr from the Conservative, Glasgow North East from Labour, the wins go on…

03.50: Jo Swinson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Is Defeated

The SNP have elected Amy Callaghan as the Member of Parliament for Dunbartonshire East.

The Liberal Democrats meanwhile will be looking for a new leader.

03.46: Boris Johnson Is Reelected

Uxbridge & South Ruislip is won by the Prime Minister despite a hefty tactical voting attempt by Ali Milani.

03.39: Too True!

Sky pundit nails it: “There are a lot of Labour candidates in Leave seats that are wishing they backed Theresa May’s Leave Deal now.”

03.35: Liberal Democrats Win UK’s Most Marginal Seat

Menzies Campbell’s old seat, North East Fife, is back in Liberal Democrat control.

03.31. Conservatives Gain Tony Blair’s Old Seat

Sedgefield goes Conservative with over 4500 votes. Ouch!

03.28: Jeremy Corbyn to Stand Down

Corbyn announces he will not lead the Labour Party into another election campaign, but will stay on for a transition period.

In this campaign, we put forward a manifesto of hope, a manifesto of unity, and a manifesto that would help to right the wrongs and inequalities and injustices that exist in this country.

The issues of social justice and the issues of the needs of people will not go away, just because Brexit is dealt with in the way in which Boris Johnson presumably plans to deal with it at the moment.

All those issues will come back centre-stage in the debate, and the fundamental message and justice and equality in our society is going to be there for all time.

03.20: Jeremy Corbyn Holds on in Islington North

Jeremy Corbyn secured 34,605 votes in his home constituency. There was a strong showing from the Greens secured over 4000 votes, and Liberal Democrats secured over 8000 votes.

03.15: Nickie Allen Holds on in Cities of London and Westminster

Representing a critical central London constituency for the Conservative Party, Nickie Allen has held on as the Labour and Liberal Democratic vote was split. This was Mark Field’s seat before the election.

Nickie Aiken has lived in the Cities of London and Westminster for more than 20 years, first moving to London in 1997. She lived in the Barbican in the heart of the City of London before moving to Pimlico where she has been raising her family since 1999. Married to Alex, her two teenage children, now at secondary school attended a local state nursery and local primary schools.

First elected to Westminster City Council in 2006 to represent Warwick Ward, Nickie has been elected three times since. She has held various positions in Westminster City Council’s Cabinet including children’s services, public protection and licensing. Nickie introduced a number of reforms in each of these positions and Westminster City Council’s Children’s services made history when it was the first in the country to be rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted.

Since 2017 Nickie Aiken has served as Leader of Westminster City Council, working closely with the City of London Corporation.

03.01: Nigel Dodds Loses in Belfast North!

The leader of the DUP is out, beaten by Sinn Fein, in one of the biggest shocks of the night.

02.59: Twenty-Six-Year-Old Elected in Redcar

Scunthorpe has elected the Conservative candidate, 26-year-old Jacob Young MP.

02.32: IDS Is Back

By only 1062 votes, Iain Duncan Smith has been reelected to Chingford and Woodford Green.

02.27: Creasy Holds on Comfortably in Walthamstow

Creasy holds her seat with over 76% of the vote.

02.05: Leigh Goes to the Conservatives for the First Time in the Constituency’s History

Leigh’s heritage as a parliamentary constituency goes back to 1885. Since then it has voted only Liberal and Labour.

This is courtesy of Wikipedia:

01.49: Labour etc. Twitterati Showing Why They Resonate So Well in the Shires

01.39: Peter Gibson Elected to Darlington Constituency

Another grounded northerner elected for the Conservatives.

Born in Middlesbrough and raised in Redcar and Saltburn, Peter is the son of an NHS Midwife who once worked at Darlington Memorial Hospital and a shipwright who worked at Smiths Dock.

Living and working in the North East for his whole life, Peter says “I am a passionate northerner, proud of our rich heritage and the bright future we have, but I have often felt that the north could be better represented than it has been in the past. Living locally, and building a business in the Tees Valley and North Yorkshire, I want to be an MP who stands up for our town and be an ambassador for it.”

01.32: Labour-Voting for 98 of the Past 101 Years!

‘Workington Man’ has voted for the Conservatives. Since 1918, Labour have been in power in Workington for 98 for the past 101 years.

Not honouring its commitment to Brexit was part of his pitch. Here’s the Cumbria Crack:

“I am honoured to have been chosen as the conservative candidate for the Workington constituency” explained Mark, “for too long the Labour Party have neglected Allerdale and Workington. We have an MP who consistently votes to thwart Brexit, against the will of the Workington constituency which voted by a majority of 60% to leave the EU. We need a local representative returned to Westminster that will actually represent us and our interests.

01.14: James Forsyth’s Note of Caution to the Conservatives

01.11: Jonathan Bartley Is Calling for Electoral Reform

00.47: Laura Kuenssberg Thinks the Exit Poll Was a Little High

00.39: Decent Showing from Independent Antony High in Middlesborough

Antony High, standing in Labour’s 38th safest seat, currently held by Andy Macdonald, has secured 14.2% of the vote, putting him third after Labour and the Conservatives. Here’s the Northern Echo:

“I’m not prepared to sit back and watch career politicians from national political parties continue to fail our town.

“The London-based parties have never done anything for Middlesbrough and now they’ve made a mess of the country.

00.19: Farage Sees Brexit Party as the Natural Successor to Labour

A little premature perhaps, but Brexit Party are having a good night.

00.08: Brexit Party Splits the Conservative Vote in Sunderland Central

Julie Elliot’s Labour Party had to work hard to hang on to Sunderland Central, and lost 13.4% of the vote. The Brexit Party split won over 5000 votes which had it gone to the Conservatives in the main would have given them the constituency.

00:01: Keir Starmer Pegged

Keir Starmer is getting blame online for his role in Labour abandoning its 2017 Pledge to respect the EU Referendum Result.


Thursday, 12 November 2019

23.40: Sullen

John Bercow on Sky News looks like he’s chewing lemons.

See our article from September 2019: ‘Bercow to Resign but his Legacy to Remain

He views Johnson “travelling light ideologically” and described as a “Disraelian figure”. Quite perceptive.

23.35: Conservatives Win Blyth Valley from Labour

Ian Levy is elected MP for Blyth Valley. Blyth Valley has elected a Labour MP since 1950 when the constituency was first formed.

Northumberland Conservatives have further information on Ian Levy MP. Salt of the earth stuff.

He is an NHS worker working in mental health and lifelong resident of Blyth who can trace his ancestry back 500 years in the town. He is focused on bringing about real change for the Blyth Valley Constituency which amongst others includes the communities of Blyth, Cramlington, Seaton Delaval, Seghill, Seaton Sluice and Hartley/New Hartley. His major proposals include returning passenger rail services to the Blyth Valley, a scheme recently endorsed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.  Ian is also seeking funding for a relief road for Blyth which is supported by Transport for the North and other major highways improvements.  Ian backs spending more money to get additional police on our streets and fair funding for our local schools and NHS services.

23.29: First Win to Labour

Chi Onwurah is reelected as MP for Newcastle-upon-Tyne Central.

The results show however no swing to the Conservatives, but a 7% swing the Brexit Party. The Brexit Party are also doing well in Houghton and Sunderland South.

23.23: First Results Coming Up!

Sunderland and Newscastle are due to vote shortly, as part of their slightly weird race to count their votes fastest. (Hopefully not at the expense of accuracy…) Results in the North East may not be indicative of other regions, particularly Scotland and London.

23.19: Get Comfy Everyone!

With a majority this large, the United Kingdom could be seeing a lot of Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. Were Johnson to win two more elections five years apart, he would be seventy on retirement. (Unless he does something very stupid in the meantime. (Which is always possible.))

23.08: The Campaign against Corbynism Has a Good Night

The cross-party Oppose Corbynism group campaigned across the UK with a message reminding people of Corbyn’s past support for IRA terrorists and Gaddafi.

22.59: Sunderland May Be In Play?

22.50: Party Highhiedyins Cautious on the Outcome

For Labour Party party supporters hoping for a miracle, Robert Taylor has bad news.

The last time an exit poll was badly out was in 1992, “more than a quarter of a century ago”.

But stranger things have been known. The past few years have not exactly been glorious for opinion pollsters.

22.39: He’s Not Alone… Apparently

22.34: Under Foot

Jeremy Corbyn is on course to win a number of seats lower than Michael Foot’s disastrous result in 1983. This is from the Daily Mail:

But his dream of a socialist Britain is now in ruins, with his time in charge of the party surely coming crashing to an end. It is worse than the showing by Mr Corbyn’s hero Michael Foot, who was famously put to the sword by Margaret Thatcher with just 209 seat in 1983.

22.29: Disabled Badges Lose their Ring of Stars

The Department for Transport via the Isle of Wight is getting geared up for Brexit. This is according to the Isle of Wight County Press:

He said: “Spot the difference. No stars of European member state. On the back of the old one, it says the holder is entitled to special parking facilities across the EU. That will no longer apply.”

22.22: The Pound Up against the Dollar on Projections of a Conservative Victory

As of 22.21, the pound was up to $1.347 against the dollar, a rise of over 2%.

Follow it live on Yahoo Finance.

22.19: That’s a Devastating Result

Barry Gardiner, the Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade appeared on Sky News:

If this is the result, then obviously that’s a devastating result for us, and not just for us. It’s not just about our party, the people who’ve worked so hard to support the Labour Party. This is about all the people who were really needing a Labour victory to improve their lives in so many ways.

22.12: Conservatives Up, Labour Down, SNP Up

The Independent is reporting predicted changes in seat counts… again, according to the exit polls only.

Here’s how those seats would change the look of parliament:
Conservatives: +50
Lab: -71
SNP: +20
LD: +1
PC: -1

22.00: Exit Polls Are Out!

The headline results from exit polling, as reported on Sky News, is that the Conservatives will have a HUGE WIN with 368 seats. 

The results also give the Labour Party 191 seats, SNP 55 seats (an enormous mandate in Scotland), the Lib Dems 13 seats, and others 23 seats.

21.57: Incredible Hypocrisy from AOC

21.55: A Chilly Cold Full Moon Greeted the Morning

Ominously enough…

21.35: With 25 Minutes to Go, Some Quirky, Random Moments from the Campaign

Remember, as long as you are in the door or in a queue outside the door when the bell strikes 10pm, you can still vote.

Boris Johnson:

Jo Swinson:

Donald Boyd:

David Kurten:

Caroline Lucas:

20.45: Scottish Conservatives Leader, Jackson Carlaw Spars with Nicola Sturgeon and Mike Russell of the SNP over Double Voting Claim

Twitter user, Sarah Mackie picked up the fact that Jackson Carlaw appeared to have voted twice, once by postal vote, and once by proxy.

Nicola Sturgeon and Mike Russell also piled in with the latter writing the following:

Eh ?? Surely not as voting twice would be a criminal offence. Whereas tweeting something that isn’t true for electoral effect is just crass and dishonest….

In his response, Jackson Carlaw stated that both of the votes he cast were proxy votes.

20.36: Democratic Unionists Will Never Support Corbyn

In an interview with the Guardian, Nigel Dodds, Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party has said that his party will never back Jeremy Corbyn, citing his antisemitism, support for the IRA, and support for Scottish independence.

For most unionists Jeremy Corbyn is a complete no no. We will never support Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister. Jeremy Corbyn will not get our support. […] Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister brings a lot of other things to the table which we could never accept … all those things would be anathema to the DUP and the people that we represent.

20.10: Electoral Fraud

There is a lot of chatter on Twitter from people admitting to voting twice, or disclosing that family members are registered at two addresses: mostly students who are registered at a term-time address and a home address.

Some of these may be in jest. Some may be proxies for principals. Some may be genuine lawbreakers.

The same issue arose during the 2017 General Election, prompting the Electoral Commission to release a report into the claims of double voting abuse in July 2017. The muted tone of their response (“it is troubling”) at the time suggested a lack of seriousness about identifying and prosecuting those responsible.

Although people may lawfully be registered to vote in more than one place in certain circumstances, it is troubling that some voters appear to have admitted voting more than once at the general election, which is an offence. (p.1)

The scale of the problem was also highlighted with 70% of applications to register to vote in some areas being duplicate applications.

Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) have again highlighted the significant administrative and financial impact of processing duplicate applications submitted by people who are already registered to vote. Initial estimates by EROs of the proportion of duplicate applications have ranged from 30% of the total submitted in some areas to 70% in others. (p. 1)

And it seems like the computers weren’t talking to each other:

The online registration system currently allows people to submit an application to register even if they are already registered to vote. There is no direct link between the online registration service and the electoral registers, which are each held separately on local databases using a range of different management software systems. This means that the different systems cannot currently communicate directly with each other and it is therefore not possible to automatically detect and prevent these duplicate applications. (p. 9)

After the June 2016 EU Referendum, it was discovered that 38% of applications made during the campaign were duplicates. Unlike in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, there was no neat online system for checking if you are already registered.

If someone admits to voting twice, say in a tweet that you’ve read, the onus is on you to report it: the Electoral Commission washes its hands of this responsibility.

People who are registered at two addresses are entitled to vote in local government elections at each of those addresses, provided they are not in the same local government area. (p. 13)

Seriously!? What about those of us that can’t afford two houses? The dual registration system must be stopped.

We’re with British trade unionist, George Howell: one person, one vote!

18.44: EU Political Parties Vote for Bloat

In a press conference going on as part of the European Leader’s Summit, David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament has indicated that there are big spending increases on the way if European political parties get their way.

All the groups gave me the mandate that I have, which is that I should work, that we should fight and work for an ambitious budget. And they would not be able to expect cuts on the strategic priorities of the Union: farming, cohesion, defense, digitisation, research, the social fund. And the proposal which the Finnish Presidency has sent us is heading in the wrong direction.

18.30: EU Considering Spending Less on Cohesion and Agriculture, More on Migration, Innovation and Climate Change

Charles Michel, President of the European Council has hinted heading into the European Leaders’ Summit that less money is likely to be spent on cohesion and agriculture, and more money on migration, innovation and climate change. So switching up the drains…

18.18: Fewer than Four Hours to Go!

Still haven’t voted? Can’t get out the office or away from your Technical Politics feed? You have fewer than four hours to go before the polls close at 22.00.

18.09: Yet Another Election!?!?

The BBC explains one scenario under which we could end up with another election.

If the previous prime minister fails to form either a coalition or an agreement with another party, they are usually expected to resign. They will recommend that the leader of the largest opposition party gets the chance to form a government.

If the opposition party also fails, then Parliament will be dissolved again and there will be another election.

17.34: Links to Party Manifestos

Still not made up your mind? Here is

16.58: Twitter Bias?

The Telegraph has picked up on pro-Labour trends dominating on Twitter, but ought to be asking whether Twitter has its finger on the scales?

After all, it wouldn’t be the first time.

Opinion pollsters can’t publish results, including exit polls, while the polls are open. Why should Twitter Trending be any different?

Also, why doesn’t this constitute foreign election interference?

16:25: Party Leaders Voting

Parties are listed in order of votes received in the 2017 General Election, btw, with some new parties at the bottom.

Conservatives: 13.6 million votes.

Labour: 12.9 million votes.

Liberal Democrats: 2.4 million votes.

SNP: 978,000 votes.

UKIP: 594,000 votes.

Nothing yet from Patricia Mountain. 

Green Party of England and Wales: 526,000 votes.

Nothing yet from Co-Leader Sian Berry.

DUP: 292,000 votes.

Sinn Féin: 239,000 votes.

Plaid Cymru: 164,000 votes.

Nothing yet from Adam Price. 

SDLP: 95,000 votes.

UUP: 83,000 votes.

Alliance Party: 65,000 votes.

Nothing yet from Naomi Long. 

Brexit Party: first time.

Nothing yet from Nigel Farage. 

15:34: Electoral Commission Working to Ensure Accessibility

The Electoral Commission has published advice for the public on their website showing what provision should be in place for those requiring assistance to vote. Each polling station should be wheelchair accessible; guide dogs for the blind can be brought along; and, large print ballot papers should be made available.

15.22: ‘Too Close to Call’

The Telegraph is live blogging the General Election, and has a profile of Alexander (Boris) Johnson written by Harry de Quetteville, Guy Verhofstadt’s tweet in support of the Liberal Democrats, and an article by Charles Moore predicting that this election could be as pivotal as the elections in 1945 which saw Clement Attlee come to power, and 1979, when Margaret Thatcher became prime minister for the first time. The articles are behind a paywall, but the live blog is freely available to non-subscribers. (Subscriptions here.)

14.52: Brits “Wearied by Brexit and Elections” according to le Monde

Le Monde is reporting that both the Conservatives and Labour have been resorting to similar arguments, and that the country will be difficult to mobilise for the third election in four years.

Mais la lassitude s’est installée, les conservateurs comme les travaillistes ressassant très vite les mêmes arguments. L’opinion semble d’autant plus difficile à mobiliser que le pays en est à sa troisième élection générale en quatre ans.

13.56: GBP/USD Declines in Early Trading

The pound has gained around 3 cents on the dollar since the General Election was first called. In today’s trading, it opened at 1.320, but has fallen back to 1.314 (as of 13.56 UK time).

11.46: Queues, Ice and Rain

The Daily Mail is reporting that there are long lines at certain polling stations as people line up to vote in inclement weather in places. Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon have also voted in their constituencies, Corbyn with his wife, Laura Alvarez.

11.35: Boris Johnson Votes in Cities of London and Westminster Constituency

Boris Johnson will be voting in the marginal constituency of Cities of London and Westminster where Mark Field is defending a majority of 3148 from the 2017 General Election, down from 9671 in 2015. This means that the Prime Minister will not be voting in his own constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip where his own majority has fallen from 10,695 to 5034, but where the total number of votes for the Prime Minister has increased by 1205. Squaring up against Boris Johnson are Ali Milani and local councillor Jo Humphreys.

Unsurprisingly, the Prime Minister has been the subject of a targeted campaign to have voters vote tactically, although if this happens, it would likely be a product more of a generalised sociopolitical shift in the constituency rather than tactical voting as the seat is already pretty highly stratified. Usually, a sitting prime minister will benefit from their high national profile, although James Arthur Balfour in the UK, John Howard in Australia, and William Lyon Mackenzie King in Canada (twice!) all lost seats while serving as party leaders or prime ministers.

09.43: The polls are open

Polling is underway in the 2019 UK General Election. Polls opened at 7am and will stay open until 10pm tonight. Stay tuned for updates throughout the night.

Photo by Lies Thru a LensLondon, CC BY 2.0, Link.

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