HIGHLIGHTS BELOW IN REAL TIME. KEY POINTS:
- BBC exit poll says Conservatives win 316 seats, Labour 239, SNP 58, Lib-Dems 10, UKIP 2
- Leaflets have been distributed in parts of London urging Muslims not to vote
- UKIP has issued an angry statement after one of its candidates was left off the ballot paper
- A guide to the key seats you need to watch
- The best pictures from the campaign trail
THE SUN CALLS IT (EVEN THOUGH ONLY ONE SEAT HAS REPORTED)
THE BBC IS DISCUSSING WHETHER A TORY VICTORY WOULD PROPEL SCOTLAND TO GO FOR INDEPENDENCE.
With no concrete results in, the BBC’s people — Kirsty Wark et al — are already wondering how Scotland and the SNP will react to another five years or Tory-Lib Dem rule. It will drive Scotland further away from Westminster and make another independence bid more likely, they agree.
THE MAIL HAS ALREADY CALLED IT!
LABOUR TAKES SUNDERLAND SOUTH:
- UKIP 8,280
- Con: 7,105
- LibD: 7,91
- Lab: 21,218
Note that UKIP has beaten the Tories in Sunderland. Suggests UKIP may be more dangerous to the Conservatives than previously thought.
YOUGOV HAS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT EXIT POLL RESULT TO THE BBC:
BBC EXIT POLL PREDICTS 2 GREEN PARTY SEATS
Wow. The BBC’s stats professor declines to say where — other than holding Brighton — the Greens get that other seat. “Statistics.” Hmm! Here is the chart:
THE BBC’S RESULT IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT TO THE NATE SILVER PREDICTION
- Con: 278
- Lab: 267
- SNP: 53
- LD: 27
THE BBC EXIT POLL SAYS THE CONSERVATIVES WILL WIN WITH 316 SEATS
That leaves the Tories just seven or so seats short of a 323 majority — which means that David Cameron can form a majority with the Liberal Democrats if they have won 10 seats as the BBC predicts. It means the Conservatives will have increased their seats in parliament. The BBC’s pre-results coverage is unrelentingly negative for Labour and the Lib-Dems. “Ed Balls has lost his seat” is almost trending on Twitter. On these numbers, Labour cannot put together a coalition even with both the SNP and the Liberal Democrats. Looks like a huge upswing for the SNP though.
Here are the BBC’s numbers:
- Conservatives 316 seats
- Labour 239
- SNP 58
- Lib-Dems 10
- UKIP 2
These are the coalition possibilities under this result:
Around 50 million people have voted for Britain’s 650 MPs.
Unlike previous elections, there was no clear favourite heading into election day. The Conservatives and Labour were neck-and-neck in the polls, with no party expected to win a majority.
Pollsters predicted a second consecutive hung parliament, the first time that’s happened since 1910.
POLLS ARE CLOSED!
IF YOU’RE IN A QUEUE BEFORE 10PM, YOU CAN VOTE
The Telegraph reports that new rules mean that if you join a queue before 10pm, then you can vote. The change was made after some voters were turned away in 2010 due to long queues that left them outside the polling stations after the deadline passed.
15 MINUTES LEFT, AND QUEUES ARE STILL BEING REPORTED
It’s looking increasingly likely that some voters may not get to vote before 10pm. There’s extensive chatter on social media of people waiting 30, 40 or even 50 minutes to get to vote. In Manchester, additional polling stations have been opened to accommodate the waiting voters.
We don’t know for sure yet, but it looks like we will have beaten 2010’s 65% turnout.