According to the Washington Post exit polling indicates that the Tories will lose 16 seats to finish at 314 (down from 330 before today) and Labour will gain 34 to finish at 266 (up from 232).
A governing majority is 326 leaving the Tories 12 in deficit as opposed to a 4 seat cushion.
This is YUUUGE! More to follow shortly.
Lib Dems up from 9 to 14 MPs and the SNP slipping back to 34 from 56.
Interestingly you can see the stories being rewritten almost as you read, lots of the Establishment Media went with “Dewey Defeats Truman”.
Have some Liar, Liar as you read on-
Weak and unstable Theresa May’s gamble has failed – and now she will have to go
by John Rentoul, The Indepoendent
Thursday 8 June 2017
There is one person in the country who knows how Theresa May feels now and that is David Cameron. We have now had two Prime Ministers in a row who took a gamble on a vote they didn’t need to hold and who lost.
Because even if this exit poll has understated the Conservative total, as the last one did (it was 15 seats out), we are in hung parliament territory or very close to it. She may need the DUP, which won eight seats last time, to hold on to No 10, but we may be in the sort of hung parliament where a minority Labour government will be able to piece together enough support to put through a Queen’s Speech.
Unless the exit poll is a long way out, it is hard to see how May can stay on as leader. Her party would never forgive her for holding an unnecessary election and losing seats. Boris Johnson and Amber Rudd may find themselves arguing about who is fit to drive the other home after a party once more, in a leadership election in which David Davis might be the surprise candidate who comes through the middle.
It is impossible to tell from the raw numbers what might have happened, but it would seem that most of the opinion pollsters over-corrected for their error last time. Survation, whose final poll gave the Conservatives a one-point lead, will have won the contest.
Something extraordinary has happened. Nothing has ever happened like this in British politics: to start from so far ahead in the polls and go down to defeat or something so close to it is unprecedented. The only comparable case is Edward Heath in 1974 who called an election over his dispute with the unions. He didn’t have to have an election then and the British people punished him for it. There may be an element of that today, that people thought it was arrogant to take them for granted and they have decided to remind May who is boss.
It means that the Conservatives didn’t know what they were doing all along. I thought their campaign seemed lacking in edge, but I assumed that their polling showed it was on track. The Prime Minister went to all the seats you would expect her to go to if the numbers were telling her that she could gain 20-40 seats. As ever, her operation was extremely tight: if there was panic at Tory HQ, it never leaked out to us journalists. Jim Messina and Mark Textor, the Tories’ pollsters even publicly mocked YouGov on Twitter for coming up with its model suggesting the Tories would lose seats.
It was obvious that no one was really in charge of the campaign: Lynton Crosby was a semi-detached adviser rather than the supreme commander who ran the 2015 campaign, with all Cameron and George Osborne’s authority behind him, blaring out Queen’s “One Vision” from his computer in the Tory war room. I thought it didn’t matter because the Tory campaign seemed to be running smoothly. It turns out it was running on autopilot and the Prime Minister was visiting Potemkin villages that looked winnable but were really enemy territory.
Exit polls point to hung parliament in 2017 general election
by Anushka Asthana and Rowena Mason, The Guardian
Thursday 8 June 2017
The prime minister’s election campaign was dominated by visits to Labour-held seats in areas considered to be the party’s heartlands such as the West Midlands, Yorkshire and the north-east.
While David Cameron spent much of the 2015 battle in Lib Dem-Tory marginals, May’s tour included the ultra-safe Labour seat of Birmingham Ladywood, launching a battlebus in North Shields and unveiling her manifesto in Halifax, which last turned Conservative in 1983.
Nigel Adams was one of a number of Tory politicians in the Yorkshire region who found themselves door-stepping in previously safe Labour areas where they believed the Brexit vote had loosened ties between Corbyn’s party and swaths of its core vote.
The candidate for Selby and Ainsty told the Guardian: “Targeting traditionally Labour seats in the north where there was a significant ’leave’ vote looks to have paid off for us. These are seats we haven’t won in decades where an out-of-touch Labour party have taken voters for granted and voters appear to have responded well to Theresa May’s plan for Brexit.”
Not so much.
Labour supporters should never have doubted Jeremy Corbyn – this must mark the end of Blairite centrism for good
by Rachel Shabi, The Independent
Thursday 8 June 2017
Speaking to Sky News earlier, film director Ken Loach summed up his view on what lies behind this extraordinary exit poll – the rise of Jeremy Corbyn set against Theresa May’s waning appeal: “People have recognised an authentic man of principle, as opposed to someone who is acting like a robot.” For all the naysayers that underestimated Corbyn, casting him as incompetent, while mocking his suits and dismissing his politics – well, just take a look at that poll.
Even the most hostile of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents cannot now ignore that he has performed incredibly well against the odds, confounding expectations. The more the public saw of him, the better his personal ratings: his sincere and easy manner coupled with confident media appearances made him look increasingly prime ministerial as the campaign progressed. And those giant crowds that rallied to his stump speeches must have driven Conservatives crazy – certain in the knowledge that the standoffish, people-averse Theresa May simply couldn’t compete with such inspiring visuals.
The party manifesto, meanwhile, presented a real choice to voters, ending the years of Labour’s triangulated centrist politics – a state of affairs that many thought accounted for the party’s steady decline. This manifesto’s popular polling should really put an end to the endless discussions of how Labour should get its game back. Because it turns out– who knew? – that real left-wing politics, premised on investing in the economy and the welfare state, tackling rampant inequalities, banishing avoidable poverty and creating a fairer society are popular with a British public that’s straining after years of economic crash, austerity and neglect.
A solid left manifesto cuts through public disengagement, with demonstrable proof that not all politicians are the same, that voting can make a difference. It gives those who pound the streets for the party something credible, a vision of an alternative society, to discuss with voters. It fires up young voters who feel that politics has simply given up on them. And it brings ex-voters back into the fold – not just Labour voters of old, but Greens and Liberal Democrats.
Significantly, campaigners report that the party’s offer, in particular on renationalisation, national investment and taxing the 5 per cent, was beginning to wean Ukip voters off a potential new Tory-voting habit and bring them into Labour’s patch. The party’s surge in the polls is in no small part down to its left policies – which should mark the end of Blairist centrism for the party.
Corbyn’s leadership has made socialism a mainstream prospect again. And in this context it is, frankly, ludicrous to suggest that anyone else at the party’s helm would have fared better in this election: for who, other than the Corbyn leadership, would have put forward such a bold manifesto?
On top of which, this party galvanised its 500,000-strong membership into campaigning and canvassing for votes. Momentum, the grassroots group of Corbyn supporters, sent scores of activists into marginal seats across the country – the organisation and innovation of such efforts has brought many into politics for the first time and has stunned constituency parties with the levels of solid, practical help suddenly on offer.
Most of all, Corbyn’s Labour party has brought hope back into politics. That’s something that cynics scoff at – because the hope felt by progressives is so often crushed by a political reality moving ever rightwards, so what even is the point?
Well, whatever happens tonight: the point is the long game. Because social transformation is slow and starts on the streets and in communities, fighting local causes and defending the vulnerable; building a credible, reliable movement from the bottom up.
When there’s a true left-wing party in parliament that acts as a lightning rod, firing up political support and energising movements on the ground – that’s when the left as a political force rebuilds, reinforces and regains power. And that’s why, whoever wins this election, the Labour party has to keep to the left.