The LDV Election Morning Live-Blog & Open Thread (6-8am)

by Stephen Tall on May 7, 2010

6.00 am

Here’s where we’re at (and it’s not pretty):

The Lib Dems have made FOUR GAINS: Burnley, Norwich South, Eastbourne and Redcar.

And ELEVEN LOSSES: Chesterfield, Cornwall South East, Harrogate & Knaresborough, Hereford & Herefordshire South, Montgomeryshire, Newton Abbot, Oxford West & Abingdon, Richmond Park, Romsey & Southampton North, Winchester and York Outer.

The Tories are projected to score 37% (+4%) of the vote and win 308 (+98) MPs; Labour to score 30% (-6%) of the vote and win 260 (-89) seats; and the Lib Dems to score 23% (n/c) and win 53 (-9) MPs.

6.09 am

Lib Dems’ Mike Hancock has HELD Portsmouth South.

6.15 am

So what went wrong?

All the nine final polls had the Lib Dems in the range 26-29% – but the reality is that the party got nowhere near that, finishing only marginally up on 2005. Now it’s true that a month ago the party would have settled for holding steady. But not after ‘Cleggmania’.

The fact is that expectations were raised and now they have been dashed in the most cruel fashion. Worse than that, though, we at least expected our targeting strategy to pull us through. Instead we have lost 11 great MPs. Yes, there have been some high spots – the four gains and a clutch of terrific second place performances – but overall this is a deeply depressing result for the Lib Dems.

Perhaps the most arresting thought is this: how much worse might it have been but for the Clegg-effect? Though people might now write it off, there’s no doubting the inspiration his leadership has provided in the past four weeks, with new members, new volunteers, new money, and new impetus.

Is it simply the case that the Lib Dems have falen victim to a classic third party squeeze in a close election? And if that is what’s happened is there anything we could have done that would have made a difference?

6.20 am

More bad news likely … seems Labour will hold Hampstead & Kilburn, Brent Central and Holborn & St Pancras. So no Ed Fordham, no Sarah Teather and no Jo Shaw.

6.22 am

Here’s something to cheer us up – Stephen Gilbert’s result in St Austell & Newquay:
Stephen Gilbert Liberal Democrat 20,189 42.7% (-4.5)
Conservative 18,877 40.0% (+5.1)
Labour 3,386 7.2% (-6.6)

6.28 am

Alistair Carmichael HOLDS Orkney and Shetland.

And we’re hearing good things from Solihull (Lorely Burt).

6.34 am

Nick Clegg’s declaration in Sheffield Hallam – you’ll all be relieved to hear its a Lib Dem HOLD. A 7% swing from Tory to Lib Dem – bigger than Vince ;) . Now let’s hear what he has to say …

Nick denounces the electoral chaos that prevented hundreds and thousands of voters from being able to vote. Thanks his team and his agent, and the voters of Sheffield Hallam. Argues Lib Dems conducted positive campaign that engaged many. But recognises it has been a disappointing night for the party. Says no-one should rush into making claims, should take a little time to make sure people get the good government the country deserves. Spells out Lib Dems’ commitments to fairness.

6.45 am

Dan Rogerson HOLDS Cornwall North:
Dan Rogerson Liberal Democrat 22,512 48.1% (+5.7)
Conservative 19,531 41.7% (+6.3)
UK Independence Party 2,300 4.9% (-0.8)

6.46 am

Lib Dem GAIN from the Tories!! Well done to Tessa Munt in Wells on a swing of 3.6%:
Tessa Munt Liberal Democrat 24,560 44.0% (+6.1)
Conservative 23,760 42.5% (-1.0)
Labour 4,198 7.5% (-8.1)

Ed Fordham tweets: “Something near a full recount in #handk Hampstead and Kilburn”

6.50 am

And crashing back down to earth … Julia Goldsworthy LOSES Camborne and Redruth to the Tories by just 66 votes:
Conservative 15,969 37.6% (+12.0)
Julia Goldsworthy Liberal Democrat 15,903 37.4% (+1.6)
Labour 6,945 16.3% (-12.4)

And Terrye Teverson LOSES Truro and Falmouth, also to the Tories:
Conservative 20,349 41.7% (+10.0)
Terrye Teverson Liberal Democrat 19,914 40.8% (-0.1)
Labour 4,697 9.6% (-9.4)

7.00 am

Labour has held on, by just 165 votes, against a very strong Lib Dem challenge from Paul Scriven in Sheffield Central:
Labour 17,138 41.3% (-5.2)
Paul Scriven Liberal Democrat 16,973 40.9% (+9.5)
Conservative 4,206 10.1% (+1.0)

7.07 am

Great result for Lynne Featherstone who HOLDS Hornsey and Wood Green:
Lynne Featherstone Liberal Democrat 25,595% 46.5 (+3.2)
Labour 18,720 34.0% (-4.3)
Conservative 9,174 16.7% (+4.0)

7.16 am

Heres the results for Wales as a whole, tweeted by Steph Ashley:

All Wales: Lab 36% of vote, 65% of MPs; Con 26% of vote, 20% of MPs; LD 20% of vote, 7.5% of MPs; Plaid 11% of vote, 7.5% of MPs

7.17 am

Lib Dem GAIN from Labour in Bradford East on a 7.6% swing:
David Ward Liberal Democrat 13,637 33.7% (+3.9)
Labour 13,272 32.8% (-11.3)
Conservative 10,860 26.8% (+9.4)

And Lib Dem notional GAIN in Solihull for Lorely Burt:
Lorely Burt Liberal Democrat 23,635 42.9% (+3.5)
Conservative 23,460 42.6% (+2.9)
Labour 4,891 8.9% (-6.7)

7.24 am

The Guardian has Nick Clegg’s comments from his victory declaration earlier:

I do not think anyone should rush into making claims or taking decisions which don’t stand the test of time. I think it would be best if everybody were to take a little time so that people get the good government that they deserve in these uncertain times. Whatever happens in the next few days, weeks or months, the Liberal Democrats will be guided by the values and the principles on which we fought this election: a fairness in our society, responsbility in providing stability and growth to an economy at a time particularly of growing uncertainty as we have seen in recent hours and days in the economy we have seen around us in the world us and real change to the way we do politics.

7.41 am

Sounds like John Leech has held on in Manchester Withington.

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