UK Snap General Election, November 2015
David Dimbleby: Hello, and live from New Broadcasting House in London, I'm David Dimbleby bringing you the UK Snap General Election 2015. In a historically short election, agreed to by all the parties participating in the election, there has been stunning revelations about the British Government. Who will win? Will it be Hugh Robertson, who replaced William Hague as Conservative Party leader, or will Labour led by Barack Obama hold on to power. Will the Liberal Democrats, SNP, UKIP, Greens, or Plaid Cymru play spoiler? There's only one way to find out. Tune in later on tonight to see if this map can be filled:
Reeta Chakrabati: Hello, I'm Reeta Chakrabati and this is the BBC World News. Today, Britons around the country head to polling stations to vote for the next Parliament, which has been so suddenly cut off. This morning, Hugh Robertson, the very new leader of the Conservative Party went to his polling station at his constituency home in Maidstone, England. Labour leader and current Prime Minister put his ballot at his constituency polling station on Dagenham and Rainham. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon voted in Glasgow, and Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood was seen in Cardiff getting out her vote. The elections will close at 22:00 British Standard Time.
David Eades: Hello, and this is the World News Tonight, Election Edition. I'm David Eades bringing this broadcast live from London. Voter turnout, despite the autumn election, is at around 71% say some polling stations across the country. 7 parties across the United Kingdom are going for the general election, which will elect the Westminster House of Commons, the de facto federal Parliament of the United Kingdom since devolution. Conservative leader Hugh Robertson and Labour Prime Minister Barack Obama have holed themselves up in their Party HQ's in London, preparing for tonight's election results. Topics that have come up in the news during this election cycle are the Teutonic States situation, Government conduct, economic policy, and international relations. BBC Election 2015 coverage will begin at 21:55, with the first exit poll being posted at 22:00 when all polls have closed across the country.
10 November 2015
David Dimbleby: Hello, and welcome to Election Night! A snap general election, something that hasn't been seen in the United Kingdom since October of 1974 when the Wilson minority government claiming a 4 seat majority. Now, it is a Labour Government, the Government under Barack Obama, which stands on a precipice. Hugh Robertson, the leader of the Conservative Party, looked cool and confident today, Will Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats gain seats. How about the SNP and the potential for a Scottish wave of change? Joining me tonight is Andrew Marr, NIck Robinson, Andrew Neil, Jeremy Vine in his virtual Downing Street world, Emily Maitlis watching all of the results. Fiona Bruce is in Sunderland South, who announce their results first. Andrew Marr, what do you make of this election?
Andrew Marr: Well, I think we're in for a surprise tonight. I think many people in such a short timespan had very little time to make up their minds, and if the European elections are an indication, trust in the left could still be riding high.
Dimbleby: And now Big Ben has struck 10 o'clock, and I can give you the exit poll numbers now, conducted by all the major broadcasters in Britain:
According to our exit polls, the Conservatives will be the largest party and have a majority of 4 to govern, and they will have around 37% of the popular vote, one of the lower popular vote percentages to form a majority government. Labour, the incumbents have taken a significant hit, losing a massive amount of seats in swings across the United Kingdom. The SNP decimate the Liberal Democrats and Labour in Scotland, where at least 30 of Labour's seats have travelled. The SNP are on track to be the third party in the next Parliament. Nick Robinson, what do you take from this?
Nick Robinson: Wow...this is shocking. Labour had been losing the polls now for a few weeks and the party tried to stop a bleeding out from their party to the Conservatives by calling the election early, but it's too little too late. The SNP attacked Labour from the left, and the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats from the right and Obama couldn't shift the narrative. If this is any indication of how the night is going to go, we're going to see some historic swings tonight.
Dimbleby: Let's go to Fiona Bruce out in Sunderland South, where they're going to announce the result.
Fiona Bruce: Yes, they're a bit late tonight, short of their target at 10:40, but here we are....
Dimbleby: That's the result from Houghton and Sunderland South...and while Labour has held the seat, it looks like there was a switch from Labour to UKIP at 14%. 14%. The UKIP vote has swung tremendously, taking a large chunk away from Labour but also from the Conservatives and Lib Dems. This result...what do you get out of it?
Robinson: Well, it's clear that the public have given the main parties an opportunity but they were sick of it. UKIP, being a major supporter of leaving the European Union, have made inroads here and Labour fears that they've made a large inroad in the North. This could be a greatly shocking results for Labour, prompting an immediate start to a Labour leadership contest in the wake of the results, which would leave Kamala Harris as acting leader until a leadership team was decided.
Marr: It's clear that none of the main parties garnered that much support, so even though the Conservatives will win, it's at a cost to all of the major parties. Far more support to the minor parties will create a fracturing, and because most of the smaller parties stand on a leftist, left-leaning populist platform, it's taken some votes out of Labour's support also. So while Labour will see the most hurt from the result, all three parties are having to fight for safe seats and some seats that we expect will go one way can hinge another way based on how well the smaller parties do.
Dimbleby: We're joined here by Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Kamala Harris. Kamala, Labour is looking to be decimated in the exit poll and if it follows that, you will have lost nearly 100 seats, a large majority of them to the Conservatives and SNP. What are you going to do if that is the case?
Kamala Harris: Well, David, that's just an exit poll. We've had a good turn out for our party and we're optimistic that people will voice their opinion. It's your job to do the polling and what not, and it's our job to wait for the results. What we've gotten is that in Scotland, the North of England, and Wales we've had a strong turn out, and across the country, results are running very closely.
Dimbleby: But the exit poll has you roundly put out of power. Barring an interruption in 2011, Labour has governed since 1997. Your only hope would be a sort of Grand Coalition to govern. What are you going to do if this is right?
Harris: Well, if it's right then we will have to go and have our party processes and figure out what happened and what we can do in four years' time. But, I think that our Labour Government has protected the NHS, worked for the middle and lower class, and expanded our economic opportunities. We have expanded opportunities with our trading partners and allies across Europe.
Dimbleby: I'm sorry to interrupt, Ms. Harris, but we have to go to Glasgow Central, where a highly likely SNP seat will be gained from Labour:
Dimbleby: So, a swing from Labour to the SNP by 23% sees Alison Thewliss into Parliament. We've got some other results come in, and it looks like so far, Labour has won 4 seats, the SNP has won 2 seats, and the Conservatives won 1 seat, the constituency of Epsom and Ewell BC, with Chris Grayling holding his seat.
Marr: A massive swing to the SNP, and it's only the beginning. This result is in line with our exit poll so far, and we will continue to monitor Scotland in particular as they are the only one with a nationalist party that has looked like it could make a large sweep. Plaid Cymru is the other one, but it hasn't even had as much of a Welsh following as the SNP in Scotland.
11 November 2015
Dimbleby: Okay, we've gotten some more results and this is a relative period of calm. So far, the Tories have the lead in the exit poll, and have won 95 seats, compared to the 37 seats by Labour and 34 seats so far, with 6 remaining Scottish seats for the SNP. They came in very quickly, and our electoral map has begun to fill up. Now, let's do a few seats in a row, including Thurrock. This one was a Conservative target. They said that if they could take this seat, then it would be a very good night for them and they would be guaranteed a shot at governing, either in coalition or as a single majority:
Marr: What a surprise result. The Conservatives swung the seat by 9% from last time. Thurrock is where the Port of London is, and should be a heavily Labour seat but the Conservatives snatch this one away from Labour. It's possible that the Conservatives will do better than the exit poll and by far and away have a clear majority based on this. If Labour can't win a seat in the South of England that suits their demographics, then there's no chance for them in the South. They need to be bracing for a slaughter in southern England
Robinson: It's interesting to see how regionally this is beginning to play out. Southern England is going very Conservative, Scotland clearly has gone SNP, the North of England is supporting Labour. If Labour is going to have a chance they're going to need to gain in Wales, which Plaid Cymru is looking to stop that from being a possibility, and in Ireland where Irish Labour has been noticeably to the right of the national party. The big stories are the SNP wave in Scotland and the decimation of both Labour and the Liberal Democrats in England, which is feeding the Conservative majority. UKIP has also played spoiler in quite a few constituencies and there is evidence from the results we've gotten that they've stolen votes from Labour more than the Conservatives. That populist, immigration control narrative has played will in England.
Bruce: But of course, this is going to be interesting to see when Angleter and Miraco have been governed by left parties, the SDP in Angleter and the Parti Socialist du Miraco, two very strong allies. How they and Icholasen greet a Conservative Government, something that hasn't last beyond a few months since the 1992 General Election, will remain to be seen. It seems as though the Miracan Conservatives have gotten a bump due to popularity of Hugh Robertson's Conservatives. William Hague wishes he could have delivered a result like this.
Marr: Well, William Hague represents everything most people dislike about Tories...with a Yorkshire accent. You'd assume that he could have been a Labour man.
Emily Maitlis: I couldn't see that. Mr. Hague is too Tory for anyone in the North of England.
Dimbleby: Okay, speaking of the North of England, let's go to Leeds Central. This is where Hilary Benn has his seat and has had it since 1999 by-election.
11 November 2015
Dimbleby: As we continue tonight, here are three indicative results
11 November 2015
Dimbleby: Wrapping up our election night coverage before we talk about the result on the morning show. The Conservatives have actually done better than expected and won 330 seats in Parliament, a small majority but a single party majority for the next few years. Labour got hit the hardest followed by the Liberal Democrats, and former Prime Minister Barack Obama has resigned as Labour leader while Hugh Robertson, leader of the Conservatives, will be going to meet The King at 9:30 to form a Government. Here is the Carshalton and Wallington constituency:
Stay tuned for Huw Edwards and the Election 2015 coverage on BBC One. Emily Maitlis, Jeremy Vine, Sophie Raworth, and Andrew Neil will continue to examine the election results. Here is the final electoral map of the United Kingdom from this snap general election
11 November 2015
Huw Edwards: It's 9 o'clock and it's time to talk about the election results. That...is the result of the snap general election. Hugh Robertson and his Conservative Party have won a majority of seats, 334, and will govern starting immediately. A King's Speech WILL pass the House of Commons, as they have a functional majority of 17 seats, a workable majority that will survive confidence votes and defections. Wow, what a result. Joining me this morning is Andrew Neil, Sophie Rawson, Emily Raitlis and Jeremy Vine. Jeremy, talk to us about the swings from last night.
Jeremy Vine: Hello, and welcome to the Virtual Election Room, where we can look at the swings of each individual seat and have a Virtual House of Commons. And, let's look at Labour safe seats like Houghton and Sunderland South. It remained Labour, but there was a large swing to UKIP. Another swing in a safe Labour seat in Hackney, the constituency in north-east London...look at the swing to the Conservatives. 5.5% to the Conservatives, and if we look at the image. Yes, it brings us past the hung Parliament situation and into the Conservative majority, leaving us with a Conservative Majority of 17.
Edwards: Quite extraordinary result, considering the short timeline. Mr. Robertson will go to the King today, he will get the authority to form a Government, and we will have a King's Speech, we're told, by the end of the week. Considering the unprecedented nature of all of this, a state opening of Parliament has been ruled out by Buckingham Palace and the Conservatives. Andrew Neil, Andrew...what does this mean?
Andrew Neil: This means that we'll just see the full pomp and circumstance in May like other state openings. The country needs a Government, and the Conservatives want to ensure that they will take over from Labour very soon. Considering the foreign policy situations, Mr. Robertson is going to want to hit the ground running. We've already gotten some Cabinet leaks from inside the Conservative Party HQ. It looks like the man who he replaced as Leader of the Conservatives, William Hague, will be the new Foreign Secretary. Chloe Smith, Zac Goldsmith, Ruth Davidson, all new faces to the Tory Party who were elected in 2012, are in the Cabinet. 10 women are in the Cabinet, a little more on parity but still a minority. Priti Patel, a new Tory star in the making, will be the Defence Secretary, a HUGE appointment. She is the first Defence Secretary in the history of the United Kingdom's Cabinet governments.
Edwards: What do you make of the Scottish result and the apparent divergence from the traditional parties in Westminster?
Neil: This could get very interesting. It all depends on how the Government in Westminster treats Holyrood. The Conservative policy towards the devolved Parliaments has been to give them the ability to be more autonomous in terms of taxation and fiscal policy on certain issues.
Edwards: Alright, and let's look at the charts. Here are the final popular vote shares:
Emily, Sophie, what do you see here?
Emily Raitlis: It's got the Conservatives winning 37.5% of the vote. I think the more people study that a whopping 62.5% of the vote was against the Tories, the more they will call for electoral reform. The first past the post system is going to produce more zany results like this the more diverse people are in their voting support. In other words, if people keep voting SNP, Plaid Cymru, UKIP, and Greens, the worse the majority party's popular vote share will be.
Neil: Oh yes, I dare say that if a new voting system hasn't been petitioned by the people afterwards and championed by the other six parties in Westminster, I will eat my hat.
Edwards: And here is the final seat tally as well.
Sophie Rawson: Well, as we knew before 334 seats. The poor Liberal Democrats though got DECIMATED by the Tories and in some spots, Labour, in England, and the major parties got mowed over in Scotland. It seems that this election, for the calamity that it was for Labour, saw it and the Conservatives consolidate themselves as the two largest parties. The Conservatives will have to be careful in their governance, because it IS only a majority of 18. That can be knocked down and while Labour might not be a majority party in the 2020 election, a Labour-SNP coalition could happen if they get a parity of votes in 2020.
Edwards: Oh no! We have barely gotten done with the 2015 election, and you're looking forward to 2020!?
Rawson: Of course! It's never over.
Edwards: Okay, stay tuned for our reporters live at the House of Commons, Downing Street, and Buckingham Palace bringing you coverage of the new Government, a Conservative government.