8 June 2017

UK General Election 2017 – Live


Under the live feed from Sky News you’ll find a constantly updating feed featuring the most interesting election Twitter accounts – including CapX, of course. Beneath that you’ll find a timetable of when the key seats will declare and what that will mean, and a selection of our favourite pieces from the campaign. 

UPDATE: With the exit poll published and the early results in, CapX’s editor, Robert Colvile, has listed the many, many losers in this election.

The timetable

CapX’s hour-by-hour guide to election night – although if you’re impatient, you can find a full list of expected declaration times here.


Immediately after polls close, the results of the exit poll will be revealed. It’s not always spot on – in 2015 it had the Conservatives on 316 seats and they finished with 330 – but it’s the best early indicator of whether Theresa May’s decision to call an election has paid off. You can hear more about how it’s put together in our interview with John Curtice, the doyen of election night coverage.


Houghton & Sunderland South prides itself on being the first seat to declare. Sunderland Central will follow shortly afterwards. Although the Brexit vote was high in Sunderland, these are safe Labour seats, and there’s no reason to believe that is about to change. The most important thing to watch for is what happens to the Northern UKIP vote: will it end up going to the Tories or Labour?


At  half-past midnight we will know what “Britain’s most average town” has made of this election. Conservative Philip Hollobone is defending a 12,000 majority in Kettering. He’ll get back in – but the size of his majority should tell us something about how well Theresa May’s message has gone down in Middle England – and where the 7,460 UKIP voters from 2015 have ended up.


Conservative-held and Remain-voting, Putney and Battersea will offer an early insight into the London vote. Many expect the Labour vote to hold up in the capital while Theresa May’s appeal to metropolitans is probably more limited than her predecessor’s. That said, the majorities here are 10,000 and 8,000 respectively, meaning that if either of these seats turns from blue to red, Theresa May – and the country – are in big trouble. Meanwhile, the Conservatives only need a 2.7 per cent swing in Tooting: a win for them in Remain stronghold would be a surprise, but might indicate that pro-Remain sentiment isn’t as strong a force as many predicted.

Nuneaton, meanwhile, is the quintessential Midlands marginal. It is a must-win seat for any party that wants to govern alone – and the result here foretold and symbolised David Cameron’s surprise victory last time around. Darlington, where UKIP got 13% last time and Labour’s margin over the Conservatives was 8%, will be another bellwether.

Around this time, we will get an idea of whether or not the Conservative surge in Wales that was on the cards at the start of the campaign has actually materialised. In Vale of Clwyd the Tories are defending a tiny majority. And in Wrexham, Labour’s Ian Lucas won by 1,800 votes last time – but with 5,000 UKIP voters up for grabs, the Conservatives’ Andrew Atkinson will be hopeful of victory.  

By this stage of the night, enough seats will have declared to give us an early sense of how accurate the exit poll will be.


The first Scottish results come in.

The Lib Dems are hoping to win back Fife North East from the SNP. The Nationalists are similarly vulnerable in Angus, where the Tories took four council seats off them in May and gained the most first preference votes in seven out of eight wards. Should the SNP slip up in either constituency, they’ll look likely to lose a dozen or so seats.

Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, will be giving his victory speech in Islington North.

If Labour take Peterborough and North Warwickshire, a hung parliament is on the cards. Bury North (Conservative) and Bury South (Labour) could both change hands. In the first, the Tories held on by the skin of their teeth in 2015. Labour could lose in the second if UKIP leak the majority of their 2015 support (6,000 votes) to the Conservatives.

To succeed Philip Hammond as Chancellor, as is rumoured, Amber Rudd will first have to hang on in Hastings and Rye – where the Greens, who got 2,000 votes in 2015, have stood down in support of Labour. Since the Home Secretary’s majority is only 5,000, there could be some bitten fingernails. If, on the other hand, the Tories win in Hartlepool, which would require a 7.4-point swing, they would be heading for a landslide.

Finally, there’s Ynys Mon, aka Anglesey. Held by Labour since 2001, this is a three-way contest. It is one Plaid Cymru’s best chances of adding to their total of three Commons seats; they fell 200 votes short at the last election. The Conservatives are 10 points back: as elsewhere, the performance of UKIP, who received 15% of the vote in 2015 and are running again, will be decisive.

3 am

The results start flying in. Within the next hour we’ll have a picture of who’s won.

In Ealing Central and Acton, the Greens and UKIP have stepped aside to help Labour and the Conservatives respectively. Labour’s Rupa Huq has a majority of just 274.

The Tories could win in Stockton North if their victory in the Tees Valley regional mayor election is anything to go by.

Scotland starts to get interesting now. East Renfrewshire could stay with the SNP, or go to Labour or the Conservatives. Moray, the SNP deputy leader Angus Robertson’s seat, would be the prize scalp for the Tories – but it did have the largest Leave vote in Scotland…

The Lib Dems aren’t expected to have a good night, but party leader Tim Farron should hold off the Tories in Westmorland and Lonsdale – even though 45% of voters backed Brexit. And they could even pick up a seat with a two-point swing from the SNP in Dunbartonshire East.


Victory in Sedgefield, Tony Blair’s former constituency in County Durham, would set the seal on a famous Tory victory. The Tories would need a nine-point swing. But if things are going well for Labour, they should cling on comfortably to three of their London marginals – Ilford North, Westminster North and  Enfield North. The Conservatives have a chance in all three, but Labour have been polling well in the capital.


Declarations in Bath, Bermondsey and Old Southwark, Cheltenham, Twickenham and Kingston and Surbiton will reveal whether a Lib Dem fightback has materialised.

What will Theresa May say when the result is announced in her constituency of Maidenhead?

The Conservatives are defending a 27-vote majority in Gower, the UK’s most marginal seat. According to YouGov, although the Tory vote share in Wales is set to be at its highest since before WW1, this could be one of two Welsh seats they lose to Labour.

If Labour are performing well they could take the likes of Cardiff South and Bolton West from the Conservatives, and even dislodge Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives are just 800 votes short of Labour in Wolverhampton South West, and could even, on an excellent night, topple the Beast of Bolsover, Dennis Skinner.


Can Paul Nuttall get elected in Boston and Skegness? Nope. But this is when it will declare.

The Greens are looking to Bristol West to gain a second seat, but they trailed Labour by nearly 7,000 votes last time. Their co-leader Caroline Lucas should defend Brighton and Hove Pavilion.

Buoyed by their candidate Andy Street’s win in the West Midlands mayoral election, the Conservatives will be looking hopefully towards Birmingham. Gisela Stewart has stood down after 20 years as MP for Birmingham Edgbaston. The prominent Leave campaigner hands over to Preet Gill, who’s bidding to become the first female Sikh MP. UKIP got 4,000 votes in 2015 and are standing aside this time – which means the Conservatives should win back a seat they held from 1898 to 1997. Much the same goes for Dudley North, where Labour moderate Ian Austin is the incumbent, although UKIP (24% in 2015) are fielding a candidate here.

If the Conservatives haven’t pulled ahead yet, all eyes will be on the North West of England, where Wirral West and City of Chester should be winnable for the Tories.


On a bad night for the Lib Dems, they could lose Norfolk North (Norman Lamb) and Leeds North West (Greg Mulholland). To be honest, you should be asleep by now – or getting up again.


The result will be announced in Thanet South: the Tory incumbent, Craig Mackinlay, is being charged for electoral fraud (which he denies). By this stage, however, the nationwide picture should be pretty clear.


All the results should be in.

The best of CapX’s election coverage

Why there was only one way to vote

There is only one way to vote at this election (Robert Colvile)
Corbyn leaves Labour voters with no good options (Oliver Kamm)
Here’s why I’m voting Conservative (Andrew Lilico)
The nasty party vs the really nasty party (Robert Colvile)

Labour’s serious leadership problem

Corbyn’s campaign chief is an apologist for tyranny (Oliver Kamm)
Only a ballot box massacre can save Labour (Chris Deerin)
How can Labour’s leaders be in thrall to Marx? (Daniel Hannan)

From outside the Westminster bubble, courtesy of roving reporters Oliver Wiseman and Jack Evans

Will Brexit make Grimsby great again? OW
What has happened to the Conservative campaign? OW
Brexit: the elephant in the polling booth? OW
How British politics became a generation game OW
Can anyone save Ebbw Vale? OW
Can the Tories win over the workers? OW
Can the Lib Dems recapture Cheltenham? JE

It’s all been about the economy, stupid

Britain’s economically illiterate election (Ryan Bourne)
Labour’s blueprint for the destruction of the economy (Tim Knox and Daniel Mahoney)
Britain’s political parties are offering little but disappoinment (Jonathan Portes)

Although in Scotland, they’re voting about the Union 

North of the border, the Union is the only issue that matters, Alex Massie
North and South of the border, this is an existential election, Graham Archer

After the election, the fall-out

This election is only postponing the big questions (Robert Colvile)
The big lesson of this election: the state is back (Chris Deerin)
How should Thatcherites respond to May? (Daniel Hannan)
May’s manifesto U-turn doesn’t bode well for Brexit (Andrew Lilico)

And finally, our interview with the man who makes election night tick

John Curtice reveals the secrets of election night

This article was compiled and updated by the CapX team