Does not look like there is any chance of a Conservative majority so not much point in going on for now.
We will have to see where the deals end up but almost certainly we will have a short term Conservative government, the real question will be if they keep in power or we have another vote in the near term.
But for now, check out final election reports above.
9pm: 60th Conservative gain, so they are doing well but probably not well enough
Big blow for Conservatives in Morley & Outwood.
This was supposed to be a key Conservative target but they lost narrowly. This does not bode well for any remaining hope of an absolute majority.
But they did manage a win in Oxford.
8:45pm: Conservative gains in Pudsey, Reddich and Worchester. All targeted districts.
On the other hand Labour holds a key seat in Lutton.
Still debatable if they will make a majority but each seat gives them more moral ground to get control regardless of the final numbers.
8:30pm: A couple MORE Conservative wins that were Way way down the list.
Odd odd night.
8:15pm: Where is Sir Humphrey when you need him ?
8:10pm: Some more Conservative gains in seats that they were not supposed to pick up. Rumors of a very close vote in a long safe Labour seat.
Still iffy for a majority but it will be close.
I hope folks are enjoying the coverage.
7:40pm: Conservative gains in Hastings & Rye and Carlisle. Carlisle was down the list for their targets.
Things still murky. Seems very likely that some sort of Conservative government will be formed since it is very improbable that Labour could justify staying in power and they aren’t going to put Clegg in.
But we may see another election sooner than later.
7:05pm: Another Conservative gain in Dover, brings them up to 20 gains.
Still a strange night, as noted on BBC none of the leaders seem particularly happy.
Given the issues facing the next PM I am not sure you should be sad if you lose.
6:45pm: Another set of odd results. Conservatives fail to pick up key seats from the Lib Dems in Somerton and Eastleigh (both LD holds) and they lose a seat in Eastbourne (to LD’s) but they pick up a seat in High Peak (from Labour).
At the same time, while LD’s are holding/gaining these seats they are not making big national gains.
I can only imagine how much more confused I’d be if I really knew British politics.
6:30pm: Very weird pattern tonight. Conservatives picking up seats in Wales that were waaaaaay down the priority list yet not winning seats that were further up.
This is an odd night.
Thanks again to Nate Silver for giving me another source of info.
6:15pm: Dinner cooking… Looking now like the Conservatives may fall short of majority but it looked like they’d get one not too long ago so it could swing back the other way.
In any case it should be interesting outcome
6pm: Going to get some dinner, should be a long night. I still expect the Conservatives to form some sort of government, the issue is will it be majority or minority.
5:45pm: While we wait a bit of history on the last time they had a hung Parliament in the UK.
It happened in February 1974 when incumbent PM Heath (Conservative) briefly stayed in power even though he won 4 fewer seats than the Labour Party with Wilson. The numbers were 297C, 301L and 14 Liberal.
However Heath and the Conservatives won about 200,000 more popular votes than Labour.
In this election it seems likely Labour will be well behind in both seats and popular votes.
So I don’t see how Labour can expect to stay in power even if Conservatives fall short.
5:30pm Pacific: A few more results and the trend continues that the 538.com model is more accurate than than the exit poll or uniform swing model. This would suggest that the Conservatives will be able to get a majority of the seats.
Just to provide a new link to 538.
Also it looks like Intrade is predicting a Conservative win.
5pm Pacific: Bit of a delay since last post while we wait for results. A few more seats in and based on the swing it does look like 538.com is more accurate that the exit poll. But it’s still early.
Word is that IF there is a hung Parliament Brown would seek to stay in power.
A Conservative gain in Kingswood and that does seem to be a bigger swing than exit polls predicted.
However you should not be surprised if the BBC pundits are
Third seat in and also safe Labour but with a smaller swing to suggest a hung Parliament again. Obviously only 3 results in one area are pretty small sample so we will have to see what happens as the night goes on.
Update: Another hold for Labour in a safe seat but with a swing of 11.7% to Conservatives, which would be the biggest swing since the 1945 landslide. This is unlikely to be repeated across the country but does at least suggest that the exit poll could be underestimating the size of the Conservative win tonight.
Update: First results are in and it is a Labour win in a Labour district.
However looking at the numbers it seems 538.com analysis is more in line and that would call for a Conservative majority, although there does seem to be some debate on the numbers there
They are also live blogging and it’s a good analysis.
Figures starting to come in but it will be a long night/day.
An exit poll suggests that the Conservatives will fall short of a majority with 307 seats, 19 less than they would need for a majority (although this does not include possible help from Unionist parties in N. Ireland).
The same poll says that a Labour/Lib Dem coalition would not give a majority either.
On the other hand, the analysis at 538.com suggests a clear majority for the Conservatives.
As discussed before this result shows how skewed the districts are as the Conservatives could be leading Labour by 9 points but still end up w/o a majority. Such a margin for Labour would have been a landslide.
I will keep up posting as details come in.