19.34: And now the liveblog is closed. Goodnight everyone – thanks for sticking with us.
19.20: Verdict - Well that was an eventful 21 and a half hours – or at least more eventful than an election with absolutely atrocious turnout might have been expected to be. On the whole the results are good for Labour – topping the national vote share with a comfortable lead over the Tories is not to be sniffed at. And it’s even more pleasing when there were no PCC elections in either London or Scotland, two of the party’s strongest areas. Then of course there’s the significant win in Corby (a 12.8% Tory to Labour swing), and two safely retained Westminster seats which is more than enough to suggest Labour is capable of a majority nationally. Losses to independents and particularly the loss of the Bristol Mayorality will put a dampener on things, but the party will be pleased – justifiably – with their work.
The Tories are already trying to spin themselves out of trouble claiming that it is more important that they have won more PCC posts than Labour, despite the fact that all police areas are of different sizes. Labour has won the national vote, comfortably, no amount of spin will get them out of that. And despite their attempts to spin Corby, there’s really no getting away from how bad that was for them. it wasn’t a mid-term blip – Corby will stay Labour in 2015.
And the Lib Dems. A disaster. Not one PCC, but that’s no surprise. But coming last in Sheffield and South Yorkshire, getting less votes than spoiled ballots in Coventry and racking up 1.7% in an Oldham council ward (where they once ran the council) shows the scale of their decline. In national vote they finished 5th – their latest electoral disaster.
Independents may well be the biggest winners today. 12 Independent PCC shows that low turnout and an anti-politics sentiment is a challenge to all parties. That’s a lesson for Bristol too. And seemingly some Lib Dems can only get elected now if they drop the toxic yellow badge.
Similarly UKIP will be feeling chipper today, with a higher vote share than the Lib Dems – a potential sea change ahead of 2015. A good UKIP vote share combined with a Lib Dem slump is good for Labour.
But the story that will endure? It’s not Labour’s momentum. Unfortunately it’s the turnout.
These elections were a mistake. but now much of the country has to live with the results. I only hope that the PCC roles are less farcical than the elections.
19.00: As the day draws to a close, it looks like the Lib Dems are going to finish 5th in the national vote share behind Labour, the Tories, Independents and UKIP…and with only one result left to call (Devon and Cornwall) it’s nearly time for us to call it a night.
17.57: Have the Lib Dems given up trying to spin their way out of trouble? I ask, because here’s what they told Adam Boulton:
LibDems say their 2 candidates who did best Bristol Mayor and N Wales PCC ran as independents
So they’re now admitting that their party is toxic and candidates can only win by running away from Clegg’s yellow peril…slow.hand.clap.
17.54: Out of interest – here are the seats that would go Labour at a General Election with the same 12.8% swing from the Tories that Labour received in Corby. Can you spot any MPs who should be worried – tweet them at us. Here’s the list – all 123 of them:
BEXLEYHEATH & CRAYFORD
BLACKPOOL NORTH & CLEVELEYS
BRENTFORD & ISLEWORTH
BRIGG & GOOLE
BRISTOL NORTH WEST
CAMBORNE & REDRUTH
CARMARTHEN WEST & SOUTH PEMBROKESHIRE
CHATHAM & AYLESFORD
CITY OF CHESTER
CREWE & NANTWICH
DUMFRIESSHIRE, CLYDESDALE & TWEEDDALE (W)
EALING CENTRAL & ACTON
ELMET & ROTHWELL
FILTON & BRADLEY STOKE
FINCHLEY & GOLDERS GREEN
FOREST OF DEAN
GILLINGHAM & RAINHAM
HALESOWEN & ROWLEY REGIS
HASTINGS & RYE
LANCASTER & FLEETWOOD
MILTON KEYNES NORTH
MILTON KEYNES SOUTH
MORECAMBE & LUNESDALE
NORTH EAST SOMERSET
NORTH WEST LEICESTERSHIRE
PLYMOUTH SUTTON & DEVONPORT
ROCHESTER & STROOD
SCARBOROUGH & WHITBY
SELBY & AINSTY
SHREWSBURY & ATCHAM
SITTINGBOURNE & SHEPPEY
SOUTH BASILDON & EAST THURROCK
UXBRIDGE & SOUTH RUISLIP
VALE OF GLAMORGAN
WARWICK & LEAMINGTON
WOLVERHAMPTON SOUTH WEST
17.20: Prescott has lost in Humberside. After it went to 2nd preferences it always looked like too big a task. Now watch the Tories pretend this was a safe Labour area. It isn’t.
17.04: Tweet of the day comes from Tom Watson.
— tom_watson (@tom_watson) November 16, 2012
17.00: So Labour will top the vote share charts tonight, but I’m not sure how much you can translate today into a general election result. Labour winning is good of course (without Scotland and London), but with 20%+ going to the Independents, it’s hard to take too many lessons from it. Except for the Lib Dems though, who will be lucky to hit 8%.
16.45: Here’s how we think the parties will rank in terms of national vote share for the PCC elections:
4th UKIP vs Lib Dem fight
And there won’t be a huge vote share difference between 1st and 3rd…
16.44: Seemingly the Tories have lost in Avon and Dorset too.
16.43: With 26 PCC results in here’s how things stand – 10 Labour, 9 Tories and 7 Independents (including in Hampshire, where former Tory Minister Michael Mates has just lost).
16.28: Surely we must be nearly finished now? Not yet my friends, not yet…
16.25: Labour has had some bloody noses from Independents today, but the Tories could be about to get two huge defeats from indies, in Kent and Surrey. Keep an eye on them.
16.18: Trafford is a flagship Tory council and one of few toeholds for the blues in the North. Today they lost it in the PCC election – comfortably. Labour got 41% of the vote to just 25% for the Tories.
16.08: Ten hours after we told you that Labour had lost the Bristol Mayoral race – it’s confirmed. Independent (ex-Lib Dem) George Ferguson is Bristol’s first directly elected Mayor. On a personal level I’m gutted – he’s a good guy and a good candidate. I am sure we’ll be seeing him again.
15.39: A hilarious tweet from the Lib Dem Press Office (now deleted). It said “Today shows that voters know that ultimately Labour can’t be trusted, having messed up the economy so badly. #labourfail”. Here’s the image:
The tweet came just moments after the Lib Dems failed to save their deposit in Corby despite two recounts…
15.29: Meanwhile in Humberside, John Prescott has a lead of aprox 3800 going into the second round. It’s going to be tight.
15.28: The result in Corby was Labour: 17,267, Conservative: 9,476, UKIP: 5,108, Lib Dems: 1,770..The first Labour gain from the Tories in a by-election for 15 years.
15.25: “The road to Downing Street runs through Corby” says new MP Andy Sawford – and with a swing of 12.8% from the Tories to Labour. That’s pretty big.
15.23: Andy Sawford wins the Corby election by over 7500.
15.18: Congratulations to Labour’s newest MP – Andy Sawford. That’s a LABOUR GAIN
15.06: Lancashire is Labour country – as we take the PCC seat with a majority of 6,000. Congratulations Clive Grunshaw.
15.04: BBC suggesting Labour has won by 8,000 votes in Corby, which matches what we’ve heard in the last hour. But watch the swing…
15.02: Labour may have won in every single district in the Greater Manchester PCC vote
14.59: Perhaps Olly Martins could send local MP Nadine Dorries a thank you card when she gets back from the outback…
14.58: Labour’s Olly Martins wins the PCC election in Bedfordshire. Sensational result – and not one that many were predicting.
14.54: Lib Dems now calling for a 2nd recount in Corby to save their deposit. We know they’re skint, but this is ridiculous…
14.53: Rumour has it spoilt ballot papers beat the Lib Dems in Coventry…(we really are laughing now).
14.52 Labour won the Wirrall South by-election with a 17.6% swing in 1997 (see 13.40). You might want to remember than number in a few moments.
14.44: The Lib Dems are asking for a recount in Corby to try and save their deposit. I’m not laughing. Honest.
14.43: Result imminent in Corby, Sky News just reported: “Sky News: “The road to Downing Street runs through Corby, and Ed Miliband is set for a big result.”"
14.32: Over to Nick Clegg’s back yard, in both Sheffield and South Yorkshire the Lib Dems came last. LAST. Awkward…
14.30: Some surprisingly strong results for Independents in the PCC elections. Has the anti-politics mood collided with a lack of resources for PCC campaigns and low turnout to make things tough for all of the major parties? It certainly looks that way so far – and tactical second choice voting comes into play too.
14.18: First really disappointing PCC result for Labour – as Tal Michael loses out to Independent in North Wales. We were not expecting that…
14.13: Only predominantly Tory East Riding left to count in Humberside – the first round result is Prescott 21,813, Ind Paul Davison 14,140, UKIP Godfrey Bloom 12,487, Tory Matthew Grove 10,961. It’s going to be tough for John Prescott to win if he’s relying on UKIP and Tory 2nd preferences.
14.10: Whilst Grant Shapps has been trying to spin the Corby result, perhaps he should pay closer attention to the PCC result in his county of Hertfordshire – with its 11 Tory seats. In the final round Labour finished with around 40% to the winning Tory vote of around 60%. Low turnout has an effect, but that’s an inroad in True Blue Tory heartlands…
14.08: Labour wins the PCC race in South Yorkshire, with 51.3% of the vote – congratulations to Shaun Wright.
14.01: Now the Lib Dems have turned on the PCC elections after their low turnout. Lib Dem President Tim Farron is quoted as telling Radio 4:
It’s very hard for anybody, whoever gets elected, in Cumbria for example today, will probably have got 7 or 8% maximum of the popular vote, of the potential vote, and that does mean so it does mean their legitimacy is going to be compromised.
He went on to say “We have got to give this role a chance a chance”, but reading between the lines…
13.50: Remember what we said about the Tories potentially losing in West Mercia? Here’s where we are at the moment with that count: Ind 37477, Con 37021, Lab 27744. That’s not looking like a Tory win…
13.44: Lets take a look at how well Labour will ACTUALLY need to do to be pleased with the Corby result (aside from the fact that a win is a win). The Last seat Labour won from the Tories in a by-election was February 1997, when Labour took Wirral South with a 17.6% from the Tories. That was an election that the Labour Party spent resources on that are simply unavilable today – and with a far more unpopular government than the current one.
If Labour gets anywhere near that kind of swing, then Labour will be delighted. But as I noted at 13.20, anything over 5% would indicate a 2015 Labour majority.
13.29: We have our first two Labour PCCs. Vera Baird has won in Northumbria and Jane Kennedy was victorious on Merseyside. Neither are surprising results, but it’s good to have some PCC results at last.
13.20: The Tory spin on Corby is getting hysterical. Grant Shapps is arguing that Labour will need a 11,000 majority to look like a party that’s ready to win the next election. Labour needs a 5% swing to suggest a majority in 2015 – so this suggests the Tories believe Labour will far surpass that. Meanwhile Tory MP Alok Sharma says Labour winning in Corby would be a “standard result”. Whatever you say Alok…
13.15: Things are looking nip and tuck between Labour and the Tories in the Bedfordshire PCC race. Labour’s Olly Martins has 27947 votes and the Tory candidate Jas Parmar has 26226 votes as we head into the second round.
12.40: Bristol Mayoral race is going to second preferences – after the first round it was George Ferguson 31321 Marvin Rees 25896. It’s unlikely Rees can turn that around on 2nd preferences I’d have thought.
12.26: On PCC results – someone in the know on the West Mercia result tells us that it’s possible that the Tories have lost West Mercia (which they were expected to win) to an Independent. Humberside, where John prescott is the candidate, looks too close to call at this stage.
12.12: We’re expecting the first PCC count of today to record a comfortable Labour win in Merseyside.
12.10: What size majority in Corby? My best guess would be 4,000.
11.25: You thought I’d fallen asleep again didn’t you? Never fear, I’m still here. And a Labour source contacts us to say the following about Corby:
“We are increasingly optimistic about a good win in Corby. Turnout is looking as if it will be 45% and the Tory and Lib Dem vote is very weak.”
09.25: If the Tories will be embarrassed at losing their deposit in Manchester Central (06.40), just think how Oldham Lib Dems must feel. In a council by-election (Failsworth West ward), the Lib Dem candidate picke up just 26 votes. Or 1.7% of the total vote.
Not so long ago Oldham was a target area for the Lib Dems…
08.46: Yvette Cooper has gone on the offensive over the PCC election turnout:
“As the Government’s flagship police reform policy, these Police and Crime Commissioner elections have been a complete shambles.
“We warned the Government repeatedly that they had the wrong approach and that turnout would be low. Theresa May and David Cameron didn’t listen and it is shocking that they have spent £100m on these elections rather than on 3,000 police constables instead.
“The Electoral Reform Society has described the Government’s handling of these elections as a ‘comedy of errors’.
“Time and again on the doorstep people told us either they didn’t have enough information, didn’t know the elections were happening, didn’t support them or didn’t want to go out in the dark to vote.
“Theresa May and David Cameron need to explain why they have spent so much money on elections that have had such low public support, why they provided so little public information and why they chose to hold elections in November too.”
07.41: A troubling thought. Labour’s candidate in the Northamptonshire PCC election was suspended after it became clear that he was ineligible to stand. Turnout is low in Northamptonshire – as elsewhere – but high in the Corby constituency, where Labour should win well. Is it possible that a Labour vote in Corby could drag up the performance of the now suspended ex-Labour candidate Lee Barron?
If Lee Barron is elected as PCC, it will put the cherry on the farce cake. Because that would trigger a PCC by-election. Can you imagine how low the turnout would be for that?
07.12: The TransAtlantic spin job has begun, as Louise Mensch tries to take the blame for Labour’s probable win in Corby, tweeting:
Election result will not be a verdict on either Christine, or the Conservatives, but only on the decision I took to step down mid-term.
Christine and her team did an incredible job in the most difficult possible circumstances. I know she will one day make a wonderful MP.
But that one day won’t be today.
06.55: Elsewhere the only PCC election to be counted during the night was Wiltshire, which was somewhat unsurprisingly won by the Tories.
06.50: So that’s the good news. Unfortunately, the bad news comes from Bristol. Local sources indicated to us during the night that the Tory vote has collapsed, which looks likely to have handed victory to the Independent (former Lib Dem) candidate George Ferguson. Labour’s Marvin Rees will finish a strong second – but Ferguson’s support is enough that he may even win on first preferences….
Counting won’t begin until later today – but if our source in Bristol is right, we should already be considering Bristol to be the latest in a long line of independents elected as local mayors.
06.40: As it’s early, I sense you’ll want the good news first. Well – as we thought would be the case – Labour held Manchester Central and Cardiff South.
Manchester – Lucy Powell was elected with 11,507 votes, a swing away from the Liberal Democrats of 16.77% – and the Tories lost their deposit. A good night all round, except turnout was as low as expected. At 18.16% it was the lowest in a by-election since the second world war.
Cardiff – turnout in Cardiff was better than Manchester (25.65%) although still low. The swing from the Tories to Labour was 8.41% – which bodes well for the Corby result later today. Labour’s Stephen Doughty retained the seat with 9,193 votes.
06.29: Morning everyone – today’s the day when we get the vast majority of the election results, PCCs, Corby and the Bristol Mayor. But first – do you want the good news or the bad news?
02.03: Sources in Manchester suggest Labour could have picked up 65% of the vote in Manchester Central. And on that note – I’m off to bed…
01.58: But before I go – this tweet from Manchester Councillor Kev Peel gives an indication of what you should expect from Manchester Central. Labour is going to win big there – and I think I can say with huge confidence that Lucy Powell will be a Labour MP when I return here in a few short hours. Don’t expect a high turnout though – in the Greater Manchester PCC vote, the turnout is just 13.46%…
And in the Manchester by-election, it’s possible the Tories have lost their deposit…
01.55: The flow of information from around the counts and verifications has slowed to a trickle, and with the prospect of getting much in the way of results before 4am – and a full day’s liveblogging ahead of me tomorrow – I’m afraid it’s time for me to go to bed (briefly). I’ll be back by 7 to fill you in on the results from overnight and anything else that might be worth noting ahead of tomorrow’s counts.
Night everyone. I’ll be back…
01.39: You know it’s not the most riveting night of election action when even your humble liveblogger is starting to flag before we ht the 2am mark…
01.24: As for Corby – the town part of the constituency looks strong for Labour. The result (and hopefully the size of the Labour majority) will depend on the turnout in the rural part…
01.20: Over the last hour I did manage to do a quick ring around to try and work out what turnout might be in the PCC elections. It’s worse than I thought – probable turnout seems to be within a few points of 15% either way. I’d be absolutely astonished if turnout is above 20% in many places at all. Theresa May will have questions to answer…
o1.11: We’re back. What happened while we were away…very little. Seemingly verification is taking far longer around the country than we might expect – except in Manchester where we may get a result slightly earlier than the 4am we originally thought. Here’s hoping…
23.38: Liveblog fans, it’s clear that very little is going to happen between now and 1, so I”ll be back nearer then. But this ain’t over – I’ll be back at 1 for results in Manchester and Cardiff, and again from 9am tomorrow right through until Friday evening with the rest of the results.
Stick with us, it’s going to be great. And long.
23.30: Well spotted people – if elected Lucy Powell will be the first female LABOUR MP for Manchester. Apologies for the confusion. Still remarkable though.
23.11: Incidentally, the ThisIsBristol website are claiming they carried out an “Exit Poll” that shows George Ferguson ahead. Voodoo poll more like. 100 people in just 4 polling stations across a city the size of Bristol does not an exit poll make…
23.08: And what of Bristol, where the city is looking to elect it’s first mayor. Labour’s candidate Marvin Rees is one of the favourites, but in an election where turnout is going to be low (25-30%) second preferences may be important. And there’s the wild card of Independent (former Lib Dem) George Ferguson. This is likely to be the closest of the races we’ve discussed so far.
22.45: Incidentally, all of Labour’s by-election candidates today are Labour and Co-op candidates…
22.43: And then there’s Cardiff South – the first election we’re expecting to be called tonight. Speaking to someone on the Labour campaign in South Wales a few hours ago, the feeling was that Labour should be safe there, but turnout would be poor.
22.31: And of course if Labour’s Lucy Powell is elected in Manchester Central, she will become that great city’s first female MP.
22.27: Now let’s turn our attention to Manchester Central – which unlike Corby should give us a result tonight. It’s considered a safe Labour seat, and despite the turnout there (which is slow, to say the least), there’s little to no expectation that will change. If I were CNN (which I’m not, but bear with me friends, the US election was just last week) I’d be projecting a Labour win in Manchester, slotting it into the big map of Britain and going to bed. But alas I’m not CNN, and so I’ll be doing my level best to stay up and bring you the official result there. It’s due at 4am, and Labour looks likely to pick up over 50% of the vote.
22.15: An interesting story from tonight – Northamptonshire County council turned off the lights to save money – so Labour activists (including several MPs) were canvassing by torch in the final hours of the campaign. Austerity Britain eh?
22.12: Let’s start in Corby, which is most likely to garner the biggest chunk of the headlines and has therefore received most of the attention from the party. IF Labour wins it (which seems overwhelmingly likely), then it would be the first Westminster “Labour Gain” under Ed Miliband.
In Corby, as our Labour source said earlier, turnout is over 40%. A 2,000 majority would be good, especially on a reduced turnout (bear in mind Louise Mensch had a smaller majority than that on general election turnout). Labour people should be looking for a larger majority (perhaps in the 4-6k range), but what’s most important is the swing to Labour. If it’s over 5%, then that’s a swing that if delivered nationally would put Ed Miliband in Downing Street.
22.06: There are a remarkable number of you reading this on a Thursday night, which – may I remind you – is a school night. To reward your dedication to the liveblog, here’s some more of the information that we’re hearing about the upcoming results….
22.05: And as polls close we get our first indication of how the Labour Party thinks some of these elections will play out. A Labour source tells us that:
“We are cautiously optimistic about Corby. Turnout will be over 40% with at least 250 activists on the ground. In Manchester and Cardiff turnout will be low but we should be ok.”
Having been in Corby earlier today, I’m fairly sure the party can be more than cautiously optimistic about that one.
22.00: Evening everyone. The polls have closed across England and Wales in the PCC elections (of which more later), and in three Westminster by-elections (Manchester Central, Cardiff South and Corby) – and in the Bristol Mayoral election. We’ll be here throughout the night tonight when we’re expecting the following results, at the following times:
Cardiff South – 1am
Manchester Central – 4am
Wiltshire (PCC) – 4am
Once those are out of the way, I’ll be off to bed (briefly) before returning with the results from the other elections throughout the day tomorrow.