Conservative Diary

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Major election night developments

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8.10am: Mandelson's knifing of Brown, live on television, is causing major ripples.  Brown's authority is seeping away.  He won't be able to stem the flow unless Mandelson retracts - or, if he won't retract, Brown sacks him.

8am: We are now into a full blooded attempt by senior Labour politicians to build a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. Peter Mandelson has told the BBC that Brown going was one of "a number of permutations".

6.15am Eric Pickles: "Well given that Labour has just suffered an historic defeat in terms of the number of seats that it lost…I think really it’s time to go for Gordon Brown, no one every elected him, no one wanted him and that nation hasn’t taken to him."

6.10am: BBC forecasting Con 37%, Lab 30%, LD 23%, Others 10%

6.01am: Sky forecast: Con 309, Lab 259, LD 54, Others 28.

5.14am: ConservativeHome no longer believes a Tory majority is possible. ConHome sources are talking of 310 seats.

3.03am: David Cameron at his count: "I believe it is already clear that the Labour government has lost its mandate to govern our country." He claims Tories have largest number of gains for eighty years.

2.58am: This is not the night the LibDems were expecting. Although they've gained Eastbourne from the Conservatives they've lost Montgomeryshire and Harrogate.

1.52am: Failing to win Telford, Tooting and Gedling is worrying for the Tory chances of winning a majority.

1.05am: First Tory gain of night. Chris Skidmore is new Tory MP for Kingswood on a 9.4% swing.

12.50am: On a 22.9% swing Peter Robinson, DUP leader, has lost his seat. If the Conservatives need Northern Irish MPs this will make things more difficult.

Tim Montgomerie at 10pm: Contrary to the exit poll which has the Tories 19 short we are expecting a good night for the Conservatives; probably a small working majority. David Cameron will become Prime Minister. The party will make deep inroads into Labour territory but will not do well against the Liberal Democrats. The LibDems may come third, winning 100 seats in total. The exit poll has the LibDems only on 59 seats.


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