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Election night blog

By Tim Montgomerie

3.22am: Signing off with the good news that the BNP's bad night has got worse with the loss of all their five wards in Stoke. Sleep well if you are getting any...


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On BBC1 Nigel Farage has attacked the Yes2AV campaign. UKIP was excluded from a campaign that was run by people who wanted to build an anti-Tory majority, he claimed. He said that Yes resorted to personal attacks when it was in trouble rather than making a positive case for change. Mr Farage said that electoral reform is now probably dead for two decades.


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Just been watching Tim Farron on BBC1. On terrible night for LDs (they've been smashed in Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Stockport and Hull) he's retaining a good manner. He's likeable on TV. He doesn't get irritated in the way Clegg does. He says the only mistake [a "horrendous error"] LDs have made in last year was to back tuition fees. Politically he is right and he represents the clean skin who can succeed Clegg in the latter stages of this parliament and try to rebuild his party's support on the Left.

2.48am: Lord Rennard says No2AV campaign was funded by Conservative HQ and was "blatantly dishonest".

2.40am: Is this the summary of the night's results?

Cameron wins AV. Ed Miliband loses AV and Scotland. Clegg loses AV, everywhere and badly.

2.21am: Nigel Farage says the Lib Dems have been "found out" tonight. For decades, he said, they've pretended to be left-wing in left-leaning areas and right-wing in right-leaning seats. He then has a ding dong with the BBC's Brian Donahue after the latter linked UKIP to the BNP.

2.10am: The Lib Dems may have lost Chesterfield to Labour and every seat in Manchester that they were contesting.

1.50am: Big losses for LDs in Birmingham where they've been in coalition with the Conservatives. Not enough seats for Labour to take control though.

1.37am: Tory MSP David McLethchie has accused Scottish LDs of "duplicitous" campaign; distancing themselves from Westminster Coalition.

1.30am: Nick Bourne, the Tory leader in Wales, says he hopes his group on the Welsh Assembly will stay about the same. The BBC says Lab's Julia Morgan might oust Conservatives' Jonathan Morgan in Cardiff North. That would be a real loss. Jonathan is one of the good guys in politics.

1.25am Here's a graphic I prepared earlier:


Results from Scotland are a real blow to Ed Miliband. Scotland is Labour's heartland of heartlands. They lost leadership at Holyrood four years ago to the SNP at the trough of the Blair government's unpopularity but tonight there's a swing to the SNP. One month ago Labour enjoyed a big lead in Scotland but the lead has evaporated in one sunny April of campaigning. A real worry for Ed Miliband. His party hasn't followed him on AV and he's presiding over a retreat of Labour in Scotland. Vincent Moss of The Sunday Mirror has tweeted: "The SNP gains in Scotland pose some very serious questions for Labour and senior Scottish shadow cabinet ministers". Indeed.

1.18am: UKIP claiming they have won a seat in the Welsh Assembly. I got into trouble earlier in the week for claiming I'd prefer one of Farage's candidates elected, to a Liberal Democrat.

LibDems-Losing-Here-309x205-1 1am: The night is looking at least as ugly for the Lib Dems in northern, urban Britain as the party could have feared. 12 of 13 Lib Dems in Liverpool may be defeated. Lib Dems set to lose Hull. Labour to take Sheffield from the LDs. Lib Dem leader in Manchester defeated - possibly among 12 defeats in total.

11.05pm: I recommend the PoliticsHome live blog. It's recording interesting reports from council battles.

11pm: Good evening! The Liberal Democrats have already started their attempts to tug the Coalition Leftwards.

  • Nick Robinson told the BBC Ten'o'clock News that the Lib Dems are ready to fight for a better deal from the Conservatives on the NHS, tax and banking. He also gave the impression that Huhne will be staying in the Cabinet.
  • In tomorrow's Guardian Paddy Ashdown describes David Cameron's behaviour during the AV campaign as a "grave disappointment". "It will never again be glad confident morning," he says.
  • In The Telegraph Julian Astle, close friend of David Laws, has written that "David Cameron has blown his chance to realign British politics for good".


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