Conservative Diary

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Rolling blog on developments during Friday 7th May 2010

Developments during the course of today will be recorded here.

As at 9.45am, Gordon Brown remains in Downing Street (asleep), David Caremon is at CCHQ and Nick Clegg is preparing to make a statement at 10.30am.

10.10am Con gain Thurrock - Congratulations to Jackie Doyle-Price.

10.18am BBC report that Downing Street will issue a statement from Brown shortly on what happens next.

10.25am The statement from Downing Street has emerged. It says the Cabinet Secretary has been given the necessary authorisation for civil servants to attach themselves to political parties with a view to negotiations for forming a government.

10.35am Channel 4' Gary Gibbon writes: "There are lines of communication open to the Liberal Democrats from the Tories… I understand that Oliver Letwin and Ed Llewellyn are the conduits."

Picture 6 10.40am Nick Clegg arrives at Lib Dem HQ to be welcomed by a mass of media interest. He says last night was a disappointment but says his party got more votes than ever before. He says he still wants "real change" and that we are in a fluid situation. It's vital all leaders act in the national interest. He repeats that the party with most votes and most seats has the right to try and form a government and that party is the Conservaitve Party. It is for them to prove they are capable of governing in the national interest. But he will continue to argue for real reforms "to fix the broken political system".

10.50am ConHome sources suggest Jim Fitzpatrick has held Poplar and Limehouse for Labour and that Labour's Rushanara Ali will gain Bethnal Green and Bow from Respect.

11.15am David Cameron will make a statement at 2.30pm outlining how he would seek to form "a Government that is strong and stable with broad support, that acts in the national interest.form a strong and stable government".

11.45am BBC reporting that Brown would not talk to anyone until all seat results are in.

11.50am Andrew Neil on the BBC says that some senior Tories are considering going public in voicing criticism about how the campaign was handled and to make it clear that they would not countenance voting reform as part of a deal with the Lib Dems.

Noon A senior shadow cabinet source posits the view to ConHome that a referendum on PR is "undeliverable" since very few Conservative MPs would be willing to vote for it in the Commons.

12.10pm BBC reporting that Tories in Norwich North looking confident that Chloe Smith will be returned, although in Cheltenham the Lib Dems may have held on.

12.25pm ConHome sources suggest Lib Dems have held Berwick-upon-Tweed with a "massively reduced" majority.

12.27pm Conservatives gain Warwick and Leamington from Labour - Congratulations to Chris White.

12.50pm Anne-Marie Trevelayan fails to win Berwick-upon-Tweed, but reduces Alan Beith's Lib Dem majority from over 8,500 to a touch over 2,500.

1pm Three safe Tory seats have returned sitting MPs to the Commons over the last couple of hours: Jeremy Wright in Kenilworth and Southam, Sir Alan Haselhurst in Saffron Walden, and James Arbuthnot in Hampshire North East.

1.05pm Chloe Smith retains by-election gain of Norwich North with a majority of nearly 4,000- Congratulations!


1.38pm Reports claim that Brown will suggest that a new Labour leader would offer the Liberals a deal on PR - but that he won't announce his resignation.

Picture 10 1.50pm Brown has just made a statement on the steps of Downing Street, where he effectively said  "I'm still Prime Minister, and the business of government is ongoing." On the important matter at hand, he said (not verbatim):

I respect the position of Mr Clegg. We already have mechanisms in place for talks between parties. Cameron and Clegg  should take as much time as they feel necessary for talks. I would be happy to meet any of the party leaders and would be prepared to meet for discussions with Clegg if his discussions are not successful with Cameron. Any discussion with Clegg would focus on two key areas of common ground: financial stability and the need for political reform, including changing the voting system. Immediate legislation on this is needed. A fairer voting system is central and there is a need for a referendum on the system. We also need strong and stable government. The outcome has been delivered by the electorate - we must make it work for the national good.

1.58pm Latest results in:

  • John Bercow holds Buckingham and Nigel Farage comes third, after John Stevens in second place.
  • Julian Smith holds Skipton and Ripon for the Conservatives, Guy Opperman holds Hexham, Jonathan Djanogly holds Huntingdon and Keith Simpson holds the newly drawn Broadland seat.
  • Labour hold Copeland and Lib Dems hold Argyll and Bute

2.05pm Very sad to see Lib Dems retaining Cheltenham. Mark Coote would have been a superb MP for his home town.

2.20pm Lib Dems hold Westmorland and Lonsdale.

Jonathan Isaby


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