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Going up

Betsan Powys | 23:23 UK time, Thursday, 6 May 2010

UPDATE 05.55

As dawn breaks over Westminster - and Wales, I'm told - I'm signing off.

We have some idea what parliament will look like.

A clear idea as to the shape of our future government?

No such luck: not yet.


UPDATE 05.39

Kevin Brennan doesn't buy the argument that because some 2 million people more - on current figures on seats declared so far - have voted for the Conservatives than have voted for Labour, Gordon Brown has lost the right to govern.

"Yes we've done far less well than the Conservatives ... but this is a parliamentary system, not a presidential one."

In othe words, it's our shout if we can strike a deal.

UPDATE 05.13

Cardiff North is finally declaring: Jonathan Evans - whom some have been suggesting might be made Welsh Secretary in a Conservative government - has won by the smallest of margins, fewer than 200 votes.

"It has been an enormously difficult task to wrest this seat from Labour ... "

Clearly more difficult, much more difficult than expected, which is why no Conservative - in Cardiff North or Chesham and Amersham - will be counting on making it into the Wales Office.

Julie Morgan: "a miss is as good as a mile".

Cheryl Gillan, in Chesham and Amersham, has seen a swing of 2.3% in her favour and is safely elected.


UPDATE 04.54

Any anoraks still up?

If not, here's something to consider when you get up tomorrow:

On average the swing to the Tories in seats where the Lab majority over the Tories in 2005 was less than 20% has been:

NORTH OF ENGLAND 6.2
MIDLANDS 7.2
SOUTH 6.4
WALES 5.7

Only Scotland clearly stands out. There the swing in marginal seats has been 3.0% to Labour.

Chew on that as Ed Balls survives but Charles Clarke does not.

UPDATE 04.40

Two familiar faces to Welsh Conservatives winning seats in England:

Robert Buckland in Swindon South and Karen Lumley beating the former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith in Redditch - a big Labour scalp.

And the Lib Dems are putting a brave face on what must be a hugely disappointing night in Wales (though the wider picture might yet yield them a shared role in government) -

"A Lib Dem surge in the Valleys seats of Merthyr Tydfil and Pontypridd (swings of 17% and 13%) has positioned the party to win there in next year's Assembly election. With a strong swing to the party in Wrexham as well, there are clear Labour-Lib Dem battleground seats in 2011.

"While we are happy that our share of the popular vote increased from 2005, we are convinced that the electoral system is unfair and needs reforming.


UPDATE 04.10

"People have voted to ensure the Tories did not win" was a Labour message we heard earlier. Just a point worth making perhaps - can that be said of the Lib Dem 'progressive majority' in Swansea West. Didn't they vote Lib Dem to ensure Labour didn't win?

David Cornock reports from Westminster that talks might already be underway between Labour and the Lib Dems ... unconfirmed he stresses.

Alun Michael: results so far "don't give a licence to David Cameron to govern".

UPDATE 03.55

Recount in Cardiff North - who'd have expected I'd be typing that in the early hours?

This from the pointy headed people:

With just four seats left to declare, the BBC is forecasting that the eventual result in Wales will be:

LAB 26 Seats -3
CON 8 Seats +5
LIB DEM 3 Seats -1
PC 3 Seats No change
OTHERS 0 Seats - 1

Meanwhile, the predicted shares are:

LAB 36 -7
CON 26 +5
LIB DEM 20 +2
PC 11 -2
OTHERS 7 +2

Bear in mind that on a much, much better night for Labour than we'd envisaged - than they'd envisaged - the percentage of the Labour vote is still predicted to be their lowest since 1918 in Wales. They hit a low of 37.5% back in 1983 which translated into 20MPs (out of 38.)


UPDATE 03.48

Peter Hain has talked "duty" and "obligation" to govern.

David Jones, not surprisingly, takes a very different view: he talks moral authority. "It looks as if the Conservative Party is going to be the largest party in this parliament and therefore it has the moral authority to form the next government."

Carmarthen West has turned blue. Simon Hart is elected; Nick Ainger loses by some 3000 votes.


UPDATE 03.37
Cardiff North has gone to a recount.

Yvette Cooper: unless David Cameron gets a majority it is "right" that Labour seek to govern and .... they have "much in common" with the Liberal Democrats.

Andrew RT Davies is "foaming at the mouth" the other end of the studio. His message to Peter Hain: "WAke up and smell the coffee Peter!"

Ah ... coffee? The night is young.

UPDATE 0305

No stories of voters locked out, failing to vote, of sit-ins in Wales. In fact voter turn-out is up here but not by as much as we might have thought. The Electoral Commission has said it'll conduct "a thorough review of what has happened in those constituencies where people have been unable to vote".

David Cameron a few moments ago: "What'll guide me is to do what is right ... I will put the national interest first."

Does that read as: I'll give it a go? Will he have the numbers that give him that chance?

UPDATE 02.50

Labour look to have held Cardiff West but with a much reduced majority and they've also, I'm told, held Gower despite the Conservative candidate's earlier optimism.

Swing from Labour to the Conservatives in Wales? As of 02.30 it's 5%.

As only Andrew RT Davies could put it: "We're on our way we are". On our way how far though? The swing in English constituencies isn't at this point suggesting a Tory majority.

UPDATE

Swansea West is, I'm told by a man who should know, won by Labour ... by 531 votes.

UPDATE 02.18

A view from rural Wales for you! Glyn Davies has, apparently, done what most people thought he might do 2 months ago ... but not 2 weeks ago - and beaten Lembit Opik.

What effect will Alun Cairns and Glyn D and Guto Bebb have on the Welsh Conservative group in Westminster?


UPDATE 02.16

Recount in Swansea West - Labour clinging on, apparently, by 40 votes.

UPDATE 01.55

Nick Smith - and his "oh I know" campaign in Blaenau Gwent storms it for Labour. A thought: that Alun Davies AM must be thinking his gamble has paid off.

Has Glyn Davies ousted Lembit Opik in Montgomeryshire? Or is it simply far closer than the incumbent, the very confident Mr O had thought?

Let's think about something else: how remarkably different the Labour picture is in Wales and in England. Two thoughts: well done Peter Hain is an obvious one ... but an (even) bigger thought: given the same is true of Scotland ... and if the Conservatives fail to pick up anything like the same number of seats in Wales and in Scotland as they do in England ... yet go on to win, then won't this go down as the most English of successes for Mr Cameron?

UPDATE 01.38

Carmarthen West "looking Tory" says a source. Same source got Labour's 4000 majority in Llanelli right so ... Has a collapse in the UKIP vote helped the Conservatives to take Gower too?

Gordon Brown talks of that "consensus" against the Tories again as he holds his own seat. He's going nowhere unless David Cameron gets his majority.

Chris Ruane celebrates "a cracking result" for Labour in the Vale of Clwyd.


UPDATE 01.12

Let's remind ourselves of this from Nick Robinson's blog earlier:

"Ed Davey for the Liberal Democrats has confirmed Nick Clegg's pre-election night statement that the party with the most votes and seats has the right to try to form a government"..

The voices from Labour HQ say: Gordon Brown goes nowhere unless David Cameron wins a majority.


UPDATE 00:57

Arfon - not as close as last minute rumours had been suggesting. Hywel Wiliams takes this notional Labour seat safely.

Labour confident they've held Vale of Clwyd - by 1500.


UPDATE

Byron Jones (minus his taxi) says a win for him in Gower is 'on the cards'. The message "to look out for Gower" was spot on then.

Close in Montgomeryshire say the Conservatives and ahead in Cardiff West at this point ... but in Brecon and Radnor, Lib Dems look like hanging on safely.

UPDATE 00:32

Ieuan Wyn Jones: "probably going to be a disappointing night for us .. have to acknowledge that ... not the sort of break throughs we might have been hoping for".

White flag stuff pretty early on. Are Plaid expecting Mark Williams' majority to grow significantly?

Are they afraid Llanelli is tight but that Labour hang on? I hear "big inroads" but not enough to take from Labour.

I'm hearing Labour's take on Plaid's night too - "a shocking night for Plaid".

And the Tory take on the Vale of Glamorgan being anything but theirs? "Rubbish".

UPDATE

"Family feud" in Blaenau Gwent over? Labour always said it would take 3 elections to get it back. Looks like they might get it back sooner - as Nick Smith, the Labour candidate, told his party confidently some months ago.

UPDATE

A note has been thrust under my nose ... source is Vale of Glam candidate. Note says: suggestion Labour have held the Vale of Glamorgan.

Now then ... if that is true ... I've just listened to Alana Davies, the Labour candidate and I'm going to add a big 'if' and file that note away til later. What she seems to be saying is 6 months ago I was dead in the water. Now I'm not .. Defending a majority of 1500, she SHOULD be dead in the water if the Tories are to get to anything like 305 seats.

UPDATE 23.55

Rhodri Morgan is at the Cardiff North count. I'm reminded of talking to Rhodri Morgan when the idea of a rainbow coalition was more than brewing in Cardiff Bay. He wouldn't stand for it. The party that had won most seats HAD to be part of the ruling coalition he argued then.

The Welsh Secretary takes a different view tonight: it is the "duty" of the anti-Tory, progressive majority to take to the helm.

Llanelli? "Close". Turnout at 67%. Nia Griffith looking remarkably down and confirms it's very, very close.


UPDATE 23.40

The loyal Lib Dem who bet his car some months ago that his party would hold off Plaid Cymru in Ceredigion reckons his car is ... safe. Reckons.

UPDATE 23.34

Peter Hain: "The Lord Ashcroft millions have failed to deliver. There is an anti-Tory majority and that offers all sorts of possibilities for this parliament.

"David Cameron thought he had the keys to Number 10 in his back pocket ... not what I'm hearing, certainly not in Wales".

"We await the verdict of the voters but we seem to have made more progress than most people seemed to be expecting".

Huw's giving it a go: IF the results right, where does that leave Gordon Brown?

"He's the PM. It's his responsiblity to make sure there's stable government ... Our duty, the majority in parliament who do not want the Conservatives ... is to make sure there's a progressive majority in parliament that opposes Tory reforms ... and that there is fundamental political reform. We have an obligation to make that work".

Oh and more suggestions of smiles on Labour faces, not only in Blaenau Gwent but in Ynys Mon too. Trying to watch for a response on Helen Mary Jones' and Leighton Andrews' faces. They're behind a camera ...

NEW ENTRY

As all eyes turn to Sunderland once again another suggestion - one that says updating upwards, adding to the top of the blog entry, is easier for you to read and digest.

I aim to please.

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