Tories gain but may fall short of overall majority

Tories secure early gains from Labour; anger as voters are turned away from polls; Lib Dems fare poorly; high turnout.

[CAJ Note: This is the lastest information from the General Election in Britain and is not the final tally.]

Matthew Moore
Telegraph [UK]
1:10 AM BST [8:10 PM EDT]
07 May 2010

You can read the Telegraph’s parallel comment and analysis UK Election Live Blog here.

0301 David Cameron holds on to his seat in Witney.

His speech: “I believe it is already clear that the Labour party has lost its mandate to govern this country…. We will do all that we can to bring strong, stable leadership to this country”. He talks of “putting the national interest first” whatever happens in the hours ahead. His speech is somewhat downbeat, and he does not claim victory. While Labour are clear that they will attempt to form a coalition with a Lib Dems, Cameron gave few clues to his post-election intentions.

0248 It’s such a mixed picture. Tories are picking up seats they didn’t necessarily expect to win, and failing to take some slam-dunks. The Lib Dem vote is – bafflingly – down in many places, but they’ve picked up a couple of seats. There has been a 12pc swing against Labour in some of their heartlands, but elsewhere they’ve gained vote share. Messy messy messy.

0245 Nick Britten updates us on the situation in Redditch, where Jacqui Smith is under pressure:

“Conservative candidate Karen Lumley has just arrived at the count in Redditch looking very chipper. Having lost out narrowly to Jacqui Smith in the previous two elections, she said: ‘Let’s hope it’s third time lucky.It’s been a exciting campaign and a lot of people on the doorsteps are looking forward to change’.”

0245 At last, some good news for the Lib Dems – they have taken Eastbourne from the Tories. Chris Huhne also hangs on in Eastleigh.

0238 Annunziata Rees-Mogg, one of the Tories’ bright young things, has failed in her attempt to wrest Somerset and Frome from the Lib Dems. It was No 11 on the Tory target list and she only needed a 0.56pc swing. Geroge Osborne’s early bullishness is now looking a little ill-judged.

The lengthy and sometimes amusing evaluation of the day’s election events can be read at the Telegraph.

This evening’s headline from The Daily Mail reads, “‘Labour has lost its mandate to govern’: Cameron demands Brown vacates No 10 as polls point to a hung parliament”

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