3.24 Just a bit of fun. BBC projects Con 394 seats, Lab 169 and LibDem 59 if these reuslts were translated into a general election.
3.06 Conservatives predicted to take Basingstoke & Deane. Previous was NOC (C:30/others:30).
All out election because of boundary changes, but it looks like Conservatives will get between 33 and 36 seats.
3.05 Alison Halford elected as Conservative councillor for Ewloe, Flintshire. Alison is a former Labour member of the Welsh Assembly (1999-2003 term). She defected to the Conservatives in 2006.
3.04 About to come on your TV screens again. Hmmm. Perhaps I should rephrase that.
2.52 Just had a text from a Shadow Cabinet member (not DD!) commenting on my attack on Michael Portillo. It reads: "Fucking right. Well done you." I'm Iain Dale, and I approved this message.
2.51 Cons gain two seats from Lab in Dyfan ward, Vale of Glamorgan.
2.46 Am basking in the warm afterglow of slagging off Portillo live on national TV. What an unbelievable performance from him tonight. he should bloody well remember he wouldn't be where he is without the Tory Party. All he's done this evening is read a book called LOST BOYS. he hasn't talked to a single person at this event apart from Fraser Nelson and Polly Toynbee. Unbelievable.
2.16 BNP gain a seat from Labour in Thurrock.
2.14 Second Tory gain in Chorley. In the Labour marginal of South Ribble there are now 45 Tories and four Labour councillors.
2.13 Three Line Whip reports the sad news that Kelvin Mackenzie didn't win. A nation mourns.
2.12 After 72 of 159 councils declared
CON +7 councils, LAB -2 councils, LD no change, NOC -5 councils.
CON +103 councillors, LAB -88 councillors, LD -3 councillors.
2.11 Sorry, got sidetracked chatting to Emily.
1.52 Conservatives win Rumney ward in Cardiff from Labour, winning two seats
1.51 The Conservatives have gained a seat in Barnsley!!!!!!!!!
1.51 Two eighteen year old Conservative councillors elected in Southampton.
1.49 Ewan Spence is a very fair and far-sighted man.
1.42 Two Tory gains in Flintshire. One gain in Cambridge. Greens gain a seat in Cambridge too.
1.40 Birmingham Tories have made 7 gains - just taken Longbridge aka home of Rover and Red Robo, not really Tory territory - Cons have also slashed Labour majorities. Gary Sambrook, aka Brummie Tory Blog, the youngest Tory candidate @ 18 lost by 80 votes in solid Labour territoy. Lib Dems could push Labour into third place in the city.
1.38 Sky have just captioned Gisela Stewart as "Conservative" Do they know something we don't ?
1.27 Our friends in the North
• Gained 5 seats in Sunderland
• Gained seats in Chester-le-Street and North Durham
• Gained 4 seats in Tameside - James Purnell would lose his seat based on tonight’s results
• Gained 4 seats in Wigan
• Gained seat in Bolton
• Gained 2 seats in Bury
• Gained 2 seats in Carlisle
• Gained seat in Wirral
• Gained seat in Halton
1.20 77% on Guido want me to dress up as a cowboy! As if a serious political commentator would do such a thing. Oh, hello Jeremy...
1.19 From Caroline Hunt: "If Clemency and Emily made a porn film they'd be rich beyond their wildest dreams I suspect".
1.17 Labour is predicted to have a 24% share of the vote. Their worst ever. BBC calling Tories on 44%. Perhaps now we will have an end to the "Tories should be doing better" brigade.
1.17 “Gordon Brown has had his Life on Mars moment. Hhe went to sleep in 2008 and today he’s waking up with support back to the worst his party has seen since records began in 1973.” So said a Tory spokesman.
1.13 Where's Cleggy?
1.11 Conservatives officially predict a 43 per cent vote share.
1.05 Jeremy Vine seems to be the fall guy of the evening... This email from a correspondent is typical... "Whilst watching the local Election results with great interested my husband and I are very irritated by the way in which Jeremy Vine is setting out the results. Why can't we have the statistics done in an adult way instead of making us feel as if we are being talked down to and treating us like children. We don't need him walking around in a thick coat in simulated snow thank you very much, all we want is for us to see exactly what is happening around the Country. This type of reporting statistics has got worse and worse over the years."
1.04 Just been having a threeway (chat) with Polly Toynbee and Dizzy, who sent me a 1965 photo of Polly. She was most amused.
1.03 3 Con gains so far in plymouth - predicting 5 in total
0.55 Another email: "Hi Iain, loyal Tory voter (always by proxy though) and a military officer, but had a great day having taken leave from duty to vote personally for the very first time in my life at the age of 40. Great feeling putting that cross in the 'right' place on the ballot paper. Voted in North Tyneside and hope it goes well. Keep up the great work.
0.50 Just received by email.. Hi Iain, Just read your post about someone wanting to join the Tory party. I myself joined at he start of the year (always been a Tory voter) and I am a born and bred Scot who still lives and works in Scotland (don't give up on us). Please remind those you write to about the Tory party's new ways of showing support short of becoming a full member. We've had the ministrations of Lord Ashcroft and the example of Senator Obama to show how our party should be growing through the netroots and developing a broader donation base. Cheers. D
0.48 - Both Labour and Liberal Democrat group leaders in Southampton lose their seats to Conservatives.
- Marginal constituency: Clatterbridge ward, Wirral council, in Wirral South constituency, goes Conservative off Liberal Democrats.
- Marginal constituency: Cambridge ward on Sefton Council in Southport constituency, goes Conservative with 200 majority. Last year, we were 400 behind Liberal Democrats.
- Conservatives gain Radcliffe ward in Bury.
- Labour MP, Tony Wright, chairman of the Public Administration Select Committee, calls for individual electoral registration, warning of electoral fraud in ethnic minority communities.
0.42 And yes, that really was Emily... Oooh, about to get on screen again. Stand by, fans
0.41 FROM EMILY MAITLIS: i cant write this properly without leaning into iAINS CROTCH> WHICH IS HIGHLY ENBARRASSIN G
0.37 The Tory council gain in Nuneaton mans they control the Council for the first time since 1973.
0.36 Conservatives gain another seat, Quinton, in Birmingham.
0.35 LibDem council leader in Pendle loses seat to Conservatives
0.34 Labour now third in Ben Bradshaw's Exeter seat after two Tory gains from Labour.
0.33 Another Tory Gain in Norwich. The last time the Tories had 5 seats was in 1968 I think... The gain was in Catton Grove, the ward I stood in, in 1985!
0.30 Dizzy has a story about Boris involving marital aids...
0.29 - Conservatives win control of Nuneaton & Bedworth (was LAB)
- Conservatives win control of Elmbridge council (was NOC). One of the wards that we won was Walton Central - The successful Tory candidate was 20 years old, and wasn't even born last time the Conservatives controlled the council.
- Liberal Democrats predict they will be the largest party in Cheltenham.
0.27 Guido's Live Chat is, er, well, go and see for yourself. But do come back!
0.24 From the comments: hi im 19 just voted in my 1st election.1st of all i h8 labour.i did vote BNP. in years to come i want to be put first in houses and health care etc. but there are millions of other people to think about i know this. just wish people born in england got 1st choice. tell me why in furture i should give my surport to torys and not bnp.
0.23 Six Tory gains from Labour in Sunderland. Yes, you read that right. Sunderland.
0.23 To those of you who are outraged by the BBC Homo Erectus graphics, just wait till you see the ones on Gordon Brown. The Labour Party will explode with rage.
0.20 Conservative Party is now officially predicting 200 gains. Their initial briefings suggested 120, which I thought was about bang on the money.
0.17 Just had an email from someone who will be getting a very nice email from me tomorrow: "hi i am a yorkshire man who now lives in the wilds of essex and am tired of this labour goverment and its unelected pm, its old school communist mayor (red ken have a word!!! ) i am 34 married with a daughter and for the first time i feel engaged by politics, I am angry i feel mis-represented and want a better life for my family. I belive that the conservative party would do that for me better than the others and want to get involved how do i join the party? and get involved? Many thanks. E. D (a normal working class man who cannot belive the level of betrayal by the labour party)"
I am getting a lot of these at the moment.
0.16 EXCLUSIVE: CONSERVATIVES GAIN MAIDSTONE FROM NOC/LIBDEMS AFTER TWO GAINS (this assumes no Tory losses later)
0.14 Con Swing in Edgbaston is 10%.
0.13 Con gain Brockmoor ward in Labour heartland in Dudley by 68 votes. Bye bye Ian Pearson. Hello Chris Kelly.
0.13 Tory gain from LibDems in Maidstone. One more needed to gain the council.
0.12 Another Tory gain in Birmingham, Longbridge.
0.11 Conservatives gain Bowthorpe Ward in Norwich. Antony Little is an absolute hero.
0.07 Clemency Burton-Hill has just come over for a snog. You know, if things were different...
0.06 Michael Portillo is here ... sitting on a sofa, talking to no one ... reading a book. I shall try to see what it is in a minute.
0.05 Intimidation in Bolton. Nothing to do with Gary Megson, I am assured.
0.02 Yay, Polly Toynbee is in da house!
0.01 Croydonian reports a serious Tory effort in, er, Broadwater Farm!
23.52 - Conservatives pick up another seat from Labour in Southend (CON). Blaine Robin, former CCHQ's Social Action Manager wins seat - and first black councillor in Southend. Ward has never been won by Conservatives.
- Conservatives take seat off Labour in Eric Pickles' Brentwood.
- Liberal Democrats report that they have 'taken control' of Hull - however, council was already LibDem controlled.
- Labour hold Sunderland council, but Conservatives make second confirmed gain in Sunderland.
- Conservatives gain seat from Liberal Democrats in Halton (LAB council)
- Conservatives won have 3 gains in DC's area of West Oxfordshire.
23.51 Tory PPC Deirdre Alden wins seat in Birmingham Edgbaston by 1600 majority - best result there since 1992. Tories expect to gain 6 seats in Birmingham tonight. Bye bye Gisela Stuart. Best defect now, love.
23.49 Coventry is looking better than expected for the Tories. I had thought we were going to lose control, but we may just scrape it.
23.47 This is the row of shame at City Hall tonight. I'm the one on the left :)
23.41 Emily gets the programme going.
23.39 LibDems take 5 Labour seats in Hull to take overall control.
23.26 Somebody just told me the caricature of me on the BBC website looks like DI Burnside... Judge for yourself. Think I prefer the GQ pic... Luke Akehurst and Alix Mortimer are the other two sitting alongside me, blogging their little hearts away.
23.25 Another Tory gain, this time in Chorley from Labour. Con majority 150.
23.24 From a correspondent in Coventry: "I sincerely hope BBC coverage of the local elections is better than we are getting from the BBC local radio here in Coventry (BBC Coventry & Warwickshire). They have two "Political Experts" one a former Chief Exec of the City Council, the other who appears to be a self proclaimed expert on politics, Vincent McKee who just happens to be a Lib-Dem candidate in the city elections, who is getting far more air-time to promote his parties policies views etc, than any other of the parties. Why on earth they deemed it necessary to this Lib-Dem candidate to give us his opinion constantly is beyond me. No one else is there from any other of the main parties to commentate in the same way. I have called and complained and was told he is there not as a Lib-Dem, but as a Political expert!! Yeah pull the other one!"
23.21 First Conservative gain of the evening - from an Independent in Swansea. Go Wales!
23.16 A big shout for Islington Conservatives who have been up in Chingford this evening. Their knocking up efforts seem to have borne fruit. I am told that turnout up there is in the high seventies.
23.13 From London Tory: "I arrived to take over my telling slot for the Conservatives at about 8.10am and very shortly thereafter an irate gentleman came out complaining about the officers writing the polling numbers on the ballot papers, asking me and the one other teller present to confirm that what they were doing was wrong. We did so and the other teller, who was the Lib Dem peer Lord Oakshott (being a Tory naturally I deferred to rank!), went in and spoke to the very inexperienced officers administering the polling station and they agreed that they must have been mistaken in doing what they had been. They said that their instructions told them to write the polling number "alongside" the ballot paper number and they had thought that meant on the ballot paper. Oakshott explained it meant on the separate list. The irate voter then went off and said he was going to call the BBC etc. I must admit that I thought they wouldn't be interested, but clearly they were. I also think it is fairly outrageous if the 14 votes are rendered invalid when it was not the voters who had made the "distinguishing mark".
Now here is my only real scoop from having been there: I am fairly sure that the vote of Lord (Matthew) Oakshott himself was one of the 14 votes supposedly to be rendered invalid! I know this because once the irate other voter had complained Lord O. remembered that they had put the number on his own voting paper when he had voted a short time before but had not thought about it at the time. I do not think we will have lost even a second preference from him but early voters in a place like Kennington (these were in the first hour and a quarter) tend to be disproportionately Tory (City workers etc who go to work early). The polling station concerned is probably a fairly even three way split between the main parties (Lib Dem held the Ward until two years ago (Princes), then it went Labour, but we have been working it hard as we have been a very good third in a constituency where mostly we are a poor third). Anyway, I look forward to the Lib Dem peer in voting irregularity shock story from you.
23.09 Respect fliers in polling booths in Whitechapel telling people how to vote. Presiding officer not bothered.
23.06 So Labour say they can't do better than 25% and the Tories must get 47%. Ben Brogan reports Tory guffaws. For the record I stick by my 41% prediction for the Tories. If they get above that the champagne corks can truly pop.
23.02 It would be rude not to mention Emily Maitlis's BBC Election blog, which she will be writing in between spots on BBC1.
22.55 News from the Former Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire: "Am in Gleadless Valley Ward in Sheffield: I was told at the polling station that there were 541 votes by 21.20. Given the electorate in the ward is 13,703 (according to the Council website), that implies a very low turnout (even if there are half a dozen polling stations)... Only the Lib Dems seemed to be campaigning here (and hard) despite the fact that the Council has currently got 41 Labour Councillors and 39 Lib Dems. Sounds like Labour might lose the capital of 'The Soviet Republic of South Yorkshire'."
22.53 From an Islington correspondent just after 10pm: Just voted at st peter and st paul on compton st. Left list campaigning inside polling station and fliers left in polling booth. Complained to presiding officer. He was not at all bothered
22.46 News from a senior political contact in Wales: Tories will make gains in Pembrokeshire, Conwy and Powys because independent tories are standing as official Conservatives for the first time so even without winning new seats they will be up considerably. They also should do well in Vale of Glamorgan. Turnout seems reasonably high in areas where Labour are not strong - West and Mid Wales (Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Powys) but seems low in the valleys. RCT (Rhondda cynon taf) and Caerphilly. Caerphilly will probably go NOC. Labour will keep RCT majority. Ceredigion might be interesting with Plaid getting close to majority but probably not quite making it. Interesting for Westminster seat where Lib dems currently hold majority of some 200. 22.34 ConservativeHome has called the mayoral race for Boris. I'm Iain Dale and I approve this message.
22.32 Am now ensconced on the 9th floor of City Hall with the lovely Emily Maitlis opposite me. I have just taught her how to twitter. I don't think her life will ever be the same. She has just been censored by the resident BBC killjoy (Joanna, you know who you are) for using a little known pornographic term in her first blogpost. Fluffer, anyone?