Friday, May 02, 2008
Friday Afternoon Live Blog
New thread about to start...
6.25 Fraser Nelson: "What strikes me is not just the scale of the results - although Labour's loss of 295 seats and Tory gains of almost 400 is certainly an unalloyed disaster. It's the way Cabinet members have nothing to say apart from "yes, really bad." The way Brown uttered some junk from the safety of No10 while Cameron toured his triumphant seats. The way rebels like Salter say it's their fault for not being so active. Labour just look and sound like a defeated party, like the fight has left them. And with zero leadership, no wonder."
6.18 Sky News and the BBC have very different figures for council seats gained and lost. I think this is because the BBC is not including the new Unitary Authority seats but Sky are.
6.17 Darren Lilleker, bless him, likes what I have been doing for the last 24 hours. Glad to be of service, matey.
6.01 Four Con gains in Newport in Welsh Wales.
5.47 You've got to laugh. LabourHome: Cameron Can't Win on This Performance.
5.34 The ferrets are at work. Read this quote from Derek Wyatt, MP for a key Kent marginal... "We have to clear out the crap in the cabinet. If he (Gordon) does not do that, to be honest we are not going to recover. He has until the conference season and if he is still 24 per cent down in the polls, the party will have to take some pretty brave decisions. The party is pretty stressed. It took a long time for Gordon Brown to say sorry for the 10p tax decision. I am a Labour man who believes in helping poorer people. If we do that once more, we will have had it."
5.05 From a correspondent... "Have been listening to BBC News via the Internet for much of the day - if I hear one more Labour MP saying that people will now start scrutinising the Tories more thoroughly, I'm going to scream. Couldn't these robotic idiots make it a bit less obvious that they've all had the same briefing notes?" Why on earth don't political interviewers pick them up on this?
5.04 It never rains... "Just had a text from my daughter: “Ken Livingstone was overheard saying: “Oh dear, I’m out of cash” near a cashpoint in Stratford yesterday”
5.01 Nine Tory gains in Denbighshire. Tory elected in Rhondda Cynon Taff
4.48 I have just had an email from MORI with a lengthy document on the London elections. I could now say some very unkind things, but you know what a charitable person I am. I don't wish to intrude on private grief.
4.35 EXCLUSIVE: It's a Two Horse Race! These are the Crewe & Nantwich provisional share of the vote figures...
Now if that doesn't make this a tasty by-election, I don't know what does!
4.32 With 25% of the vote counted, GLA Member Brian Coleman looks set to double his majority.
4.29 Former Badger worrier Ron Davies has been elected to Caerphilly Council.
4.21 Sky reporting that the Mayoral count could go on until the early hours.
4.20 Two Conservative gains from the LibDems in Harrogate.
4.19 Two BNP councillors are ousted in Epping Forest.
4.07 For every one seat the LibDems have gained, the Conservatives have gained ten. That's something LibDems might want to think about when they are crowing about how well they have done. Not.
4.06 Just done a phone interview with a French newspaper about David Cameron. Interesting that I am getting a lot of foreign journalists ringing me nowadays wanting to talk about the Conservatives.
3.42 Seven Tory gains in Wakefield
3.41 Will on the BBC World Service at 5pm and Radio Kent between 5 and 6.
3.37 Dizzy reckons that just because the BNP are paranoid someone should be out to get them.
3.26 COMMENTING on the latest results in the local government elections, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan MP and Welsh Conservative Assembly leader Nick Bourne AM said: “This election has been a triumph for the Welsh Conservatives and an unmitigated disaster for Labour. While Welsh Conservatives have won seats on councils in every part of Wales Labour has been in meltdown. These results should serve as a warning to Labour MPs and Labour Assembly Members. “The impressive Welsh Conservative gains across the country send a clear message ahead of the next General and Assembly elections - no Labour seat in Wales is safe. People across Wales have said they’ve had enough of Labour, enough of higher council tax, enough of crumbling schools, enough of longer hospital waiting lists, and enough of the rising cost of living. These results are a disaster for Plaid Cymru too. They lost control in their heartlands and failed to make any significant inroads elsewhere... We fielded a record number of candidates at this election – and we’re on course to win a record number of councillors. Welsh Conservatives have won more votes and more seats at every national election in Wales since 1999. That impressive record has continued today. We have won seats from Labour and Plaid Cymru, we have won seats from the Liberals and the independents. We have won more seats in urban areas and in rural Wales. We have won in the valleys and on the coast. Labour’s stranglehold on Welsh local government has been broken forever. The Welsh Conservative Party is a serious force in local politics in Wales.”
3.25 Danny Finkelstein has a London rumours page. Well worth a look.
3.23 Guido Fawkes has been searching the Situations Vacant columns.
3.18 From my source at a London count: "There are a depressing number of spoilt ballot papers - mainly thanks to the complexity of the mayoral vote and the lack of clarity in the instructions to voters. I would say the majority of accidentally spoilt ballot papers are left of centre - with quite a few trying to give livingstone and paddick both thier first preference votes. However, there are also quite a few johnson and winston spolit votes. Some are deliberately spolit - with a few obscene comments, and others such as 're-open nominations', 'voting is a sham', and 'for the love of god - stop!' The actual figures for spolit ballot papers will be interesting. I suspect it will be a high percentage, with the majority of those being for the mayoral (as opposed to gla) contest."
3.12 Alan Duncan was excellent on Sky just now. In fact, I haven't seen a bad performance yet by a Tory spokesman today.
3.11 That was a joke, by the way.
2.59 A plane has been spotted at RAF Northolt ready and waiting to take Ken Livingstone into exile in Venezuela.
2.58 Labour gain Slough from NOC. What's that all about then?
2.57 Dizzy has further evidence of lower turnout in inner London boroughs.
2.49 Crewe North, also 2 Tory, 1 Labour. Augurs well...
2.48 In France it is St Boris's Day today. An omen?
2.45 Result from Crewe West, which is a three member ward - 2 Con, 1 Lab.
2.43 My fellow Hammer Tony McNulty is on Sky trotting out the "we must have more scrutiny of Tory policies" line. Is it me, or is that just a bit on the weak side?
2.42 One of the count officials in London has just (in jest) announced the winner of the mayoral contest - it is Robert Mugabe!
2.40 Chester & West Chester. C – 53, Lab – 13, LibDem 3. Think that one's ours too :)
2.39: My rather mildly worded CommentIsFree piece is causing the usual nutter comments. My favourite one is from someone who denies that there has been any poll in the last few weeks showing a Tory lead of more than 5%. The leftists are in complete denial, aren't they?
2.30 EXCLUSIVE: Huge news from Cheshire for the new Unitary authority (so hated by Gwineth Dunwoody). Results so far. 41 Conservatives, 7 LibDem, 3 Others (local group – Middlewich First). No results for any Crewe wards or Nantwich yet
2.26 Jonathan Isaby has spoken to Stanley Johnson, who confirms my story below!
2.25 Let's remember that one fifth of the 230 Tory gains so far have come from Wales.
A lot of people deserve a lot of credit.
2.24 Welsh Tories are hyper-ventiliating. Another 8 gains in Conwy.
2.22 Two by elections in Tower Hamlets last night. Labour gain one from the LibDems and the Tories won on the Isle of Dogs.
2.21 Inside info from the London counts...
City and East GLA seat: Labour leading 65:35
Greenwich and Lewisham: Labour leading 60:40
Bexley and Bromley: Con leading 80:20
Croydon & Sutton: Con leading 65:35
Livingstone running marginally ahead of GLA candidates, but only by 2%
2.20 Just received: "A friend who works in the Scotland Office was at the Excell Centre monitoring the electronic counting of votes to see how it was going (The Scotland Office is interested based on how badly things wen with electronic voting in Scotland). What they told me was that due to a lack of Tory agents large numbers of valid Boris papers were being classed as invalid. There are plenty of Labour people there." This is deeply worrying, if true. Why hasn't the Conservative Party got enough agents there to scrutinise properly?
2.18 Tony Sharp explains the Labour implosion in Crawley.
1.57. Wow. Yesterday the Conservatives had no councillors in Powys. Now they have nine. Go Matt Lane!
1.56 4 gains in Pembrokeshire push the Conservatives through 200 net gains, with more to come.
1.39 The count at Olympia is only 25% complete. Very slow.
1.38 Sky have London turnout at 45%. This is good for the Tories because it means that turnout in inner London must have been much lower than in the outer Tory boroughs.
1.37 Phil Taylor has news of a narrow Tory victory in an Ealing Council by election.
1.36 Brent and Harrow Gla seat, Bob Blackman is only marginally ahead.
1.29 Ken is ahead decisively in the North East London count - by as much as thirty per cent on first prefs.
1.26 Barnet and Camden mayoral first prefs Boris twenty per cent (approx) ahead.
1.25 Enfield and Haringey mayoral first prefs Boris about five per cent ahead of Ken.
1.13 Solihull is confirmed as a Conservative gain.
1.12 LibDems have overall majority in Sheffield of 6. The Conservatives lost their only councillor.
1.11 Incoming Labour General Secretary David Pitt-Watson confirms he will not be taking the post after all. He refused to take legal liability for Labour's finances. A bad day just got worse for Gordon.
12.59 Hot rumour is that Conservatives take control of Solihull and Redditch. Bye bye Jacqui Smith.
12.45 I'm not getting much news at all from the London count(s). Why not?!