Polls now closed. In some places, ballot boxes will already be sealed and being rushed to the count.

Unless the mod has other ideas, this might be a useful place for 'as it happens' news and comment.

Exit poll predictions should be coming out about now. yes... BBC prediction Labour majority 66 seats. If this translates into fact, a comfortable majority in normal circumstances, but...

As Malcolm Rifkind has just said, "The only poll which counts is the one announced by the Returning Officer."
Exit poll suggests Labour victory

Tony Blair is on course to win an historic third term for Labour but with a much reduced majority, according to a joint BBC/ITV exit poll.
The poll suggests Mr Blair's majority will be reduced from 160 to 66.

The findings - based on 19,800 voters at 120 polling stations across the UK - were announced as polls closed in the 2005 general election.

Counting is now underway with the first results of the night expected shortly after 2230 BST.

Labour's fears during the campaign that it might perform less well in the key marginal seats that it is defending look as though they will be realised..
The first result is expected at about 2230, in either Sunderland South or Houghton and Washington East.

Both are safe Labour seats, but could give an indication of the national turnout and swing.

2230: First result
0000: First Tory target
0100: 150 results declared including Jack Straw, Ruth Kelly, Gordon Brown, John Prescott, Alan Milburn
0115: Tony Blair
0130: BNP leader Nick Griffin
0200: 330 results declared including Theresa May, David Davis and George Galloway
0230: Robert Kilroy-Silk
0300: Charles Clarke
0330: Oliver Letwin
0345: Charles Kennedy
0400: Michael Howard

The first result in a Conservative target is not due until midnight, in Birmingham Edgbaston, a seat the party must win if it is to stand a chance of forming the next government.

Tony Blair's Sedgefield constituency, where he has a majority of 17,713 but has faced opposition from 14 candidates including anti-war campaigner Reg Keys, is due to declare its result at about 0115.

By that time 150 results will have been declared and the shape of the next parliament should be becoming apparent.
I am off to bed in the knowledge that the fecker will get back in but with a bloody nose.

Old Gordon will soon be PM and then its back to old Labour basics, tax, tax and tax some more! And then the feckers will be out!!!!!!!

Roll on 2007......packing my bags with sunny climates in sight!
and sunderland south.
from The Independent - Your minute-by-minute guide to how the battle will be fought on the night

11pm to 11.30pm

More results from northern Labour strongholds should be coming in: Houghton & Washington East, Sunderland North and Barnsley Central. Torbay, on the other hand, was once a safe Tory seat which became a Lib Dem marginal in 1997. It is fairly safe territory for Charles Kennedy, and the swing to his party in 2001 suggests more gains. As the first Lib Dem/Con battle of the night it's worth watching for the swing.
Looks as if results coming in slower than the Independent expected - increased turnout (in general, favours Labour) including big increase in postal votes.
ViroBono said:
hackle said:
big increase in postal votes.
All from one address in Bradford, apparently....

Not from servicemen overseas, anyway. :evil:
well, they COULD be the missing forces votes VB :twisted:

as a serious point, that is one of the reasons why forces postal voters still need to monitor the arrival of their delayed ballots, let us know when they arrive, and tell the Returning Officer (and us) if they havent arrived soon. I'll probably put out something more on this.
It is now looking closer than the exit polls suggest.

Safe Labour seats in the North East are taking a pounding with swings up to 9%.

The Lib Dems are doing well and I think they will do extremely well in urban areas, taking Labour votes.

In other areas, the Conservatives will benefit from a Labour-Lib Dem swing.

I still predict a Labour majority of 40. Perhaps lower. Burberry suitcases outside No 10 in the near future.

Winner - the British electorate (those not disenfranchised).

Loser - Tony Blair.

Runners Up - Michael Howard before Charles Kennedy.

Hopefully this is a crystal clear message. Britain does not want Blair.

I am fed up of hating the Labour party for that man's sins. I would rather see a more constructive political system but that is not possible until the manipulation, spin and deceit vanishes - all down to one man and his inner circle.

This election shows that the British public are not all Sun-reading brainless chavs, and that they care deeply about truth. Let's try and build a consensus on May 6th for a new way forward. That's the wine talking!

(fingers still crossed)

(oh, and hopefully the anti-Blair climate screws over Blunkett's chance of a cabinet job!)
I would go to bed happy enough to see Prescott lose his seat :D Other than that I am happy enough to see Labour lose seats across the board.That said and upon reflection an average swing of 8% away from Labour is reason to be happy enough.
Bugger the election, the BBC has some top totty presenting the results. Daisy Sampson being ahead in the Awol poll thus far... 8)
If the swing in Putney is repeated across the country (which I doubt, but humour me for a moment) - a hung parliament results according to the Beeb website's DIY swingometer.

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