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Live: Nigel Farage wins in Clacton for Reform UK

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage at Clacton Leisure Centre in Clacton, Essex (Joe Giddens/PA)
Reform UK leader Nigel Farage at Clacton Leisure Centre in Clacton, Essex (Joe Giddens/PA)

Sir Keir Starmer is on course to be the UK’s next prime minister as an exit poll indicated a landslide Labour victory.

General Election 2024 exit poll
(PA Graphics)
  • Exit poll predicts Labour majority of 170, with 410 seats
  • Lib Dems claim to have beaten Education Secretary Gillian Keegan in Chichester
  • Defence Secretary Grant Shapps loses seat to Labour
  • Nigel Farage wins for Reform UK in Clacton

Here’s the latest:


Nigel Farage said his Reform party’s performance in the General Election was “truly extraordinary” after his win in Clacton, adding: “There is a massive gap on the centre-right of British politics and my job is to fill it.”


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Tory candidate and former party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith has won Chingford and Woodford Green with 17,281 votes.

Labour candidate Shama Tatler came second with 12,524 votes and independent candidate Faiza Shaheen was third with 12,445.


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Former Better Together chief Blair McDougall has won East Renfrewshire for Labour.

He secured 21,935 votes to the SNP’s Kirsten Oswald’s 13,514 in second place. Ms Oswald won the seat in 2019.


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Reform UK leader Nigel Farage has been elected in Clacton, winning a UK parliamentary seat at his eighth attempt.


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Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has beaten his old party to become the independent MP for Islington North.


Plaid Cymru’s Llinos Medi won the seat with a majority of 637, ousting the former Conservative MP Virginia Crosbie.

Ms Medi received 9,953 and Ms Crosbie 9,953.

In an emotional speech following her election, Ms Medi said: “Someone said to me ‘Llinos, I’m so glad you want to be an MP’, I said ‘I don’t want to be an MP, I just want to represent Ynys Mon which I love so much’.”

She added: “Can I say to any young girl who doesn’t think she’s good enough, everything is possible if you go for it.”


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Plaid Cymru has gained Ynys Mon from the Conservatives.


Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, who has lost to Labour in Welwyn Hatfield, said it was “clear tonight that Britain will have a new government in the morning”.


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Former cabinet minister Douglas Alexander has won for Labour in East Lothian.

His win with 23,555 votes marks a return to politics after losing his seat in 2015 to Mhairi Black in one of the major upsets of the night.

The East Lothian seat was previously held by Kenny MacAskill who won it for the SNP before defecting to Alba.


Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said he is “really proud” of his party’s election campaign.

After winning Kingston and Surbiton, he said: “Tonight the Liberal Democrats are on for our best result for over a century and I’m really proud that our party has fought so positively during this campaign, particularly putting the reforming and fixing of the crisis in our health and care system right to the forefront.

“The many Liberal Democratic MPs who have been elected tonight are going to continue to fight to sort out health and care, so that the people of our great country can get the health and care they deserve.”


After securing the Holborn and St Pancras seat, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer pledged to “end the politics of performance”.

He said: “Tonight people here and around the country have spoken and they’re ready for change – to end the politics of performance and return to politics as public service.

“The change begins right here because this is your democracy, your community and your future. You have voted. It is now time for us to deliver.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer shakes hands with Nick the Incredible Flying Brick (second right) and Bobby “Elmo” Smith (right)
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer shakes hands with Nick the Incredible Flying Brick (second right) and Bobby “Elmo” Smith (right) at the headquarters of Camden Council (Stefan Rousseau/PA)


With 100 constituency results declared, Labour has won 84 seats with a 41.3% share of the vote.

The Conservatives have seven seats and a 20.2% vote share.

The Liberal Democrats have won in eight constituencies with 9.4% of the overall vote, while Reform UK have 17.3% of the vote, translating to success in one seat.

The Green Party has 6.5% of the votes.


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The SNP has lost the Paisley constituency to Labour.

Johanna Baxter won the seat, formerly held by the SNP’s Mhairi Black, with 19,583 votes.

The SNP’s candidate Jacqueline Cameron secured 13,056 votes.


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Conservative Justice Secretary Alex Chalk has lost in Cheltenham to Liberal Democrat candidate Max Wilkinson.


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Defence Secretary Grant Shapps has lost to Labour in Welwyn Hatfield.


Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said “you have voted, it is now time for us to deliver” in his speech after winning re-election to Parliament.


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Environment Secretary Steve Barclay has held his seat in Cambridgeshire North East.


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Labour former frontbencher Mary Creagh has won in Coventry East.

Ms Creagh served in various shadow cabinet positions between 2010 and 2015, before losing her Wakefield seat in the 2019 election.


Rochdale hopeful George Galloway thanked those in the constituency who “gave me 54 sitting days in the last parliament as their MP”.

Workers’ Party leader Mr Galloway, who received 11,508 votes and lost out to Labour’s Paul Waugh, took to X, formerly Twitter, following the defeat, writing: “I thank the people of Rochdale who gave me 54 sitting days in the last parliament as their MP.

“Big thanks to my agent, my campaign team and the thousands who voted for me today.

“We took the government party to within 1,500 votes and serve notice on Labour that we are here to stay in Rochdale.

“We will field a full slate of council candidates, establish a full-time office there, campaign to re-open the maternity ward and A&E, and keep up the pressure on Labour in the town.”


In his acceptance speech, Sir Ed Davey also spoke about his caring experience, which he regularly referred to on the campaign trail.

He said: “I’ve shared my own caring story during this campaign and I’ve been overwhelmed by the response, especially from fellow carers, people looking after their loved ones who’ve got in touch to say, ‘that’s my story, too’.

“And I’m grateful that we’ve been able to bring caring out of the shadows in this campaign, and we will continue to stand up for a society where we value care and properly support carers because we cannot afford not to.”

Sir Ed also thanked his “wonderful family”.


In her acceptance speech after winning her Ashton-under-Lyne seat, deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said: “Today is our chance to turn the page and start a new chapter.

“To tackle the cost of living crisis and to make work pay.

“To give working people the new deal you deserve and provide homes that we need.

“To rebuild the public services on which we rely and to ensure every community across our country shares in our national success.”


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Sir Keir Starmer has won Holborn and St Pancras.


Labour looks likely to achieve a huge swing.

Graphic showing General Election 2024 biggest swings so far
(PA Graphics)


Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg arrived at Bath University at 2.30am, dressed in a dark suit with a blue rosette pinned to his lapel.

He was accompanied by his son, Peter, also dressed in a suit, and wife Helena as he walked through to the count area.

Sir Jacob, a candidate in the new constituency of North East Somerset and Hanham, arrived carrying a bag of sandwiches, which he said included “ham and tongue”.

When asked how he felt, Sir Jacob said: “I’m feeling extremely well.”

He was asked about the state of the Conservative Party and replied: “Aha. That’s a very good question.”

Sir Jacob then greeted photographers and camera crews, saying: “What a reception party, anyone would think there’s an election on.”


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The SNP’s Martin Doherty-Hughes has lost West Dunbartonshire to Labour’s Douglas McAllister.

Mr McAllister won 19,312 votes to Mr Doherty-Hughes’ 13,302.


Continuing his reaction to his victory in Ashfield, Reform UK’s Lee Anderson told reporters: “The two main parties in this country do not listen to the people of Ashfield and other places like this across the country – but they’re going to listen now.

“As I said a few weeks back, there’s going to be a reckoning on election night – there has been a seismic reckoning in Ashfield and throughout the country.

“Reform are picking up seats tonight – make no bones about it.

“Next week, I’ll be on the green benches with Nigel and a few others, and we’re going to give them hell.”


Speaking after his victory in Ashfield, Reform UK’s Lee Anderson told reporters he was “delighted but not surprised” at winning the party’s first 2024 seat.

Asked how he was feeling, Mr Anderson said: “Delighted, but not surprised if I’m honest.

“This is the capital of common sense, by the way – people speak their mind in this area, and they’ve had enough of the two mainstream parties.

“The Reform Party, people like myself, Richard (Tice) and Nigel (Farage) speak the same language, in a different accent obviously, we speak the same language as the great people of Ashfield.

“So when this gig came up and I was asked to stand again for the Reform Party, it was a no-brainer to be honest with you.”


A crowd has gathered in the offices of Camden Council to hear the result in Holborn and St Pancras, where Sir Keir Starmer is seeking re-election.

Count staff and party activists have lined three floors of balconies overlooking the stage where the result will be announced.

Broadcaster Kate Garraway waved to Sir Keir and shouted: “Hello Keir, congratulations Prime Minister.”

Members of the crowd cheered.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria arrive at the headquarters of Camden Council
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria arrive at the headquarters of Camden Council in north London for the count of the Holborn and St Pancras constituency (Stefan Rousseau/PA)


Labour has won the Kilmarnock and Loudoun seat in the first election result announced in Scotland.

Lillian Jones won with 19,065 votes, beating the SNP’s Alan Brown.

He had held the seat since 2015.


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Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey has held his seat in Kingston and Surbiton.


With 41 constituency results declared, Labour has won 35 seats with a 43.2% share of the vote.

The Conservatives have three seats and a 20.4% vote share.

The Liberal Democrats have won in two constituencies with 19.9% of the overall vote, while Reform UK have 19.9% of the vote, translating to success in one seat.

The Green Party have 6.5% of the votes.


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Workers’ Party leader George Galloway has lost Rochdale to Labour.


Sir Keir Starmer has arrived at the count for his Holborn and St Pancras constituency to applause from waiting supporters.

He posed for pictures with activist and fellow Labour candidate Tulip Siddiq, surrounded by a scrum of photographers.

The result is expected to be declared shortly.


Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald and deputy leader Michelle O’Neill have arrived at the Magherafelt count centre in Northern Ireland.

Ms O’Neill said she was interested in a “good positive relationship” between the Executive and the incoming Labour government, adding: “The Tories have not been any friend to the people here, haven’t been any friend to public services, haven’t been any friend to any household dealing with the cost-of-living crisis.

“So I think there is an opportunity for us to work with Labour. The number one priority for the Executive certainly will be to try and get a better funder model for public services.”


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Lee Anderson has retained his Ashfield seat – the first win for Reform UK.

Mr Anderson, a former Labour councillor, had been elected in 2019 as a Tory MP in the Nottingham constituency and was deputy party chairman before he lost the whip and then defected to Reform earlier this year.


The electoral map is starting to gain a little more colour – here’s the latest after 18 of 650 seats declared. Still a long way to go tonight.

General Election 2024 seats map after 18 of 650 seats declared
(PA Graphics)
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Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said it was an “honour” to return as an MP in Leeds West and Pudsey.

“It is an honour and a privilege to be returned as the Member of Parliament for Leeds West and Pudsey,” she posted to X.

“You have put your trust in me. And I will not let you down.”


A Liberal Democrat source said: “This is a massive result for the Liberal Democrats and demonstrates the anger that so many Conservative voters have for this Government.

“The people of Cheltenham have elected a local champion in Max Wilkinson who will stand up in Parliament and work hard to protect local A&E services.”


The Liberal Democrats claim to have won in Cheltenham, ousting Justice Secretary Alex Chalk.


A recount is under way in Basildon and Billericay, where Tory chairman Richard Holden is standing.


The SNP do not expect to hold any of their three current seats in Edinburgh, it is understood.

The party represented Edinburgh East, Edinburgh North and Leith as well as Edinburgh South West, but a source in the party said Labour are expected to take four of the five seats in the Scottish capital, with Edinburgh West remaining in Liberal Democrat hands.

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Conservative former defence minister Mark Francois has won in Rayleigh and Wickford, securing the party’s first seat of the night.


Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said the exit poll predicts a “historically bad” result for the Tories across the UK.

He said “It is a historically bad night, there is no shying away from that at all and there will be a huge amount of reflection on the campaign and also clearly the last few years.

“It has been particularly difficult and there’s no denying that and whoever forms the next parliamentary party will look at the options going forward and will assess the current state of play in the Conservative party and how it rebuilds after this election result.”

He said he does not regret his last-minute decision to stand but predicted an “extremely close” result.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross arrives with his wife Krystle at P&J Live arena in Aberdeen
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross arrives with his wife Krystle at P&J Live arena in Aberdeen (Michal Wachucik/PA)


Reform UK’s Lee Anderson has arrived at the count for the constituency of Ashfield in Nottinghamshire.

Wearing a charcoal grey flat cap, Mr Anderson told reporters: “I’m wearing this as a disguise so you wouldn’t recognise me.”

The Conservative-turned-Reform candidate decided not to give interviews to the media as he entered Kirkby Leisure centre.

Mr Anderson eventually took his hat off and told those around him “Don’t let me forget that hat”, as one of his supporters pinned his rosette on his jacket.

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Liberal Democrat candidate Tom Gordon has won Harrogate and Knaresborough in the party’s first victory of the night.


Andrea Leadsom said the next Tory leader needs to be from the centre right and that she was a “big fan” of Penny Mordaunt.

“The night is yet young … there’s a long way to go before those sorts of considerations,” Dame Andrea said.

But she added: “I’m a big fan of Penny.”

Commons Leader Ms Mordaunt’s seat is too close to call, according to exit polls.

If not Ms Mordaunt, “I do think it will need to be someone from the centre right”, Dame Andrea said.

“Our country is a country of thoughtful and honourable people who are extremely tolerant until pushed and clearly in recent months and possibly years they have felt pushed, but centre right is where we need to be,” she said.


A Liberal Democrat spokesman said: “Chichester is going Lib Dem-orange, as Gillian Keegan becomes the first Cabinet minister of the night to lose her seat.

“The Conservatives have let down the people of Chichester for too long. This seat has been Conservative for 100 years and a win here for the Liberal Democrats is an extraordinary achievement which has unseated the Education Secretary.

“Chichester Harbour has been blighted by sewage pollution thanks to the Conservatives letting water companies off the hook.

“By electing Jess Brown-Fuller, Chichester now has a local champion who will stand up and fight to clean up our waterways and hold water companies accountable.”


Police in Glasgow are investigating cases of suspected voter fraud.

Glasgow City Council reported four cases of alleged “personation” following Thursday’s poll.

The offence occurs when a person votes as someone else.

It is understood that of the alleged incidents, two are being investigated in the Glasgow South West seat and one in Glasgow West.

A spokesman for the council said: “Over the course of the day we have received four reports of potential personation at polling places.

“The police subsequently asked us to extract three ballot papers from the count and this was done when the relevant ballot boxes arrived at the count centre.”


The Liberal Democrats are claiming to have beaten Education Secretary Gillian Keegan in Chichester.


Outgoing Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has arrived at the Aberdeen count.

Mr Ross – who said he will stand down as leader after the election – is contesting the Aberdeenshire North and Moray East seat.

He drew criticism for stepping into the seat in the stead of former MP David Duguid, who was barred from standing due to ill health.


Sir Ed Davey’s Conservative opponent in Kingston and Surbiton has described the Liberal Democrat leader’s campaign stunts as “embarrassing”.

Asked what she thought about Sir Ed’s activities, which included falling from a paddleboard and riding on a rollercoaster, Helen Edward told the PA news agency: “I think they were embarrassing. I wouldn’t have chosen to do that.

She said she spent the campaign “getting into the grassroots of the community”.


Novelty candidates Count Binface and the Monster Raving Looney Party’s Sir Archibald Stanton arrived at the Richmond and Northallerton count within minutes of each other.

Sir Archibald and his entourage entered with a cheer in their colourful suits and top hats.

Sir Archibald wore a red suit covered in red bats and carried a wooden puppet wearing a name badge which read Gilly Nicholls.

Not longer afterwards Count Binface also entered the leisure centre hall.

Graphic showing General Election 2024 seats after 6 of 650 seats declared
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Scottish Tory co-leader Meghan Gallacher said it had been a “difficult election” for her party.

Speaking to the PA news agency, Ms Gallacher urged “caution” against the exit poll predictions and said the Conservatives remained “neck and neck” with the SNP in key Scottish seats.

She said: “We knew it was going to be a difficult election for the Conservatives UK-wide.

“We’ve run a really strong campaign, sent a strong message over the last few weeks that a vote for any other party would let the SNP win and we know that in seats right across Scotland is neck and neck between us and the SNP.

“We need to wait and see what happens when the votes are counted and results come in but I am expressing caution in terms of the exit poll we’re seeing here in Scotland.”

Ms Gallacher was also asked whether she would stand to replace Douglas Ross as Scottish Tory leader following the election.

She said: “I am not a leader in waiting – I’m a deputy leader in action and I’ve shown that throughout the duration of this campaign.”


Sir Robert Buckland said he is “frustrated” with the trajectory of the Tory Party but said the General Election outcome is “a result of our own failure”.

Speaking to S4C after losing his seat in South Swindon, Sir Robert said he expects Rishi Sunak to “contemplate the enormity” of the situation.

The Tory former Welsh secretary said “I think I deserve a drink” after being “sacked on live television”.

Asked whether he would stand as a member of Senedd in future, he replied: “I’m not going to rule anything out.”

Graphic showing the lowest number of seats won by Conservatives at general elections
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Sir Robert Buckland took aim at “ill-discipline” within the Conservative Party after losing his seat.

“I think that we have seen in this election an astonishing ill-discipline within the party,” the former justice secretary said.

“We can see articles being written before a vote is cast at the General Election about the party heading for defeat and what the prognosis should be.

“It is spectacularly unprofessional, ill-disciplined. That is not the Conservative Party I joined and have been an active member of for now nearly 40 years.”

Asked later if he was speaking about an article written by Conservative former home secretary Suella Braverman, Sir Robert replied: “I am afraid that is not an isolated example.”

Election workers counting ballots at the South Lake Leisure Centre in Craigavon, Co Armagh
Election workers counting ballots at the South Lake Leisure Centre in Craigavon, Co Armagh (Oliver McVeigh/PA)


The Liberal Democrats have claimed victory in Tunbridge Wells, long ahead of the declaration.

On the campaign trail in June, party leader Sir Ed Davey took part in an assault course in Kent with the party’s candidate Mike Martin.

A Liberal Democrat source said: “They’re set to elect a Lib Dem local champion in former British Army officer Mike Martin, who will stand up for the community.”


The constituency of Ashfield in Nottinghamshire looks set to be a closely fought contest between Labour’s Rhea Keehn and Reform UK’s Lee Anderson.

The candidates are yet to arrive at the vote count in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, but Labour representatives have described it as “too close to call”.

Reform UK supporters in Kirkby leisure centre have said they are “confident” of Mr Anderson’s success.

Turnout for the constituency was 58%.


A lurch to the right after the election would be “disastrous” for the Conservatives, former Tory minister Sir Robert Buckland has said.

Speaking to the BBC after losing his Swindon South seat, Sir Robert said such a move “would be a disastrous mistake and it would send us into the abyss, and gift Labour government for many years”.


A Liberal Democrat source said they were “confident” the party would defeat Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in the new constituency of Godalming and Ash.

The constituency Mr Hunt is contesting is 81% likely to go to the Liberal Democrats according to the exit poll for Sky News, BBC and ITV News.

The Liberal Democrat source said: “The exit poll is obviously encouraging.

“It’s early in the night. But we are confident.”


Ulster Unionist MLA Tom Elliott, who was named as a peer in the dissolution list, said the news came as a “total shock”.

Mr Elliott made the comments after he arrived at Magherafelt count centre.

He held the Fermanagh South Tyrone Westminster seat for the UUP from 2015 until 2017 and now sits in Stormont.

“It’s different. It’s something I never expected. It was a total shock and surprise,” he said.

Ballot papers are counted at Emirates Arena in Glasgow
Ballot papers are counted at Emirates Arena in Glasgow, during the count for Glasgow Central and Glasgow South constituencies (Andrew Milligan/PA)

12.37amSir Robert Buckland said politics is at a “crossroads” and the Conservative Party must make the “right choice” if it is to inspire a new generation as he warned against “politics as mere circus” in his farewell speech.

The former justice secretary said: “Our very political system is at a crossroads. Do we value those who work to bring people together and to come into politics to do something rather than be someone?

“Or do we shrug our shoulders and accept politics as a mere circus where people compete for attention by saying things that they either know to be untrue, or which raise hopes and expectations in a way that further erodes trust?

“I know what side I’m on, I know what choice I would make, and I believe with sincere and fierce conviction that my party has to make the right choice too, if we are to inspire a new generation with the real promise of a better future.”


The Liberal Democrats say they are confident of victories in 12 seats, labelling them “Davey’s dozen”.

The party has claimed it will be victorious in three seats in the West Country – Torbay, North Cornwall and Yeovil.

It is also confident of wins in Eastleigh, Woking, Guildford, Wokingham and Lewes in the South East, and Wimbledon in south-west London.

The remaining seats on the list are South Cambridgeshire, Cheadle (Greater Manchester) and Hazel Grove.

A Liberal Democrat source said: “We are declaring victory in Davey’s dozen, the first 12 of many wins we’re expecting tonight.

“From the West Country to Greater Manchester, the map is being painted gold as Liberal Democrats sweep to victory in the Conservative Party’s former heartlands.”


Reform UK’s challenger to Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden has predicted voters are “going to get fed up” of Labour and “look for something different” in the near future.

Darren Selkus, standing in Hertsmere, Hertfordshire, said: “People are voting for Labour because they’re not the Conservatives and everything’s going to change for the better.

“When it doesn’t change for the better whether that’s in six months, one year, two years, eventually people are going to get fed up and look for something different and that’s when I hope that they recognise that Reform UK have the ideas to change the direction and make a difference.”

Asked about the next five years of politics, Mr Selkus said he expects “mass immigration, more of it, high taxes, more of it”.

He added: “Labour obviously are going to win, they’re not going to increase VAT, income tax or national insurance but they’re going to increase every other tax that there is.”

On Reform UK’s performance, Mr Selkus said: “What’s really critical is what the national vote share is, you know, I’m hoping that we’ll get six or seven million votes and if we hit that sort of number then it’s massive, so, 13 seats is approximately that so yeah, that’d be exactly what I’d be hoping to do.”


Lord Jo Johnson, Conservative peer and brother of former prime minister Boris Johnson, said the Tories should question whether being “Reform-lite” is a good strategy, adding it was “hard to imagine a worse outcome” than what the exit polls suggest.

“I’m stunned by Reform’s arrival as a major force in the land,” he told Sky News.

He said it was “quite possible” that Reform will come second across vast swathes of the “red wall” in the North West, North East and Midlands.

“These elections do raise a really important issue as to whether it’s a sensible thing for the Conservatives to try to be ‘Reform-lite’ and expect that to be a winning political strategy, it doesn’t look to be from what we’re seeing today,” he said.


Lord Neil Kinnock said the exit poll’s prediction of a Labour landslide was “the greatest comeback since Lazarus”.

The former Labour leader told ITV News: “A gain of 208, according to the exit poll, which is attributable directly to Keir Starmer and what he’s achieved in four years, two of which of course were during the lockdown, or the virtual lockdown when the one thing that opposition leaders depend on – contact with the public – was absent.

“It’s the biggest comeback since Lazarus.”


Lord Peter Mandelson and Reform UK deputy leader David Bull have clashed over the EU and the make-up of support for Nigel Farage’s party.

Lord Mandelson said he would be “disappointed” and “surprised” if Reform won in his former seat of Hartlepool, saying many people who had backed the right-wing party were looking for a “handy protest vote”.

Mr Bull said: “I think you are about to be surprised.”

He added: “You can call it a protest vote if you want, but actually it’s not. It’s an uprising. It’s saying to the political classes: enough is enough.”

Appearing alongside Mr Bull on BBC News, Lord Mandelson said there were “extremely unpleasant people” at the heart of Reform of which the general public was not aware.

“That’s absolute nonsense,” Mr Bull said. “There are a very small number of candidates and we have removed them and dealt with them.”


“This, folks, is huge”, Reform UK leader Nigel Farage has said in response to the early boost for his party after it pushed the Tories into third place in two early constituency results.

On a video posted to X, formerly Twitter, he said: “It’s midnight, there are two results in from the north-east of England that put Reform on 30% of the vote, that is way more than any possible prediction or projection. It is almost unbelievable.

“And what does it mean? It means we’re going to win seats, many many seats I think right now across the country.

“But to watch the TV coverage it’s almost comical. There’s not a single representative on there from Reform UK, mainstream media are in denial just as much as our political parties.

“This is going to be six million votes-plus. This, folks, is huge.”

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Former justice secretary Sir Robert Buckland has lost Swindon South to Labour’s Heidi Alexander.

Sir Robert Buckland
Sir Robert Buckland has lost his Swindon South seat (PA)


Former Conservative chancellor George Osborne has described the exit poll prediction of the Tories’ worst performance on record as the party’s “Waterloo”.

Reacting to the exit poll, he told ITV News: “As for the Conservatives you know, it’s going to sound odd, there’ll be a bit of a sigh of relief, even though it’s the worst results since 1832 when the Duke of Wellington was running the Tory party, so this one feels more like the Tory party’s Waterloo, frankly.

“We’re going to see a load of people lose their seats, household names of those who follow politics, household names.

“And it’d be a huge mistake to take a lot of comfort from this, but there were people thinking, and the polls were suggesting, it could be an extinction night for the Tory party, an extinction level event, and the Tory party would never come back.

“I think there’ll be a lot of Conservatives saying we can come back and then the final point; the second big story of the night is Reform. They have entered the palace, the Palace of Westminster.”


David Bull, Reform’s deputy leader, said that his party was “about to change history”.

Asked about Reform’s issues with candidates accused of racism, he told the BBC that every party had those kinds of issues.

“I think it’s in every party,” he said, adding that the Reform party is new.

“We had to literally sprint to get those candidates.

“Anyone who looks at the rise of Reform will see that what we’re doing is breaking political history. I’ve said this before, everyone said that in that Brexit result, you won’t do it, we changed history, we’re about to change history once again.”

Asked which seats he thought Reform, which the exit poll projects to net 13 seats, could win, he listed Clacton, Great Yarmouth, Wellingborough and Boston and Skegness.