Exit polls suggest the Tories have a large majority – 368 seats and Labour would be way down on 191 seats – a Conservative majority of 86 – the biggest Tory majority since Margaret Thatcher’s third victory and the worst Labour result of modern times.
The SNP would have 55 seats according to the prediction, Lib Dems just up one seat with 13. The Brexit Party will not even have one a single seat. Nigel Farage withdrawing candidates and not putting up much of a fight has allowed a bigger Conservative turn out than expected by the looks of the exit polls. The Green Party are likely to keep their one seat still.
Boris Johnson needs 326 MPs for a majority and he appears to have achieved the majority he wanted.
Exit poll seats prediction
- Tories – 368
- Labour – 191
- SNP – 55
- Lib Dems – 13
- Others – 22
As in previous years, the exit poll has been commissioned jointly by the BBC, ITN and Sky News. It is different from other opinion polls because instead of asking people how they intend to vote, it asks people how they voted.
The current system of calculating the exit poll has been developed since the 2001 general election and has a very impressive track record of forecasting the result.
In 2017, the exit poll predicted the Tories would end up with 314 seats, just four short of the 318 the party actually won. Labour was forecast to win 266 (they finished on 262), the Lib Dems 14 (12), the SNP 34 (35), Plaid Cymru 3 (4), Ukip 0 (0), the Greens 1 (1) and others 18 (18).
Actor Hugh Grant who campaigned for Labour and Lib Dem candidates to co-operate to defeat a Tory majority and was outspoken against the Tories had this reaction to the exit poll results on Twitter:
Here is an estimate of whenresults will be called:
Earlier in the day the Prime Minister tweeted photos of himself in his constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip with the familiar empty slogan of “vote Conservative #GetBrexitDone”.
Mr Johnson started his day by voting at the Central Methodist Hall in Westminster at around 8.15am, bringing dog Dilyn along with him.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was greeted by a small number of supporters as he arrived to cast his vote in Islington – and a protester dressed as Sesame Street character Elmo.
As the woman in fancy dress argued with security and police, Mr Corbyn said: “Hello guys, can we stop the arguments please.”
He later posed for photographs with well-wishers outside the polling station.
Mr Johnson’s campaign has been characterised by misleading ads – 88% of their ads according to fact checkers and by slogans revolving Brexit.
While Jeremy Corbyn spent the past few weeks meeting the public and holding rallies around the UK.
In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was joined by her partner Peter Murrell, as well as the SNP’s Glasgow East candidate David Linden, in voting at Broomhouse Community Hall in Uddingston, South Lanarkshire.
Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson and her partner Duncan Hames were also out early to vote at a school in Glasgow.
It comes as the polls have narrowed in the final week of what has largely been a tame campaign – with few gaffes and many stage-managed visits.
On Monday Mr Johnson came under fire for his alleged lack of empathy when he pocketed a journalist’s phone when asked to view a photograph of a four-year-old boy who was forced to sleep on a hospital floor.
The following day, however, Labour’s campaign was rocked when a member of the shadow cabinet was revealed to have poured scorn on Mr Corbyn’s election chances in a leaked recording.
A terror attack on London Bridge – which echoed a similar incident in the middle of the 2017 election – briefly disrupted the campaign, but quickly turned political as the father of one victim accused Boris Johnson of using it to score political points.
The third General Election in less than five years has been largely dominated by the 2016 vote to leave the European Union – with Labour pledging to give voters another say in a second referendum, while the Tories have vowed to take the UK out of the EU next month.
Voter turnout, however, could play a major role in the election outcome with rain, wind and chilly temperatures forecast for much of the country throughout Thursday. But some polling stations reported long queues despite the miserable weather.
In a final plea to voters on the eve of polling day, Mr Johnson warned that the election remained on a “knife edge”, but said it represented a chance to “end the gridlock”.
“Today is our chance to unite as a country and put the uncertainty to bed so people can get on with their lives,” he told supporters in east London.
“Just imagine how wonderful it will be to settle down to a turkey dinner this Christmas with Brexit decided – and how awful it would be if Corbyn and Sturgeon were in Downing Street advancing their plans for two more referendums.
“Let’s stop the chaos and stop the referendums. We can secure a majority Conservative government if we win just nine more seats.”
Mr Corbyn, meanwhile, stressed the “very profound” issues at stake in Thursday’s vote.
“We’re literally at a fork in the road,” he told the party faithful at a rally in north east London.
“So when the election comes tomorrow it is a very clear choice. You go down the road of Boris Johnson, a sweetheart deal with Donald Trump, we break off any serious relationship with Europe.
“Or you go down the Labour way, which is the adult, responsible way, of negotiating a settlement which we will all live by, and I will make sure is carried out in a future relationship with Europe.
“But we also go down the road of investing in our country, investing to end austerity and redistributing wealth and power in our society in a way that’s never been seen before.”
Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson said the polls showed it was still “absolutely possible” to deny the Tories an overall majority through tactical voting.
“We know from past elections that, very often, voters who vote tactically come to that conclusion in the final hours before they cast their vote,” she said.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, speaking in Doncaster, said he was hoping for “very, very heavy rain” in the town on Thursday, in the belief that it would depress the votes of the other parties.
“I know that people who are going to vote for us will turn out, because they absolutely believe in our message, they believe in their hearts as well as in their heads,” he said.