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As it happened: Cameron at 10 Downing again

David Cameron’s office says he is going to Buckingham Palace later on Friday to see Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: AP  

8.34 p.m (IST): Total seats: 650; Results declared: 650; Conservatives: 331; Labour: 232; Scottish National Party: 56; Liberal Democrats: 8; Democratic Unionist Party: 8; Others: 15.

8.21 p.m. (IST): All of Britain’s party leaders both victors and losers have lined up together in central London to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. Prime Minister David Cameron, who hours earlier declared his Conservatives were returning to power after winning a majority in the election, stood side by side with his rivals in front of London’s Cenotaph war monument. All leaders stood solemnly holding wreaths of red poppies and observed a moment’s silence in honour of the fallen in World War II.

8.17 p.m. (IST): A final tally of results from Britain’s election shows Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives winning a total of 331 of the House of Commons’ 650 seats. That puts them clearly ahead of Labour, their main rival, which won 232 seats. The Scottish National Party had 56, while the Liberal Democrats came in at just eight.

6:17 pm IST: Prime Minister David Cameron says he will form a majority Conservative government after securing a majority in the Britain’s general election.

Signalling a conciliatory tone after securing a majority, Cameron congratulates former coalition partner, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, and opposition leader Ed Miliband. He promises to govern as the party of “One nation, One United Kingdom.”

5:00 pm IST: Tories win 326 seats out of 650; Labour at 230

4:56 pm IST: Labour "will come back again" says Miliband

4:54 pm IST: 'Phir Ek Baar, Cameron Sarkar!' PM Modi tweets

4:00 pm IST: Nick Clegg resigns as leader of the Liberal Democrats

3:30 pm IST: Miliband tweets: "The responsibility for the result is mine alone"



  Seats Vote Share
  330 36.9%
  232 30.5%
  56 4.7%
  8 7.8%
  1 12.6%


3: 30 p.m IST: The tally is now: Conservatives 323, Labour 228; Seats needed 336

3 p.m IST: UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage loses bid for seat in Parliament

14:36 p.m. IST: The tally is now: Conservatives 321, Labour 228; Seats needed 336

1:53 p.m. IST: Miliband set to resign as Labour leader? That's what BBC says.





1:45 p.m. IST: Infosys founder Narayan Murthy's son-in-law Rishi Sunak, a Conservative candidate, wins from Richmond (Yorks)

1:45 p.m IST: Prime Minister David Cameron’s office says he is going to Buckingham Palace later on Friday to see Queen Elizabeth II.

1:27 p.m IST: Just 13 more seats and Conservatives will win a simple majority

12:55 p.m IST: In one of the most high-profile losses, Labour's Ed Balls has lost his seat by 422 votes.

12:44 p.m IST: Conservatives ahead at 36.4 %, Labour stands at 30 % at last count

12: 20 p.m IST: All seats in Scotland have been counted in the latest vote, Scottish National Party which captured 56 of the region’s 59 seats.

That was a gain of 50 seats over the previous term.

12:00 pm IST: At last count : Conservatives ahead at 271 & Labour 214.

11:56 am IST: Latest prediction from BBC: Conservative 329; Labour 233; SNP 56; LibDems 8; Plaid15 3; UKIP 2; Greens 1

11: 48 am IST: Conservatives win 266 seats out of 564 seats counted so far and Labour Party gets 214 seats.

11: 30 a.m. IST: Pound Sterling soars as results show Cameron nearing victory. Sterling gained 1.6 percent on the day to $1.5486 after rising as high as $1.5523, its highest since Feb. 26, pulling further away from a five-year low of $1.4567 plumbed in mid-April.

10:50 a.m. IST: Respect Party's George Galloway loses to Labour party's Nazeem Shah in Bradford West.

10:45 a.m. IST: A latest BBC projection gives UK Conservatives an effective majority.

10:21 a.m. IST: The U.K. Independence Party has won its first seat of the election, holding the eastern England constituency of Clacton.

10.15 a.m. IST: U.K. PM David Cameron wins in Witney by 35,201 votes. The Conservative leader says this is clearly very strong night for the party.

9.55 a.m. IST: Labour leader Ed Miliband holds on to his Doncaster North seat, says seen a surge of nationalism in Scotland that has overwhelmed us.





9.40 a.m. IST: Conservative Minister Esther McVey loses Wirral West to Labour.

9.30 a.m. IST: Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg retains Sheffield Hallam seat, says it is a 'cruel and punishing night' for Liberal Democrats.

9.20 a.m. IST: Lib Dems leader and Business Secretary Vince Cable loses Twickenham to Conservatives. Labour wins a seat in Scotland (Edinburgh South).

9.15 a.m. IST: SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, reflecting on her party’s sweeping triumph over Ed Miliband’s Labour Party, said Labour has been “losing the trust of the people of Scotland” for years. Sturgeon said the U.K. vote is a clarion call for an end to the austerity policies favored by the Conservatives.

9.00 a.m. IST: The U.K. Independence Party has won its first seat of the election, holding the eastern England constituency of Clacton. The result was expected Douglas Carswell was the town’s lawmaker as a Conservative and was re-elected when he defected to UKIP in 2014. London Mayor Boris Johnson wins in Uxbridge. Mr. Johnson will do both jobs until voters choose a new mayor in 2016.

8.00 a.m. IST: SNP wins all 35 seats declared in Scotland so far. It is now forecast to take almost all of Scotland’s 59 seats, most of them from Labour.



7.00 a.m. IST: SNP’s Mhairi Black, 20, becomes U.K.’s youngest MP. She defeats Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander. Alexander was the opposition Labour’s foreign policy spokesman. She is the country’s youngest lawmaker since Christopher Monck, who entered Parliament in 1667 at age 13.

6:00 a.m. IST The nondescript middle England town of Nuneaton is being hailed as the first dramatic landmark of Britain’s election night.

The constituency was a prime Labour Party target, but early Friday it was won by the Conservatives, a sign that exit-poll predictions of a big lead for the Conservatives were correct.

5:35 a.m. IST: The Scottish National Party seems headed for a groundbreaking performance, surging far ahead of the Labour Party in what had long been a Labour stronghold.

SNP party leader Nicola Sturgeon, however, is cautioning people not to be overly impressed by an exit poll showing the nationalists would win 58 of the 59 seats in Scotland. Prior to Thursday’s vote, her party had only six seats in the House of Commons.

In a tweet, Ms. Sturgeon said she would treat the prediction with “HUGE caution.” She said she hopes for a good night but believes winning 58 seats is unlikely.

The SNP’s apparent show of strength has come to a large degree at Labour’s expense and may make it easier for Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives to form the next government.

5:20 a.m. IST: Conservatives are hailing the U.K. exit poll that predicts their party will be the largest after the British general election, with 316 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons.

London Mayor Boris Johnson, who is running for a seat as a Conservative lawmaker, said if the poll on Thursday was right, “then obviously, it’s a very, very clear victory for the Conservatives and a very bad night for Labour”.

Former Education Minister Michael Gove said the exit poll amounts to “an unprecedented vote of confidence in David Cameron’s leadership.” He said it also showed support for the Conservatives’ message that it is the only party that can provide economic security.

4:35 a.m. IST: Results in Britain’s general election began trickling in within an hour of the polls closing. The first three seats of the night all went to the opposition Labour Party but that was expected and not a trend.

4:33 a.m. IST: Counting the votes in Britain’s election will take a matter of hours.

Assembling a government is likely to take far longer, even though an exit poll released late Thursday suggested Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party was doing better than expected

The poll predicts Cameron’s party will win 316 seats, short of an outright majority, but close to the magic number.

By Friday, the country will know how many seats each party has won in the House of Commons. If either the Conservatives or Labour has more than half the 650 seats, they can quickly form a government but that doesn’t seem likely.

The final opinion polls, and the exit poll, predict a “hung Parliament,” in which no party has an absolute majority, triggering a period of wrangling and uncertainty.

4:15 a.m. IST: The rise of the anti-European Union U.K. Independence Party has been one of the stories of this year’s British general election.

The party which advocates tight controls on immigration and withdrawing from the 28-nation EU had risen to run third after the Conservatives and Labour in pre-vote opinion polls, backed by voters in economically deprived areas.

But Britain’s electoral system does not allot seats on voting shares. So UKIP, whose vote is spread across the country, looked likely to come second in many local races but win few.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said he will quit if he does not win the seat he is contesting in the Thanet South constituency.

3:31 a.m. IST: The first seat declared is Broughton and Sunderland South with Labour winning a decisive victory with 21,218 votes for candidate Bridget Phillipson, beating UKIP into second place.

3:11 a.m. IST: If the exit poll in Britain’s election is borne out, the result will be a big disappointment for the opposition Labour Party, which had expected to better the 256 seats it had held before the election.

The exit poll predicts that Labour will get just 239 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons. It expects the ruling Conservatives to get the most seats 316 and possibly form the next British government.

Most observers felt Labour leader Ed MiIiband ran a solid campaign, but his party was all but wiped out in Scotland by the rise of the Scottish National Party, which favors independence for Scotland.

The Conservatives also campaigned hard on a message that Labour’s left-of-centre economic policies would mean instability for Britain.

2:51 a.m. IST: The exit poll in Britain’s election predicts the Scottish National Party will see an astonishing result taking all but one of Scotland’s 59 seats in the House of Commons.

The Scottish result, if true, is a disaster for the opposition Labour Party, which has long dominated politics in Scotland.

The exit poll predicts that Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives will be the biggest party after Britain’s general election on Thursday, taking 316 of the 650 seats in parliament. It could form the next British government.

2:30 a.m. IST: Exit poll predicts that the Conservative party will be the largest party in the U.K. The results of the poll shows Conservatives 316, Labour 239, Liberal Democrats 10, UKIP 2, SNP 58 and others 25.

The exit poll predicts the Conservatives will fall just short of a majority in the House of Commons gaining 316 seats to 239 for the opposition Labour Party.

If the surprise prediction is accurate, Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives look likely to form the next government, though they will not have a majority of the 650 seats in the House of Commons.

The survey was conducted by pollsters GfK and Ipsos MORI for Britain’s broadcasters and released as polls closed at 10 p.m. BST on Thursday (9 p.m. GMT, 2.30 a.m. IST, Friday).

The first results from constituencies around the United Kingdom are due before midnight.

1: 01 a.m IST, Friday: Watching British television on election day can be a bit puzzling, as if broadcasters are avoiding the subject that’s on everyone’s lips.

That’s because Britain has strict rules governing what broadcasters can show while the polls are open. There can be no coverage of the parties’ campaigns, no opinion polls, no reporting on how people have voted and nothing that could influence the result.

So the news channels fill most of their airtime with other stories, waiting for 10 p.m., GMT when polling stations close, an exit poll is released and non-stop speculation can rage until the results start coming in overnight.

11: 51 p.m. IST: In London, Britain’s election is a tale of two cities.

One of the city’s poorest communities, Whitechapel, is located next to one of its wealthiest areas, the financial district.

Voters on the two sides of the divide expressed very different priorities, and very different ideas as to which party should lead the next government — left-leaning Labour or the centre-right Conservatives.

Sagal Jama, a 20-year-old student from Whitechapel’s Somali community, says, “The priority is to help people from difficult backgrounds, and I think Labour does that.”

Nearby in the financial district, known as the City, 37-year-old investment adviser Alex Melville said he would vote for the party that allows him to pay as little tax as possible. The Conservatives have traditionally been seen as the low-tax party.

The growing gap between rich and poor in the capital, and the soaring coast of housing, are major issues in the race for London’s 73 seats.

11.29 p.m. (IST): In Scotland, people are turning out in force to cast their ballots in what some say is the most exciting election they remember.

In the city of Glasgow, 48-year-old Lesley Milne says everyone in her family and most of her friends are backing the separatist Scottish National Party, which has seen a huge surge in support since the Scottish independence referendum in September.

Ms. Milne says it’s time to shake up the politicians in London and the SNP are the people to do that.

But 54-year-old Carol Downie was less enthusiastic because Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has ruled out working with the Scottish nationalists. She says the nationalists won’t have any real influence in Westminster no matter how many seats they get in Scotland.

8.50 p.m. (IST): Forget actual politicians. Dogs are stealing the show on Election Day in the United Kingdom. The hashtag #DogsAtPollingStations is trending on Twitter in Britain, where users are posting fun photos of pups they took to or spotted at polling stops. It’s not just canines that have been providing a talking point on election day, when British broadcasters are banned from reporting on political news until polls close at 2100 GMT. At the polling station in Doncaster, northern England, where Labour leader Ed Miliband cast his vote, a local brought along a black lamb on a leash. Someone was even photographed riding a horse to a polling station.

8.15 p.m. (IST): Computer glitches have caused registration problems and disrupted voting for some in east London. Some voters tweeted that when they arrived at the polling station, they were told they were not registered and unable to vote. The BBC reported earlier that about 100 people in Hackney who had registered before the deadline were unable to vote because the computer system was overwhelmed.

7.10 p.m. (IST): Denmark’s prime minister has appeared at a British polling station, though she wasn’t voting. A video posted on YouTube showed the couple emerging from a polling station after Kinnock cast his vote. Asked how it felt to have a husband sitting in the parliament of another country, Thorning-Schmidt said she was happy for him because he worked hard campaigning. “I don’t know anyone who works as hard as Stephen,” she said. “Today I am simply proud.” Asked how they would celebrate his win, she said, “Let’s wait and see how things go today, but we will be very tense.”

Facebook users hit "I'm a Voter" button: Many in the United Kingdom have been using social media to spread the word that they’ve voted. Facebook said on Wednesday that for the first time in a British general election, users have access to the “I’m a Voter” button. More than 1.3 million people had used it as of Thursday morning. Facebook said it believes the feature can encourage voter turnout. The button has been used in past European elections and U.S. presidential elections.

5.25 p.m. (IST) About 50 million people are registered to vote in Britain’s general election, with a record-breaking half-million applications pouring in on the deadline. From March 1 to the April 20 deadline, more than 3 million people signed up, including 8,00,000 between the ages of 16 and 24. In Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, officials said a majority of people who applied to vote by mail had already returned their ballots. “We already have an 80 percent turnout for postal votes, which I think demonstrates the interest in the election,” said Sue Bruce, returning officer for Edinburgh.

5.17 p.m. (IST): Our Correspondent Parvathi Menon adds:

What about the top post for UK's National Bird? As the UK goes to the polls to elect 650 parliamentarians, another order of vote to high office is simultaneously under way. An online vote to select Britain's national bird from a shortlist has generated great enthusiasm, although it remains to be seen which of the feathered candidates will flutter to the top. The shortlist includes the robin, blackbird, wren, barn owl, swan and puffin.

5.10 p.m. (IST): Some of Britain’s leading actors and actresses are spending election day pretending to vote: Judi Dench, Catherine Tate of “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock” co—creator Mark Gatiss are among the cast of “The Vote,” which follows electors, candidates and officials at a London polling station.

James Graham’s stage play is set in the final 90 minutes before polls close at 10 p.m. Thursday’s final performance will air live on the More4 television channel, ending just as Parliament’s clock tower delivers its 10 o’clock bongs. Graham says it was surprisingly easy to convince some of Britain’s leading actors to commit to a live—TV event where a lot can go wrong. “These are all politically active artists,” he said, “and most election nights they sit at home like everyone else, with a wine watching the Swingometer” a results—measuring device that’s a staple of BBC election—night coverage.

5.05 p.m. (IST): UK'S Opposition Labour Party 1 point ahead of ruling Conservatives in ICM Opinion poll, election under way

4.55 p.m. (IST): Britain's ruling Conservatives and the opposition Labour Party were tied with support at 33 per cent each, according to a Populus opinion poll published on Thursday as voting was under way in a general election. Each of the main parties had fallen back by one percentage point since the previous poll, Populus said. Support for Liberal Democrats, junior coalition partners to the Conservatives, stood at 10 per cent, while the anti-European Union party UKIP was on 14 percent and the Greens on 5 percent.

4.53 p.m. (IST): Voters gathered in schools, halls, pubs, gyms and churches to make their voices heard all across this island nation of 64 million people. In the bright early—morning sunshine in London, voters cast ballots at a polling station close to Parliament as police stood guard. Signs of the unfolding political drama were all around. The squares opposite Parliament were packed with temporary outdoor television studios, while commuters picked up newspapers urging voters to the polls.

3.35 p.m. (IST): Several party leaders in Britain were out early at the polls to vote in the closest election in decades. Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha voted at a polling station at his constituency in Oxfordshire while opposition leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine swept past reporters as they voted in northern England. Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon also came out early in Glasgow. She’s not running for a place in the 650—seat Parliament, but her party is expected to win big in Scotland. That may help her become the kingmaker in deciding who runs the government.

2.05 p.m. (IST): In the bright early-morning sunshine, voters are gathering to cast ballots at a polling station close to Parliament as police stand guard. Signs of the unfolding political drama were all around. The squares opposite Parliament were packed with temporary outdoor television studios, while commuters picked up newspapers urging voters to the polls.

“It’s going to be important for Britain for the next five years,” said Gerry McQuillan, 61, an arts administrator voting Labour. “We’re coming out of economic austerity but we’ve got to get the right government for the next five years.”

Indian diapsora will play a crucial role: Britain’s political parties have fielded a large number of Indian-origin candidates in the general election to woo voters from the Indian diaspora in the UK which is set to play a crucial role in the polls. The last elections in 2010 had set a new record with eight Indian-origin candidates, including two women — ruling Conservatives’ Priti Patel and Opposition Labour’s Valerie Vaz — being elected to the British Parliament.

Seema Malhotra for Labour added to that women in politics presence when she went on to win a by—election in 2011. In the 2015 election, each of the major parties have pledged a larger presence of ethnic minority MPs within their fold in an attempt to attract a larger chunk of the ethnic minority vote.



Indians to look out for

Labour candidate from Ealing SouthallLabour candidate from Leicester East
Virender Sharma,
Priti Patel, Conservative candidate from Witham Seema Malhotra, Labour candidate for Feltham and Heston Rishi Sunak, Conservative candidate, Richmond (Yorks) Keith Vaz,

>Read more

Fact files

46 million voters
across 650 constituencies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Poll predictions

  • Conservative ( 35% )
  • Labour ( 34% )
  • Liberal Democrats ( 9% )
  • UKIP ( 12% )
  • Green party ( 5% )
  • Others ( 6% )
  • >Read more
  • » Did you know that 6,15,000 Indian-born voters could be voting in this UK election? They make up the biggest share of all foreign born voters.
  • >Read more
  • » The UK's voter's top 4 concerns are: the economy, health (especially future of NHS), immigration & asylum, and welfare benefits.
  • >Read more

Britain votes on May 7. Final results are out early on May 8.

Share of migrant voters in London

London has by far the largest migrant vote; some constituencies here have electorates with over 50% foreign-born .
(Hover-over constituency for more details)

Party stand on immigration

Conservative

  • Migrants to wait four years before they can claim benefits
  • Remove those that have failed to find work within six months
  • Bring net migration down to below 1,00,000 people a year
  • Renegotiate EU rules on free movement of workers

Labour

  • Stronger border controls with more entry-exit checks
  • Controls to stop low-skilled immigrants – top talent only
  • Migrants to wait two years before claiming benefits
  • Fines for employing illegal immigrants to be increased

UKIP

  • Migrants should only qualify for benefits if they have paid tax and National Insurance for five years
  • Migrants only entitled to permanent residence after 10 years
  • Cut net migration down to 50,000 people a year

Liberal Democrats

  • Universal credit for migrants only after working for six months
  • Benefits only to migrants working for equivalent of 35-hour week on minimum wage

SNP

  • Scotland's devolved government to have control over immigration
  • Look at ways to attract high-skilled immigrants

Green

  • Reduce immigration controls
  • Illegal migrants can stay in UK after five years
  • More legal rights for asylum seekers



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