Instead of a hung Parliament, which most people had predicted, the Conservatives ended up winning a slim majority. With 331 seats under their belt, they have a majority of five, if you take the view that 326 seats constitutes a majority (650 divided by 2, plus 1), or a majority of ten when you take into account the speaker and Sinn Fein, who won four seats and will refuse to take them. But what happened in the 50 marginal seats that 50for15 has been following? It’s a very mixed picture:
The BBC exit polls had suggested Plaid Cymru might win a fourth seat. However, despite strong performances in Ynys Mon and Ceredigion, Plaid remained on its current tally of three. In Arfon their share of the vote went up by 8%, putting them 3,668 votes ahead of Labour.
Argyll and Bute saw a slight increase in the number of votes for Lib Dem incumbent Alan Reid, but not enough to save him from the SNP, who moved from (an already strong) fourth place to first. The Labour vote halved and the Conservatives also saw a decrease in the number of votes for them.
A close battle between Labour and the Liberal Democrats in 2010, Ashfield saw Labour’s Gloria De Piero returned as MP. There was a dramatic rise in support for UKIP, who nearly beat the Conservatives into second place. The Liberal Democrat vote was reduced from 16,047 to 7,030.
Long-standing Labour MP Gisela Stuart increased her lead over the Conservatives in this election. The Liberal Democrats moved from third place to fifth, behind UKIP and the Greens.
Chris Green took the extremely marginal Bolton West off Labour’s Julie Hilling for the Conservatives. UKIP moved into third place ahead of the Lib Dems.
Labour took a significant lead over the Lib Dems in Bradford East. UKIP, despite not fielding a candidate in 2010, came a close fourth after the Conservatives, who saw their support halve.
One of few resounding victories for Labour.
One of various victories for Labour against the Conservatives in Greater London: others included Ealing Central and Acton, Ilford North, Enfield North. Labour’s Ruth Cadbury took the constituency off Conservative Mary Macleod by a margin of just 465 votes.
The Greens didn’t increase their share of seats, but they avoided the nightmare situation of losing Caroline Lucas in Brighton. They now have a 7,967 majority over Labour.
Despite winning in 2010 with a majority of over 11,000, Lib Dem incumbent Stephen Williams came third behind Labour the and Greens. The number of people voting for the latter increased by an astonishing 15,000.
Anna Soubry (Con) converted her margin from 389 to 4,287 against Nick Palmer (Lab).
The closest Lib Dem-Con marginal in 2010 saw the Liberal Democrats move into fourth place after Labour and UKIP.
We predicted it would be a disastrous night for Labour if they didn’t win here. They didn’t, and it was.
The Conservatives increased their margin over Labour from 853 to 2,774. The Lib Dem vote was a sixth of what it was in 2010.
Labour would have needed to win seats like Cleethorpes to form a majority. However, Martin Vickers, the incumbent Conservative, increased his majority to more than 7,000.
Labour had narrowly clung on to Derby North in 2010. Yesterday the Conservatives won it back for the first time since 1992 by a margin of 41 votes.
Like everywhere else in Kent, Dover and Deal continues to be held by the Conservatives.
This may have been the closest Labour-SNP marginal in 2010, but Stewart Hosie, now deputy leader of his party, has a very comfortable lead of nearly 20,000 over Labour.
Ian Murray was returned as Scotland’s only Labour MP – he actually increased his majority at this election, although this time the SNP came second instead of the Lib Dems, who crashed down to fifth place.
Vernon Coaker (Lab) managed to increase his majority against the Conservatives from 1,859 to 2,986.
There had been plenty of speculation that Grimsby would turn purple, or at least nearly purple. As it turned out, Labour had a lead of nearly 5,000 over the Conservatives and UKIP, between whom there only a few hundred votes.
What had once seemed like a three-horse race ended up with the Conservatives considerably ahead of Labour and UKIP. Labour also ended up with a lead of over 2,000 against UKIP.
Labour’s Tulip Siddiq took Hampstead and Kilburn with a margin of 1,138 votes against her Conservative rival Simon Marcus. The Lib Dems, who almost took the seat in 2010, were relegated to a distant third place.
Labour needed to overturn a majority of just 106 to win this seat. The Conservatives instead increased theirs to nearly 4,000.
A Labour-Lib Dem marginal in 2010, Hull North saw UKIP move into second place ahead of the Conservatives and the Lib Dems. However, Labour significantly introduced their majority.
“Failure to win here would mean a disastrous night for Labour,” we predicted. All the same, Labour actually won this one.
The Conservatives slightly increased their majority over Labour here from 1,058 to 1,443. UKIP overtook the Lib Dems.
A Lib Dem-Conservative marginal in 2010, Mid Dorset and North Poole saw the Conservatives win with more than 50% of the vote and a majority of more than 10,000 over their former coalition partners.
Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor, lost his seat to the Conservatives by a few hundred votes. Cf Paisley and Renfrewshire South, where Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander lost to the SNP, and East Renfrewshire, where Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy also lost to the SNP.
Like other Conservative-Lib Dem marginals, Newton Abbot saw the Lib Dem vote collapse, and everyone else’s increase slightly.
The Conservatives successfully defended a minuscule majority of 54 against Labour.
Another Con-Lab marginal in which support for the Conservatives increased: from 1,936 to 3,245.
The BBC exit poll had suggested the Greens would win here. However, their support seems to have stalled. Labour retook the seat, and the Lib Dems, who held it from 2010 to 2015, managed to avoid coming fifth after UKIP.
The Conservatives’ Nicola Blackwood converted her narrow majority in 2010 against the Liberal Democrats to one of almost 10,000.
The Conservative majority over Labour was reduced from 1,149 to 523. Student Libby Brown, the Green candidate, saw her votes increase from her predecessor’s 904 to 3,401.
UKIP moved into second place behind Labour. The Lib Dems, who won the seat as recently as 2005, came in at fourth.
Nick Clegg managed to hang on in the neighbouring constituency of Sheffield Hallam, but in Central the Lib Dems, who almost won here in 2010, came fourth. The Greens share of the vote increased to nearly 16%, which put them at second place.
The Conservatives took back this seat from the Lib Dems, who won it off them in 2005. Unlike seats such as Camborne and Redruth (vs Con) or Sheffield Central (vs Lab), the Lib Dems still managed to come in at second place. UKIP beat Labour into third place.
The Conservatives’ Jacob Rees-Mogg increased his majority over Labour from 4,914 to 12,749.
Nigel Farage failed to become the MP for South Thanet, and has since stood down as leader of UKIP. All parties apart from the Greens and UKIP saw a fall in votes.
Labour lost Southampton Itchen, which it had held since 1992. With the Conservatives also taking Lib Dem-held Eastleigh, Southampton Test is now the only non-Conservative seat in Hampshire.
The Conservatives’ James Wharton increased his slim majority of 332 in 2010 to more than 5,000.
The Conservatives’ Neil Carmichael increased his majority of 1,299 in 2010 to nearly 5,000.
Of the four Lib Dem-Con marginals in south-west Greater London, the Lib Dems held on to just one – Carshalton and Wallington. Like Vince Cable’s Twickenham seat and Ed Davey’s Kingston and Surbiton seat, Lib Dem Paul Burstow was overtaken by his Conservative rival, Paul Scully.
A Lab-Lib Dem marginal in 2010, Swansea West saw the Liberal Democrats move from second to fourth place. Geraint Davies’ majority increased from 504 to over 7,000.
Many had assumed UKIP would win Thurrock, but in they end, they came a close third to the Conservatives and Labour.
Labour’s David Winnick may be 82 years old, but he still managed to increase his majority against the Conservatives from 990 to 1,937.
A three-way marginal in 2010, Watford saw the Conservatives win a majority of nearly 10,000. Lib Dem candidate Dorothy Thornhill, who is also Mayor of Watford, moved from second to third place.
Wells returned decisively to the Conservatives, despite an election campaign from Lib Dem Tessa Munt that emphasised herself rather than her party.
Labour’s Alison McGovern increased her lead over the Conservatives from 531 to nearly 5,000. In neighbouring Wirral West, the Conservatives’ Minister for Employment, Esther McVey, was voted out in favour of Labour by a few hundred votes.
Photo by Pete via Flickr.