UK election 2019 live updates: Boris Johnson's Conservatives win majority

The Conservatives have won an overwhelming majority in the UK's 2019 general election.

After five weeks of campaigning, Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced competition from Labour's Jeremy Corbyn for the country's top job.

Other parties in the mix were the Liberal Democrats, who gained a burst of support in mid-2019 with the election of Jo Swinson as leader, as well as Nigel Farage's Brexit Party.

Brexit was a major issue playing on voters' minds at the ballot, with the country meant to be leaving the European Union at the end of January.

What you need to know

  • Boris Johnson's Conservative Party have won a majority of seats in the House of Commons. He has been invited by the Queen to form a new Government.
  • Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party crashed and burned with its worse result in nearly 100 years. Corbyn held his seat but will resign as leader early next year.
  • The Liberal Democrats also underperformed, with leader Jo Swinson losing her seat. She has since resigned. 
  • The Scottish Nationalist Party nearly doubled its seat count, winning nearly every electorate in Scotland. Leader Nicola Sturgeon is now drafting a new blueprint for Scottish independence.

Seat tracker for major parties (326 are needed for a majority): 

Conservatives: 365

Labour: 203

Lib Dems: 11

SNP: 48

Other: 23

These live updates have finished.

8pm - That is it for our live updates. In summary, the Conservatives have won an outright majority, allowing Boris Johnson to remain as Prime Minister. He will visit the Queen and be invited to form a new Government.

7:09pm - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Boris Johnson on his victory.

"New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people," she said.

"I look forward to continuing to work with Prime Minister Johnson on a wide range of issues as he looks to progress Brexit. I have texted Prime Minister Johnson and offered him my congratulations."

6:47pm - Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has tweeted his congratulations to Boris Johnson.

6:39pm - Sky News projects the Conservatives will have a majority of 78-82 seats in the House of Commons.

6:33pm - Labour have reached 200 seats, doing slightly better than what exit polls suggested.

6:25pm - National leader Simon Bridges has congratulated Boris Johnson.

"Boris Johnson is a firm friend of New Zealand. He enjoyed discussing trade and other areas for greater cooperation with New Zealand when he visited here as Foreign Secretary in 2017," he said.

"Significant opportunities exist for our countries to do more together post-Brexit.

"I'm sure that once the United Kingdom is in a position to further cement these areas of greater cooperation, including a Free Trade Agreement, New Zealand will be at the front of the queue.

"My best wishes to Prime Minister Johnson and the UK Government, I look forward to the continued development of our countries' friendship and am excited to work with you in the future."

6:02pm - The Conservative Party have secured a majority, having won 326 seats so far.

5:58pm - Sky News reports that Boris Johnson has been seen arriving back at Downing Street.

5:44pm - The Conservative Party is only 25 seats away from securing a majority.

5:20pm - Sky News now forecasts that the Conservatives will win between 363 and 369 seats in the House of Commons.

They also forecast that Labour will have between 193 and 199 seats in the House of Commons.

5:14pm - The SNP continues to gain seats. Both Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown's old seat, and Glasgow North East have been claimed by SNP. Both seats were previously held by Labour.

5:11pm - President Donald Trump has tweeted about how the election is going.

5:03pm - Labour MP Laura Pidcock, tipped by some as a potential Jeremy Corbyn successor, has lost her North West Durham seat to the Tories.

4:59pm - Currently, 414 of 650 constituencies have been declared.

UK election 2019 live updates: Boris Johnson's Conservatives win majority
Photo credit: BBC

4:52pm - Speaking to Sky News UK, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland should have a choice over their own future in terms of the country's independence.

"[The public] want Scotland's future to be in Scotland's hands. There is now a mandate.

"[Boris Johnson] has no right to stand in the way of that choice... Scotland cannot be kept in the Westminster system against its will."

4:47pm - Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has lost her seat in East Dunbartonshire to SNP's Amy Callaghan. She was defeated by just 149 votes.

4:44pm - Speaking after his seat re-election, Johnson thanked his constituency for voting for him.

He says if he is "lucky enough" to be returned as Prime Minister, he looks forward to delivering Brexit to give the public.

"That gives us now, in this new government, a chance to respect the democratic will of the British people."

4:40pm - Boris Johnson has held his seat in Uxbridge and Ruislip South, receiving 25,351 votes.

4:30pm - The Tories have won Tony Blair's old Sedgefield seat.

4:27pm - Jeremy Corbyn says he will not lead Labour into another election. He says the pressure on people in the public life is high.

He thanked his family, especially his wife, for all she had to put up with, including the attacks from the media.

4:25pm - Jeremy Corbyn holds his seat in Islington North. He received 34,603 votes, ahead of the Lib Dem in second place on 8,415 - a majority of 26,188.

4:20pm - Sky News forecasts the Conservatives will win between 358 and 368 seats in the House of Commons, which would give the party a majority of between 66 and 86.

They also forecast that Labour will have between 192 and 202 seats in the House of Commons.

4:05pm - BBC political commentator Andrew Marr is at the count in Boris Johnson's seat, and said Labour are now conceeding that Johnson will win there.

3:45pm - The seat tracker has been updated with the latest results. The numbers have been coming in slower than expected, but Conservative-led Government looks all but certain.

3:10pm - From Reuters:

An exit poll has predicted Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservatives will win an outright majority in Thursday's election with a total of 368 seats.

If that is correct, here is what to expect from a majority Conservative government:

BREXIT BY JANUARY 31

Johnson has promised to bring back to parliament before Christmas the legislation required to ratify his exit deal with Brussels and ensure it is passed by the end of January.

All Conservative candidates have signed up to the deal, so it is expected to have a relatively smooth journey through parliament as opposition parties will not have the numbers to defeat it or make changes to it.

NO EXTENSION OF TRANSITION

After January 31 Britain will enter a transition period during which it will negotiate a new relationship with the EU27.

This can run until the end of December 2022 under the current rules, but the Conservatives made an election promise not to extend the transition period beyond the end of 2020.

If they fail to hammer out a new trade deal by the end of 2020, a deadline trade experts say is unrealistic, Britain could effectively be facing a disorderly no-deal Brexit again.

BUDGET IN FEBRUARY

The party has promised to hold a post-Brexit budget in February, boosting spending on domestic issues such as the health service, education and police.

IMMIGRATION

The Conservatives plan to introduce an "Australian-style" points-based immigration system. They have promised to reduce overall immigration numbers. In particular there will be fewer low-skilled migrants.

Under the new system, which will treat EU and non-EU citizens the same, most immigrants will need a job offer to come to Britain. There will be special visa schemes for migrants who will fill shortages in public services, or who are leaders in fields such as science and technology.

GOVERNMENT BORROWING

Finance minister Sajid Javid has said he will rewrite the country's fiscal rules so he can spend an extra 20 billion pounds per year over the next five years, raising borrowing for infrastructure to 3 percent of economic output from its current 1.8 percent.

TRADE

Johnson's party has said it wants to have 80 per cent of UK trade covered by free trade agreements within three years. It plans to prioritise agreeing deals with the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

3:05pm - The Prime Minister - who will likely be keeping his job - is on his way to his seat for its count. It was earlier reported he could lose it, but that seems unlikely when looking at the national result.

3pm - A lot of minor parties are now getting on the board, including from Plaid Cymru and the DUP.

2:55pm - There are now seats being declared every few seconds, so keep watch on the seat tracker above for the full results in case any individual seats are missed in these updates.

Two interesting updates is that the Alliance Party of Northern Island has its first seat and Labour has taken its first seat from the Conservatives at Putney.

2:40pm - The new Speaker of the House Lindsay Hoyle has been re-elected. While Hoyle is of the Labour Party, he stands impartially.

There have been a lot of other results as well.

2:30pm - The SNP officially have their first seat.

Darlington has changed hands from Labour to the Conservatives. Significantly, the Labour MP who lost was the party's shadow Brexit Minister.

2:25pm - Workington stays with the Tories as does Fyde and Kettering.

2:10pm - Piers Morgan says "Twitter loses yet another election".

2:05pm - South Shields is held by Labour. In Nuneaton, the Conservative Party holds.

1:55pm - Nigel Farage's Brexit Party looks like it has been shut out. However, it was only standing in seats not held by Conservatives.

He told ITV that the predicted result was better than the alternative but it doesn't get "Brexit done". 

"I think we're probably going to head into three years of pretty agonising negotiations. The bigger the Tory majority, of course, the less influence the ERG and euro-sceptics will have, so it will be called Brexit but it won't really be."

1:40pm - Keep an eye on the seat tracker above for the full results. We're expecting an influx of seat results soon, so it may be difficult to keep track of each individual result.

1:30pm - According to the Financial Times' Sebastian Payne, there is "sheer jubilation" in the Conservative Party HQ.

1:25pm - North Swindon is a Conservative Party hold. Middlesbrough is a Labour hold.

1:05pm - Newcastle Upon Tyne East is held by Labour, as is Sunderland Central. However, Labour candidates' majorities are far lower than in 2017.

Sources are telling British media that there will be a minor Cabinet reshuffle following the Conservatives' predicted win. A larger reshuffle will come after Brexit is passed through in January.

Labour also believes early results show the exit poll will be accurate. Past and present advisers and figures continue to critcise the party under Corbyn.

12:55pm - The Liberal Democrats' Christine Jardine in Scotland has rejected SNP's calls that the exit poll result shows independence is wanted.

"I am a Scot and British. I don't see our future anywhere else but in the United Kingdom."

12:35pm - As is typical after elections, there has been a large jump in Google searches in the UK for "move to New Zealand" and "Immigration New Zealand".

UK election 2019 live updates: Boris Johnson's Conservatives win majority

12:25pm - Newscastle upon Tyne Central stays with Labour's Chi Onwurah. This is the first official result.

For Houghton and Sunderland South, Labour's Bridget Phillipson holds the seat.

One big win for the Conservatives is in the north of England, where they have won Blyth Valley. It is the first time the Tories have won the seat since it was created in 1950.

12:20pm - We are still waiting for the first results. It is taking longer than usual for Newcastle and Sunderland to declare.

According to the BBC's tracker, there is a 95 percent chance Liberal Democrats' leader Jo Swinson will lose her seat to SNP.

12:15pm - Brexit and Corbyn are the two things Labour Party supporters and MPs are blaming for Labour's disastrous exit poll result.

12:10pm - Reports suggest that European Union figures are welcoming the results.

"He has flexibility now to negotiate a decent trade deal", one said according to Shona Murray of EuroNews.

11:55am - Conservative Minister Michael Gove is dismissing calls for Scottish independence following SNP's predicted landslide. The Tories have consistently said they would not support a second referendum.

"I don't believe that another independence referendum is inevitable, quite the opposite," Gove told ITV.

SNP politicians, however, are saying that Johnson can't ignore the support they appear to have.

The BBC is reporting senior SNP sources saying the result should force Johnson's hand.

11:45am - Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrat leader who has regularly praised Jacinda Ardern, could lose her seat, according to the Guardian. 

She would lose it to SNP. In 2015, she lost her seat before being returned to Parliament in 2017.

New Zealand National Party MP Judith Collins has tweeted her excitement with Friday's exit poll.

11:40am - The SNP's former Westminster leader, Angus Robertson, has told the BBC that if the exit poll is correct, then demands for Scottish independence are undeniable.

"Standing in the way, saying you can’t decide your own future, is for the birds."

However, whether that will be allowed is another question.

Robertson says Johnson won't be able to ignore that surge.

Humza Yousaf, a SNP politician, told Sky News that the poll showed a very good night. But he stressed it was an exit poll, not a result. Yousaf said it also relied on marginal seats going the SNP way.

11:35am - John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, told the BBC that, if this exit poll is correct, the result will be “extremely disappointing” for the party overall.

When asked if him and Jeremy Corbyn will have to stand down he said they will make the "appropriate decision" after the full results.

A Labour spokesperson has said: "It's only the very beginning of the night, and it’s too early to call the result."

11:30am - Boris Johnson has tweeted: "Thank you to everyone across our great country who voted, who volunteered, who stood as candidates. We live in the greatest democracy in the world."

Neither Corbyn or Swinson have tweeted.

11:20am - The key purpose of the election for Johnson was to gain a strong majority allowing him to push through his Brexit agenda. With the results shown in the exit poll, he would have no trouble doing that.

11:15am  - Labour's Barry Gardiner tells Sky News that if the result stands, it would be "devastating" for the party and its supporters.

11:10am - Looking at the exit poll results in comparison to the 2017 election results, the Conservatives would jump 51 seats, Labour down 71, SNP up 20, Liberal Democrats up 1, Plaid Symru down 1, Greens have no change.

John Bercow, the former British speaker, said this is a stratospheric result. Nearly as high as what Margaret Thatcher was able to achieve in the 80s.

Boris Johnson is being called the most successful Conservative Prime Minister since Thatcher by Sky News' Political Editor.

The result for SNP is also impressive. It would be an increase of 20 seats, showing strong support for Scottish independence. That second referendum is now likely - if Johnson gives permission.

11:05am - This would spell one of the worst results for Labour since the second World War.

The pound has immediately jumped on news of the exit poll.

Exit polls aren't 100 percent accurate, but they are normally very close to the final result.

11am - EXIT POLL: Conservative majority by 86 seats. 

The Conservatives: 368

Labour: 191

SNP: 55

Liberal Democrats: 13

Greens: 1

Brexit Party: 0

Others: 22

10:50am - As we await the first exit poll at 11am, The Sun's Tom Newton Dunn says he has heard there is a 50-50 chance of a hung Parliament or a small Conservative majority.

10:40am - This tweet summarises the final polls suggesting a Conservative victory.

10:20am - Fun fact: As previously said, Newcastle and Sunderland seats battle it out to be the first to declare results. Sunderland has made their ballot paper thinner to make it easier for those checking the votes to get through each piece quicker.

10:10am - With under an hour to go until booths close and the first exit poll comes out, Johnson is at 10 Downing St and it's understood Corbyn is out for dinner in London.

10:05am - One of the party social media posts causing a stir is this one from the Conservative Party. "Make no mistake," the post says, with a mistake clearly in the image. It's likely a deliberate move to create chatter and therefore get the Conservatives in the headlines.

9:45am - A reminder about the key timings:

The major exit poll will be released at 11am (NZT) when the polls close. This has been fairly accurate in recent years. 

At 12pm, we should begin to get the first results. Sunderland and Newcastle seats try to beat each other to be the first seat to declare. Labour often does well at the start of the results, so watch for that but don't expect it to reveal anything about the final result.

About 100 seats should have declared by 3pm. By this stage, the final result should become somewhat clear, especially if a large majority is expected.

Between 3pm and 4pm, the major seats will declare. These are the ones with household names and which are vulnerable for incumbents. Johnson's seat will be declared at about 5:30pm.

It's hard to tell what happens from this point. If there is a clear majority, the party's leader will likely prepare to visit Buckingham Palace and begin to write their speech to give at Downing St. This normally happens at about 9pm (NZT).

If no clear majority is expected, the results later in the evening will be more important. It could be that no party wins a majority and then coalition negotiations will need to begin. As Kiwis will know, this can go on for days, if not weeks.

9:40am - There have been reports of another ballot mix-up. The BBC reports that 48 people were given the wrong papers in Liverpool. They will have to vote again, but must first be contacted by the local council to make them aware of the mistake. 

9:35am - Newshub Europe correspondent Lloyd Burr spoke to The AM Show earlier about the election. He believes it could be tighter than expected.

Watch the video above.

9:25am - A New Zealander living in the UK says it's important to vote even if you don't plan to stay there long term

Finbar Knight told Newshub there's no reason not to.

"You live in this country, you are paying taxes, you are using the system, those things have an impact on you and your daily life."

9:10am - On the back of reports that Johnson could be struggling in his own seat, the Prime Minister has tweeted that he is out campaigning there.

9:05am - One of the key issues for the Labour Party throughout the election campaign has been accusations of anti-Semitism against some of its MPs. While the party and Corbyn is adamant it has been handled, others feel differently.

9am - Here is a selection of some of the British newspapers' front pages on election day.

8:50am - There have been issues at some polling booths around the country. The student union at the Southampton University says 76 people have been turned away.

"It was a shock this morning when I went to vote and was told I couldn't. I had my polling card come through so I knew I could, but the people at the station showed me the list and it said 'details deleted'," the union's vice-president of Education and Democracy, Jo Lisney said.

In Cardiff at the Liberty Bridge student area, as many as 200 people are being told their voting registrations haven't been completed due to incomplete addresses.

8:30am - There are early reports from Conservative Party sources that Prime Minister Boris Johnson could be in trouble in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat.

Candidates have to win their seats in the UK to get into Parliament.

Johnson had a 5000 vote majority in the 2017 election, but didn't vote in the seat on Friday, instead choosing a booth closer to 10 Downing St.

Labour's candidate in the seat is Ali Milani, a 26-year-old who moved to the UK from Iran at the age of five. He was critcised in 2017 for anti-Semitic tweets, but has since apologised.

Uxbridge and South Ruislip is considered a vulnerable seat for the Conservative Party.

8:20am - Confused about the election and who is standing in it? Here are two guides:

Explained: UK's December 2019 election

UK election 2019: The key party leaders

8:10am - This year's election is the first to be held in December in nearly a century. It's a wet day in the UK, with many Londoners having to brave the rain on the way to polling booths. 

Healthcare worker Charlotte Alexander told Reuters she would normally support the local Conservative candidate, "but it's too toxic to vote for a national campaign where all the moderate people who perhaps think more like me have been expunged".

Alexander voted for the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats, describing the nation's choice between the two main parties - Johnson's Conservatives and the opposition Labour party - as "a choice between far-right and far-left".

"I'm a Remainer but I'm resigned to Brexit," said another woman, who gave her name as Louise. She said she had cast her ballot for the Conservatives.

"It can only cause further confusion and paralysis if we go on as we are so I
don't want a hung parliament," she said.

7:45am - Susan Kearton is a Kiwi who has lived in the UK since 1989. She wants the Tories gone.

She says voting as a Kiwi is a important as a lot is going on around the country that is "very negative" and needs to be sorted out.

One aspect of the election important to her is the UK's healthcare system.

"I had breast cancer and the help I had from the NHS was very important. I had amazing healthcare, but it is slowly going downhill."

Kearton said nurses are being discouraged by the cuts made by the Conservative Party.

"It can't continue as it is."

The Kiwi said it would be appalling if Johnson is re-elected and she would consider moving back to New Zealand.

Kearton said on the whole Corbyn was a decent man, looking out for people who need help. 

"I think he has been put down a lot, a lot of lies told about him."

7:30am - While the politicians wait for results, many are trying to outdo each other on social media.

7:20am - Newshub's Europe correspondent Lloyd Burr spoke to two Kiwis who have voted in the UK. Nadine Kortegast said it was important to vote as she would be living in the country for the next five year.

"It is important for us to exercise our ability to have an opinion about what is happening and who is making decisions."

Kiwi Lachlan Lepper believes Brexit is overshadowing the political process and influencing how people are voting. He said the process is "dysfunctional" at the moment.

Lepper said neither Johnson nor Corbyn were inspiring and it was "choosing the better of two evils". He believes there will be a hung parliament.

Kortegast said the choice was easy for her. She said she felt really strongly on two particular matters and voted along those lines.

Both believe people, including Kiwis and those from the EU, living in the UK long term should be allowed to vote.

7am - Many voters are sharing photos of them at polling stations with their dogs.

6:45am - Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been to the voting boxes - presumably to vote for The Conservatives. He voted with his dog Dilyn. 

Labour's Jeremy Corbyn voted in north London, while SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon went to Glasgow to cast her ballot. Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson voted in East Sunbartonshire along with her husban.

Nigel Farage earlier voted via the post.

Boris Johnson voting.
Boris Johnson voting. Photo credit: Getty.
Jeremy Corbyn has voted.
Jeremy Corbyn has voted. Photo credit: Reuters.

6:30am - The first results are expected after 11am (NZT). Polls close at this time in the UK and the first constituencies normally report within about 30 minutes to an hour. British media are currently in a blackout, where they can't report on the election until 11am - this is similar to what happens in New Zealand on election day.

There should be an exit poll released at 11am as well.

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