Exit poll points to hung parliament

Conservatives 19 seats short of a majority, exit poll suggests.

The first (and only) exit poll has just been published and it has the Conservatives on 309 seats, Labour on 255 and the Liberal Democrats on 59. That result would leave the Tories 19 seats short of a majority.

The big shock here is the Lib Dem score. According to the poll, they will win three less seats than in 2005. Vince Cable has suggested that the non-inclusion of postal votes may explain the dismal Lib Dem total. That may be right, a lot of postal votes were cast before the Lib Dem bubble burst. But Labour is inevitably relieved that there now seems little chance of Nick Clegg's party pushing them into third place.

Exit polls have been wrong before, most notably in 1992, but it's worth remembering that at the last election the Labour majority forecast by the poll (66 seats) was spot on. That Lib Dem total does make one sceptical though.



George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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New Digital Editor: Serena Kutchinsky

The New Statesman appoints Serena Kutchinsky as Digital Editor.

Serena Kutchinsky is to join the New Statesman as digital editor in September. She will lead the expansion of the New Statesman across a variety of digital platforms.

Serena has over a decade of experience working in digital media and is currently the digital editor of Newsweek Europe. Since she joined the title, traffic to the website has increased by almost 250 per cent. Previously, Serena was the digital editor of Prospect magazine and also the assistant digital editor of the Sunday Times - part of the team which launched the Sunday Times website and tablet editions.

Jason Cowley, New Statesman editor, said: “Serena joins us at a great time for the New Statesman, and, building on the excellent work of recent years, she has just the skills and experience we need to help lead the next stage of our expansion as a print-digital hybrid.”

Serena Kutchinsky said: “I am delighted to be joining the New Statesman team and to have the opportunity to drive forward its digital strategy. The website is already established as the home of free-thinking journalism online in the UK and I look forward to leading our expansion and growing the global readership of this historic title.

In June, the New Statesman website recorded record traffic figures when more than four million unique users read more than 27 million pages. The circulation of the weekly magazine is growing steadily and now stands at 33,400, the highest it has been since the early 1980s.