Elections 5 May 2016 The New Statesman 2016 local and devolved elections liveblog Results and analysis from elections across the United Kingdom. Getty Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up Welcome to the New Statesman's elections liveblog. Results will be coming in from the devolved legislatures in Scotland and Wales, local elections in England, and the mayoral contests in London, Salford, Bristol and Liverpool. Hit refresh for updates! 17:13: And that's all folks. Labour have won - though it's not official yet - in London, and are home and dry in Salford and Liverpool. Across England and Wales, with 112 out of 124 councils declared, Labour have become the first opposition to lose council seats in midterm since 1985 - they are down 24 seats, and have won 1179 in total. The Conservatives are also down, by 26, and have won 675 seats. The Liberal Democrats have enjoyed a mini-renaissance, picking up an extra 30 seats, taking them to 297 on the night. Ukip have picked up 26 seats, taking them to 55 on the night. In addition, the Liberal Democrats have regained third place from Ukip. In Wales, with 60 seats out of 60 declared, Labour are down 1 to 29 seats - two seats short of a majority. In second place are Plaid Cymru, up one to to 12. In third place are the Conservatives, down three to 11. Ukip have entered the Welsh Assembly for the first time with seven seats. The Liberal Democrats have been the biggest losers, down to just one seat having lost four. In Scotland, with 129 out of 129 seats declared, the SNP have 63 seats - down 4, and two short of a majority. In second place are the Conservatives, with 31 seats, up 16. In third place are Labour with 24 seats, down 13. The Greens have picked up four seats and now have six in total. The Liberal Democrats have held steady at five seats in total. The SNP will govern alone as a minority administration. In reality they will be quite comfortable as there are view issues capable of uniting the Conservatives, Labour, the Greens and Liberal Democrats against them. Thanks for all your emails and tweets - see you again in May 2017. 16:51: For those of you just joining us. In Scotland, with 129 out of 129 seats declared, the SNP have 63 seats - down 4, and two short of a majority. In second place are the Conservatives, with 31 seats, up 16. In third place are Labour with 24 seats, down 13. The Greens have picked up four seats and now have six in total. The Liberal Democrats have held steady at five seats in total. The SNP will govern alone as a minority administration. In reality they will be quite comfortable as there are view issues capable of uniting the Conservatives, Labour, the Greens and Liberal Democrats against them. In Wales, with 60 seats out of 60 declared, Labour are down 1 to 29 seats - two seats short of a majority. In second place are Plaid Cymru, up one to to 12. In third place are the Conservatives, down three to 11. Ukip have entered the Welsh Assembly for the first time with seven seats. The Liberal Democrats have been the biggest losers, down to just one seat having lost four. Labour has won the mayoral races in Salford, Liverpool and London. Labour are optimistic that they will complete the set and take Bristol as well. Across England and Wales, with 112 out of 124 councils declared, Labour have become the first opposition to lose council seats in midterm since 1985 - they are down 24 seats, and have won 1179 in total. The Conservatives are also down, by 26, and have won 675 seats. The Liberal Democrats have enjoyed a mini-renaissance, picking up an extra 30 seats, taking them to 297 on the night. Ukip have picked up 26 seats, taking them to 55 on the night. In addition, the Liberal Democrats have regained third place from Ukip. 16:46: But the damage Livingstone has done to Labour is far outweighed in the capital by what Goldsmith's campaign has done to the Tories. Onkar Sahota has increased his majority in Ealing and Hillingdon - affluent ethnic minority voters who preferred the Tories in 2015 are voting for Labour in 2016. Insiders on both sides are blaming the Goldsmith message. 16:43: While the Livingstone effect hasn't done Labour enough harm in Barnet and Camden, it has cost them a seat in Havering and Redbridge. Labour organisers blame the narrow defeat on underperforming among the seat's Jewish voters. 16:40: Labour's Andrew Dismore has won and won well in Barnet and Camden. So well that the earlier counting irregularities, while embarrassing for Barnet Council, won't have changed the results. 16:31: The Cannabis is Safer Than Alcohol party (Cista) has defeated the BNP. London: love reefers, hates racism. 16:26: For those of you just joining us. In Scotland, with 129 out of 129 seats declared, the SNP have 63 seats - down 4, and two short of a majority. In second place are the Conservatives, with 31 seats, up 16. In third place are Labour with 24 seats, down 13. The Greens have picked up four seats and now have six in total. The Liberal Democrats have held steady at five seats in total. The SNP will govern alone as a minority administration. In reality they will be quite comfortable as there are view issues capable of uniting the Conservatives, Labour, the Greens and Liberal Democrats against them. In Wales, with 60 seats out of 60 declared, Labour are down 1 to 29 seats - two seats short of a majority. In second place are Plaid Cymru, up one to to 12. In third place are the Conservatives, down three to 11. Ukip have entered the Welsh Assembly for the first time with seven seats. The Liberal Democrats have been the biggest losers, down to just one seat having lost four. Labour has won the mayoral races in Salford, Liverpool and London. Labour are optimistic that they will complete the set and take Bristol as well. Across England and Wales, with 112 out of 124 councils declared, Labour have become the first opposition to lose council seats in midterm since 1985 - they are down 24 seats, and have won 1179 in total. The Conservatives are also down, by 26, and have won 675 seats. The Liberal Democrats have enjoyed a mini-renaissance, picking up an extra 30 seats, taking them to 297 on the night. Ukip have picked up 26 seats, taking them to 55 on the night. In addition, the Liberal Democrats have regained third place from Ukip. 16:13: With 96 per cent of votes verified, Sadiq Khan leads Goldsmith by 44 per cent to 35 per cent. He'll require a second round to beat him but it's all-but-certain that he will be London's next mayor. 16:11: A quantum of solace for Zac Goldsmith - he'll live forever as the natural end point for a book about race in British politics that begins either with the Smethwick by-election (the famous "If you want a nigger for a neighbour vote Labour" leaflets was used there, and successfully). 16:05: The boss' verdict on London. Looks set to be a great victory in London for @SadiqKhan. All the smears against him have only left Team Goldsmith covered in dirt. — Jason Cowley (@JasonCowleyNS) May 6, 2016 Peter Kellner, now of YouGov, formerly pol ed of this magazine, has called it for Sadiq, along with this liveblog, CityMetric, and both parties. 16:00: The Conservatives haven't just lost in London - they sent their performances among the city's more affluent Hindu voters into reverse, it appears. The Liberal Democrats look certain to seize third place from Ukip. 15:52: Predictions audit. At the start of the year I wrote this about the race for London: I expect Sadiq Khan to end Labour’s losing run in May; Zac Goldsmith is, in my view, a somewhat overrated politician who has none of the Boris magic. I think most Londoners want a king as much as a mayor, someone who speaks to their sense that the capital is the best place to live on earth – which is why Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson are so successful. Goldsmith doesn’t quite have that, and he doesn’t have the symbolic potency of Khan’s candidacy either. But I also wrote this about Scotland: "The SNP will continue their dominance of Scottish politics, but Labour won’t come third" So, win some, lose some. 15:48: The definitive verdict on why Zac Goldsmith has lost and lost badly in London. A senior Tory tells me Zac campaign failed because it blew “a dog whistle in a city where there’s no dog”. — Martin Hoscik (@MartinHoscik) May 6, 2016 15:46: Is this the worst way to present live results in the history of political journalism? These are the results that have been verified so far - but why are they using that dotted line? It makes it look like Goldsmith has won. 15:45: Apologies. That CityMetric link didn't work. You can read the piece here. 15:33: The Liberal Democrats have increased their majority in Watford Council while the Conservatives have been wiped out entirely. 15:25: Brilliantly cruel post from our comrades-in-arms over at CityMetric: what will Zac Goldsmith do now he's not going to be Mayor? 15:24: My hope is that Labour's victory will encourage them to endorse my campaign for Hackney to invest in a squadron of hawks to tackle the block's pigeon problem. 15:21: My own home of Stoke Newington had a council by-election on Thursday, and Labour have bossed it, with Patrick Moûle winning 3241 votes - almost three times the Greens, who are second with 1132. 15:18: The Liberal Democrats have gained two seats in Sheffield. Ukip, meanwhile, look likely to finish up having lost seats in Rotherham. 15:15: Labour's Paul Dennett has won in Salford. If Bristol goes Labour, the party will have won every single mayoral contest up for grabs in the United Kingdom. 15:10: Sneaky. The Conservatives have U-Turned on their plans to force academisation, on a day when election results will largely keep it out of the headlines. 15:04: In Wales, Labour have pulled off an astonishing result and have held onto 29 of their 30 seats, but Cabinet minister Leighton Andrews has lost his seat to Leanne Wood by a heavy margin. They will continue to govern as a minority administration. In Scotland, Labour finished third to the Conservatives. The SNP have lost their majority but will govern alone - like Welsh Labour, they are so far ahead of their rivals they should find minority government fairly easy. 15:00: For those of you just joining us. In London, Sadiq Khan is on course to defeat Zac Goldsmith by a huge margin. The only contest left there is the marginal of Barnet and Camden, where Labour's sitting Assembly member, Andrew Dismore, is facing a strong Conservative challenge. (Livingstone's remarks last week have hurt him there, believe Labour staffers. 14:48: Sorry for period of silence. Have been catching up on some sleep. While that happened, Sadiq Khan has roared into a big lead in London - they're still counting but if this were America they'd have called it for him by now. It would take a sudden conversion to Conservatism by the people of Lib-Lab Haringey for Goldsmith to win from here. In Watford, the Liberal Democrats have increased their majority - and nationwide, they are projected to beat Ukip to third place. 12.55: David Cameron has commented that these results show that Labour has “completely lost touch” with the public. He said: “The Labour party have completely lost touch with the hardworking people they are supposed to represent. They are so obsessed with their left wing causes, and unworkable economic policies that they forgot that people want jobs, people want livelihoods, people want lower taxes, people want homes they can live in and afford to own. Where we our a united mainstream, one nation, compassionate Conservative party we can win, we can serve our country and our communities.” 12:36 Professor Nicola McEwen from the Centre on Constitutional Change at Edinburgh University has an interesting take on what the election results say about the state of the independence debate in Scotland: "The result confirms the polarisation of political debate on either side of the constitutional question. The Conservatives clearly gained from presenting themselves as the defenders of the Union. But these short-term gains may create long-term challenges in trying to appeal to the breadth of opinion who voted No in the independence referendum" 12:03 The final results from Wales are through. They confirm that Labour is just shy of a majority, with 29 seats (they're only down one seat). Ukip secured seven seats from zero, bringing Tory defectors Neil Hamilton and Mark Reckless back into politics. Plaid Cymru beat the Tories to second place by just one seat. Labour should be able to govern as a minority in the Assembly without doing deals with other parties - a better result than expected. 11:22 Corbyn has hailed "a fantastic result" for Labour. Speaking in Sheffield, he said: “All across England we were getting predictions that Labour was going to lose councils. We didn’t. We hung on and we grew support in a lot of places.” 10:35 Jeremy Corbyn has defended Labour's performance in Scotland by pointing out that the Conservatives were strong in the country before the rise of Scottish Labour: Jeremy Corbyn reminds me that the Tories were the biggest party in Scotland before Labour ever were... — Carl Dinnen (@carldinnen) May 6, 2016 10:00 David Cameron has congratulated Ruth Davidson on Twitter: Congratulations to @Ruth_E_Davidson on this historic result: she is a leader who will stand up to the SNP & give Scotland strong opposition. — David Cameron (@David_Cameron) May 6, 2016 There is already speculation that Ruth Davidson could come to Westminster and challenge for the Tory leadership. She has repeatedly said that she has no ambitions to come south, but there are a few things in favour of her doing so: she's from the Borders, arguably the least Scottish (and therefore most Tory) bit of Scotland; she's clearly projecting a personailty that connects with voters; and she has no Boris-style toxic baggage to overcome. Perhaps it's indicative, then, that unlike David Cameron, the Chancellor, who would be one of her main rivals for the leadership, chose not to congratulate her by name. Huge thanks to hardworking Conservative councillors and candidates: what an achievement to be winning seats after six years in power — George Osborne (@George_Osborne) May 6, 2016 09:40 Our political editor George Eaton has written about the Scottish Tories’ political transformation: Scottish politics has been realigned. The defining divide is no longer between left and right but between unionist and nationalist. With the SNP as the only major pro-independence party, the Tories, led by the pugnacious Ruth Davidson, framed themselves as the pro-UK alternative - and prospered. 09:25 The list results from Mid and West Wales are in, and Neil Hamilton has been elected as a Welsh Assembly member, marking his return to mainstream politics after his disgraced exit in 1997. Ukip got 25,042 votes in the region. In his acceptance speech, he said his priority would be to "free Britain from the shackles of the European Union". 09:00 The Scottish Conservatives have won another four seats in the North East Scotland regional list – an astonishing total. That puts the final total as follows: SNP: 63 (-6) Conservatives: 31 (+16) Labour: 24 (-13) Green: 6 (+4) Liberal Democrats: 5 (-) This means two things: the SNP do indeed fall short of an overall majority (by two seats), meaning Nicola Sturgeon will have to do some kind of deal with another party; and that the Conservatives are official the second party in Holyrood, beating Labour into third place. 08:40 Tom Watson has been talking to the Today programme: “MPs are very important leaders within the Labour party, but our members lead the Labour party now. The one thing Jeremy and I agree on very strongly is that we want a member-led party. He was elected with a very strong mandate only eight months ago.” Maybe I'm reading too much into this because I'm quite tired, but is there really only “one thing” the leader and deputy leader of the Labour party agree on? He also spoke about Labour’s dismal night in Scotland, and talked about a commitment to further devolution as a way of reversing the electoral trend north of the border: “Scottish voters want to see that the UK Labour party has learned the lesson of the Scottish referendum. So what we do on English devolution is important. We need to make sure we are committed to driving power out of Westminster.” 08:20 Caroline here, as Stephen has gone home to murmur his modified lyrics for “American Pie” in his sleep for a bit. We've got confirmation of who Ukip’s four Welsh Assembly members are so far: Nathan Gill MEP, Michelle Brown, chair of Ukip Wales David Rowlands and former Tory MP Mark Reckless: Four seats for @UKIPWales in the Welsh Assembly so far - congratulations to @NathanGillMEP @DeceangliWoman@MarkReckless & @DavidRowlandsUK — UKIP (@UKIP) May 6, 2016 08:10: Ukip have gained four seats so far on the list vote in Wales. Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives have both gained two. Labour won't gain any as the list vote is designed to make the system more proportional. 08:00: If you're just waking up, here's what you need to know: In England, Labour have become the first opposition party to lose council seats in midterm since 1985. A source close to the Labour leadership has blamed the losses on "natural depreciation". Jo Cox, a Labour MP, has warned the party is not on the path to power. In Scotland, the SNP are set to lose their majority, though they are still the largest party by an overwhelming margin. Labour look certain to finish third behind a resurgent Conservative party, the party's worst result in Scotland since 1910. In Wales, Labour remains the largest party and is likely to govern as a minority administration. The Cabinet minister Leighton Andrews has been defeated by Plaid Cymru's leader Leanne Wood, who turned a majority of over 6,000 to one of over 3,000. 07:45: Rewriting American Pie to be about the decline of Scottish Labour. What you up to? 07:39: The BBC is projecting the SNP to lose its overall majority. Final result will likely be: 63 SNP MSPs, 31 Conservative MSPs, 24 Labour MSPs, 6 Green MSPs and 5 Liberal Democrat MSPs. 07:36: In Scotland, the SNP is likely to fall a little short of a majority too but will be able to govern perfectly fine as well. 07:30: We are just waiting on Cardiff West, which barring an earthquake of Rhondda-level proportions - and Cardiff West has had none of the energy or money poured into it that the Rhondda did - will bring Labour's seat total up to 27 - four short of a majority of one, and one more than the party's worst-ever showing in 2007. It's unlikely that Labour will gain any seats on the list as the AMS system is designed to reduce the disproportionality of first-past-the-post. But a deal with the Liberal Democrats or a going it alone are both eminently doable and will serve Labour fine. 07:14: A bit of a lull between results - here's what I wrote a while back about what would be a good set of results: "Instead of worrying overmuch about numbers, worry about places. Although winning seats and taking control of councils is not a guarantee of winning control of the parliamentary seat – look at Harlow, Nuneaton, and Ipswich, all of which have Labour representation at a local level but send a Conservative MP to Westminster – good performances, both in terms of increasing votes and seats, are a positive sign. So look at how Labour does in its own marginals and in places that are Conservative at a Westminster level, rather than worrying about an exact figure either way" So Labour can be happy that it has held ground mostly though its performance in terms of votes increasing on 2012 is not what we might wish. However, that it has lost seats is sub-optimal, to put it mildly: "Losing seats would be a bad sign. Even when the Conservative Party was trying to get rid of Iain Duncan Smith, it gained seats in opposition. When the Labour party was on the cusp of splitting into two parties in 1981, it gained seats in opposition. Without wishing to upset any local councillors who might be reading, people don’t really take local government all that seriously and use it as an opportunity to kick the incumbent government" So it's a mixed picture. There are reasons to hope that if Team Corbyn get a better media strategy for glossy magazines and music radio - the underappreciated battlegrounds - can learn a trick or three about the Conservative use of Facebook - something that one Corbyn aide believes will be the second-most important media platform after the BBC - they can make a better fist of it in 2019. (The 2017 local elections are county councils and really won't serve as a useful yardstick. They are not Labour-friendly even in a wave year.) 07:02: In Scotland, the Conservatives have held Ettrick. The path to an overall majority is getting narrower all the time. 07:00: If you're just waking up, here's what you need to know: In England, Labour have become the first opposition party to lose council seats in midterm since 1985. A source close to the Labour leadership has blamed the losses on "natural depreciation". Jo Cox, a Labour MP, has warned the party is not on the path to power. In Scotland, the SNP look likely to lose their majority, though they are still the largest party by an overwhelming margin. Labour look certain to finish third behind a resurgent Conservative party, the party's worst result in Scotland since 1910. In Wales, Labour remains the largest party and is likely to govern as a minority administration. The Cabinet minister Leighton Andrews has been defeated by Plaid Cymru's leader Leanne Wood, who turned a majority of over 6,000 to one of over 3,000. 06:55: Labour have held Cardiff North. 06:46: Labour have held Cardiff Central. 06:34: In England, Labour have won 778 council seats, a net loss of 22 seats. The Conservatives have 266 seats, a gain of just four. The Liberal Democrats have gained seven seats, and have won 172 seats in total. Ukip have gained 20 seats, picking up 28 in total. 06:27: With 92 seats declared in the Scottish Parliament, the SNP have 58 seats. The Conservatives have 15, Labour have 11, the Liberal Democrats have four as do the Greens. The small size of the opposition parties shows that even if the SNP falls short of the 65-seat mark necessary to get a majority of one, they will be able to govern alone quite comfortably. There are few issues on which the Tories, the Labour party, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens all agree and could combine against the SNP. 06:25: It now looks like the SNP may well fall short of an overall majority, with the Conservatives finishing ahead of Labour fairly comfortably as far as seats are concerned, according to elections expert John Curtice. 06:19: With 34 seats declared in Wales, Labour have 23 seats, having lost one. Plaid Cymru have six seats, having gained one. The Conservatives have four, with no gains or losses. The Liberal Democrats have one, with no gains or losses. Labour is near-certain of getting enough seats to go it alone as a minority administration (realistically, they need 28 to avoid a deal with anyone else. Though 31 is theoretically needed for a majority, their opponents are badly divided. 06:15: In Fife, four Conservatives have been elected onto the party list, while Scottish Labour deputy leader Alex Rowley, defeated in Cowdenbeath, returns on the party list along with Labour's Claire Baker and the Greens' Mark Ruskell. 06:13: In Lothian, the Conservatives have three MSPs, Labour have two - Kezia Dugdale and Neil Findlay - while the Greens also have two. Would take something exceptional to keep Labour out of third place. 06:11: To those of you just joining us: Good morning. In England, Labour has lost 28 council seats, well below the nightmare figures briefed by some of Corbyn's critics but still the worst showing for an opposition party in midterm since 1985. In Wales, the party is on course to remain in control in Wales, with Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Conservatives both falling well short of their hopes. Plaid Cymru's leader, however, defeated Leighton Andrews, a Cabinet minister, on a massive swing, turning a Labour majority of over 6,000 to a Plaid one of more than 3,000. In Scotland, the SNP are likely to secure an overall majority, while Labour are on course to finish third, behind the Scottish Conservatives. 06:05: The Liberal Democrats, as you can imagine, are pretty thrilled right now. Extraordinary results in Scotland, some real progress in England, and there may be better to come as results start to come through later today. 06:02: "Still awake?!" ask the Liberal Democrats in their press briefing. You're asking me nothing I'm not asking myself, guys. (It's been 22 hours.) 06:00: Waiting on the Lothian list region. 05:49: BBC has national vote share projections: Conservatives 34 per cent Labour 33 per cent Liberal Democrats 12 per cent. As I said at 03:53, these projections don't tell us much - we'd expect the government to recover and the opposition party to fall away - but they're good fun. 05:45: Scratch that, by no means the first. I know nothing. 05:41: Two Conservative MSPs, Adam Tomkins and Annie Wells, have been elected on the list in Glasgow. The first Tory politicians elected out of Glasgow since 1979, I believe. Labour have held Llaneli, in a big blow to Plaid Cymru. 05:40: The Conservatives have retained Castle Point and St Albans. Jo Cox, the Labour MP for Batley and Spen, is on air, warning that the party is not on "a path to power". 05:21: As it stands. In England, Labour have won 761 councilors, a net loss of 28. The Conservatives have picked up six councillors overall, winning 440 in total. The Liberal Democrats have netted 167 councilors, a net gain of 10 councillors. Ukip have gained 20 councilors, picking up 28 in total. In Scotland, with 67 seats declared, the SNP have 54 seats, a gain of six seats. The Conservatives have six seats, a gain of four. The Liberal Democrats have four seats, picking up two. Labour have lost 12 seats, and have three seats. The SNP looks likely to secure the 65 seats necessary for a majority once the list vote is counted but they could fall a little short. In Wales, with 28 seats declared, Labour has 18 seats, and have lost one. Plaid Cymru have six seats, a net gain of one. The Conservatives have held three seats, and made no gains or losses. The Liberal Democrats have held one seat and made no gains or losses. 05:13: Labour have hold onto Derby with their majority slashed to one. 05:07: Welsh Labour, as you can imagine, are shellshocked at that result. But they think that the effort Plaid Cymru put in turning out that result has contributed to their likely third place - Labour expect to see them off elsewhere. But crucially, it is a phenomenal victory that has kept Leanne Wood in her job. 05:02: Blimey, Leanne Wood has defeated Leighton Andrews, a (former) Labour Cabinet minister in the Rhondda, turning a Labour majority of 6,000 in 2011 to a Plaid Cymru one of over 3,000. 04:57: At time of writing, Labour has lost ground in England, Wales and Scotland. But just as the party proved more resilient in bunkering down against David Cameron in 2010, they've done a great job of defending councils tonight. Labour's machine, turns out, is much better at defensive campaigns - see 2010 and 2016 - than offensive ones - see 2015. Just a half-formed thought. I'm quite tired. 04:56: Nicola Sturgeon has been re-elected in Glasgow Southside. 04:53: In Liverpool, Joe Anderson has been re-elected Mayor of Liverpool with 52 per cent of the vote. 04:48: Labour have held Norwich, making gains at the expense of the Greens. They have kept control of Wakefield, too. 04:47: Labour have held Dumbarton by just 100 votes. 04:44: Scratch that. Labour have two seats. They've just won Edinburgh Southern from the SNP. 04:40: The scores on the doors across the country. In England, Labour have won 727 seats, a net loss of 29. The Conservatives have gained seven seats, winning 425 overall. The Liberal Democrats have won 166 seats, gaining 10 seats. Ukip are up 20 seats to 28 seats. Labour are holding on to power in individual councils but losing councilors. In Wales, after 22 seats have been counted, Labour have 16 seats, Plaid Cymru have 3, the Conservatives have 2 and the Liberal Democrats have one. No seats have changed hands - yet. Labour are on course to remain in power and may well get the 28 seats (they need 31 for a majority of one) to form an effective minority administration. In Scotland, with 27 seats declared, the SNP are on 21 seats, having gained two overall, the Liberal Democrats are on three seats having gained one, the Conservatives are on two seats having gained one, while Labour have won seat having lost four overall. The Conservatives are on course to finish second. 04:34: Peter Hain is on air saying that these results aren't good enough at this stage in the cycle. Historically and psephologically, he's right, but the Corbyn bench should surely be deep enough that this isn't happening. Where's my own MP, Diane Abbott? Or Cat Smith, Clive Lewis, Kate Osamor, etc? 04:30: Blimey. Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams has just won re-election in Brecon & Radnorshire with a margin of victory that Vladimir Putin would consider excessive. 04:26: I keep meaning to do a scores on the doors but too much stuff is happening, apologies. The Scottish Conservatives have won Aberdeenshire West from the SNP. 04:21: Ruth Davidson has won in Edinburgh Central. She will not need to enter Holyrood through the list system, she is the first Tory leader in Scotland not to need the list since 2005 - and she will surely be the first to serve as official leader of the Opposition. 04:16: In Edinburgh Eastern, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has failed in her bid to unseat the SNP's candidate, Ash Denham. She'll be back on the list system. 04:12: Stasis seems to be the word of the day in Wales. Ukip have gained seats (remember they weren't really a thing when the Assembly was last fought in 2011) but have produced a carbon-copy of their 2015 performance. The Conservatives look likely to stay in second place, while Labour look well-placed to keep on keeping on as a minority administration. 04:11: People are asking me what the swing to Labour in Ogmore is. It's zero. Exact stasis. 04:08: Labour have held Exeter. 04:05: The SNP have lost Edinburgh Western to the Liberal Democrats. 04:00: For those of you just joining us. In Scotland, the SNP will not get a majority in Holyrood through theconstituency elections, it appears. They look likely to get one through the party list but that is by no means certain. However, they are on course to get close to 50 per cent of the vote. Scottish Labour and the Scottish Conservatives are in a bare-knuckle fight for second place, with the Tories the favourites. One minister has texted to tell me they are "certain" Ruth Davidson has got them second. In England, Labour is losing councillors overall but is holding ground in terms of controlling councils - and is making gains in some by-elections. A murky picture. In Wales, Labour is on course to remain the largest party with a slightly smaller number of seats. An open question has to what deal they will end up striking to remain in power there. 03:53: Direct projections from local elections to national are tricky things, as the incumbent always recovers (presumably a section of the electorate thinks "Hey, they haven't killed us yet!"). Projections from the final set of locals from the 1992-7 parliament put the Tories under 100, projections from the final set before 2010 put Labour in third place. That said, they are fun: Sky News Commons projection: Hung parliament with Conservatives largest party - Con 280 seats, Lab 265, SNP 56, Lib Dem 25, UKIP 1, Oth 23 — Sky News Newsdesk (@SkyNewsBreak) May 6, 2016 03:52: Labour has lost Edinburgh Northern and Leith to the SNP. 03:47: A rare changing of the guard in a night of stasis in England - Dudley goes from Labour-run to No Overall Control, though Labour remains the largest party. 03:43: Biggest losers so far: Scottish Labour and the Welsh Conservatives, who appear to have gone backwards. 03:41: Hearing the Conservatives have won Dumfriesshire from the SNP. 03:36: It's been a bad year for Brown's heirs. We've had Ed Balls and Douglas Alexander lose her seat, Yvette Cooper get crushed by Jeremy Corbyn and Ed Miliband repudiated by the voters. Would make a good play. 03:31: One I missed. Alex Rowley, Gordon Brown's old constituency manager and protégé, has lost his seat in Cowdenbeath, though he is likely to return to Holyrood thanks to the list vote. 03:30: Golly Ms Molly! Iain Gray has survived in East Lothian - the SNPmageddon isn't quite what we forecast. In Wales, we have just four results in - and Labour has won them all. 03:27: "That ain't gonna happen," says John Mann of a coup against Corbyn. Probably the most important thing you'll hear tonight. 03:25: Blimey! The Liberal Democrats have won Fife North East from the SNP - its boundaries largely that of Ming Campbel''s old seat. 03:19: Labour have held the marginal seat of Southampton. 03:18: You can't keep the Bradshaw machine down. Labour has made gains in Exeter and will keep control. 03:15: In Scotland, the average Labour to Conservative swing is 10 points. 03:10: The Conservatives have held Ayr. The SNP look likely to get a majority but the possibility of an SNP-Green deal looks entirely plausible. 03:00: For those of you just joining us. In England, Labour have won 527 councilors, a net loss of 26. The Conservatives have won 292 seats, a net gain of eight seats. The Liberal Democrats have won 105 seats, a net gain of five seats. Ukip have won 23 seats, a net gain of 17. The Greens are up one and have won five seats. Labour have won two Westminster by-elections in Sheffield Brightside and Ogmore. In Wales, Labour remains the largest party but whether they will govern alone or in coalition remains to be decided. In Scotland, the SNP are on course to romp home with around 50 per cent of the vote. The Conservatives and Labour are in a dogfight for second place. 02:50: Labour have held Crawley, with an increased majority. 02:45: The Liberal Democrats have won every seat that is up for election in Southport. 02:42: Been remarkably little movement of council control so far tonight. Considerable churn in terms of losses here and gains there, but just one council has changed hands - Stockport, which is now Labour-dominated having been Liberal Democrat run. In Worcester, the Conservatives have lost their majority. 02:40: Labour are upbeat in Crawley. 02:38: Labour have gained a seat from the Greens in Norwich and there may be more gains to come tonight. Local sources are fairly positive. 02:35: What we know so far: In England, Labour is having a better night than the early results suggested, though they are losing votes. Outside of Scotland, Ukip are up most everywhere but are doing particularly well in Wales. In Scotland, the SNP are picking up seats and the Conservatives look on course for second. 02:34: The government's not changing in Scotland, but it looks highly likely we will get a new opposition - the Conservatives are heading for second if this swing keeps up. 02:29: Now we're cooking with charcoal! Labour have lost Eastwood - the home of Scotland's largest (slash only) Jewish community - to the Conservatives. There is a real Livingstone effect in the Jewish community tonight - and it could yet hand Sadiq Khan a shock defeat in London if low turnout makes the result closer overall. 02:26: Just a historical note on Sheffield Brightside. The party's vote share is up 5.8% there. It was up 7.3% in Oldham West. Later tonight we'll get Ogmore in, so we'll have the first three by-elections of the Corbyn era. In the first three of Ed Miliband's, all of which occured in 2011, Labour were up 10 points in their first three by-election holds. If there's a lull later I'll take a look at Cameron, IDS, Hague, Blair, etc. 02:19: The Liberal Democrats have held Shetland. 02:17: Labour's Gill Furniss holds Sheffield Brightside for Labour, defeating Elmo in the process. 02:15: The Liberal Democrats have held Eastleigh. Perhaps that Liberal Democrat revival is on after all? 02:11: Oh me, oh my. Labour have won Edinburgh Southern from the SNP. 02:10: Three more marginals that look good for Labour: Rochdale, Southampton, and Crawley. The Liberal Democrats have made seven gains in Hull - a net gain of two. 02:06: For those of you just joining us: in Scotland, the SNP are on course for a majority, while Labour and the Tories are in a close-fought battle for second place. In Wales, Labour remains short of an overall majority but will return to government. In England, Labour's vote is falling on 2012 but the party is making good holds in marginals declared so far. 02:01: The SNP hold Hamilton and Larkhalll as expected - but no change in their vote. A five per cent swing from Labour to SNP but crucially what looks to me to be a swing from Labour to the Conservatives of eight percent. It's anyone's game in the battle for second-place. 01:57: That point I made earlier about a Livingstone effect in Bury. Labour are increasingly certain they are, as one source puts it, "fucked" in Prestwich, and they look likely to go from first place to third in Eastwood, which holds around two thirds of Scotland's Jewish population. Greater Manchester and Eastwood are the only places outside London where the Jewish vote is concentrated enough to do big damage to Labour tonight, though there are a few wards in Leeds (not up to tonight) where things could also get dicey. But it will add to the jitters around some in London, already spooked by low turnout. 01:54: Labour retain control of Hastings. In Wales, Labour are confident of holding Llaneli, a marginal they and Plaid Cymru have scrapped over since its creation. 01:52: Labour hold Harlow, another key marginal. 01:47: Scores on the door: Labour have won 293 seats tonight so far, a net loss of five. The Conservatives have 114, a net gain of 6. The Liberal Democrats are down four across the piece and have 38. Ukip have 14 so far and have gained 11. The Greens have 2 and have made no net gains. But there are many, many more still to declare. 01:45: Every time I say something positive about the Liberal Democrats they do a little bit worse. They've just lost Stockport to Labour. 01:41: The Ken Livingstone Effect? Labour have just lost Sedgely in Bury, where Prestwich's Jewish population is heavily concentrated. Looks like a 20 point increase in the Tory vote there and Labour expect to lose the other seat that is up in Prestwich, which has a smaller but still significant Jewish population. Watch out for how Labour do in Finchley and Barnet when London counts tomorrow. 01:40: The Liberal Democrats are confident of holding Shetland and increasingly chirpy about Edinburgh Western. A Labour Glasgow councilor is in a cheerful mood: "People on the doors are no longer angry, which gave the impression that things were starting to shift. Actually, it's a sign we're pitied, and no longer feared." 01:35: The Liberal Democrats are having something of a mare in Stockport, where their council leader has lost her seat to Labour. Although the council is notionally no overall control it is Liberal-run. Elects in thirds so will be tricky for anyone to get control there. 01:33: A good hold for Labour. They are still in charge in Stevenage, a seat they must win in 2020. 01:27: A thought. The BBC is kind of going for a "Labour leadership says this would be a good figure. His critics say something else. Who is right?". That helps the party leadership, even though, to be frank, the baseline the Labour leadership wants to use is too low to be a useful yardstick. But mostly, the BBC's focus on balance hurts Labour. Cf. "Economists disagree over George Osborne's economics", which of course they do. It's just as that the division is not as finely balanced as Osborne would like to suggest. 01:23: Labour are pretty confident that they will win Edinburgh Southern from the SNP - most of which mirrors Ian Murray's Edinburgh South seat. If you've never been, it is basically the plushest part of Edinburgh. It's as if Labour had been reduced to just one seat in London - and that seat was Kensington. 01:21: Results from Glasgow and Fife indicate a third-placed finish is on the cards for Labour. 01:18: Ukip look likely to be the largest party in Thurrock, and are making gains in Basildon too. 01:15: You'll be shocked to hear that Labour's Joe Anderson is on course to be re-elected as Mayor in Liverpool. In Edinburgh, Edinburgh Western remains a good chance for the Liberal Democrats while Edinburgh Southern remains hopeful for Labour. (I'd like to apologise in advance for getting these two seats mixed up at some point around 4am.) 01:10: A word from the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) who are kindly assisting me with keeping track of the results. Their Chief Executive, Jonathan Carr-West, has this to say about the results so far: “The main focus so far tonight continues to be the Labour vote and what it tells us about Corbyn’s leadership. Many Labour councils who have very different political outlooks from the national leadership may feel aggrieved by this relentless focus on the national: especially if, as is likely, it is costing them votes. This will exacerbate the rift that already exists between a radical leadership and a pragmatic local government base. So far, Labour are holding safe councils (Newcastle, Liverpool, Sunderland and Halton) - but we expect to see them losing significant numbers of seats as the night progresses. To put this in context, the last time these councils were contested Labour gained 823 seats. We’re also looking at a Labour wipe out in Scotland and losses in the Welsh Assembly. While a Khan victory will be spun as the story of the night, the reality is that no opposition has lost councils seats in this way for thirty years.” 01:04: For those of you just joining us. In Wales, Labour is set to remain the largest party though the Conservatives are rumoured to make gains in the constituencies. In Scotland, the SNP will not win every seat after failing to displace the Liberal Democrats in Orkney. They are confident in Motherwell and Glasgow, but Edinburgh is anyone's game. In England, Labour are on course to do worse than their first year under Ed Miliband and fall back on 2012 (it was 2012 when these seats were last contested). 01:01: In terms of the battle for second place, there was also a 7.5 per cent swing from Labour to the Conservatives in Rutherglen. If that keeps up, the Tories will beat Labour to second-place - but only just. 00:59: The SNP have taken Rutherglen with a nine point swing, putting them on course to take all of Labour's seats. 00:56: Labour have been whomped by the SNP in Rutherglen, with James Kelly losing his seat by close to 4,000 votes (that's a lot in a Holyrood constituency). 00:51: That is really a thumping win for the Liberal Democrats. Elsewhere, I am hearing bad news for Labour in Portsmouth, good news in Norwich, where they believe they may have taken three seats off the Greens, and that the Tories have made gains in Nuneaton, which is Labour-dominated at a local level but has sent a Conservative to Westminster since 2010. 00:48: Rats! The Liberal Democrats have held Orkney, and I am down £20. They are up 32 per cent of the vote there. 00:45: Turnout from Ogmore, where Labour are fighting both an Assembly seat and a by-election to, is above 40 per cent. Labour are confident of holding it. 00:42: Labour have gained a seat from the Conservatives in Birmingham and are doing real damage to the Liberal Democrats in Newcastle. My comment about the Liberal Democrat revival is aging really, really well. 00:40: Scotland incoming! Rutherglen result imminent! Scotpocalypse! Scotpocalypse! 00:38: McDonnell is beasting Nicky Morgan on BBC doing a very good "more in sorrow than in anger" routine. 00:34: For an alternative view on Zac Goldsmith, Andrew Boff, a Conservative member of the London Assembly, said this earlier today on Newsnight: "I don't think it was dog whistle because you can't hear a dog whistle. Everyone could hear this" 00:31: Duncan Smith droning on about how Zac Goldsmith's campaign is not at all racist, oh no. I'm not getting paid enough for this. 00:29: Iain Duncan Smith has appeared on screen. He says he is "hopeful" that Zac Goldsmith will be elected tonight. In Wales, the Conservatives have walked out of the count in marginal Delyn. Labour are sounding fairly pleased about that, as you'd expect. 00:27: I have made two discoveries. The firsts is that the lights in the New Statesman offices are motion-sensitive. The second is that sitting and typing is not quite enough motion. (It's just me here tonight.) 00:26: Council seats so far: Labour have 59, the Liberal Democrats have four, Ukip have none, the Greens have none. The SNP are hopeful of picking up all the Scottish Parliament seats in Motherwell and Glasgow, but Edinburgh is trickier territory. 00:25: Speaking of bets...I look likely to owe Wings Over Scotland £20 (I bet on a clean sweep for the SNP in the constituencies), as Labour are buoyant about Edinburgh Southern and the Liberal Democrats are hopeful in Edinburgh Western. 00:19: John McDonnell doing a good job putting a brave face on some grim early numbers for Labour. This line about needing only do better than a general election is nonsense, psephologically speaking but he's making it sound like good sense. A validation of Jeremy Corbyn's decison to ignore even some of his closest allies and put him in as shadow chancellor. And still only 9 to 1 on Betfair as Labour's next leader. 00:10: People on the BBC and keep talking about 2012 as a "high point for Labour". Is this true? Well, sort of. It was Ed Miliband's best year. However, that doesn't mean that Labour doesn't still have room to gain seats tonight - governments tend to lose seats in opposition and Labour lost seats pretty consistently in the areas up for election tonight throughout their 13-year-stay in government. So they still can and should make gains. And bear in mind, even Ed's good years were padded out with gains in safe Labour seats, which went from Labour strongholds with say, 40 Labour councillors and 20 Liberal Democrats to 58 Labour councilors and three Greens. In the places Labour needs to win at Westminster to get back into government, there is real room for growth. Which is why I wouldn't worry overmuch about losing some* seats in safe seats if when the marginals report Labour is making headway there. *Some is key. Going from a majority of 10,000 to 5,000 in Labour heartlands is fine if Corbyn is putting on 5,000 votes in seats Labour lost by that kind of margin. Going from a majority of 10,000 to -1,000 in Labour heartlands, less so. 00:06: Labour look likely to lose Crawley. 00:02: Labour have kept control of Newcastle Council, taking a seat from the Liberal Democrats. (I knew that would happen the second I typed the words "Liberal Democrat revival"). 00:00: For those of you just joining us: welcome. Labour is projected to lose seats but remain the largest party in Wales, where the Conservatives seem to be gaining ground. In England, the Liberal Democrat revival appears to be a thing and not just a Twitter meme. In Scotland, the SNP are sounding buoyant while the Conservatives believe they may beat Labour into third. London won't count until tomorrow but everyone - Labour, Tory, Cannabis is Safer Than Alcohol - is getting jittery over low turnout. 23:55: That early worry I heard from Wales has vanished completely from the Tory side. Vale of Glamorgan is rumoured to be close - a close to six point swing to the Conservatives. So we have biggish swings away from Labour so far tonight. 23:52: Labour are down 17 per cent in the six seats we've had so far (from 2012 when last contested). Still not very much data, but that would put the party in the mid to low 20s in terms of nationwide share. Personally I think it's unlikely to be that bad when all the results have rolled in. 23:48: How about that Liberal Democrat fightback, huh? The Liberal Democrats have won a seat in Sunderland from Labour. 23:47: The knives are already out for Kezia Dugdale in Scotland, where Labour may come third. 23:42: Bad news for Labour from Wales. Clywd South is in play and the Tories may well win it. Cardiff North, which is Conservative-held at Westminster, looks likely to go the same way in the Assembly having been Labour-held since 2011. Newport West and Llanelli are worth looking out for too. 23:39: Good news for Labour - they've held the first seat to declare out of Newcastle, and the Liberal Democrats, their main opposition, have privately conceded that Labour will remain large and in charge in Newcastle. 23:35: Speaking of the Liberal Democrats, they are feeling cautiously optimistic about winning a seat in Edinburgh Western from the SNP, while they expect to recover a bit from 2015. (Things could hardly get worse, I suppose.) 23:32: The first Labour gain of the night, as a Liberal Democrat councilor in Stockport defects. 23:30: Labour sources are gloomy about their chances of holding onto Exeter Council, where Ben Bradshaw is the party's only remaining MP in the South West. Looks like it will slip into no overall control. Party is also nervous about holding Derby. 23:25: Tory mole in Wales tells me that things look bad for them - potentially worse than the losses shown in YouGov's poll. The election has become "a referendum on steel", apparently. 23:20: Early results from Sunderland show Labour doing fairly badly (you know, for Sunderland) and Ukip doing very well. But one swallow doesn't make a summer and we need more data before we know anything. 23:15: We should get our first result from Scotland in 45 minutes or so. Rutherglen, Labour-held since the Scottish Parliament's creation in 1999, and highly likely to go to the SNP. 23:13: And what the results mean so far, according to ace numbercruncher Matt Singh: Need to be cautious re Sunderland results as they're v safe Lab wards. But the first 2 suggest a 7-8% swing to CON. FAR worse than expected — Matt Singh (@MattSingh_) May 5, 2016 23:07: Those numbers from Sunderland, where Labour have held in St Anne's ward. Labour down 15 points on 2012, when these seats were last fought, Tories down 3. It's Ukip who are making the headway (they didn't stand last time and expect them do post performances like this throughout the United Kingdom tonight and as results roll in over the weekend). Pallion (Sunderland): LAB: 50.7% UKIP: 28.9% CON: 12.6% LDEM: 4.4% GRN: 3.4% — Britain Elects (@britainelects) May 5, 2016 23:04: Back to Wales - YouGov's poll "looks about right" according to my Plaid Cymru source. What does that mean? Labour could go it alone and do deals on a vote-by-vote basis - they govern alone now with just 30 seats. If the poll is even a little out - let's say either Labour or the Liberal Democrats get one more seat - they might do a deal if they can get a majority with the Welsh Liberal Democrats. 23:01: Pallion Ward in Sunderland is the first to declare, and it's a Labour hold! More on percentages as I get them. 22:58: Why isn't it an exit poll, I hear you ask? Well, an exit poll measures swing - not vote share, but the change from one election to the next. People are asked how they've voted as they leave polling stations. This is then projected to form a national picture. Tonight's two polls are just regular polls taken on the day of the election. 22:57: The Sun's poll - again, not an exit poll, I'm not kidding around here - of Scotland has the SNP winning by a landslide. (I know, I'm as shocked as all of you) But more importantly, it shows the Conservatives beating Labour into second place. The Tories believe they may hold onto Ettrick as well. 22:55: What news from Scotland? Labour looks to have been wiped out in Glasgow. Liberal Democrats think they might hold at least one of Orkney or Shetland, while the seats in Edinburgh are anyone's game. 22:52: Hearing that turnout is low in Waltham Forest, Lewisham, Hackney and my birthplace of Tower Hamlets (the borough's best export unless you count Dizzie Rascal, Tinchy Stryder or Harry Redknapp, that's me). Bad news for Labour unless turnout is similarly low in the Tory-friendly outer boroughs. 22:47: YouGov have done a poll (note: not an exit poll, it should not be taken as seriously as an exit poll and if you call it an exit poll I swear to god I will find you and kill you) of the Welsh Assembly. Scores on the door: Labour 27 Plaid Cymru 12 Conservatives 11 Ukip 8 Liberal Democrat 2 There are 60 seats in the Assembly, so you need 30 seats for a majority of one. 22:40: In case you're wondering, how would closing a seven point deficit to say, six, compare to previous Labour oppositions, I've done some number-crunching. In 1984, Neil Kinnock's Labour turned a Tory lead of 15 per cent at the general election to a Conservative lead of just one per cent. In 1988, one of 12 per cent went down to one per cent. (He did, of course, go on to lose in both the 1987 and 1992 elections). In 1993, John Smith's Labour party turned a deficit of eight points at the general to a Labour lead of eight points in the local elections. William Hague turned a Labour lead of 13 points to one of just six in 1998, while Iain Duncan Smith got a Tory lead of just one point - from a Labour lead of nine. In 2006, new Tory leader David Cameron turned a 3 point Labour lead to a 13 point Tory one. Ed Miliband - remember him? - got from a Tory lead of seven points to a two point Labour one. 22:35: John McDonnell is setting out what would be a good night as far as the party leadership is concerned - any improvement on the 2015 defeat, when the party trailed by close to seven points. Corbyn's critics say he needs to make around 400 gains. I've written about what would be good at length before, but here's an extract: "Instead of worrying overmuch about numbers, worry about places. Although winning seats and taking control of councils is not a guarantee of winning control of the parliamentary seat – look at Harlow, Nuneaton, and Ipswich, all of which have Labour representation at a local level but send a Conservative MP to Westminster – good performances, both in terms of increasing votes and seats, are a positive sign. So look at how Labour does in its own marginals and in places that are Conservative at a Westminster level, rather than worrying about an exact figure either way." 22:31: Oh god, the BBC's election night music is starting. Getting trauma flashbacks to the general election. 22:22: A few of you have been in touch about our exit poll. Most of you have been wondering about that one vote for George Galloway but the rest are wondering what happens - under the rules of the London mayoral race (and indeed the contests in Salford, Bristol and Liverpool), 2 votes would not be enough for Sadiq. (He needs 2.5). However, all the other candidates are tied - which makes it through to the second round. What happens then is the second preferences are used as a tie-break. Of the tied candidates, Sian Berry has the most second preferences so she goes through to face Sadiq Khan in the final round. Final round is as follows: Sadiq Khan: 3 Sian Berry: 2 3 votes is above the quota so he is duly elected. An early omen? 22:19: Burnham latest. A spokesperson for Andy Burnham says: "Approaches have been made to Andy Burnham to give consideration to this role. It is early days and no decision as been taken. Whatever the decision, he will continue to serve the leader of the party and stay in the shadow cabinet." 22:17: Anyway, exit poll of the office. We've got: Sadiq Khan: 2 George Galloway: 1 Caroline Pidgeon: 1 Sian Berry: 1 22:15: Update on Andy Burnham. He has been asked to consider running. More as we get it. 22:13: People are asking if there's an exit poll tonight. Afraid not (you can't really do an exit poll in elections without national swing). But there is a YouGov poll from Wales and I am conducting an exit poll of the four remaining members of staff in the NS building. 22:11: It's true! Andy Burnham is considering running for Greater Manchester mayor. Right, that's it, I'm quitting the liveblog. Nothing I say tonight can top that. 22:09: Rumours that professional Scouser Andy Burnham is considering a bid for Greater Manchester mayor according to Sky News. Not sure if this is a) a typo for Merseyside or b) a rumour or c) honestly I don't know. More as I find out. 22:06: Conservatives are feeling good about Trafford, one of the few councils they run in the North West. 22:03: Polls have closed. Turnout looks to be low in London. What that means is anyone's guess to be honest. There isn't really a particular benefit to Labour if turnout is high although that is a well-worn myth. In the capital in particular, turnout isn't quite as simple a zero-sum game as all that. Labour are buoyant, but so are the Tories. In Scotland, well, the only questions are whether or not the SNP will win every single first past the post seat or just the overwhelming majority. Both Labour and Tory sources are downplaying their chances of prevailing in the battle for second place at Holyrood, so make of that what you will. And in Wales, Labour look certain to lose seats but remain in power in some kind of coalition deal. 22:00: Good evening. I'm your host, Stephen Bush, and I'll be with you throughout the night as results come in from throughout the country. The TV screens are on, I've just eaten, and now it's time to get cracking. › In defence of orientalism, the case against Twenty20, and why Ken should watch Son of Saul Stephen Bush is political editor of the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics. Subscribe For more great writing from our award-winning journalists subscribe for just £1 per month!