General election produces hung parliament

Results through the night have not yielded the majority the Conservatives were hopingfor, with Labour making gains and increasing majorities in marginal seats in the North West.

  • Conservatives fail to win outright majority, hung parliament confirmed
  • Labour gains more than 30 seats, holds heartlands in North West cities
  • Lib Dems leader Tim Farron scrapes to victory in Cumbrian seat after majority nearly wiped out
  • Brexit confusion goes on, pound slides, property shares down
  • Esther McVey wins Tatton, Cheshire seat vacated by George Osborne
  • Gavin Barwell, Housing Minister, lost his seat in Croydon


2.30pm: Similarly solid stuff from heavyweight investment figure Richard Gwilliam, head of property research, M&G Real Estate: “With the economy continuing to grow, investors should be comforted by real estate’s rental fundamentals, which benefit from ongoing (albeit softer) occupational demand and, for most markets, a lack of significant supply of space. UK property offers attractive yields, compared to both other asset classes and to other property markets globally.”

2.10pm: Steve Gillingham, Mace’s director for the North, said: “Our analysis of both sets of manifestos during the campaign showed that both Labour and the Conservatives were committed to developing significant regional infrastructure across the Northern Powerhouse, so I would expect to see that agenda develop regardless of any inertia created by the hung Parliament.

“The UK is one of the most centralised countries in the world. A hung Parliament highlights the benefits of having further devolution to the regions. While the makeup of the future leadership in Westminster is uncertain and there is likely to be more difficulty getting bills through parliament, devolution has given us a platform for stronger local leadership in the great cities of the North.”

2.10pm: David Lathwood, lead director, JLL North West said “…the North West property market has remained very resilient” in the face of Brexit. “Investors in real estate look over the medium to long term and Manchester has continued to attract a high level of interest from international investors.”

On the volatile pound, Lathwood added: “Sectors with long-term structural support, such as Logistics and Alternatives, will remain strong. If the pound remains weak, Retail and Hotels will benefit – alongside UK manufacturing. But as before, JLL continues to believe the UK offers significant opportunities for medium and long-term investors.”

1.30pm: Theresa May confirms she will form a Government in coalition with Northern Ireland’s DUP.

12.35pm: Ezra Nahome, chief executive of Lambert Smith Hampton, has called for “voice of property” to be heard: “Today’s election result has certainly caught many by surprise and does leave us in a period of political uncertainty that could affect market performance until businesses sense the stability they may have been anticipating. However, we have been operating in a period of political uncertainty for some time now and the market has been far more active than predicted. Now the results are in, we need to ensure that the voice of property is heard and that, once the government is fully established, we emphasise the UK’s position as a steady, robust market in which to do business.”

11.54am: Reactions continue to come in from business and economic commentators. Dr Gordon Fletcher, finance and retail specialist at the University of Salford Business School, said: “No matter who leads the next government they will face some immediate decisions that have significant impact on the business community.

“Almost immediately after the new government is formed, Brexit negotiations will commence. The polls suggest a preference towards a softer form of Brexit but the influence of smaller parties in supporting the government will heavily influence the stance that is now taken. Brexit and its outcomes will look very different after today. The new government will need to bring some reassurance to businesses trading in Europe and employing EU nationals. Some certainties for these businesses would include assuring the rights of EU nationals after Brexit and the tone of the trading relationship that is wanted. This will bring a speculative period of currency trading and a ‘jittery’ pound.

“A fragile political situation will mean that the greatest influences on policy come from the smaller parties and factions within the Conservatives. External voices including that of industry will inevitably take something of a back seat.

“The expected instability of a minority government will in turn bring instability to the business environment. Investment and commitment from businesses located outside the UK will be limited. For UK businesses, a shifting set of Brexit negotiations will potentially stall planned developments. In the longer run political instability will mean that a minority government has little chance of surviving its full term – creating a continued period of uncertainty for business and the economy.”

11.05am: Liverpudlian Paul Nuttall has stepped down as leader of UKIP, after a disastrous night for the party in which they won no seats. In a press conference he said a new leader would be in place by September. Former leader Nigel Farage was previously quoted as saying he’d have no choice but to return to frontline politics if there was a hung parliament.

10.20am: Theresa May is due at Buckingham Palace at 12.30pm, and is expected to ask the permission of the Queen to form a Government.

10.15am: Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham does take some time off. Perhaps appreciating watching the general election from the sidelines as he is no longer an MP, last night he also enjoyed watching his former seat, Leigh, beat rivals Wigan in the Rugby League.

10am: Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party has been thrust into the limelight, as the Conservative’s potential partners required to form a majority. DUP won 10 seats, and unlike other dominant Irish party Sinn Fein, don’t turn down seats in Parliament.

For those who haven’t previously heard of DUP, the party is led by Arlene Foster, previous First Minister of Northern Ireland. The party is pro-Brexit, but keen on soft border controls for its country, which could make for an interesting negotiating partner should Theresa May continue with her ‘hard Brexit’ plans.

The Conservative leader confirmed this morning that she would not be stepping down after the results overnight.

9.25am: Russell Quirk, chief executive of, explains why housebuilders’ share prices are down so sharply; market uncertainty and the prospect of more elections. Also a reminder that Gavin Barwell, Housing Minister, lost his seat in Croydon overnight, meaning a new face in the post: “As we awake today to the opposite of a strong and stable administration but to a rather unexpected hung parliament, I fear that the property market’s post-election return to normality may be rather further away still.

“Political instability breeds procrastination on the part of homebuyers and sellers and for over a year now we have seen the effects of that on volumes, if not so much prices, as a consequence of the EU vote and then the snap general election.

“A hung parliament means that Theresa May does not have the mandate that she sought for herself and for a ‘hard Brexit’. Whilst the Conservatives may be able to form a minority government propped up by the DUP in Northern Ireland, we now face the serious prospect of the selection of a new Prime Minister and then, probably, a further general election in the autumn.

“So whilst the UK voter may understandably develop electoral fatigue, transactions in the property market may also stay somewhat anaesthetised until it’s re-awoken by something more politically and economically decisive than we have seen over the past 24 hours.

“In addition to the prospect of Theresa May being forced out for grabbing humiliation from the jaws of victory, we will also see yet another Housing Minister in post by next week given that Gavin Barwell has just lost his Croydon Central seat.  That’ll be our 6th Housing Minister in almost as many years.

“Regardless, I suspect that the housing brief will take a back seat now, despite politicians’ promises in recent weeks, given the combined weight of negotiating Brexit, stabilising our economy, button-holing political support across the aisle on every vote and, inevitably, campaigning again for the next poll.”

9.15am: FTSE 100 opens up 0.5% but property companies and housebuilders in particular see share prices fall, including Urban & Civic, Barratt, Redrow, U+I, Kier, Watkin Jones…



8.20am: More business reaction, this from Karen Campbell-Williams, head of property and construction team in the North West at business advisors Grant Thornton: “It’s fair to say that an inconclusive result is not what the business community wanted but the country has spoken. Our political leaders now have a lot of talking to do and we hope there is enough common ground to produce a functioning administration.

“Strong government does not need to be defined purely in terms of the size of the majority.  It’s also about the quality of leadership, ideas and ability to address opportunities and challenges. This country has been successfully governed by coalitions in the past and we believe that creating and sustaining a vibrant economy starts with making the most of long-standing strengths – around innovation-based businesses, creative industries and advanced manufacturing.

“The entrepreneurs and large corporates that we advise will still want Brexit given full attention because it’s an increasingly significant dynamic in the economy. Businesses are already taking action – we are working on deals now which involve North West companies buying within the EU and/or setting up operations there. We all know that Brexit is bringing additional challenges such as market access, customs and labour market impact – and UK Plc has got a lot of work to do to figure the next steps.”

8am: Reaction from Chris Oglesby, chief executive of property company Bruntwood:  “The priority is to ensure that we get a stable government in place as quickly as possible. As a business rooted in our cities we believe that the success of our great metropolitan centres is fundamental to the well-being of the country as a whole. We will work with the Government along with civic and business leaders locally to achieve this.

“Obviously there’s a lot of talking to be done now in Westminster but one conclusion we can probably draw is that a hard Brexit is now less likely.

“Of the campaign itself the parties will be taking stock, not least because it’s possible there could be another election this year. It seems there has been a surge of young people voting which is very welcome – engagement is one of the foundations of a successful democracy, and idealism will always be a driver of change.

“From our perspective we have all known for years that the UK economy needs rebalancing. Bruntwood remains deeply committed to the Northern Powerhouse agenda. We want to see hard investment in infrastructure to improve East-West connectivity and steps taken to address fundamental issues, such as improving productivity and closing skills gaps.  Better transport links and higher levels of investment in technology can be part of the solution. We hope these issues are addressed in core policies.

“We have about 50,000 people doing business in our workspaces across the North of England and Midlands. We know well the contribution they make to UK Plc. Our regions have so much to offer and can help drive the country forward during the once-in-a-generation change we are going to experience now that Article 50 has been triggered. But it’s not just about Brexit. We want to see a focus on better health outcomes, more life chances and creating smarter towns and cities – and perhaps the turn out yesterday shows that the electorate wants these issues on the table too.”

4.20am: Live updates will now take a break for a few hours. As it stands, Labour has maintained its stronghold in the North West, and has held or won the seats that were considered marginal. Nationally, latest predictions put the Conservatives in the lead with 318 seats, but not enough to form a majority Government.

4.05m: Labour takes High Peak from the Tories. Still awaiting result from Crewe, so close there had to be a recount. There’s also a recount underway in Barrow, after Labour won by 200 votes.

3.55am: Crewe & Nantwich expected to be a close call, a marginal seat.

Talk on the BBC and ITV has turned to how Theresa May could form a Government without a majority. Either form with a minority, or perhaps make an uncomfortable coalition.

3.50am: Labour hold Warrington North, with 27,000 votes. Also a sold win for Jim McMahon in Oldham East & Saddleworth.

3.40am: Labour hold in City of Chester, Chris Matheson’s majority increased to 9,176, from just 93. Labour’s Margaret Greenwood holds Wirral West, again with an increased majority.

3.35am: Tim Farron keeps hold of his seat in Westmorland & Lonsdale, but majority slashed from more than 8,000 to less than 800. Overall the party has five seats so far.

3.30am: Manchester constituencies all declared, all five seats go to Labour. Some notable moments; Afzal Khan wins with 35,000 out of 46,000 votes in Gorton, Lib Dem candidate John Leech fails to win in Withington, but gets up on stage to do a speech anyway, to both heckles and cheers. He admits the night has been “difficult once again” for his party.

3.15am: Result is expected in next half hour for narrow seat of City of Chester, Labour’s most marginal seat with 93 votes. Council has said turnout was more than 77%.

3.01am: Unsurprisingly, Labour’s Dan Carden has won in Liverpool Walton, the party’s safest seat. There was controversy in May when Carden was announced as Labour’s candidate for the seat vacated by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, as he was chosen over Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson.

Lucy Powell has held Labour’s seat in Manchester Central, with a majority of 31,445 votes, up 9,806 since 2015.

3am: National update: 240 seats declared, 116 to Labour, 97 to Conservative, 14 to Scottish National Party, six Democratic Unionist party, three Plaid Cymru.

2.50am: Strong win for Labour in Manchester’s Blackley & Broughton.

2.25am: Labour has held its seats in Rochdale, Bolton North East, and Ivan Lewis’s Bury South. Also held in Blackpool South. Conservatives hold Blackpool North, Bolton West and gain Southport.

2.20am: So far in the region, Labour has held in Wigan, Leigh, Heywood & Middleton, and gained in Bury North.

Jo Platt’s win for Leigh marks the first female seat in the constituency, from which Andy Burnham stepped down to become Mayor of Greater Manchester earlier this year.

Labour is expected to win in Manchester Withington, with the question being whether the Liberal Democrats will even place second, despite fielding former MP John Leech.

2.12am: Bury North has been snatched back from the Tories by Labour. Labour lost the seat in 2010, but the Conservatives held on by only a slim majority in the last election.

2.05am: First Manchester result expected in the next 15 minutes. Campaign teams are crowded around TV screens in Manchester Central, lots of claps from Labour as wins have been announced across the country, and glee, or in some cases pity, at what seems to be a dismal election for the Liberal Democrats.

Labour veteran Louise Ellman has held Liverpool Riverside. Betting odds are now showing Jeremy Corbyn as the favourite to be Prime Minister by later this morning.

1.35am: So far 39 seats declared, of that Labour has 23, and Conservatives 11. News is now breaking that former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has lost his seat in Sheffield Hallam to Labour.

1.25am: Reports are emerging that turnout in some Liverpool constituencies are very high, at above 75%. In the results so far, the only people to have secured an increased mandate seem to be Labour MPs, despite Theresa May’s best efforts.

1.20am: Labour candidate for Gorton, Afzal Khan, is taking a walk around Manchester Central, with a confident smile and a thumbs up speaking volumes for his expectation of winning what is a very safe seat.

1:10am: Result coming in for Wrexham in North Wales, which was on a knife edge. Labour has held the seat by a narrow margin, but most notable is a high turnout, of 70%.

12.45am: Positive feeling in the room in Manchester Central. According to Cllr Carmine Grimshaw, Labour “is absolutely smashing it”. Voting turnout looks to be higher than previous years, particularly in Withington. The sheer number of votes coming through for the Gorton ward looks good for Labour candidate Afzal Khan.

Speaking to Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese, he described the national picture as “not as I expected, in a good way”. While he acknowledged that it was still all to play for and the tide could turn in the coming hours, he said “it looks like the young people actually did come out and vote”, which bodes well for Labour.

The mood amongst Labour campaigners is increasingly enthusiastic, thanks to the prospect that they could win up to 30 seats, where many had been expecting a loss.

However, with only 15 seats announced so far, there’s still plenty of time for that mood to change.

12.25am: No results in the North West as yet, but some key seats to play for. In Greater Manchester, Bolton West and Bury North could go Labour. In Lancashire, Lancaster & Fleetwood is a marginal seat, held by Labour, as is Barrow & Furness. Blackpool South could swing from labour to the Tories. City of Chester is Labour’s most marginal seat, while Warrington South is narrowly Conservative. In Merseyside, Wirral West was narrowly lost by Conservatives to Labour in 2015, so could swing either way.

12.15am: Reminder from head of market research company YouGov on the BBC that exit poll signs for Conservative result could mean anything from 310 seats, a hung parliament, to more than 360 seats, which would be a landslide.

12am: Liberal Democrats are reporting a surge in membership over the past 45 minutes. Leader Tim Farron will be hoping to keep his seat in Westmorland & Lonsdale. The first four seats have been announced nationally, three to Labour, one Conservative.

11.35pm: If exit polls prove correct, there could be some new Labour MPs in the North West, in Bury North, Bolton West, Warrington South, Weaver Vale, South Ribble and High Peak. Still marginal seats in Wirral West and Barrow.

11.30pm: Counting is well underway and voter turnout is high in Wigan, according to the deputy chief executive of the council.

11.10pm: Former Chancellor of the Exchequer, and former Conservative MP for Tatton George Osborne, has just told ITV that if the exit polls are correct the election could be “completely catastrophic” for the Tories.

11pm: As first victory of the night is announced, with Chi Onwurah holding the Labour seat in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, all MPs for the UK are briefly 100% Labour, and 100% female.

10.55pm: Exit poll suggests Conservatives will be the largest party, but with not enough seats to form a majority Government, suggesting a hung Parliament. While exit polls are seen as a good indicator of the way voting went on the day, during the last general election they underestimated the extent of the Tory victory. One seat that has been identified as at serious risk of being lost by the Tories to Labour is Housing Minister Gavin Barwell’s, in Croydon.

10.30pm: Manchester Central Convention Centre is the location of the count for the five Mancheter parliamentary seats: Blackley and Broughton, Manchester Central, Gorton, Withington, and Wythenshawe and Sale East. Verification of ballot papers has begun, and the declaration times for all constituencies are expected between 2am and 4am.


Manchester Central Election

Man Central Count

4.40pm: Not all votes were made equal, according to the Northern Power Index. In the first past the post voting system, only votes that back the winning party count. Research from the New Economics Foundation shows that “voters in the most powerful 10% of constituencies will wield more than 30 times as much power as the least influential”. The power of voters in a constituency is based on the probability of the seat changing hands and its size. Wirral South is one of the most powerful constituencies, while in Liverpool Walton the seat is considered “ultra-safe”. Check your constituency here:

Voter Power

3pm: Of the 650 MPs in the Houses of Parliament, there are several senior Conservative ministers who hold positions that are particularly influential for the built environment and business community, and are fighting to keep their seats. Perhaps most relevant, and most likely to change in this election, is the Minister for housing and planning. The role is held by Gavin Barwell, MP for Croydon, which is the Tory’s tightest seat.

Barwell won against Labour candidate Sarah Jones in 2015 by just 165 votes. He’s up against Jones again, and in an area known for its voter apathy, Croydon is an unpredictable seat.

Other senior ministers fare better, holding largely safe seats. Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for transport, is MP for Epsom and Ewell, and won last election with a 25,000 vote margin. Similarly, Greg Clarke, Secretary of State for business, energy and industrial strategy, Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, and Andrew Percy, Minister for Northern Powerhouse are all expecting comfortable majorities.

However, even if all are re-elected as MPs, and the Conservatives remain in power, there’s no guarantee they will keep their cabinet positions if Theresa May decides on a post-election reshuffle.

However, with Brexit negotiations and anti-terrorism initiatives no doubt at the top of her To Do list, perhaps May will prefer to keep the team around her “strong and stable” after only a year in office.

Meanwhile, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron is fighting to keep his seat in Westmorland and Lonsdale in Cumbria, which has been targeted by the Tories. However, the voting gap between the two parties was 8,000 in the last election, potentially a lot of ground to cover.

Gavin Barwell Housing Minister

There may be a new face in the role of housing Minister, should Gavin Barwell lose in Croydon

1.30pm: With the level of political debate hotting up even in traditionally safe seats, it will be interesting to see if this enthusiasm translates to votes in constituencies such as Manchester Central, repeatedly the seat with the lowest turnout in the country. In 2015 47% of the electoral register voted, and in 2010 this was even less, at 44.3%. Labour MP Lucy Powell is defending her seat. Powell got in during the 2012 by-election with an 18% turnout, the lowest in a by-election since World War II.

1.10pm: Oldham Council’s Twitter is churning out the sporting puns today, as the Greater Manchester council encourages people to vote in polling stations at cricket clubs, and “putt the cross in the box” at golfing greens.


1.05pm: Wondering if the teepees being erected in Albert Square are pop-up polling stations? They’re actually part of the preparation for Manchester International Festival which is due to begin later this month. If you’re a central Manchester voter, your polling station can be found round the corner in Central Library.


12pm: The University of East Anglia has released a map of the UK on showing its predicted election forecast, a model which combines data provided by the British Election Study with all publicly released national polls, historical election results, and historical polling. The map shows a Conservative win with 366 seats, and Labour with 207. The North West is one of the few regions to retain a cluster of red, i.e. Labour, MPs.

Uni Of East Anglia Voting

11am: Read what Place North West’s Resources contributors have had to say about the general election, with issues such as business rates, and the political football of fracking, high on the agenda for business leaders in the North West – click the stories below to see the full pieces:

Screenshot Mainpage Dunlop Heywood Manifesto PledgeFrack On Remarkable Resource Screenshot Boxed

10.30am: There’s everything to play for in some key seats across the North West. Find out whether you’re voting in a potential swing constituency:

All To Play For Resize

9am: As the popular #dogsatpollingstations returns to Twitter, charity Dogs Trust has released some guidance on how best to look after your pooch on polling day.


8am: Polling stations close at 10pm, which is also when exit polls are expected to be announced. These are surveys of people leaving polling stations, asking which way they voted, and are seen as a good indicator of the overall result. Ipsos MORI is the market research company to watch, and has been commissioned by the BBC, Sky and ITV to complete a poll in 144 locations.


Ipsos Mori Infographic


7.30am: Unsure which party most aligns with your views? Take this handy quiz, which also includes tactical voting recommendations.


7am: Voting opens for the 650 parliamentary seats up for grabs across the UK. The Conservatives currently have a majority of 331 MPs. They are expected to get more than 40% of the vote according to most pre-election predictions, but opinions swing between the party not having enough MPs to form a majority Government, to vastly increasing the lead over Labour by up to 100 MPs.

Find your polling station here:

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