Up all night on Thursday to see the results in? Here is political commentator Chris Lloyd's guide to the election night order of play. 


All the TV channels will be up and running, as will the blog on The Northern Echo’s website. On the BBC, David Dimbleby fronts his tenth election, supported by Jeremy Vine’s unfathomable graphics.

On ITV, expert punditry comes from Ed Balls and George Osborne – how many more jobs does he need? And on the Echo’s website, there will be a rolling blog bringing you regular updates, and expert analysis, from every count in our area.


Exit polls shared by the broadcasters, compiled from 144 polling stations. In the last five elections, they predicted the winner, and in 2005 and 2010 very nearly predicted the number of seats.


Houghton & Sunderland South should be the first to declare. In 2015, it voted 55% Labour, 21.5% Ukip, Con 18.5% with the Greens just ahead of the LibDems who polled only two percent.

Labour will win – but how do the percentages compare?

Turnout was 56% – are there signs that Jeremy Corbyn has energised young people who didn’t vote last time?

Two more Sunderland seats, with similar percentages, should come before midnight.

The Northern Echo:


Labour should defend two Newcastle seats, where it got 50% in 2015.

Nuneaton is regarded as the first marginal to declare, although the Tories are defending a majority of 4,882


Hats off to the counters in Darlington if they can be the first true marginal to declare – all of these timings, of course, are approximate, and if things are close and recounts are required, there will be delays.

In 2015 in Darlington, Lab got 42.9%, Con 35.2%, Ukip 13.1%.

If much of the Ukip votes breaks to the Tories, Peter Cuthbertson could become the town’s first Conservative MP since Michael Fallon in 1987.

It is 35th on the Tories’ target list, so team Theresa could be heading for a majority of 75 or more.

Wrexham, where Labour has a majority of 1,831, is Tories first chance of a gain in Wales.


Hartlepool is due.

In 2015, Lab got 35.6%, Ukip 28%, Con 21%.

The Labour MP, Iain Wright, has stood down, Ukip locally is wracked with infighting, and the Tories are very slight favourites with the bookies.

The fate of Peter Mandelson’s former seat could be the night’s defining moment.

In Islington North, Jeremy Corbyn will defend his 21,000 majority.


A huge flurry of seats are expected now.

In Dunbartonshire East, the Lib Dems are hoping to take the seat back from the SNP.

In Ealing Central & Acton and Hampstead & Kilburn, the Tories have the first chance to take London seats from Labour.

In Moray, the SNP's depute leader Angus Robertson could be defeated by the Conservatives, and LibDem leader Tim Farron could be vulnerable to a big Tory swing in Westmorland & Lonsdale.

Locally, Labour will hold Middlesbrough, and it would be a major blow if they didn’t hold Stockton North, even though at the start of the campaign the optimistic Tories were hopeful.

The really big result is Bishop Auckland, which is 46th of the Tories’ targets.

Helen Goodman is defending her 3,500 majority against Chris Adams, and everyone was saying yesterday that it was too close to call.

Bishop has never had a Conservative MP – in fact, this may be the first time in the constituency when every vote could count.


Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale is the Tories' only seat in Scotland and they are being challenged by the SNP.

Enfield North, Ilford North and Westminster North are three Labour London seats at risk from a Tory takeover.

The three seats with “Durham” in their title are due.

All should stay Labour, although the university seat may see an unusual Labour surge, and North West could be tight.

Redcar is also due, but the huge headlines would be made if Sedgefield, Tony Blair’s former seat, were to fall to the Conservatives.

It requires an 8.9% swing, is 87th on the Tories hitlist and would indicate a massive May majority – it’s not possible, is it?

Stockton South is also due. James Wharton was the only Tory in the Tees Valley, and he racked up a surprisingly large 5,000 majority in 2015 in what is usually a marginal seat. Labour, though, believe they have a strong candidate, Paul Williams, and if the tide is running their way, they could push Mr Wharton close.

The picture now should be coming clear and some people who lack stamina will be thinking about going to bed.


Birmingham Northfield, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Walsall North are three key West Midlands Labour seats at risk from a Tory surge. Carshalton & Wallington and Southport are two Lib Dem seats fancied by the Tories.

Gower has the smallest majority in the country – just 27 in 2015 – which Labour is hoping to take back from the Conservatives.

And in Richmond Park and Twickenham, can Zac Goldsmith (Con) and Vince Cable (Lib Dem) win back their former seats?


Blackpool South and Wolverhampton South West are two Labour marginal at risk. Theresa May will defend her 29,000 majority in Maidenhead – although she faces 12 opponents, including one called Lord Buckethead. But Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam could be in trouble: a 2.2% swing to Lab would lose the Lib Dem seat.

Locally, look out for Tynemouth, a sometime marginal with a 8,240 Lab majority, but at the start of the campaign, Mrs May was so confident she started her tour here.


Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland is the big one: 21st on the Tories’ target, and if Mrs May is to avoid embarrassment, she really should be looking to win it. In Boston & Skegness, Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has hopes against the Tories, and the Greens are eyeing Bristol West as their second seat.

Important Labour marginals: Brentford & Isleworth, City of Chester and Wirral West, and Halifax, where Mrs May launched her manifesto.

Richmond (Yorks) is due – it takes a long time to count all those Tory votes – and if you are still awake, you are doing very well.


Breakfast time and the identity of the next PM should be clear. In Brighton, Caroline Lucas hopes to defend the Greens’ only seat, and in Derby North, could Lab steal a seat with a 41 majority from the Tories?


Look out for Thanet South, a Tory marginal where the candidate Craig Mackinlay has been charged with allegedly overspending in the 2015 general election.


After a lull during the morning, the final seats should be declared: Berwick-upon-Tweed, Blyth Valley and Wansbeck. Whatever the result, the world will keep on turning.