The Biggest Moments From An Extraordinary Election Night

Labour had a long night of losses. Jeremy Corbyn announced he was stepping down. Jo Swinson lost her seat. Here's all the drama.

It was a night when the tectonic plates of British politics shifted, an election result that few predicted with any degree of confidence. Here’s how the jaw-dropping general election results played out.

This dog’s face

Let’s start our roundup with Rhuaridh, who looks looked like most of us felt.

Poor Rhuaridh is looking like we’re all feeling, concerned for what the future holds for the UK! #dogsatpollingstations

— Claire Armstrong (@clairestruma) December 12, 2019


It’s 8pm and #YouthQuake is the number one Twitter trend. There’s a general feeling among may that this is a sign of an imminent Labour victory.

I’ve just been told that Tory HQ is genuinely concerned by the scale of the #YouthQuake unprecedented numbers of young people queeing at Polling Stations in the rain! Could this be a turning point? YOU HAVE UNTIL 10pm TO CHANGE EVERYTHING! #VOTE

— Jolyon Rubinstein (@JolyonRubs) December 12, 2019

By the seat of his pants

Adding to the Tories’ sense of unease, rumours begin to circulate there was a good chance Boris Johnson could lose his seat.

Rumours are circulating that Boris Johnson could genuinely be in trouble in Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

Exit pollsters think the Lib Dem vote has collapsed there due to tactical voting for Labour.

— James Melville (@JamesMelville) December 12, 2019

The Exit Poll

Remember all that stuff earlier about a #YouthQuake and Johnson losing his seat?

Well, turns out that was all a bit of a red herring, as at 10pm the exit poll predicted an absolutely massive Tory majority of 86.

Here’s the Channel 4 News audience reacting with absolute horror.

here is the moment that they announced the exit poll on channel 4

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) December 12, 2019

Now this was only a prediction but, as HuffPost UK explains here, it was likely to be accurate.

And how could such a result happen? David Walliams had a suggestion.

Boris won by a landslide because all of his children voted for him.

— David Walliams (@davidwalliams) December 12, 2019

Mark Francois

Tory MP Mark Francois deserves his own little section. Why? Because he went on live TV and said this:

Absolute peak Mark Francois.

"In 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. In 2019, the red wall came down"

— Michael Deacon (@MichaelPDeacon) December 12, 2019

Blyth Valley

At about 11pm, the first results began trickling in, one of which was truly remarkable and an ominous omen of things to come for Corbyn.

Blyth Valley, a solidly Labour seat for decades, in their traditional heartland, went Tory.

Wow. Conservatives take Blyth Valley from Labour - the first time they’ve held that seat

— Sophy Ridge (@SophyRidgeSky) December 12, 2019

This is just remarkable. The tectonic plates of British politics have shifted tonight

— James Forsyth (@JGForsyth) December 12, 2019

Those outriders who got the Labour Party into this racist, shitfest of a mess should sit down, shut up and fuck off.

— Emma “jingle bells” Burnell (@EmmaBurnell_) December 12, 2019

‘Corbyn was a disaster on the doorstep... I want Momentum gone’

Former Labour home secretary Alan Johnson was furious, summing up the mood of many party supporters who aren’t allied to the Corbyn project.

“Corbyn was a disaster on the doorstep,” Johnson told pro-Corbyn Momentum founder Jon Lansman on ITV News.

“Everyone knew that he couldn’t lead the working class out of a paper bag. Now Jon’s developed this Momentum group, this party within a party, aiming to keep the purity. The culture of betrayal goes on.”

There's been a murder

— Hanna Ines Flint (@HannaFlint) December 13, 2019

‘Workington Man’ votes Tory

The pattern was turning into a trend. The Cumbria seat of Workington, held by Labour since 1979, was seen as instructive as to whether the Tories would sweep the north of England.

It came in at the same time as Darlington also fell to the Conservatives and the writing was now on the wall.

It was the Workington Man wot won it

— Matt Chorley (@MattChorley) December 13, 2019

"Workington man" wins in his own backyard.

Workington goes Tory for the first time in 101 years.
Sue Hayman, Labour shadow cabinet member loses her seat.

Comes after Blyth Valley goes Tory.

— Kate Proctor (@Kate_M_Proctor) December 13, 2019

Meanwhile, Ken Livingstone piped up, helpfully

The former mayor of London seems keen to stir up the issue of anti-Semitism, for reasons only he knows.

Ken Livingstone tells PA 'It looks like the end for Jeremy. I'm sure he'll have to resign tomorrow' - he goes on to say 'The Jewish vote wasn't very helpful' which may well cause some eyebrows to shoot up

— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) December 13, 2019

Labour takes Putney

So Labour were making gains in the capital while losing ground in their heartlands – telling a bigger picture about the election and the seismic shift in British politics.

When we are losing places like Leigh and winning places like Putney on the same night, things have fundamentally shifted. Let’s not over-simplify our response to this.

— Lucy Powell (@LucyMPowell) December 13, 2019

Labour's gain in Putney was expected by the exit poll. Underscores the huge divides laid bare in this election - Lab advancing in wealthy, diverse, graduate heavy Remain areas while collapsing in poorer, whiter, Leave voting towns with few graduates

— Rob Ford (@robfordmancs) December 13, 2019

But let’s put the scale of Labour’s losses in perspective

By now, the party was shedding seats that it had held for up to a century and the phrase “bloodbath” was being bandied around.

Labour seats lost tonight and how long they'd been held by the party -
Leigh: 1922
Bishop Auckland: 1935
Blyth Valley: 1935
Wrexham: 1935
Darlington: 1992
Blackpool South: 1997

— Graeme Demianyk (@GraemeDemianyk) December 13, 2019

Labour seats lost tonight and how long they'd been held by the party (continued) -
Don Valley: 1922
Sedgefield: 1935
Great Grimsby: 1945
Clwyd South: 1997

— Graeme Demianyk (@GraemeDemianyk) December 13, 2019

Labour seats lost tonight and how long they'd been held by the party (continued) -
Rother Valley: 1918
Bassetlaw: 1935
West Bromwich West: 1974

— Graeme Demianyk (@GraemeDemianyk) December 13, 2019


In other news, Zac Goldsmith, the former Tory London mayoral candidate, lost his seat of Richmond Park to the Lib Dems. Again.

Zac Goldsmith - Brexiteer, environmentalist and friend of Boris Johnson's girlfriend - has LOST his seat to Lib Dem Sarah Olney with 7 ,766 majority

— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) December 13, 2019

Corbyn wins his seat – but says he will step down as Labour leader

By this stage, it was almost inevitable. At about 3.30am, Corbyn announced he would resign as Labour leader – inasmuch as he will “not lead the party in any future general election campaign”. Most of his speech, though, was devoted to blaming the media for Labour’s dire straits.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn confirms he will not lead Labour in the next general election

Watch ITVNewsElection2019 Live here:

— ITV News (@itvnews) December 13, 2019

Corbyn sounds broken.

— Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) December 13, 2019

Corbyn starts by attacking the media. Seriously, mate, your own voters just stuck two fingers in your face. Man up and own it

— Tim Shipman (@ShippersUnbound) December 13, 2019

And the Tories, by now, were rubbing it in...

Things can only get better.

— Conservatives (@Conservatives) December 13, 2019

And Boris Johnson was back in – with an increased majority to boot

The #unseatboris campaign failed spectacularly, though some of his rivals in Uxbridge raised eyebrows.

Boris *increases* majority. Another Momentum triumph.

— Gabriel Milland (@gabrielmilland) December 13, 2019

Boris Johnson won his seat, but look at the other candidates

"Count Binface", "Lord Buckethead" and an "Elmo"

— Siddak Ahuja (@SiddakAhuja) December 13, 2019

Boris Johnson, just reelected with a solid majority in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, made sure to thank Lord Buckethead and "Elmo" (yes, the Muppet) who were both standing behind him. And he sounded gracious.

— Christmasoteric (@EsotericCD) December 13, 2019

Jo Swinson out...

The Lib Dem leader lost her seat of East Dunbartonshire, with her decision to back Boris Johnson’s bid for a general election backfiring spectacularly.

.@joswinson LibDem leader narrowly loses seat. It is a night of desperate crisis for the LibDems

— Robert Peston (@Peston) December 13, 2019

jo swinson in november: i am the next prime minister

jo swinson in december:

— 🌼 add ham 🌼 (@hamaddition) December 13, 2019

Jo Swinson ousted in Dunbartonshire East. Caps an utterly disastrous campaign for the Lib Dems. Cannot recall when the last major party leader lost their seat, if ever. A new Lib Dem leadership contest begins in the morning.

— Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) December 13, 2019

... and Nicola Sturgeon appeared pretty happy about it.

Scotland’s first minister did a *literal victory dance* on air before praising Swinson for her humility in defeat.

Nicola Sturgeon reacts to Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson losing her seat to the SNP.

Follow the #GeneralElection results live:

— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 13, 2019

Rising Labour star Laura Pidcock ousted

Capped a bruising night for the left of the party, with Pidcock touted as a potential successor to Corbyn.

Labour's Laura Pidcock loses Durham North West to Conservatives


— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) December 13, 2019

And another Corbynite bit the dust

Former Labour MP Chris Williamson, who was running as an independent after being suspended by the party, was not only defeated – he lost his deposit, too, having only mustered 635 votes in the constituency he once served as its elected member.

Just 635 votes for Chris Williamson — loses his deposit

— Alex Wickham (@alexwickham) December 13, 2019

Grenfell constituency goes Tory

And in another shock, the Kensington constituency that includes Grenfell Tower swung from Labour to Conservative – seemingly as a result of the Lib Dems splitting the anti-Tory vote.

Grenfell Tower constituency of Kensington goes Tory after Lib Dem/Labour split the anti-Brexit vote.

— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) December 13, 2019

The election in a nutshell

— Matt Chorley (@MattChorley) December 13, 2019

And the Tories were *really* rubbing it in now ...

Dennis Skinner loses his seat

The “beast of Bolsover”, Labour’s Dennis Skinner, had held his seat throughout the party’s darkest days: Thatcher, Major, the coalition, Cameron and May. And with Ken Clarke already confirmed as stepping down, Skinner’s status as the father of the House (and longest-serving MP of any gender) seemed secure: he was elected in 1970 and was to celebrate his half-century next year.

But it wasn’t to be. The Tories’ Mark Fletcher snatched the historically working class industrial seat by more than 5,000 votes, cementing a night in which the party’s landslide already seemed so huge as to be surreal.

And, by 6am, it was over

oh my god @tombradby thought their show had finished when it hadn't. what an iconic ending.

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) December 13, 2019

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