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GE2017 Live blog!

GE2017 Live blog!

12:56: Great speech outside number 10 from May. It weaved in Islamist terrorism and Brexit, and in so doing appealed to all those parents worried about free school meals. 

12:35: Trump tweets his congratulations to Theresa May on her stunning victory, one of the biggest winning margins in US political history. 

11:52: Peter Hennessey: "Mrs May, for all her many gifts, is an iceberg." I beg to differ. On standing up to Liam Fox and his vision of hard Brexit, she's a wet lettuce. 

11:17: Green co-leader Jonathan Bartley has reminded Beeb viewers that the DUP are climate-change sceptics and bigots. 

11:12: Peter Hennessey points out that Ted Heath called a cabinet meeting after the 1974 election, which also delivered a hung parliament. May would have done the same, but she hates everyone in it. 

11:05: The Tories appear to have looked around and found that Theresa May is the best they have got.  I think they are probably right, which makes me enormously optimistic about the next election.  

10:57: Good to see that there will be more than 200 women in parliament, a record. It is important to remember that Diane Abbott was the first black woman MP and was only elected in 1987. Whatever your views about her, there is no doubt that she is a trailblazer, as this excellent blogpost recounts

10:50: May looks like she's about to do an Attlee. No, she isn't going to introduce free healthcare, build a million homes, offer free education for all, declare a war on want or take key industries into public ownership. But she is running to the palace before any of her enemies can unite against her, which is something Attlee did to stop Peter Mandelson's granddad from replacing him. I always harboured a grudge against the grandson, which I suppose is unfair. Then again, Mandelson is a prince of darkness.

10:41: Labour has room to grow, especially in Scotland. Sturgeon and the SNP have to face a double-whammy of challenges. They are accountable for whatever goes wrong with public services in Scotland and they will struggle to escape the charge of opportunism. If this election teaches us anything, it is that such a charge does not go unpunished. She might need to guarantee that there will be no independence referendum for the next ten years. 

10:40: Nuttall has reigned from the BNP. 

10:02: The Spectator's James Forsyth notes that the Fixed Term Parliament Act is now Theresa May's friend. Clearly, EVEL is now the enemy. It's a coalition of chaos propped up by Ruth Davidson. Oh, how I am enjoying this. Even though at some point, I suppose, we'll have to talk about Arlene.

09:50: Turnout amongst 18-24 year olds has reached a whopping 73%, compared to 45% in 2015. That is incredible. (Participation) Crisis? What crisis? Hang on a minute, where has the figure come from? Fake news can be wonderful sometimes. Although youth turnout is indeed up. 

But can they do it on a wet Wednesday in Stoke? 

09:40: Some key questions to mull over:

1) Labour received 40% and the Tories won 42%. The return of two party politics?

2) The turnout was up for the fourth succesive general election and stands at 69%. Coupled with high turnouts in the 2014 Scottish Independence and 2016 Brexit referendums, are we coming out of the participation crisis? 

09:02: Labour have increased the number of votes by 9.5% compared to 2015, receiving 12.8 million votes. Corbyn's predecessors, Kinnock (1992) and Miliband (2015) seemed to reach a ceiling of support, and so it was right that they resigned. Yet Corbyn's party have won where they weren't supposed to, held on to seats they weren't supposed to, and look rather strong and stable like Theresa May was supposed to.  

08:58: You can't ignore the young anymore, says Owen Jones. They got off their "lazy arses", to coin an unfortunate phrase from a Tory MP. Have no idea why students don't like the Conservative Party.

08:42: May has sacked her advisor Nick Timothy and appointed Timothy Nick.  

08:36: Just to make it clear, I wrote this article after Corbyn voted to trigger Article 50, when I thought he should have given his MPs a free vote. At no point did I abandon him because I thought he would lose, although I expected a rout like everyone else. Parties and leaders should be more than just electoral machines. They have a duty to educate, to enthuse and inspire, and to bring people into decision making. I have never doubted that this is a duty Corbyn takes really seriously. On virtually every policy, I am with him. I would like him to support PR though. 

08:30: Nick Robinson asks: "Was it the young wot won it?" Well it wasn't the Sun. 

08:13: Note to self: add minority governments to Scheme of Work 

08:07: I love the way Labour have twisted every Tory argument and weakened every Tory strength. McDonnell is now talking about a coalition of chaos between the Tories and the DUP, which is weak and unstable. 

 08:06: May couldn't do this move.


06:55: If MPs are sensible, they will make Parliament's cross-party Brexit committee the chief negotiating body. It is an issue that all parties want rid of; most MPs would accept a softer Brexit. If May quits, then remain Tories might feel free to speak their mind on the issue, something they should have done when they voted on Article 50. Only a cross-party approach will unite the country, something that is more important than parliamentary math.  

06:51: The electoral system matters as well. Under PR, the Tories would have just 280 seats. 

06:30: Personality matters in elections. Even if voters do not like a leader, those with charisma, uniqueness and directness do better than those who are robotic, samey, and evasive. May played the role of Clinton; Corbyn mirrored Bernie Sanders. 

05:52: Voters have held up two fingers to the Daily Mail, Murdoch, The Sun, The Telegraph and Katie Hopkins. Their influence is coming to an end. If not today, or even in the next few years, then soon. The Tories are still likely to remain in power for now, propped up by the DUP, but they lack legitimacy, any kind of a mandate, and must rely on a small group of right wingers who do not speak for the many. I am immensely hopeful that people are keen to learn, to develop their thinking and to challenge those in power, and to those who attempt to distort the truth. They may do so in interesting and unexpected ways, and certainly inconsistently and hardly ever in unison. But it is human nature to explore, to be curious and to work together to improve their communities, and that innate goodness will always triumph. Eventually. 

05:44: Grammar schools will have to put up with huge class sizes and inadequate resources, now that there aren't the votes to expand them. 

05:42: Dimbleby says that the problem was not so much the initial plan on social care, but May's stubborn refusal to admit that she U turned on it. The problem, therefore, is with her. 

05:40: Perhaps the Fixed Term Parliament Act will stay, until the next time.

05:37: Lots of people say that the economy didn't matter in this election, but austerity was firmly on the ballot and Corbyn's rise is a reaction against it. 

04:55: Amber Rudd gets back into parliament, but on that wafer-thin majority don't expect to see her much. She'll be in Hastings, most likely taking part in mock battles. 

04:49: All the Blairites want jobs in the shadow cabinet. They only had to ask. 

04:47: The Tories are already calling for stability. From the people that brought you a referendum and election that weren't needed.  One commentator has described the party as a casino.  

04:45: Kuenssberg quotes from William Hague: The Tory Party is an "Absolute monarchy regulated by regicide." May is 50/50 to go in the morning. Tories hate losers. 

04:40: Labour hold Nuke Town, AKA Barrow-in-Furness. Corbyn's Trident compromise must have had an impact here.  

04:26: The ironic thing about the "Revenge of the Remainers" is that we could have a parliament held hostage by the Ulster Unionists, the hardest of Brexiteers. 

04:20: Chuka Umunna is the latest Blairite lavishing praise on Corbyn.

04:19: Not many people know the full Blair quote from 1997: "A new, rather fucked-up dawn has broken, has it not?". 

04:15: Exit polls show that Labour increased its vote share amongst older voters by more than what the Tories did. The Dementia Tax was perhaps the most lethal suicide pill in history. 

04:10: Given the high turnout, could it be possible that Theresa May wins more votes than any other leader in UK political history.

04:00: The DUP will have ten MPs in parliament, which boosts the pro-Brexit voice and allows them huge influence. It is a potentially dangerous development, given the complications that Brexit will have on that province. It also means that A Level Politics students will have to find out who or what DUP is. 

03:55: May is racing back to London. Corbyn is already there of course. This election hasn't finished - if the parliamentary arithmetic creates chaos then Labour must not let the Tories set the agenda on how the next government is formed. Corbyn needs to get on the blower to all the other parties. I am happy to host them at my house. 

03:48: Peter Kellner projects that the Tories might get 44% of the vote, exactly the same as Blair in 1997. We were told that the strength of First Past the Post is that it produces....drumroll please... strong and stable leadership.    

03:38: My rotten form with predictions continues amuck. I was wrong in 2015, wrong on Brexit and wrong on Trump. I am happy to announce that I am wrong on that Tory majority. 

03:37: I am still not convinced that the Tories will be able pass a Queen's speech, even though they are projected to win 318 seats by the Beeb. 

03:32: Two leaders run for election and ask us to imagine them as prime minister. Then we get someone else. That's parliamentary democracy for you folks. 

03:31: Osborne is gleeful on ITV. Balls is holding his hand. Have to be careful how I write that, especially since it isn't true. 

03:29: Cameron is plotting in his garden shed/house. The colour of the walls; the position of the television etc. 

03:26: May has laid out a specific, clear plan for the next few days. "The country needs a period a stability." Brilliant. Masterful. I now know exactly what is going to happen. 

03:22: May clings on against Elmo, and a range of people in costumes. All the Maidenhead candidates are going out for a romp in the fields as dawn breaks. It's going to be wild. 

03:16: Labour storming back in Scotland. It should not be a surprise, given that most Scots are unionists, and that most Scots are more left wing than their English counterparts. In hindsight, Corbyn was the perfect candidate. 

03:14: May is about to give her Maidenhead speech in this election. 

02:56: Clegg and possibly Farron out, and Cable in. I like Cable and don't like the other two, so happy days. 

02:47: Clegg has gone! Revenge is a dish best served without a shit load of student debt, but we'll take it anyway.

02:45: Don't rule out May hanging on - the Tories are the greatest reinvention machine in worldwide political history. If the prospect of a leadership election appears more disastrous than not having one, they won't have one. 

02:42: I would like the Tories to have the leadership election they deserve. 

02:38: I wonder what will happen to Trump's state visit. Actually, I am not really wondering about this at all. 

02:31: The Beeb have forecasted that the Tories will only be one or two seats short of a majority, and will therefore rely on votes from the Ulster Unionists to get a Queen's Speech through parliament. Lord Ashcroft has tweeted that the newly elected Scottish Tories may prop up the government, which is rather amusing, given that Cameron has banned them from voting on English-only matters. The speaker of the house has a key role in declaring whether a bill is English "in substance" and so the battle to be the next speaker could become highly politicised. If John Bercow stays on, it will be interesting to see what happens, given his leftward drift in recent years. 

02:29: Has the high watermark of Scottish nationalism passed? According to Peter Kellner, it looks like some two-thirds of the voters have backed parties favouring the union. 

02:23: Mixed feeling about the SNP's Angus Robertson losing his seat. On the one hand, he supports something I don't - Scottish independence. On the other hand, he is fantastic orator and a far better performer at PMQs than either May or Corbyn. 

02:20: "Who governs Britain?", asked Ted Heath in 1974. "Not you, mate", came the reply. 

02:00: So the UKIP collapse is benefiting both Labour and Conservatives in equal measure. Turns out that the NHS matters more to people than either Brexit or immigration. The EU referendum merely elevated a secondary issue for a short time. Most people don't care about the EU. And those who do are taking it in turns to be activated. Last year, the leavers were out in force; this year it is the remainers' turn. I am not sure that I am making sense any longer. 

02:00: Ed Balls of Strictly and George Osborne of the Evening Standard are on ITV. What a coup for that network! 

01:46: The Tories went full UKIP after the terror attacks, calling for "embarrassing conversations" and pledging to rip up the Human Rights Act. They blamed Corbyn for being a terrorist sympathiser. They should have learnt from the Madrid bombings in 2004, when the conservative government blamed the wrong people. The subsequent election saw the socialists come to power. When politicians offer knee-jerk solutions to really complex and difficult problems, they get punished. 

01:45: Labour almost took Putney! I wonder whether Justine Greening will be the first openly gay leader of the Tories. 

01:30: Exit polls can be wrong. Could this one be wrong in overestimating the Tories? Just a thought. 

01:26: The swing towards Labour in Tooting is colossal, with turnout a whopping 75%. The Tories really have sneered at the cities, and particularly London, for too long. What a way to respond! 

01:21: Theresa May usually shows up to the count around midnight. She is so far nowhere to be found. "A bloody difficult night for a bloody difficult woman." 

01:05: Whatever the result, it does appear that young people have affected the election in a way not seen since 1964 when Harold Wilson won a narrow majority. Their political activation was always a question of when rather than if, given the long list of grievances that 18-24 year olds have been harbouring. It is worth going through them: Iraq; EMA abolition; tuition fees; Brexit; Brexit and Brexit. As a result, more people than ever are taking A Level Politics. From my point of view, this is great for business. 

01:00: Looks like Corbyn is keeping his job, regardless. 

00:53: Keeping on the civil war theme, May's government is the 21st century equivalent of the Major-Generals under Cromwell. You know, the ones who "banned" Christmas in the 1650s. That makes Corbyn King Charles II, the merry monarch who brought it back. Although I am not sure he is a closet Catholic. 

00:51: Marr: "Every mile North" is better than the Tories. The World Turned upside down?

00:44: "Revenge of the Remainers?" Rawnsley

00:39: "We are returning to the two tribes, but their members are in different places." Kuenssberg.

00:37: So, Brexit talks in 10 days time. Hope the preparations are going well, free from distraction. 

00:26: Labour might take Ipswich, bringing down John Gummer's son Ben. John fed his daughter beef during the mad cow fiasco; Ben helped write the Tory manifesto. Can't help feeling sorry for a family with such a proud record of achievement. 

00:09: I want to apologise for all the football analogies but... it is remarkable that, all of a sudden and out of nowhere, Labour appears to have a stronger bench than the Tories. Barry Gardiner, Emily Thornberry, Angela Rayner and Kier Starmer have all had excellent campaigns, as have Corbyn and McDonnell. Even Yvette Cooper made a last minute intervention on police numbers (can't for the life of me think why). Yet the Tories appear void of articulate talent. Michael Fallon is the snarler-in-chief, May is the evader-in-chief, Amber Rudd is be the patsy-in-chief and Boris Johnson is bully boy-in-chief. May was hoping they would all be Indians. 

00:06: The infographic team have been wheeled out to entertain us on the Beeb. 

00:04: The pound is falling. Higher prices will be worth it for a hung parliament. We can take it! 

00:00: Dimbleby is having a nightmare. Hardly any results have come in, he can't get the microphones to work in the North East, and now a fly has landed on his shoulder. I think it is Curtice messing with him. One thing is certain about the results so far - things are swinging both ways. 

23:55: Beeb are suggesting that Nick Clegg might lose his seat. That wouldn't be surprising. That wouldn't be upsetting. 

23:49: John Curtice is speaking to me through the television. Help! Help!

23:48: Exit poll could be wrong, since it ignores postal votes.. I have a really good idea. Don't have exit polls. They don't provide extra funding for schools, eradicate extremism or address the problem with diesel car emissions. 

23:45: Owen Jones is on ITV. He is so eloquent. He looks as old as my six year old son, but I a reliably informed that he is in fact 72. #Benjaminbuttonisasocialist. 

23:27: Just going to put my cat to bed. He likes a little bit of food, a comfy place to curl up and some fresh litter in which to do his business. I expect some Tories need the same. I can recommend the organic recycled newspaper pellets. 

23:23: Jack Straw is saying some lovely words about Corbyn. All the moderates have united behind him in the last few hours. Lovely to see. 

23:19: Newsflash! Theresa May is taking a leave of absence because she is ill. Sources suggest that Diane Abbott coughed on her and spit did land on her cheek. 

23:14: I have an early sinking feeling. Could it be grim up North for Labour? The Sunderland and Houghton result was rather underwhelming, but perhaps there is a big discrepancy between safe and marginal seats. Either way, Tony Blair's lawyers are probably still okay to turn the lights out for the night; Jez is still a long shot for PM. The fact that there is a shot still to be fired is remarkable. 

23:07: Not only were Sunderland relegated from the premiership, but they finished second in the race for first constituency to declare. It's a silly competition. 

23:06: Why have the Beeb put Curtice so high up there? It is freaking me out! Might as well give him a cape #Voldermortlives. 

23:00: If the Tories have to work with the DUP, then the peace process in Northern Ireland could be in trouble. The loyalist-loving Theresa May has a long record of meeting protestants at funerals.

22:52: Oh no, here he comes: Lord Voldemort, AKA John Curtice, the voice of DOOM. The prof reminds us that the exit poll underplayed the Tory seat count in 2015. 

22:50: Correction: my daughter said that she found watching mummy vote "exciting".

22:45: Caveat caveat caveat caveat

22:42: My hunch is that the Tories will somehow cling on to government with these numbers, if they can get the anti-gay DUP to support them, and if the Corbyn-sympathsing Sinn Fein do not take up their seats in Parliament, which is a given. 

22:40: The Lib Dems only got a bloody nose from the coalition because a) they backed the Tories and b) backed tuition fees. A progressive alliance need not damage them because a) they won't be backing the Tories and b) they can get rid of tuition feels. 

22:34: I was out in Croydon Central last night and was astonished by how many people volunteered to knock on doors for Labour. They came from all over London, and some even further afield than that. The 21st century equivalent of flying pickets. 

22:26: May (Theresa not the month) might need to resign, if the exit poll is correct. If Amber Rudd loses her seat, then perhaps George Osborne might have a crack at it. Oh, wait a minute, he has some other jobs to do. Don't rule out Boris. Anyone who can get away with putting an opposition MP in a headlock always has a chance of appealing to the masses. 

22:20: All the parties have ruled out any form of coalition. Granted, the parliamentary math might not allow for it, but isn't time we all grew up?  In other countries, parties publish coalition deals before elections get underway so that voters can see the likely compromises. 

22:14: I get the sense that the broadcast journalists, including true-blue Nick Robinson, quite like Corbyn. There is something refreshing about the honesty of his campaign. And everyone likes an underdog. If you are currently looking at previous articles on de Souza's Digest, just skip over the one entitled "I can no longer support Jeremy Corbyn". 

22:10: If I were Corbyn, I would be on the blower to Sturgeon and Farron to ask them to read the Labour manifesto. They should tick off what they like and cross off what they don't, them send an email to her majesty confirming that they can support a minority Labour government. Don't rule out May putting the gas on the Jag and speeding to the palace. Get out of your allotment Jez and take your jam to Lizzie!

22:06: I am going out on a limb here - Gary Lineker voted Labour.

22:05: If that exit poll is right, then I'll eat my doughnut. If it is wrong, then it's Italia '90 all over again. 

21:58: Football analogy time: Brexit for me was like Italia '90. I shed tears with Gazza that night in Turin. The 2015 election harked back to Gareth Southgate's penalty miss in Euro '96. The 2017 election? A few months ago I was about as emotionally invested in this election as I was in England's defeat to Iceland last year.

21:55: Okay so here comes my prediction: I am going for a 66 seat Tory majority. Why, you might ask? I really have no idea. Perhaps it is because the country doesn't like the Tories enough to give them a landslide, but it doesn't like Corbyn enough to give him 200 seats. Perhaps the main reason is that I am emotionally brittle after Brexit, and can't handle too much hope. 

21:52: Interesting stat from The Guardian on its live blog: There were over 100,000 spoilt ballots in 2015. The most ever was in 1979, where there really wasn't much of a difference between the two leaders...

21:46: My son asked about the different colours you could vote for, and what they all mean. To break it down for him, we explained it thus: 

Greens: They want to save your planet

Reds: They want to save your school

Yellows: They change their mind a lot

Blues: They don't want to save your school

Purple: They don't like refugees

I am really proud of my unbiased summary. Like I said, we are just brilliant parents. They key to our success is to get them to really think deeply about the options they have. 

21:44: My wife took our two children to the polling station to watch her vote. When you think about it, I can't think of anything more boring for kids - just watching people vote. Yet the whole experience made us feel like really good parents, which we are. 

20:18: Welcome all to another helping political obsession. Click back later for my blow-by-blow account of election night. I'll try to stay up for as long as David Dimbleby. He is 78, so I would feel pretty pathetic if I didn't. 

Only PR can end the chaos in Westminster

Only PR can end the chaos in Westminster

Labour has won the policy war but is still the underdog

Labour has won the policy war but is still the underdog