Bookmark this page and keep returning and refreshing the page for Inside Croydon’s unmatched live coverage across half a dozen local constituencies, with updates on events nationally throughout the night.
In Croydon, the first results are not expected until around 4am, with marginal seat Croydon Central likely to be announced later still.
In Sutton’s Carshalton and Wallington seat, where LibDem veteran Tom Brake is seeking to enter a fourth decade as the area’s MP, the result is expected to be declared around the same time – though if there is a need for recounts, it could be delayed.
Our live coverage will begin from 9.30 tonight, and include the exit poll results at 10pm, together with analysis and insights from constituencies in Croydon, Sutton and Bromley.
We welcome your election-day pictures and news, your comments and your observations, which you can send to us (confidentially if you prefer) by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @InsideCroydon
Each new post will be timestamped, with the most recent postings being right here at the top of the page. Scroll up from the bottom for the complete storyline on how the 2019 Christmas election unfolded here in south London.
Philp holds Croydon South as Tories and Labour lose votes to LibDems
Philp polled 30,985 (52.2 per cent, down 2.2 per cent from 2017). His majority was increased a tad from 2017.
Labour’s Olga FitzRoy received 18,646 (31.4 per cent, down 4.4 per cent).
Anna Jones (LibDem) 7,503, up 6.8 per cent on two years ago.
Nice polling station
It’s 6.30am, and we still haven’t had a result for Croydon South (it should/could have all been wrapped up by 4am).
So instead, here’s a picture of a polling station in Sanderstead.
Reed holds Croydon North – election result is ‘devastating’ for Labour
Reed polled 36,495 votes – 65.9 per cent, while Conservative Donald Ekekhomen got 11,822 (20.9 per cent).
The national election result for Labour is “devastating”, Reed said in his acceptance speech.
Croydon count chaos… again
It is nearly 6am.
The Outer Hebrides have declared their result. The Outer Hebrides, no less.
There are just 13 constituencies still to declare.
Two of them are in Croydon.
Jo Negrini is paid more than £220,000 per year as the council’s chief executive and therefore gets paid a five-figure sum to be Returning Officer. And, yet again, Croydon’s count is a slow-going shambles.
The BBC put together one of their maps, showing all the London constituencies. But with two grey blanks – because Croydon had not managed to complete its counts, eight hours after the polls closed.
LibDem Brake loses in Carshalton and Wallington
If Labour has had a bad night, it is surely an even worse result for the Liberal Democrats, who have been eviscerated.
They have lost their party leader, the candidate tipped to take over, Luciana Berger in Finchley, failed to win her seat, and now the longest-serving LibDem MP, Tom Brake, has lost after a recount in Carshalton and Wallington.
“We’re down, but not out,” Brake said, perhaps not realising that he is, in fact, out.
Despite Brake’s brave face, the LibDems in the sportshall where the count ws staged are clearly devastated. Sutton Council now has no LibDem MP to support it, though in the end, Brake may have paid the price for the council’s failures.
Recounts, lost boxes of votes and candidates walking out
Veteran Tory MP Bob Stewart holds on in Beckenham, with 54 per cent of the vote, beating Labour’s Marina Ahmad who took 25.8 per cent.
Ahmad, a Bromley councillor, was Labour’s candidate for Croydon and Sutton in the 2016 London Assembly elections, and seems set to be a “list” candidate for the party next May.
And while the recount, through checking bundles, continues at Carshalton and Wallington, progress on the counts in Croydon North and South grinds on exceedingly slowly.
Anna Jones, the LibDem candidate in Croydon South, became so disenchanted with the poor progress and disorganised nature of the count – one box of votes was “lost” and not discovered until nearly 5am – that she is at the point of going home before the declaration. It would be fair to assume that she doesn’t think she’s won…
Paul Scully, the Tory MP (again) in Sutton and Cheam, said in his acceptance speech: “The result across the country is more important than my own, although I’m delighted to have kept a 50 per cent vote share.”
Conservatives formally win General Election
Tories have won 328 seats, and so will have a majority in the House of Commons.
Just 51 more seats to be declared. Two of those in Croydon…
News from the count at Trinity School is that they have just begun counting the ballot papers from a lost box of votes from Riddlesdown polling station.
Seven hours on, exit poll starts to be re-assessed
Interesting… remember back at 10pm yesterday when the Sky, BBC and ITV exit poll was predicting that Bulllshit Boris Johnson’s Conservatives would be getting 368 seats and an 86 majority – the biggest since Thatcher in 1987?
Those figures are being rapidly reassessed.
At 10pm, Labour was predicted to win just 191 seats – the lowest tally by the party since 1935 when the exit polls were announced.
Yet by 5am, with just 72 more seats to be formally declared, Labour was now being predicted to win 203 seats, with the Tories on 359.
Of course, that’s still a stonking election win for the Tories, but now with a Conservative majority of 74 seats.
The vote split now looks like 45 per cent for the Conservatives, Labour on 33 per cent, LibDems on 12 per cent and Greens on 3 per cent.
Jones defeats Creatura with increased majority in Croydon Central
Jones polled 27,124 votes, to Conservative Mario Creatura’s 21,275.
The result was received with such enthusiasm, Jones’s vote tally could not be heard clearly for the cheers of Labour activists.
Inside Croydon had predicted that Jones would maintain her majority from 2017. In the event, so poor was Creatura’s campaign – which fell apart after the Fairfield by-election in November, when his use of cult-like SPAC Nation church-goers back-fired – that there was a 0.55 per cent swing from Conservative to Labour.
Creatura, previously a special adviser on Twitter to Theresa Mayhem in Downing Street, may have reached the peak of his political career as a councillor for Coulsdon.
Scully confirmed as Tory hold in Sutton and Cheam
It is suggested that Carshalton and Wallington, where LibDem Tom Brake has been MP since 1997, has gone to a recount – Tory Elliot Colburn said to be ahead by hundreds of votes on the first count.
Mixed news elsewhere: Prime Minister Boris Johnson held on to his seat in Uxbridge and South Ruislip by 7,000-plus votes, while Jo “I’m going to be Prime Minister” Swinson, the LibDem party leader, lost her seat in Dunbartonshire East to the SNP by 149 votes.
In Northern Ireland, Nigel Dodds, the DUP’s leader in Westminster, has also lost his seat.
Huge turnouts in Croydon seats
Total vote in Croydon Central 54,180, turnout 66.55 per cent.
But in Croydon South, 59,580 people voted, meaning a 70.94 per cent turnout.
No sign of any result declarations just yet.
Corbyn announces he will not lead Labour in next General Election
Jeremy Corbyn, in his acceptance speech in Islington North, where he is returned as MP, spoke of his disappointment with the outcome of the election, says he would not lead the Labour Party at any future General Election, though he will stay on to review the party’s position.
As Corbyn made his speech, the result from Sedgefield, Tony Blair’s old seat, was announced as a Tory gain.
Chuka Umunna, the former MP for Streatham who undermined his party for two years before quitting earlier this year, setting up the Independent Group in parliament, and then defecting for a second time in a matter of weeks to join the LibDems, has failed in his attempt to win the Cities of London and Westminster from the Tories.
In the end, it wasn’t even close.
Ups and downs in and around London: IDS hangs on in Chingford
Big turn-outs in Sutton, where Scully tipped to hold seat
Over at the Westcroft Centre, where Sutton’s staging its two counts, it is looking like a Tory hold in Sutton and Cheam, off a 70.6 per cent turnout.
Paul Scully, who won the seat from the LibDems in 2015, is estimated to have nearly 50 per cent of the vote, beating the controversial Hina Bokhari (see 7.15pm below, and click here), who has polled 30 per cent, with Labour on 18.5 per cent.
The Carshalton and Wallington result is “too close to call”, off a 67.5 per cent turn-out.
Central count delayed – Negrini can’t cope with ballot papers
Jo Negrini, who is not to be trusted to organise a boozy party in a place where beer is brewed, has been into the hall at the count and advised that there will be a delay on the Croydon Central declaration.
Her reason? A lot of votes…
Far more postal votes than ever had been given in at polling stations, Negrini said.
The turnout in Croydon Central is 66.55 per cent, and Labour sources at the count believe that they have done enough to hold the seat for Sarah Jones. But it could be gone 5am before anyone knows for sure.
In one piece of good news for Labour, Fleur Anderson managed to win Putney from the Tories with a 6.4 per cent swing. Justin Greening, the former Tory minister who’d held the seat, had stood down before the election.
Momentum: We will resist Johnson’s attempt to destroy the NHS
Whatever the final outcome of the General Election, rather than the exit polls – which are stating that 65 seats are “too close to call” – the Corbyn-supporting Momentum limited company remains determined to continue with its style of Labour policies.
By 1.45am, two Labour front bench spokespeople had lost their seats in what seems to be a disastrous night for Corbyn’s party, but Laura Parker, the national coordinator of Momentum, said, “It’s unquestionable that Labour’s policies are popular. Every poll shows it, and there is absolutely no appetite to go back to the centrist policies of old.
“But in this election we were squeezed by Brexit and it was the defining issue.
“Against that storm we built a huge movement of hundreds of thousands of ordinary people and they won’t stop until we see real change in this country.
“We will resist Johnson’s attempt to destroy our NHS. We will keep the Labour Party socialist. We will build a Britain for the many, not the few.”
Purley’s absentee councillor bucks the trend – and loses Tory vote share
Looks like Oni Oviri, the Purley councillor who has missed 77 per cent of council meetings in 2019, will have to find her way to Croydon Town Hall again after all.
Oviri had somehow got herself selected as a Tory candidate for the General Election, in the north-east at South Shields.
Her result came through just after 1am, and was no great surprise. The Conservatives have never won in South Shields in nearly 200 years.
But while the exit polls are nationally predicting a 11 per cent swing from Conservatives to Labour, Oviri managed to see the Tory vote reduced by more than 5 per cent in a seat where the Brexit Party finished third on 17 per cent.
‘If Labour lose Croydon Central because of planning, Newman must go’
Candidates, agents and activists started to drift into Trinity School for the Croydon count around an hour ago.
Though, despite Returning Officer Jo Negrini choosing to drag everyone out to Shirley for the count (see 1.35pm below), there was no car parking available.
According to one councillor, agents were forced to use public transport (good luck on the journey home), or look for parking spaces on the residential streets nearby.
Among the first candidates to arrive was Chris Philp, who looked “like his political career had hit a brick wall”. Philp has been the Tory MP for Croydon South since 2015.
“He’s on the phone, and doesn’t look like a man seeing a landslide win.”
Given the national polling figures, and the LibDems in Croydon’s refusal to embrace tactical voting to unseat the Tory, it would seem unlikely that Philp’s seat – 11,000 majority in 2017 – is under real threat. But as he said during his Under The Flyover podcast interview earlier this month, there is no guarantee that he will keep his junior minister’s job in the new parliament.
Notably nowhere to be seen at the counts, unusually, was Tony Newman, the Blairite leader of Croydon Council. Which could suggest that there could be some bad news on the way.
“Croydon Central looks very tight,” according to one of Inside Croydon’s highly trained observers at the count. “New Addington Labour vote is badly down.”
Sarah Jones won Croydon Central in 2017 with a 5,000-vote advantage, but would be vulnerable if the 11 per cent swing from Labour to Tories was to play out in her constituency, where Mario Creatura is the Tory candidate.
New Addington was where Brick by Brick, the council’s exceedingly unpopular house-building firm, was staging a consultation just a few days before the election, a decision which was never discussed with the Jones campaign team, and which is understood to have been very badly received by them. “Imbecilic,” was one description of the council’s decision to stage such a consultation during an election period.
“Planning decisions also cost us badly in Shirley,” another Croydon Labour figure told Inside Croydon tonight.
And it is not just Jeremy Corbyn who might lose his position as a consequence of the election results. “If we lose Croydon Central, Newman needs to go,” the Labour source said.
‘The result will be devastating for communities like mine’
This could be a catastrophe for the people of Croydon North
Steve Reed OBE, who has served as MP for Croydon North since 2012, is under no threat of losing his very safe seat tonight.
But the implications of a big Tory majority at the House of Commons are beginning to sink in for him and those Labour MPs left to face possibly five years of unrestrained, far-right Conservative government.
BBC reporting that Tom Brake could lose his seat
Labour seats are not the only casualties from tonight stunning election results.
Tom Brake, the LibDem who has held Carshalton and Wallington since 1997, could be unseated by the Conservatives’ Elliot Colburn, according to one of the early election predictions on the BBC.
Reaction and recriminations after stunning exit poll
As the first results trickle in – including the first Tory gain from Labour in Blyth Valley – it is fair to state that the exit poll has left those wearing red rosettes, and many with orange colours, stunned and subdued.
The recriminations within Labour were quite to surface, too, with the centrists blaming Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters, and Corbynistas blaming Brexit.
Johnson gets Thatcher-like majority say exit polls
The BBC, Sky and ITV exit poll is calling it a 86-seat majority for Bullshit Boris Johnson’s Tories, with 368 seats. That will be the biggest Conservative majority since Thatcher in 1987.
Labour, according to the polls, will have 191 seats – the lowest number for the party since 1935.
The final countdown… for Boris?
So what’s at stake here? Might we be heading for another hung parliament, with no party having an overall majority and unable to progress any legislation?
The Guardian‘s election live blog is reporting that Tory cabinet minister Brandon Lewis, the security minister told ITV’s Peston programme last night, “I think it would be really good to get a majority like we had before, something 20 to 30 upwards, but that’s going to be hard work.”
When voting closes at 10pm, and the exit polls are released by the BBC, Sky and ITV, we’ll get an idea of how good a tipster Lewis is.
Whether Boris Johnson is even an MP in the morning, though, is in doubt. There are suggestions that tactical voting on a decent scale by the LibDems in Uxbridge might just unseat the Prime Minister, in favour of Labour candidate Ali Milani.
Mind you, even Johnson didn’t vote for Johnson: he went and voted in Westminster, at Central Hall.
And if Boris don’t vote for Boris, why should anyone else?
Tory sources (well, the bloke in the Dog and Duck with a copy of the Torygraph under his arm) reckons that if Johnson is toppled, some poor sap of a Conservative in a safe(r) seat will resign and get a cushty peerage to make way for the PM.
And to think that in 2014, when Johnson was scouting around for such a safe seat, he was even considering Croydon South and its then 17,000-strong majority…
The Berx have taken over at Tory Central Office
This was tweeted from the Tory Party’s official Twitter account within the last hour.
Suffice to say, matters may not be going as smoothly as Johnson and Dominic Cummings might have hoped.
Inside Croydon is unable to confirm that Mario Creatura had anything to do with this particular piece of social media genius. The Tories may have other Berx.
LibDem Bokhari forced to climbdown on election day over her smears
In an extraordinary development on election day, Liberal Democrat candidate in Sutton and Cheam Hina Bokhari issued a grovelling apology to local councillor Tim Crowley just before 6pm.
As was exclusively reported by Inside Croydon last week, Bokhari – or more likely, her campaign team of Sutton FibDems – concocted a dossier intended to damage Crowley, the leader of the Conservative opposition on Sutton Council, and made calls on her General Election rival Paul Scully to have the councillor suspended from the Tory Party.
A number of high-profile LibDems, and others, supported Bokhari’s attempt at victim-signalling, in which she claimed she felt under threat. Bokhari’s supporters included Chuka Umunna, “Sir” Ed Davey, the Greens’ Caroline Lucas, and even Bianca Jagger.
Yet even a brief few checks established that the claims made by Bokhari were baseless.
A couple of legal letters and a formal complaint to the LibDems high command from a concerned party supporter in Sutton saw Bokhari’s supporters quietly delete their social media posts.
But it was not until tonight – with just hours before the polls closed – that Bokhari herself made any sort of redress.
“I recently posted about Cllr Tim Crowley. I claimed he supported far-right organisations and made highly offensive remarks about women,” Bokhari, or whoever it is who runs her Twitter feed, stated.
“I got this wrong. I should have checked my facts before posting and I wholeheartedly apologise to Cllr Crowley.
Bokhari’s appeal dripped insincerity.
It may be a while before Umunna, “Sir” Ed and others get round to RT-ing Bokhari’s curt apology with the same enthusiasm with which they spread her previous smears.
The apology did not impress one Tory activist in Sutton.
“They’ve dragged it out to minimise the election impact,” they said. “I expect her to lose heavily tonight, anyway, so she’ll be forgotten tomorrow – or at least until she stands for the FibDems in the London Assembly elections next May. If the Liberal Democrats had an morality, she should be dropped as a candidate for City Hall.”
Private Eye‘s handy guide to tactical voting
Get yourself in the queue. It could be a long night
Turnout will be a factor in the outcome of the election, and reports from polling stations across the borough, and the capital, suggest unusually high numbers, especially of younger voters, turning up to cast their ballot papers earlier in the day.
In Putney, a Conservative-held marginal targeted by Labour, queues of voters were photographed this morning, patiently waiting despite the rain. Usually, a high turnout in elections in this country is reckoned to favour Labour over the Tories.
South Norwood leisure centre, a Croydon Central polling station, was busy throughout the morning, while one activist in the south of the borough reported, “polling seemed higher than usual this morning, with a good mix of people voting”.
One voter told Inside Croydon that the people they had seen at their polling station were “younger than usual, and also more diverse”.
In a canny use of social media, Labour nationally has also encouraged all its candidates and its high-profile celebrity supporters to tweet a single word when they have voted: “Labour”. It is surprising how many millionaire footballers have voted Labour today…
Of course, many prefer to vote after work, and they have until 10pm to do so – though in previous General Elections since 2010, there has been lengthy queues at some Croydon polling stations before the polls close. Any registered voter in a queue at 10pm – in the dark December rain – is, by law, still entitled to vote.
Has the Mirror cracked it?Much has been said about media coverage of this election, with particular fire being directed at the BBC television, in particular for their failure to secure Boris Johnson for an interview with Andrew Neil.
Denied his chance to question the Prime Minister directly, the piece to camera by Neil to Johnson was devastating, but unlikely to have had the same impact as his putting the Bullingdon buffoon through one of his pieces of forensic questioning.
Johnson’s refusal to put himself forward was, of course, a deliberate ploy – as was shown yesterday when he hid in a fridge, rather than face live questioning from Piers Morgan.
Jo Coburn, Neil’s former deputy inquisitor on the Daily Politics, managed to rise to the occasion, though, with her dissections of south London Tory MPs Paul Scully and Chris Philp and their lack of grasp of detail on the replacement lunchtime programme, Politics Live, in the final week of the campaign.
Some suggest that Philp’s latest calamitous live TV appearance, in which he made a poor defence of Conservative performance over the NHS, may have holed his career permanently.
Of course, most of the printed media in this country is owned by a handful of multi-billionaires, and their political positions are unambiguously biased in favour of the Tories.
The manner in which the press can be manipulated was raised in a Yorkshire Post editorial yesterday. The paper had broken the story of the small child sleeping on the floor of a hospital where there was not enough beds.
James Mitchinson, the Post‘s editor, wrote yesterday, “The people of this country must never again be asked to navigate a maelstrom of misinformation in order to decide who will govern them.
“We’re on the side of truth. We are calling for an end to the lies. The deception. The fakery.”
After a generally uninspired campaign all-round, the Mirror, always a Labour-supporting newspaper, has had a particularly good election, with a series of powerful tabloid front pages in the past week worthy of its most famous editor, Hugh Cudlipp.But do enough people read the Mirror, or any newspaper, these days for it to make any real difference to the election outcome?
We may have the beginnings of an answer to that question in four hours’ time.
Negrini spends £12,000 public money to hire private school sports hall
The first controversy of polling day in Croydon, perhaps inevitably, comes from Fisher’s Folly, the council offices, and straight off the desk of borough CEO Jo Negrini.
By virtue of her £220,000 per year chief exec’s role, Negrini also enjoys a nice little earner as Croydon’s chief returning officer – reckoned to be worth around £10,000 per election or referendum to her personally, although Negrini refuses to provide details of her returning officer fees, regarding this very important and public position as “a private matter”.
As returning officer, Negrini is responsible for the booking and staffing of the polling stations, and for tonight’s count, which will not be taking place in a town centre venue, but is being held at Trinity School in Shirley.
Despite the council having paid at least £41million to refurbish the Fairfield Halls – a long-established Croydon count venue in the past – Negrini has decided to spend more than £12,000 of public money to hire the sports hall at posh independent school as the venue for the count.
Trinity is unpopular as a venue for the count with activists from all the political parties, as its out-of-town location makes it difficult to get to late at night, after polling stations have closed, and even more difficult to get home from in the early hours of the morning once the count is completed. It does, at least, have plenty of space for car parking.
Ahead of last year’s Town Hall local elections, Negrini was explicitly told by the council’s Labour leadership that she was not to use public funds to bolster the wealthy Whitgift Foundation school’s budget, but to find another venue for the count. Negrini still went ahead and booked Trinity.
Then, the council-owned Fairfield Halls were not available. This time round, she does not have that excuse.
Here, in case you hadn’t seen them before, are the complete lists of declared candidates in Croydon’s three constituencies.
Have you listened to our Under The Flyover Election podcasts yet? Here what some of the General Election candidates from Croydon constituencies had to say when they were seeking your vote
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