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All Night Long

28 June 2024
| by Field Team

If the MRP poll from YouGov is to be believed, Sir Keir Starmer will be elected Prime Minister on the 4th July with a majority of 223 seats. But how will the result unfold once polls close?

As soon as Big Ben strikes 10:00pm, broadcasters will unveil the exit poll conducted throughout polling day by sampling voters from approximately 150 polling stations across the country, once they have voted (or exited the polling station, geddit?). This will give a pretty good guide to the outcome - polling guru John Curtice has said exit polls have typically “ended up proving rather more accurate than what the opinion polls have been.” At that point, we’ll have good idea if a Labour landslide/Tory meltdown is really on the cards and it will set the tone for the rest of the night.

As the night unfolds, here’s a breakdown of what to expect and a reminder to set those alarms accordingly:

11:30pm: The first results will trickle in from Blyth & Ashington, followed by Houghton & Sunderland South where Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson will be the first big beast to be elected.

12:15pm: Conservative Party Chairman Richard Holden will find out his fate, having relocated seats 300 miles from Durham to Basildon & Billericay. This race looks tight and could set the tone for other big Tory losses. At this point, Conservative supporters might start reaching for the tequila shots to drown their sorrows.

1am: The first results from Scotland trickle in, so we’ll see how much the SNP’s recent troubles have impacted its performance. Labour still needs a good performance north of the border to have a solid majority.

2am: Results are expected from Burnley and Redcar, both former red wall seats taken by Boris Johnson in 2019. By now, we’ll have a good indication of how heavy Sunak’s losses will be.

3am: Two potential ‘Portillo moments’ now, where we could see senior ministers lose their seats – Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt. After some impressive debating recently, Mordaunt may sneak in a win (see spotlight, below); for Hunt, the result in Godalming and Ash will determine if his feeling of a “knife-edge” contest against Lib Dem Paul Follows was justified.

4am: As more results roll again from across the country, a big moment for the party leaders. Whilst Starmer has nothing to worry about in Holborn & St Pancras, if the Telegraph poll is to be believed, Sunak may be the first incumbent Prime Minister to lose their seat. At around the same time, we’ll find out if Nigel Farage finally succeeds, in his eighth attempt, to become an MP in Clacton Upon Sea.

As night turns to morning, and as those who have celebrated or commiserated seek out more alcohol or caffeine or both, all results should be in by the start of the working day. If the Tories have lost, Sunak will head to the palace to hand his resignation to the King, followed closely by Starmer, at around 11:00, who will be asked to form the first Labour government in 14 years.

Of course, we’ll be sending out results updates through next Friday – if you don’t fancy staying up, find out what happened over your cornflakes with the first of Field’s bulletins dropping at around 7am.

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