London’s first results usually come from the borough of Wandsworth, and they are usually among the first declarations nationwide from seats that could possibly change hands. In 2017, Labour’s surprise gain in Battersea was early confirmation that the exit poll was not wrong and that there was a big swing to Labour in London. If Labour lose there this time, it will be a very long night for the red team. As I reported yesterday, the contest in Putney feels very close. The Tories could lose there, but even if they do they won’t give up hope of an overall majority.
The late campaign YouGov MRP analysis found the Conservatives a point ahead in Jon Cruddas’s Dagenham & Rainham constituency. The result, expected around 03:00, would be a major shock if they did manage to turn Dagenham blue: it has been Labour since 1935. But unless Labour really is having a shocker of an election, it is the first declaration where the Tories have much chance of a gain.
Several interesting London seats report in at the same sort of time as Dagenham & Rainham – there is a period either side of 03:00 when the results are coming in so thick and fast that one cannot keep up with the flow. The marquee contests of Cities of London & Westminster and Chelsea & Fulham come in around this time. Will ambitious Lib Dem targeting, big name candidates (Chuka Umunna and Nicola Horlick) and tactical voting pay off in previous Tory strongholds like these and Wimbledon? We will also see if Iain Duncan Smith has withstood a determined Labour assault on Chingford & Woodford Green and hear from Jeremy Corbyn at his count in Islington North
Many of the most interesting seats in London do not report until quite late on. Conservative prospects in Carshalton & Wallington (although the MRP suggested Lib Dem Tom Brake was pulling ahead in this always hard-fought marginal) and Kensington follow in the next couple of hours and then more distant Tory targets like Erith & Thamesmead and Enfield Southgate. By then it should be clear if Labour are doing well enough to make the counts in Harrow East (04:00), Chipping Barnet (05:30) and Hendon (05:30) suspenseful or not. Boris Johnson’s seat of Uxbridge & South Ruislip reports in at around 04:30.
The last anticipated London result – although of course there may be some that get delayed for recounts – is Richmond Park where it’s round three between Zac Goldsmith and Sarah Olney and a gain for the Lib Dems is widely anticipated. How many of us will “still be up for Zac”? Not long now.
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