General Election 2019 count underway in Harrogate as Conservatives look set for huge national win

As rival party candidates and officials glued to phones and laptops in Harrogate Convention Centre, the signs from the count just metres away seem to suggest the result may arrive earlier than expected between 1am and 1.30am.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 11:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 11:21 pm

With exit polls predicting an overall Tory majority in Parliament of 86, Andrew Jones hopes of retaining Harrogate and Knaresborough appear to be growing.

Labour candidate Mark Sewards and the Yorkshire Party's Kieron George are already at the count.

The General Election count is underway at the Harrogate Convention Centre. Picture Gerard Binks

But there appears to be no sign yet at Harrogate Convention Centre of Mr Jones' expected main rival from the Lib Dems, Judith Roberson who had been confident in the run-up to today's election.

The Conservatives are heading for a majority of 86 in the General Election, the biggest majority since 1987, according to the exit poll tonight.

After polls closed in the first December General Election since 1923, Boris Johnson's party was predicted to get 368 seats compared with 191 for Labour. The Scottish National Party were said to be on course to get 55 seats and the Liberal Democrats 13.

The BBC/Sky/ITV poll suggested the Conservatives would have 42 seats more than the 326 needed for an absolute majority in the House of Commons. It would represent the best result for the Conservatives since 1987 and Labour's worst election result since 1935.

Ballot boxes are rushed in as the General Election count gets underway at the Harrogate Convention Centre.

If the results turn out to be true, it will likely mean a swathe of Labour seats in Yorkshire and the Humber will be taken by the Tories. A YouGov poll this week said Labour would lose eight seats to the Conservatives in the region and one to the Liberal Democrats.

Reacting to the news, Labour's Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said: "If it is anywhere near (the exit poll result) is is extremely disappointing.

Claiming that 2019's was a 'Brexit election', he said: "Brexit has dominated. We thought other issues would come through."

He added: "I hate to use the expression but I think voters did want to 'get it done'."

Asked if he and Jeremy Corbyn would resign if the results were true, he said: "We will see the results in the morning and then decisions will be made."

Polling booths opened across Britain this morning as voters headed to ballot boxes in what has been billed as the most important General Election in a generation.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who gambled his premiership by triggering the vote, has sought to focus on his pledge to "get Brexit done" throughout the campaign.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, his rival in the race to Number 10, has instead tried to highlight his party's credentials on the health service and other domestic issues.

Mr Johnson arrived at Central Methodist Hall in Westminster at around 8.15am to cast his vote, bringing dog Dilyn along with him.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was greeted by a small number of supporters as he arrived to cast his vote in Islington - and a protester dressed as Sesame Street character Elmo.

As the woman in fancy dress argued with security and police, Mr Corbyn said: "Hello guys, can we stop the arguments please."

He later posed for photographs with well-wishers outside the polling station.

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