ELECTION NIGHT: Labour's Cat Smith re-elected Lancaster MP

Labour's Cat Smith retained her Lancaster and Fleetwood seat with an increased majority of 6,661.

Friday, 9th June 2017, 4:04 am
Updated Tuesday, 13th June 2017, 3:36 pm
The Lancaster and Morecambe counts are being held at Lancaster Town Hall.

Ms Smith defeated Conservative Eric Ollerenshaw, in a repeat of the 2015 result, by 25,342 votes to 18,681.

Liberal Democrat candidate Robin Long got 1,170 votes and Rebecca Novell of the Green Party got 796 votes.

Meanwhile we awaited the result in Morecambe and Lunesdale.

David Morris, Conservative MP since 2010, said he felt “fine” about his chances of retaining the seat.

The Tory candidate polled strongly on the postal vote.

Mr Morris also said it had been an “extraordinary evening” as Britain headed for a hung Parliament.

But rival Matt Severn, from the Liberal Democrats, said he did not believe the Tories were polling as high as they had hoped in Morecambe and Lunesdale.

Mr Severn stopped short of predicting that Mr Morris might lose his seat.

Labour candidate Vikki Singleton said she believed the vote was “close”.

Both Mrs Singleton and Mr Severn called for Prime Minister Theresa May to resign if the exit poll – which had the Conservatives short of an overall majority - was correct.

Robert Gillespie, UKIP candidate, said he believed it would be a “two pony race” in Morecambe and Lunesdale between Conservatives and Labour.

The other candidate in Morecambe and Lunesdale is Cait Sinclair (Green).

In Lancaster and Fleetwood, early signs were that Cat Smith, Labour MP since 2015, was polling strongly.

The other candidates are Eric Ollerenshaw (Conservative), Robin Long (Liberal Democrats) and Rebecca Novell (Green).

Mr Ollerenshaw said at 3am “it’s not looking good”.

Mr Long said he felt Labour had successfully squeezed the vote and would retain the Lancaster seat, while Rebecca Novell said she believed Labour had “borrowed” a few Green votes as expected and she was hopeful of a strong swing towards Labour nationally.

The polls closed across Lancaster and Morecambe district at 10pm on Thursday.

The count began in the early hours of Friday after ballot papers were verified, amid tight security at Lancaster Town Hall.

The results for the Lancaster and Fleetwood and Morecambe and Lunesdale constituencies were expected between 4am and 6am on Friday June 9.

Candidates assembled at the town hall after a hard final day’s campaigning.

There was initial excitement as the Morecambe and Lunesdale turnout figure was originally given as 82.5%, which would have been the highest in the history of the seat since it was renamed from Morecambe and Lonsdale.

But the figure was corrected a few minutes later.

Nationally, the official exit poll showed the Conservatives on course to be the largest party but short of an overall majority.

The poll of 30,450 voters across the country predicted the Tories to win 314 seats, Labour 266, Scottish National Party 34, the Lib Dems 14, Plaid Cymru 3, the Greens 1, UKIP 0 and others 18.

This would, if correct, leave the Tories 12 short of the seats they need (326) to avoid a hung Parliament.

It would also mean they would drop 17 seats from the 2015 election with Labour gaining 34.

The pound fell sharply against the dollar when the exit poll was announced at 10pm on Thursday, after polls closed.

Early results saw Labour hold Washington and Sunderland West, and Newcastle North, while the Conservatives held Broxbourne, Kettering, Nuneaton and Swindon North.

Labour seats included a gain from SNP in Rutherglen and Hamilton West, as well as holds in Halton, Tooting, Birkenhead, Makerfield, Wigan, Leigh, Stockton and Wrexham North.

Conservatives had held Basildon South, Harrogate and Swindon South.

By 3.20pm, Labour had 161 seats, Conservatives had 149, the SNP had 25, the DUP had 9 and the Lib Dems 2.

A revised forecast showed the Tories may fall four seats short of a majority.

Our reporters Greg Lambert and Gayle Rouncivell will be keeping you updated throughout the whole process, so follow our Facebook and Twitter feeds, as well as our websites, for regular updates.