THEY'VE gone to the polls and the resutl: a "hung" Parliament. We'll update media coverage here with latest items added at the top. Can victorious Tories form a government? Will Gordon Brown step down? Will ex-Nation intern Nick Clegg, whose party did not perform strongly in the end, turn out to be a powerbroker after all? Times below all ET in America.
1:00 PM: Simon Jenkins of the Times weighs in, via Huff Post, with Clegg in decision, if not decisive, mode.
11:40: "Do the deal, Dave," Spectator blogger advises. He means: give Clegg some cabinet seats. I liked tweet by Dave Weigel, now of Wash Post, today, to paraphrase: "Breaking: U.S. Supreme Court by 5-4 vote puts Tories in power." Hey, come on Brits, we had "hung" election for weeks back in 2000, and then even then got it wrong.
11:30 Our own Nate Silver blogs the morning-after. The Brits looked to him for the same kind of analysis he provides for U.S. races.
10:00 Cameron in speech offers "wide-ranging" deal with LibDems.
9:30 A full accounting of the "scandal' of election day chaos at the polls (though old hat to Americans) from The Guardian.
9:20 The Spectator on Gordon Brown's speech--he's all over the map. Waiting on Cameron to negotiate with Clegg, but....just a "stall." He says Clegg should then talk to them and make a deal. Cameron about to speak.
7:30 The Guardian: Cameron to speak at 9:30 (NY time) on plans. You can find Clegg's statement backing the Tory getting first shot. The Greens did end up electing first MP. "Scandal" continues over voters turned away at polls due to strong law about no-one-votes-after-10 p.m.
7:15 a.m. We awake in New York to find all but 28 seats declared and the late night scenario has come to pass: Tories with edge, LibDems underperforming but still holding balance of power. Clegg says Tories should have first chance to form government but sources say talks with them have gone nowhere. Some commentators declare Clegg should not be kingmaker due to disappointing outcome for him. Much more to come!
MIDNIGHT: 5 a.m. in London and now they know for sure that this is going to take some sorting out--but a pundit's delight! See you in the morning, mates. Queston is: Will Tories come close enough to win that will be impossible for Labour and LibDems to deny? Or will final results show a narrow split, maybe a few more LibDem gains?
11:50 Ed Balls ekes out a win in area where my father born 107 years ago.
11:35 Andrew Sullivan with much more at his blog. Also: He's just appeared on Colbert to talk about election, with some fun stuff. He says that he and Stephen are both Tories, and Colbert says that makes them Tory-adores. Meanwhile, BBC continues to say Parliament is very well-hung.
11:30 First two female Asians elected as MPs, Times relates.
10:55 We interrupt this election to bring you Billy Bragg's 'New England.'
10:35 BBC interviews ex-RollingStone Bill Wyman, who says he "really hopes" Tories win. Why? "I grew up working-class and Labour did nothing for me." That was, what, like 3000 years ago?
10:20 Conservatives finally take lead in number of seats already decided. At 3:20, key question remains, will LibDems make deal? Clegg had seemed to hiint that party that gets most votes should get backing--but now the spin is that he simply meant that the top party should get first opportunity to form government.
10:00 Cameron, of course, wins his seat but run to hear them read off vote tally for candidate from Raving Loony party. Voice of the "Common People"?
9:45 Nate Silver's 538 refers to weak LibDem performance as a "flop" of Howard Dean proportions. Clegg hinting that he might align with Tories if need be might have sent some backers to Labour.
9:34 Conservative pickups now coming in steady, though Labour still has won more overall (50 vs. 42). Ultimate outcome still much in doubt.
8:55 BBC still paying a lot of attention to voters turned away from polls, inquiries planned, legal challenges in the works. Meanwhile, LibDems have lost their top target seat in Guildford. Tories continue to make some gains but a bit of mishmash and hung Parliament still appears likely. Hours to go before anyone sleeps.
8:45 Tomorrow's front pages. "Thank Gord It's Over," declares one. William Shatner tops one?
8:20 The blog for a top Economist political writer. On top now: upset of Northern Ireland pol.
8:158:10 David Cameron stopped for a pint on way to headquarters--Brit politicians have to have their pint in public, like U.S. candidates must pledge belief in God.
8:05 For live BBC feed (and live blog) go here. Fun to see local election chiefs read off results on stage with candidates behind them. Also love the "Swingometer." Early results show only a few Tory gains in wins--but higher vote totals even in defeat.
7:55 Tories finally gain a seat--with 7 for Labour and 6 for Other. Waiting for results in Brixton--London Calling!-- where my daughter lives.
7:45 In a too-common scene tonite: video captures voter fury in East London after being turned away from voting as polls closed.
7:35 The eminent Nick Robinson calls it a "scandal" that people turned away at the polls after such an important campaign. Also: reports that voters in Nick Clegg's Sheffield kept ballots from leaving for the count, so mad were they. Clegg personally went to polls their to apologize.
7:30 Labour has now held six seats with no other major parties getting a win yet, for what it's worth. But Ian Paisley Jr. has picked up an "other" seat.
6:50 Labour now 3 for3 in races (all women) but vote tally shows swing to Tories even in those districts. New exit poll projects Tory vote at 38%. BTW, the Greens still expect to elect their first-ever MP, Caroline Lucas.
6:30 2nd result in, Labour holds another seat.
6:25 As noted earlier, even the Brit seem to be looking to our own Nate "The Great" Silver for vote analysis. He's already up with take on both the exit poll and the first results--and saying bad news for Labour, despite one win in the bank.
6:10: First results! And Labour holds a key seat. Plus: that exit poll slightly revised, giving LibDems two more seats, which just complicates matters, of course.
6:05: Don't miss vintage Monty Python coverage of Brit election, with Silly Party vs. Sensible Party and the good Palin, Michael. Video via Andrew Sullivan. Swinging!
5:50 BBC with big BREAKING NEWS headline: Police called to polling stations where people unhappy they were in line but turned away due to Brit law that the doors close at 10 p.m. even if you are ready to vote. Also: a certain ex-movie star, governor of U.S. West Coast state, has congratulated Cameron on his "victory"--with no votes counted. The Determinator?
5:45 Suffragette City: Emmeline Pankhurst is top "trending topic" for London at Twitter right now. Must be right-on vote. Here is cool picture of her statue near Parliament that I snapped recently.
5:40 The web wins again. Much speculation on Brit blogs that due to the "24-hour news cycle" Brown would be under much more pressure to quit quickly than Heath back in the Jurassic era.
5:25 Brit pols, pundits and punters in a tizzy already--with no results in, and just one exit poll which dashed LibDem hopes but also promised to halt Tory drive for majority--meaning Gordon Brown might hang on, despite calls to quit. Or will he drive off the Heath cliff? And Clegg still could be key player. BUT debate over electoral reform will surge if his LibDems only get projected 10% of seats--and 25% of vote. Fun!
5:05 Polls closed. First "confirmed" exit poll sees likely "hung" Parliament, with Cons getting 307 seats, Labour 255, LibDem 59. Shades of 2008 USA: turnout so high in some places people still waiting in lines at end.
5:00 BBC reports a baby was sent a ballot card. Unfortunately, not my two-week-old grandson in Brixton.
4:50 Andrew Sullivan linked to me for the "happy walks" video at very bottom of this page--or go to his post to view it. As i noted earlier, he has plenty of coverage all day.
4:35 Sounds like USA election day reporting: First exit poll rumored to give Tories big edge, enough for outright win.
4:30 Now just half an hour until polls close. Big scoreboard appears at top of BBC site. David Cameron spent two hours chopping logs, and Brown had a dinner of lamb stew with his wife. Clegg? Probably catching up on reading The Nation.
2:35 Polls close in 2 1/2 hour and The Guardian has great guide to the timeline from here on out. Key results not in until about 9 pm, eastern time in U.S.
2:15 For you V for Vendetta fans-- yes, Guy Fawkes is covering the election, under the guise of "Guido Fawkes." He claims Guy was only person who ever entered Parliament "with honest intentions."
1:55 Very funny video featuring Guardian cartoonist who follows David Cameron to a fish market--and discovers an odd condom likeness because "everyone's knackered."
1:15 Projected possible turnout of 70%, naturally, puts U.S. to shame.
1:10 The Spectator's blog has some best and worsts of the campaign and other fun stuff.
12:30: Yes, the Brits have a race to be "first to declare," too.
12:20 : Amazingly, "the Nate Silver of Britain" seems to be...Nate Silver. Many over there looking over here for projections.
12:15 You can tune in the BBC here.
12:05 A "reader's guide" to the election coverage.
11:55 Andrew Sullivan has fun photo of polling place outside Hare and Hounds pub--a classic. His advice: "Vote early, vote often, vote drunk." Also: He will be on Colbert tonite to discuss.
11:45: Making big news, out of nowhere, former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, a candidate today, goes down in plane crash--that was towing one of his election banners. He seems to have survived. Though you'd wonder how, given the photo.
11:40 Turnout seems to be heavy. If this is anything like USA, that estimate will turn out to be false or only moderately true. Is Clegg inspiring outpouring of young voters? Stay tuned.
11:35: Very funny video of guy making faces and doing funny walks behind BBC reporter live.