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Election results 2019: Tories on course to win majority - exit poll

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Huw Edwards announces the results of an exit poll for the BBC, ITV and Sky
The Conservatives are set to win an overall majority of 86 in the general election, according to an exit poll for the BBC, ITV and Sky News.The survey taken at UK polling stations suggests the Tories will get 368 MPs - 50 more than at the 2017 election - when all the results have been counted.Labour would get 191, the Lib Dems 13, the Brexit Party none and the SNP 55.In one of the first seats to declare, the Conservatives took Blyth Valley in north-east England from Labour.This is the first time the former mining area will have a Conservative MP - NHS worker Ian Levy.
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Newcastle Central was the first seat to declare, with Labour's Chi Onwurah holding on to the seat, with a reduced majority. Labour also held Houghton and Sunderland South, again with a smaller majority.The rest of the results are due to come in the early hours, although the final total will not be known until Friday lunchtime.The results so far were broadly in line with the exit poll, polling expert Sir John Curtice told BBC News.The exit poll was conducted by Ipsos Mori at 144 polling stations, with 22,790 interviews.Exit polls have proved to be very accurate in recent years. In 2017 it correctly predicted a hung Parliament, with no overall winner, and in 2015 it predicted the Conservatives would be the largest party.The pound surged against the dollar after the exit poll figures were announced, with sterling gaining 3% to $1.35 - its highest level since May last year. The pound also jumped to a three-and-a-half-year high against the euro.
If the exit poll is correct, and Boris Johnson has secured a majority, then he will have the backing of MPs on the green benches behind him to take us out of the European Union next month.A huge junction in our history - a moment that will redraw our place in the world.But not just that - if correct, these numbers could mean five more years of a Conservative government - tipping across a decade.After the fourth defeat for Labour in a row - after several years when they have moved further to the left - this is a serious and historic loss.The SNP have increased their dominance in Scotland, clearing out Conservatives there in a way that leaves most of the country yellow, rather than blue.And it is a failure for the Lib Dems to break through after a campaign that started with high hopes.Read Laura's blog
It would be the biggest Conservative victory since 1987 and Labour's worst result since 1935, the poll suggests, with the party forecast to lose 71 seats.The exit poll suggests the parties' shares of the vote reflected differences in how constituencies voted in the 2016 EU referendum.It suggests the Tory strategy of targeting Leave-voting Labour seats in the Midlands and North of England might have paid off, with Boris Johnson's party expected to have made gains at the expense of Labour.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the government will move quickly to "get Brexit done" before Christmas by introducing legislation in Parliament, if it is returned to power.Downing Street said in a statement that if the exit poll numbers are correct, there will be a minor cabinet reshuffle on Monday.
The Withdrawal Agreement Bill, paving the way for Brexit on 31 January, would have its second Commons reading on Friday, 20 December.A major reshuffle would take place in February, after the UK has left the EU, No 10 added, with a Budget statement in March.Shadow chancellor John McDonnell told the BBC the exit poll was "extremely disappointing" for Labour if it was correct.
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