New poll following the likelihood of a Conservative party minority government:
18.00: Signing off from the live blog after a long coffee-filled day – happy weekend all – Natasha.
16.46: Not Brexit related, but big news nontheless for the legal world. BPP chief Peter Crisp is to step down.
16.44: Cut the red tape
RPC legal director Nicola Cain says: “Ensuring that businesses can continue to trade with Europe post-Brexit with as little red tape as possible will be a priority for the new Government, and EU data protection law will continue to apply to businesses offering goods or services in the EU or tracking EU citizens in any event.
“The UK will want to secure adequacy status under the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation, meaning that its data protection laws will need to be essentially equivalent to those in Europe. Even if the UK ends up with “hard-Brexit”, national legislation is highly likely to reflect European law, so businesses should continue to prepare for the new obligations that will be imposed from May next year.”
15.28: Human Rights Act may not be scrapped, lawyers claim
Doughty Street Chambers’ Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC says that a minority government for the Conservatives is likely to mean that their long-standing indications that they intend to “scrap” the Human Rights Act 1998 “cannot be acted upon”.
“David Cameron stated his plan to repeal the Act over a decade ago, in 2006, and it appeared in both the 2010 and 2015 Conservative Party manifestos,” she says. “This time, despite Theresa May’s widely reported personal opposition to the European Convention on Human Rights, many were surprised that the 2017 manifesto promised not to repeal or replace the Human Rights Act whilst the process of Brexit is underway – apparently giving it a stay of execution.
“However in the past week, in the hours before the public went to the polls, Theresa May revived the language of “scrapping” the Human Rights Act. The result means that the parliamentary arithmetic is now firmly against her on this. Conservatives who have long voiced opposition to these proposals now have the power to stop her in her tracks.”
15.05: DUP leader Arlene Foster issues a statement on Twitter
I have spoken with the PM. We will enter discussions with the Conservatives to explore how we can help bring stability to our nation. pic.twitter.com/sTjTwJDbKU
— Arlene Foster (@DUPleader) June 9, 2017
14.29: Rosie Slowe, a barrister who has co-authored a book on EU human rights law, said that today’s result was a vindication that governments should not seek to act above the law.
She told The Lawyer: “The UK went to the ballot box and did not deliver the landslide victory predicted for Theresa May, who was convinced that she sat above the constitutional principles of parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law, and was thereby able to amend our universal human rights to pursue her political agenda.
“In accordance with our unwritten constitution, only Parliament, and not the Government, has the authority to take away citizens’ rights which it has granted. May no longer has a parliamentary majority through which to pursue this. Nor should she. Our fundamental entitlements against the state ought not to be defined by the government of the day, but rather remain enshrined in the Human Rights Act which gives citizens access to supranational oversight.”
13.27: Conservatives should “rethink their position”
Speaking to The Lawyer, Hogan Lovells real estate head Jackie Newstead says: “[These results] will require them to rethink their position on a lot of issues. They need to start to think about the views of younger people. They really didn’t capture the youth vote.
“I don’t have the feeling that it’s going to be good for business. The drop in the value of the pound has a beneficial effect for exporters but as far as the rest of the economy is concerned, it’s just more uncertainty. Brexit was a much bigger shock and this makes the Brexit talks that little bit trickier.”
13.20: What do lawyers want from the UK Government (aside from certainty)?
Simmons & Simmons partner Ed Crosse tells The Lawyer: “What the UK legal services need from the government is a clear direction and focus on what they are seeking to achieve through the negotiations.
“A strong government might have achieved that. However, political views are now so divided it will be hard to achieve a consensus.”
13.00: Those of you that have voted already – 59.65% think a minority Conservative government is bad for business. Meanwhile Theresa May’s announcement outside Number 10 this morning was short – she pledges to form a government that will provide certainty.
“What the country needs more than anything is certainty. Only the Conservative and Unionist party can provide this”, she says.
12.38: Clifford Chance partner Owen Lysak talked to The Lawyer about the financial services sector – which apparently is already braced for the worst in Brexit negotiations.
“There’ll be almost no change,” he says. “If you’re on the financial services side, you’ve already been planning for the worst. The issue has been that no matter what on the constitutional side, you’ve no idea what Brexit will look like until late in the day. By then it’s too late to act on it so you must plan for the worst-case scenario.
“The gap/divergence between politics and financial services is only getting wider. Politics is moving at quite a slow pace but business/financial services are rapidly moving ahead. The missing piece of this puzzle is that the coming year is as much about the EU political process as the UK’s.”
12.33: What does the Conservative party and the DUP have in common?
Bircham Dyson Bell partner and head of public law Nicholas Evans attempts to answer.
“If Theresa May can persuade her party to keep her in place (and that’s a big if), she needs to persuade the DUP to support her government.
“However, Brexit aside, the Tories and the DUP don’t have that much in common, and the DUP have their own recent bad experience with power-sharing in Northern Ireland, so Mrs May might seek to go it alone in a minority government.
“In that case, she will prepare a Queen’s Speech, including as many measures as are needed to get support from the DUP and perhaps others, and dare the Opposition parties (and her own less happy back-benchers) to vote it down. However, until it becomes clear that she cannot command the support of the House of Commons, she stays as Prime Minister.
“Any change in government following the outcome of the election would unavoidably result in delays to the Brexit process. The negotiations have been scheduled to begin on 19 June. With a hung Parliament, both the Lords and the Commons will expect to exert a greater influence over the Brexit process. If a coalition government or some other looser arrangement is formed between the Conservatives and DUP, the Lords can legitimately argue that any measures not included in both parties’ manifestos is outside the scope of the Salisbury-Addison convention.
“The lack of a majority in the Commons may also mean that the Government has to compromise on more issues, potentially requiring it to allow Parliament a greater role in the negotiation process.”
11.29: This news may have answered the hopes of Clyde & Co partner Robert Meakin, who says: “The sooner a viable government is in place, however it’s composed, the better.”
Full quotes below:
“In addition to the broader implications for the country, a hung parliament could be the worst possible result for business. With the economy already struggling with the uncertainty of Brexit, the last thing we need is further confusion and delay in the government’s investment strategy.“
“The Article 50 clock is also ticking and business will be eager to ensure that there is a clear and consistent voice at the negotiating table, so as to minimise further damage to the economy. The sooner a viable government is in place, however it’s composed, the better.”
11.28: Breaking news – Theresa May has reportedly struck a deal with Northern Ireland’s DUP to form a new government.
11.15: In case you missed it, eight new lawyers gained seats in last night’s election, while three lost their seats.
11.07: Drop in foreign invested to be expected after election results
After a 2 per cent drop of the pound against the dollar this morning and uncertainty due to the exit polls last night pushing the FTSE 100 up and the FTSE 200 marginally down this morning. Baker McKenzie head of EMEA capital markets Edward Bibko expects the fluctuation to continue in the short-term.
“For capital markets the significance of the result relates to Britain’s path in the Brexit negotiations,” he claims. “Overall the market reaction has been subdued, but there are parallels to the initial reactions to the Brexit referendum with the more domestically-focused FTSE 250 down and the exporters of the FTSE 100 rising on a weaker pound. We will likely continue to see strong interest in the UK as a listing venue among larger and international companies. In the short term there may perhaps be less investor interest in companies affected by a weaker pound or with significant Brexit exposure.”
10.49: Responding to May’s SFO plans, Ropes & Gray‘s London partner Marcus Thompson said: “Any plans to merge the SFO into the NCA are now much less likely to materialise. Plans for the future of the SFO will be very low down the list of priorities for whoever is in Downing Street in the next few months as they grapple with forming and running a coalition or minority government at the same time as embarking on detailed Brexit negotiations.“
10.21: Theresa May’s plans to dissolve the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) are still a major talking point for lawyers. Kingsley Napley partner Stephen Parkinson said: “If Theresa May has to resign, then the future of the SFO looks secure since her wish to merge it with the NCA was very much a personal issue for her and no other party is interested in tampering with the SFO.
“Even if she stays as PM, it is difficult to see her carrying through the policy. It is highly contentious and in her new circumstances this is another battle that she could do without.
10.17: Back to the Brexit focus – a soft Brexit is now more likely than ever, says Bird & Bird Brexit lead Sally Shorthose:
“Whether the Government is able to reach an alliance with the DUP or not, a soft Brexit is now more likely to be sought – that is, remaining in the Single Market, keeping EU migration, continuing to be involved in some of the EU regulatory schemes whilst still leaving the EU.
“But with the timeline for Brexit negotiations to begin in the next two weeks looking doubtful (Michel Barnier has indicated that negotiations will commence when the UK is ready), businesses will today be craving some degree of certainty to inform decision making as soon as possible.
10.13: Lawyers are posing multiple questions this morning. Are we gearing up for the most complex negotiations since WWII?
Blake Morgan chairman Bruce Potter says: “With Labour figures already calling on Mrs May to resign, the decisive mandate she sought has emphatically not been delivered and the coming days will instead be dominated by debates about what the next UK Government will look like.
“The one thing that is clear is that the priority for the next Government cannot just be about Brexit; there will also be a need to show the UK political system as well as the economy is robust and adaptable even before tackling the most complex international negotiation Britain has faced since the Second World War.”
10:06: In a disappointing night for the Scottish National Party, Burness Paull chairman Philip Rodney has this to say on what it means for Scotland. It could be good news.
“At a constitutional level, it would appear that both IndyRef2 and Hard Brexit may be off the table for now. From our recent client survey which looked at the views of Scotland’s deal-makers, it would seem that Scottish business will regard both of these outcomes positively in the longer term.
“The uncertainty around a second Scottish Independence vote was creating concerns about investment. And from discussions with clients, it would seem the type of Brexit that Scottish business wanted was one that was pragmatic rather than dogmatic. In negotiating our departure from the EU, it seems likely that the principles of the deal will need wider and more inclusive political support than “strong and stable” leadership could have brought.
“At the time of writing, a minority Conservative Government looks to be the likely but not inevitable outcome. Until that is resolved there will be uncertainty – which sadly has become the norm. And then, what happens with the Brexit negotiations? Can they realistically begin on 19 June? Hopefully they will be delayed until some consensus on the terms we are negotiating can be reached.
“So it looks like there will be uncertainty in the immediate future, but an equilibrium will be established soon and then the business bus will leave the station again (as it always does); hopefully the landscape will actually be more attractive along the road.”
9.57: European Council president Donald Tusk just tweeted saying:
We don't know when Brexit talks start. We know when they must end. Do your best to avoid a "no deal" as result of "no negotiations". #GE2017
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) June 9, 2017
9.54: Is a hung parliament the worst possible result for business? Clyde & Co partner Robert Meakin seems to think so. He said: “In addition to the broader implications for the country, a hung parliament could be the worst possible result for business. With the economy already struggling with the uncertainty of Brexit, the last thing we need is further confusion and delay in the government’s investment strategy.
“The Article 50 clock is also ticking and business will be eager to ensure that there is a clear and consistent voice at the negotiating table, so as to minimise further damage to the economy. The sooner a viable government is in place, however it’s composed, the better.”
9.50: This just in from the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.
#Brexit negotiations should start when UK is ready; timetable and EU positions are clear. Let's put our minds together on striking a deal
— Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) June 9, 2017
9.36: DLA Piper partners have had their say this morning, commenting on Brexit, M&A and tax.
Global corporate head Bob Bishop summed up what many people are thinking and said: “Many in business wanted nothing more than certainty to flow from this election.
“Certainty helps stabilise the markets, underpins the economy and could have provided a firmer footing for Brexit negotiations. The result – a hung parliament – offers anything but. Expect continued pressure on the pound, increased market turbulence and stronger headwinds when it comes to M&A.”
The result poses challenges for any government to implement a Brexit strategy, says DLA Piper Brexit director Paul Hardy.
“Moving forward on Brexit negotiations is going to be very difficult. The date for starting the negotiations will be pushed back, further eating into the two-year period.
“This additional political uncertainty is bad for businesses, who may find it even more difficult to make big decisions on jobs and investment, given this result’s implications for Brexit negotiations, as well as coherent policy making at home.”
Tax is also a big talking point. UK tax head Richard Woolich said: “Assuming the Conservative Party forms the next Government with the support of the Unionists, then so far as tax policy is concerned, and subject to the demands of the Unionists, the Conservatives should be able to maintain their drive for low corporate taxes, and no increases in income tax for the higher paid.
“The planned reduction in corporation tax from 19 per cent to 17 per cent in 2020 should go ahead, subject to the state of public finances, and subject to any deal done with the EU as part of the Brexit negotiations.
“The provisions in the Finance Bill which were deferred because of the election should now be enacted either in July or September. We wait to see if they will be retrospective to April 2017, as expected, because they were budgeted for this year. These include the corporate interest restriction rules, the substantial shareholding exemption reforms, and the reformed IHT rules for non-doms owning indirect interests in UK residential property.”
9.10: This hung parliament result may have thrown a spanner in the works for Theresa May’s plans to dissolve the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), which she announced earlier this month. A long-held ambition of May’s since her time as Home Secretary, she pledged to roll the SFO into the National Crime Agency despite widespread opposition from the legal community and a public letter signed by private practice lawyers and barristers asking her to reconsider.
With a minority government the only option for the Conservative party, a delayed decision or no change at all is definitely a possibility. Throughout, Labour has remained silent on the subject of SFO independence.
8.45: Human rights barrister Schona Jolly QC (who has been up all night live-tweeting the election) shares her reaction on the future trajectory of Brexit.
Whatever happens next, if we don't confront now this "have cake & eat it" Brexit mentality, & don't confront reality ahead, spells disaster.
— Schona Jolly QC (@WomaninHavana) June 9, 2017
08.36: Some thoughts from lawyer and writer David Allen Green on what a hung Parliament means for Article 50.
My thread on the impact of a Hung Parliament on Article 50 two-year period. https://t.co/CgG58ywZSr
— David Allen Green (@davidallengreen) June 9, 2017
08.30: A veritable wave of comments coming from Ashurst partners this morning, talking about what a hung parliament this morning means for Brexit negotiations, workers’ rights and the energy sector.
Commenting on Brexit, partner Rob Aird says: “Irrespective of whether a coalition or minority Government is formed, it is unlikely that businesses and citizens can expect a prompt resolution of any key issues in the Brexit negotiations. If there is a coalition, there will need to be extensive negotiations between the parties as to what their key objectives and negotiating positions are (in addition to their domestic policies) before anything can be hoped to be achieved in negotiations with EU. If a minority Government, there will be the uncertainty as to what the reaction of Parliament will be to any deal, which may well affect the way the EU approaches the negotiations. What this result does mean, in all likelihood, is that the UK has just taken a giant step closer to the much feared ‘cliff-edge’ where UK businesses lose all their access rights to the Single Market overnight in March 2019.”
Commenting on workers’ rights, employment partner Crowley Woodford says: “Whether May can now fulfil her grand promise of the “greatest expansion of worker’s rights in history” may be called into doubt following the election result. This result has opened a can of worms and there will be yet more uncertainty for workers and employers who are already alarmed about a post-Brexit future.”
Commenting on the impact on the oil and gas industry, energy partner Michael Burns says: “A hung parliament can only lead to the potential for further uncertainty for an industry that has suffered from that theme over the last few years with the fluctuations in oil and gas prices. This will be particularly felt in the UK’s shale gas industry which will be watching carefully as the inevitable political ‘moving and shaking’ over the next days, weeks and months will be key to its near and longer-term prospects.”
08.20: A changing of the guard on the live blog has taken place and we’re up and running once more. With a shock hung parliament result seeing the Conservative and Labour parties failing to gain enough seats to form a government, all bets are off. But lawyers’ reactions (evidently fuelled by coffee) are streaming in this morning.
Ropes & Gray real estate partner Carol Hopper talks about the impact to her market: “This result may well lead to a market correction, which could increase deal activity, as investors looks to sell positions and opportunistic buyers selectively look to take advantage of that.”
04.45: With 75 seats left to declare we’re off for a nap. Follow this live blog tomorrow for more results and reaction.
04.34: LAWYER HOLD: Solicitor Justin Madders (Lab) is re-elected in Ellesmere Port & Neston. He has doubled his majority.
This election – we gave people something to vote for, not just something to vote against
— Justin Madders MP (@justinmadders) June 9, 2017
04.24: LAWYER HOLD: Human rights barrister Keir Starmer (Lab) re-elected in Holborn & St Pancras
04.23: LAWYER HOLD: Solicitor James Brokenshire (Con) re-elected in Old Bexley & Sidcup
04.22: LAWYER HOLD: Alberto Costa (Con) re-elected in South Leicestershire
04.21: LAWYER LOSS: Independent candidate Primerose Makunzva, a solicitor, loses out in Rochester & Strood.
04.20: LAWYER HOLD: Barrister Joanna Cherry QC (SNP) holds Edinburgh South West
04.19: LAWYER HOLD: Barrister Alex Chalk (Con) holds Cheltenham
04.16: LAWYER HOLD: Solicitor Jake Berry (Con) is re-elected in Rossendale & Darwen.
04.13: LAWYER LOSS: Barrister Anawar Miah (Lab) loses to Grant Shapps (Con) in Welwyn Hatfield
04.02: LAWYER LOSS: Lib Dem Chris Bramall, a retired solicitor, loses out in Stourbridge, where the Conservatives win.
03.58: LAWYER HOLD: Solicitor Sir Bill Cash (Con) holds Stone.
03.51: LAWYER HOLD: Solicitor Will Quince (Con) holds Colchester
Thank you Colchester for renewing your faith in me – humbled by the increased majority and share of the vote. The hard work continues.
— Will Quince MP (@willquince) June 9, 2017
03.50: LAWYER HOLD: Solicitor Jonathan Reynolds (Lab) holds Stalybridge & Hyde
03.41: LAWYER HOLD: Solicitor Chuka Umunna (Lab) re-elected in Streatham
03.38: LAWYER LOSS: Barrister James Berry (Con) loses Kingston & Surbiton to former incumbent Ed Davey (Lib Dem).
03.36: LAWYER HOLD: Solicitor Valarie Vaz holds Walsall South for Labour
03.35: LAWYER WIN: Former Freshfields lawyer Bim Afolami wins Hitchin & Harpenden for the Conservatives
I would like to thank the people of Hitchin and Harpenden for electing me as your MP. It is a great honour and… https://t.co/ShKTJSz1FU
— Bim Afolami (@BimAfolami) June 9, 2017
03.32: LAWYER WIN: Labour solicitor Afzal Khan takes the safe seat of Manchester Gorton.
03.31: LAWYER LOSS: Independent candidate and barrister Mirza Zillur Rahman loses in East Ham.
03.30: LAWYER HOLD: Barrister Victoria Atkins (Con) re-elected in Louth & Horncastle
03.26: LAWYER WIN AND DEFEAT: We missed that barrister Emily Thornberry held on in Islington South earlier, while solicitor Jason Charalambous (Con) missed out.
03.25: LAWYER HOLD: Barrsiter David Lammy wins Tottenham.
03.20: LAWYER HOLD: Solicitor Seema Kennedy (Con) re-elected in South Ribble.
03.16: LAWYER GAIN: Solicitor Fiona Onasanya takes Peterborough for Labour with a majority of 607. It was 16th on Labour’s list of target seats.
03.12: LAWYER HOLD: Richard Burgon (Lab) re-elected in Leeds East
03:10: LAWYER HOLD: In Birmingham Ladywood, Shabana Mahmood (Lab) is re-elected.
03.03: LAWYER DEFEAT: Bates Wells Braithwaite lawyer Tom McNeil (Lab) loses out in Meriden.
03.00: LAWYER DEFEATS: In Chingford & Woodford Green, Iain Duncan Smith is re-elected, with barrister Sinead King (Green) and solicitor Bilal Mahmood (Lab) losing out.
02.56: LAWYER GAIN: Tactical voting has paid off! Legal counsel at BT and former technology solicitor at Bond Dickinson, Darren Jones (Lab) takes the marginal Bristol North West from the Tories.
02.42: LAWYER DEFEAT: James Daly (Con) fails to take Bolton North East. That was a marginal that the solicitor would hoped to have won.
02.41: LAWYER DEFEAT: Lib Dem solicitor Dominic Graham defeated in Harwich & North East.
02.36: LAWYER HOLD: Solicitor Jo Stevens (Lab) holds Cardiff Central.
02.28: LAWYER DEFEAT: Barrister Chris Donnelly (Con) misses out in Midlothian, coming third.
02.26: LAWYER LOSS: SNP solictor Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh defeated in Ochil & South Perthshire. That’s a surprise… she had a 10,000 majority.
The Law Society of Scotland is currently investigating her over her time as a lawyer.
02.23: LAWYER DEFEAT: Lib Dem solicitor Shazu Miah misses out in Wyre Forest.
02.21: LAWYER HOLD: Former SJ Berwin lawyer Jonathan Djanogly (Con) re-elected in Huntingdon.
02.18: LAWYER HOLD: Former Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke (Con) re-elected in Rushcliffe.
02.15: Follow us on Twitter. We’re doing gifs. One barrister said they were rubbish. We beg to differ.
— The Lawyer (@TheLawyermag) June 9, 2017
02.02: LAWYERS DEFEATED: In Stockton South, solicitor James Wharton (Con) loses his seat. That’s a 5.7 per cent swing to Labour, and a surprise.
In the same constituency, barrister David Outterside (UKIP) comes third.
02.01 LAWYER HOLD: Barrister Suella Fernandes (Con) holds Fareham
02.00: LAWYER HOLD: Barrister Nick Thomas Symonds (Lab) is reelected in Torfaen.
01.57: LAWYER DEFEAT: The Tories win Erewash, with barrister Catherine Atkinson (Lab) missing out.
The Conservative majority was 3,500 here so Atkinson had an outside chance of taking it.
01.52: LAWYER HOLD: Nick Thomas-Symons (Lab) re-elected in Torfaen
01.47: LAWYER HOLD: Former Clifford Chance lawyer Alan Mak (Con) is re-elected in Havant.
Mak, you’ll remember, had a little bit of trouble regarding his CV relating to his time at CC when standing in 2015.
01.41: LAWYER HOLD AND DEFEAT: In Dover & Deal, solicitor Charlie Elphicke is returned for the Conservatives.
Meanwhile in the same seat, the Lib Dem candidate and LexisNexis solicitor Simon Dodd is defeated.
01.36: More from barrister Guy Opperman up in the Hadrian’s Wall country of Hexham.
— Guy Opperman (@GuyOpperman) June 9, 2017
01.29: LAWYER HOLD: Solicitor John Stevenson (Con) is returned in Carlisle.
01.25: LAWYER DEFEAT: Temple Garden Chambers barrister Alex Glassbrook (Lib Dem) gains 3,057 votes in Tooting, coming third.
01.14: Jolyon Maugham QC has been tweeting about the consequences of a hung Parliament for Brexit (it’s a thread, so click through to read).
Here's my thread on what a Hung Parliament would mean for Brexit (tl;dr – it's good for Remain). https://t.co/kKYntvuOtH
— Jo Maugham QC (@JolyonMaugham) June 8, 2017
01.08: LAWYER HOLD! Barrister Robert Buckland QC (Con) holds onto South Swindon. His majority: 24,809 (up from 5,785).
01.04: An excellent question!
— Alex fletcher (@AlexF_ClerksRm) June 9, 2017
Justice Secretary Liz Truss aims to hold her safe Tory seat of South West Norfolk. She’ll hold on to it but whether she keeps her government job even if the Conservatives win is open to question…
00.55: UKIP barrister David Outterside doesn’t fancy his chances in Stockton South.
It certainly looks as though Labour are winning here in Stockton South.#GeneralElection2017
— David Outterside (@DaveTheBrief) June 8, 2017
00.47: Key marginal: watch out for Bolton North East where James Daly, a solicitor at North West firm Crompton Halliwell, is the Conservative candidate.
This a marginal seat currently held by Labour. The party’s majority is just over 4,000 – but 8,000 people voted for UKIP here last time. How they break could make all the difference for Daly.
00.37: LAWYER HOLD: Conveyancing manager Marcus Jones holds Nuneaton for the Conservatives with a majority of 4,739 (down slightly from 4,882)
00:30: Former Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke on the BBC: “I think we should never have referendums on anything ever again.”
00.21: Yeah baby.
Industry trade publication lolz. https://t.co/y20xBwiTAd
— Patrick (@patrickhmason) June 8, 2017
00.15: LAWYER HOLD! First lawyer MP result of the evening! Solicitor Catherine McKinnell retains Newcastle North for Labour.
Her majority is 10,349. That is a 0.6 per cent swing to the Conservatives.
00.09: Key marginal: Keep a very close eye on Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale, where trainee solicitor Màiri McAllan (SNP) is hoping to beat Scottish Secretary David Mundell (Con). There were only 798 votes separating the SNP from the Tories in 2015.
00.02: Here’s Lib Dem candidate and LawWorks director of policy and external affairs James Sandbach meeting animals earlier today. He’s an also-ran candidate in the safe Tory seat of Suffolk Coastal.
— James Sandbach (@james4suffolk) June 8, 2017
— Jools (@joolsphoto) June 8, 2017
23:36: Another key marginal to watch: Middlesbrough & South East Cleveland, being fought by Conservative solicitor Simon Clarke.
He has a real chance of taking what was once a Labour heartland.
23.30: It’s not lawyer-related, but LOL.
23.18: The accuracy of the exit poll is being questioned. Here’s Hexham MP and barrister Guy Opperman.
All the evidence I have seen over the last 6 weeks is that this exit poll does not chime with people on the doorstep#longwaytogoyet
— Guy Opperman (@GuyOpperman) June 8, 2017
23.08: A few key seats to watch from a legal perspective. First Darren Jones, a legal counsel at BT and former technology solicitor at Bond Dickinson, is fighting Bristol North West for Labour.
Jones, who came second in 2015, is calling for tactical voting by Greens and Lib Dems to help boost the chances of an anti-Brexit MP in a constituency that voted Remain.
We shouldn’t expect a result from that seat until after 3am though.
22.58: Lawyers supported the Conservatives – marginally – according to our poll in the run-up to the election.
22.51: From Tom McNeil, Bates Wells Braithwaite lawyer and Labour candidate for Meriden.
— Tom McNeil (@mcneil_tom) June 8, 2017
22.48: From lawyer MP David Lammy…
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) June 8, 2017
22.44: Most of you said you wouldn’t up all night in our poll – have any of you changed your mind?
We apologise to the reader who complained that there was no “I’ll stay up until the wine runs out” option.
22.39: Lawyer Dominic Raab, a Conservative who holds one of the country’s safest seats, is guesting on Channel 4’s Alternative Election Show tonight. As you can imagine given the exit poll, he’s getting a rough ride but is holding his own: “There is still a lot of track left in this election night,” he says.
22.20: Well, this just shows that Lawyer readers are just as clueless as the rest of the country when it comes to predictions. Only 9 per cent of you predicted a hung parliament – which is what the first exit poll has said (of course, it could still be completely wrong.)
Here’s what you thought…
22.00: Put the kettle on. It’s going to be a long night.
18.00: It seems most of you won’t be staying up too late tonight: 20 per cent of respondents to our poll say they’ll stay up and watch the whole thing, while 40 per cent plan to watch in the evening but then go to bed.
For the night owls among you, this live blog will be running tonight, with updates on how the lawyer candidates are doing. We’re off to exercise our democratic right now, but we’ll be back later…
16.30: Shipping solicitor-advocate Jason Charalambous has cast his vote. He’s standing for the Conservatives in Islington South & Finsbury against barrister Emily Thornberry.
— Jason Charalambous (@JasonTGC) June 8, 2017
15.30: In other news…
That time when we all watched the director of the FBI call the president of the United States a liar on TV.
— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) June 8, 2017
Donald Trump has been having a lot of lawyer troubles this week, with four law firms reportedly turning down the opportunity to represent him in the ongoing investigation into his connections with Russia.
14.45: And here are the lawyer MPs with the biggest majorities…
|Esher and Walton||Dominic Raab||Con||Solicitor||2010||28,616 (50.2%)|
|Camberwell & Peckham||Harriet Harman||Lab||Solicitor||1982||25,824 (50.1%)|
|Tottenham||David Lammy||Lab||Barrister||2000||23,564 (55.4%)|
|Fareham||Suella Fernandes||Con||Barrister||2015||22,262 (40.7%)|
|Birmingham Ladywood||Shabana Mahmood||Lab||Barrister||2010||21,868 (60.9%)|
13.45: Of the lawyers currently in Parliament, David Mundell is the one most at risk of losing his seat. He held Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale by just 798 votes in 2015 and may lose it to a trainee solicitor, the SNP’s Màiri McAllan.
The lawyer with the second-slimmest majority, Wolverhampton South West’s Rob Marris, has nothing to worry about, however. Having retaken the seat in 2015 after losing it in 2010, he isn’t standing this time round.
|Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale||David Mundell||Con||Solicitor||2005||798 (1.5%)|
|Wolverhampton SW||Rob Marris||Lab||Solicitor||2015||801 (2%)|
|Orkney and Shetland||Alastair Carmichael||Lib Dem||Solicitor||2001||817 (3.6%)|
|Belfast East||Gavin Robinson||DUP||Barrister||2015||2,597 (6.5%)|
|Carlisle||John Stevenson||Con||Solicitor||2010||2,774 (6.5%)|
|Kingston & Surbiton||James Berry||Con||Barrister||2015||2,834 (4.8%)|
12.30: A blast from the past: here’s what The Lawyer was saying on its front page 30 years ago this week.
The 1987 General Election, held on 11 June, saw the Conservatives handed a majority of 102, with Neil Kinnock’s Labour Party gaining just 20 seats.
The Lawyer counted 267 candidates with legal qualifications, estimating 97 would be elected.
11.45: 11KBW barrister Harini Iyengar, standing for the Women’s Equality Party, has voted.
— Harini Iyengar (@Harini_Iyengar) June 8, 2017
11.30: Not that the general public want more lawyers representing them, as this 2014 YouGov survey shows.
11.00: One of those lawyers is Jonathan Reynolds, the MP for Stalybridge and Hyde since 2010. Readers with long memories may remember that he had to quit his training contract at Addleshaw Goddard after being elected.
Here he is getting on the #dogsatpollingstations hashtag this morning.
— Jonathan Reynolds (@jreynoldsMP) June 8, 2017
We considered a hopeful bid to get #JudgesatPollingStations going, to encourage turnout among younger lawyers, but the Supreme Court said it would be too politically sensitive.
10.50: There are, by our count, at least 118 lawyers hoping to be elected across the country, from Victoria Prentis in Banbury to Shazu Miah in Wyre Forest. We’ll be following their fortunes though the day and tonight, and you can read about every single one of them here. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments.
09.15: How will you be be watching the results tonight?
09.00: Hello and welcome to The Lawyer’s live blog of the 2017 General Election. We’ll be keeping you updated throughout the day on the profession’s reaction as the nation goes to the polls.
We welcome your contributions: if your firm or chambers is celebrating the vote in some way (ours not to reason why) send us your pictures. Or if you fancy providing some expert commentary, drop firstname.lastname@example.org a line.