General Election 2019: Conservative majority ‘larger than party could have dreamed’

Judging by the exit poll, the West Country is likely to have voted overwhelmingly for the Conservatives again in this election.

Last time, around half of votes in our part of the world went to the Tories and that number looks like it'll increase this time round.

The suggested majority for the Tories in [the exit poll is far larger than the party could have dreamed of](http://Election 2019 Exit Poll predicts large Conservative majority) and the party had been nervous in the West Country.

The Conservatives are expecting to make most of their gains from Labour in the Midlands and North of England.

Boris Johnson took his dog to a polling station to vote. Credit: PA

Going into this election, the Conservatives had 42 of our 50 seats - and if the exit poll is right, the party can expect a significant majority across the country.

Key seats - Stroud and Bristol North West

A key seat to keep your eye on overnight is the most marginal seat in the West of England - Stroud.

The Labour party took this seat in 2017 and it voted to remain in the EU in 2016. Labour's majority was less than 700 and the Tories have thrown the kitchen sink at it. I was in the seat last week and it was very obvious to me that it was too close to call.

Will Darren Jones retain Bristol North West for Labour?

If the Conservative majority is as major as the exit poll suggests, then there will also be Labour nerves in Bristol North West. Again, this is a seat the party took from the Tories in 2017.

There are also likely to be nervous Labour officials in Plymouth - the city's Sutton and Devonport seat turned red in 2017 and is a Brexit-voting seat but it was the Tories’ top target in this election in the West Country. That said, the exit poll suggests both seats should stay Labour.

‘Dreadful night for the Liberal Democrats’

Whilst the national focus will be on Labour and Conservatives, here in the West Country, if the exit poll is correct, this is a dreadful night for the Lib Dems.

The exit poll suggests the party should keep Bath, but won't gain Remain-voting Cheltenham or the Leave-voting constituency (and most marginal in the West Country ahead of this election) St Ives.

Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson. Credit: PA

One senior Lib Dem source in the West Country called the party's campaign here a 'disaster' and a number of candidates were furious the party started the campaign promising to cancel Brexit if leader Jo Swinson became Prime Minister.

If the Lib Dems don't make gains here, it will be a disaster for the party. Going into this election, the party was on the up and believed up to 15 West Country seats were up for grabs. The party tonight looks like it'll only just manage that number across the whole of the UK.

The exit poll speaks to a significant number and has been reasonably accurate in all elections over the last 27 years - but it is a statistical poll.