Saturday 20 January 2018

The one picture of each party leader which sums up their election night

Even the political elite can’t hide their feelings sometimes.

By Alan Marshall

Election nights are make or break for party leaders, and 2017 has delivered another nailbiting vote for those at the political summit.

Recent general elections have triggered leadership resignations galore – in 2015 alone Labour, the Lib Dems and Ukip were all looking for new leaders by 12.15pm the next day.

Here’s a quick visual guide to how election night 2017 played out for the big five.

Theresa May – Conservative

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Sorry Mrs May, you’ll have to open your eyes, it’s not a nightmare. A tough night for the Prime Minister after her massive gamble on a snap election backfired sensationally. Ministers and close colleagues lost their seats, Labour are already calling for her to resign, and Tory MPs are being asked by journalists about the leadership succession.

Jeremy Corbyn – Labour

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Smiling Jeremy Corbyn appears to be the only real winner among the party leaders, with a strong performance during the election campaign helping confound his critics. Labour claimed numerous Tory scalps on the night and held off their challenge in many marginal seats. Mr Corbyn will probably still be smiling like this when he gets back to Westminster.

Tim Farron – Liberal Democrats

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Tim Farron had a bit of a fishy night in more ways than one. He held on to his own seat in Cumbria with a majority slashed from 8,949 to 777 – with independent candidate Mr Fishfinger scooping up 309 crucial votes as well. Nationally the Lib Dems made some gains but overall failed to harness the votes of Remainers to spark a resurgence after the low of 2015.

Paul Nuttall – UKIP

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Paul Nuttall’s face tells the story of a sticky night for Ukip. Mr Nuttall came a distant third in Boston & Skegness, taking little more than 3,000 votes to the Tories’ 27,000. The national Ukip vote collapsed as voters returned to Labour and the Conservatives. And former party leader Nigel Farage could soon be back on the scene as he said he would have no choice but to return to frontline politics if Brexit was in doubt. No wonder Mr Nuttall is loosening his tie.

Nicola Sturgeon – SNP

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As you can see, it wasn’t the happiest of nights for Nicola Sturgeon. Scotland’s First Minister has become used to election triumphs, and she described the 2015 SNP “tsunami” of seats as a historic watershed. But just two years on the party has suffered a major reverse, losing many seats and seeing senior figures Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson defeated. By the Conservatives. Yikes.

Press Association

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