I’ll write a bit about Comey below but, realistically, the only major stories seem to me to be a) that Comey leaked to the NYT, b) that Loretta Lynch directly interfered in an ongoing FBI investigation for political purposes. The Russia Trump collusion story is dead and the “hope” = order view of obstruction of justice is on life support and failing fast.
Meanwhile, the exits from the UK from Order-Order.com (the comments range from hilarious to hysterical.)
Tories – 314 (-17)
Labour – 266 (+34)
SNP – 34 (-22)
Lib Dems 14 (+6)
Plaid – 3
Green – 1
UKIP – 0
If those hold May does not have a majority. A Lab/SNP/Lib Dem coalition could govern with periodic support from the tiny parties.
Early days but this was not what the polls or the betting markets were predicting.
Update: I suspect this is going to be a long night for the Brits. Having an eight hour time advantage means I can go to bed knowing who won. If any one won.
Imagine the joy of these words: Prime Minister Corbyn…Oh shit.
Meanwhile the pound is down against the dollar and euro but not by a lot, a couple of cents.
Update #2: About the only thing obvious in the UK election is that UKIP appears to be collapsing. Which makes a lot of sense with Brexit in train. It will be a while before any other trend will be detected.
Thinking about Comey I get the sense that Trump, while not out of the woods, had a good day. While Comey called him a liar a few times – mainly about opinions rather than facts – he also said that he did indeed tell Trump he was not the subject of an investigation three times.
For the anti-Trumpists the collapse of the “Russians and Trump collaborated to defeat the sainted Hilly” story is going to be sad. They will keep hope alive with the “Trump fired Comey because Comey would not back off Flynn” story alive for a while but that is pretty thin gruel for an impeachment story, especially as Trump apparently encouraged Comey to look into the activities of his “satellites”.
Politically the loonier Democrats will try to keep the story and the investigations alive; but the danger to the Democrats lies in the fact those investigations are slowly turning to the behaviour of the Obama White House. Unmasking for political purposes is an actual, serious, crime. Telling the Director of the FBI to refer to the “Clinton matter” rather than the “Clinton investigation” is not obstruction in itself, but it illustrates how far Lynch was prepared to go to protect Hilly. I suspect even the loonier wing of the Congressional Democrats will be happy to let the entire thing die when summer recess rolls around.
Update #3: Time for a G&T. The constituencies reporting are all pretty safe Labour or Tory enclaves and 22 to 10 is not unexpected given the seats reporting. The collapse of the UKIP vote puts a lot of Northern and Midlands Leave ridings into play. right now it looks like Labour has a slight edge in picking up that vote. We’ll see.
I have to bet that absent a majority May is gone in a week. But the really interesting question is whether Corbyn will be able to hold on given that the Parliamentary Labour Party thinks he’s a loonie.
Update #4: Again, it is fairly early but Labour seems to be holding a 4-5% margin in the popular vote. Over at Guido’s the comments are even nastier than usual about May’s failings. Apparently, she simply did not connect with the British electorate. Which I can believe given how Boris Johnston was trotted out in the dying days of the campaign having been under wraps for the first month and a half. Now it could all switch over in the next couple of hours; but this election was called when May had a 20-25% advantage in the polls. It is a rare politician who can turn that sort of a lead into a squeaker. And it is not as if Corbyn suddenly became any saner. Nope, if the Conservatives lose or lose their majority Mrs. May needs to be gone by the weekend.
Update #5: Votes are coming in from the South and while Labour holds a 15 seat edge its lead in the popular vote has dropped to 2%. In other news, odds on Boris Johnston becoming leader of the Tory party which had been 60:1 this morning are now at 5:1. Still 400 seats to go and a lot of those are in the south and the rural bits of England. But now Labout is 20 seats ahead.
Update #6: 492 seats declared. Lab 218, Cons 219, popular vote tied. This is going to take a while. What is evident though is that Labour is picking up seats and May isn’t. (Although there are Tories in Scotland for the first time in years.) Regardless of how the night turns out I can’t imagine May retaining the leadership.
Update #7: 303 for the Conservatives, 42 to 40 in the popular vote. Does not look as though May will get a majority. She says she’ll stay.
The night was very reminiscent of Brexit where it took several hours for the Leave vote to roll in. The home counties came through. But what Parliament looks like when the dust clears is complicated. Annoyingly, the Lib Dems increased their seat count, though the awful Nick Clegg managed to lose to my great delight. This may have been a “change” election in disguise.
Corbyn looks safer in his seat than May does in hers. He ran his campaign his way and picked up 28 seats. He will have a rather good argument to take back to his caucus. He increased Labour’s share of the popular vote by 9%. The Parliamentary party may not like him but I can’t see him going anywhere soon.