That sound you can hear? All too familiar: it’s the sound of Champagne corks popping at Tory viewing nights across the country.
The exit poll predicting the result of this year’s general election is out. And it’s brutal for Labour.
The Tories are predicted 368 seats, while Labour is headed for 191 seats. The SNP are predicted to win 55 seats, and the Liberal Democrats 13 seats. Plaid Cymru are headed for 3 seats and the Green Party one seat. The Brexit Party has no seats, according to this exit poll.
That means that we’re looking at a potential Conservative majority of 86 seats.
Polls have been a source of scepticism for the last few elections, but recent exit polls have indicated the result of the elections with a high degree of accuracy.
We're writing this from a pub in Hackney full of Labour activists and the mood was instantly deflated. An uneasy silence descended the moment the exit poll was revealed. John McDonnell is on the big screen admitting that it looks disappointing.
There are a number of seats where high profile Tories have been staring into the abyss of a super tight race, but they’re looking safer now.
It’s not over yet, and local factors may still have a part to play. But they can all breathe for now.
In Esher and Walton, the vein on the side of Dominic Raab’s head will be throbbing just a little easier.
In Chingford and Woodford Green, Iain Duncan Smith will probably be safe against Faiza Shaheen.
And yes, in Uxbridge, Boris Johnson – who may have worried for his seat – will probably rest easy tonight.
But local factors could still give us a “Portillo moment” of a high profile scalp.
It’ll be worth looking out for the crucial seats in the North – the “red wall” – where Leave voters could damage Labour chances if the voters’ wish for Brexit overthrows any party loyalty. Looking at the numbers, it seems like Labour could be more at risk than ever.