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AS IT HAPPENED: General Election 2017 in Maidenhead, Slough and Windsor

Our editorial team provided updates throughout the night, bringing you the latest news from the general election counts for the Maidenhead, Windsor, Slough and Beaconsfield parliamentary seats. Catch up on the night as it happened below.

the Advertiser and Express editorial team

the Advertiser and Express editorial team

LIVE: General Election 2017 in Maidenhead, Slough and Windsor

The full story in your area:

Theresa May holds Maidenhead on night of turmoil for Prime Minister

Tan Dhesi is Slough's new MP with increased majority

Conservative Adam Afriyie re-elected in Windsor


4.04pm:

Buckethead fever - it's a real thing. Find out more on the epidemic here.


2.30pm:

After that announcement, we should have a quick look at the Twitter poll. Ah. Erm. Who's going to tell her?


12.57pm:

Theresa May has spoken outside Downing Street:

“I have just been to see Her Majesty the Queen and I will now form a government, a government that can provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time for our country.

"This government will guide the country through the crucial Brexit talks that begin in just 10 days and deliver on the will of the British people by taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union.

"It will work to keep our nation safe and secure by delivering the changes that I set out following the appalling attacks in Manchester and London. Cracking down on the ideology of Islamist extremism and all those who support it. And giving the police and the authorities the powers they need to keep our country safe.

"The government I lead will put fairness and opportunity at the heart of everything we do so that we will fulfil the promise of Brexit together and over the next five years build a country in which no-one and no community is left behind. A country in which prosperity and opportunity are shared right across this United Kingdom.

“What the country needs more than ever is certainty and having secured the largest number of votes and the greatest number of seats in the general election, it is clear that only the Conservatives and Unionist Party has the legitimacy and authority to provide that certainty by commanding a majority in the House of Commons.

“As we do we will continue to work with our friends and allies in the Democratic Unionist Party in particular. Our two parties have enjoyed a strong relationship over many year and this gives me the confidence to believe that we will be able to work together in the interest of the whole United Kingdom. This will allow us to come together as a country and channel our energies towards a successful Brexit deal which works for everyone in this country, securing a new partnership with the EU which guarantees our long-term prosperity.

"That’s what people voted for last June. That’s what we will deliver. Now let’s get to work."

(Not trying to brag but I typed that all myself)


11.48am: 

As we let that poll tick over (so far it isn't good news for Maidenhead's MP), let's remember what a night it was for Slough's new MP Tan Dhesi. He's become the first turban-wearing Sikh to be elected to parliament, seeing off a Conservative onslaught to do so. 


11.31am:

And on that note, let's try and fill the awkward silence with a divisive poll.


11.13am:

So what happens now?

Theresa May is expected to visit Buckingham Palace at 12.30pm and ask the Queen for permission to form a government.

Noises this morning indicate Mrs May could attempt to form a coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party, a party in Northern Ireland, which won 10 seats.

It’s not clear how long that process will take. There may be a bit of a lull until it becomes clearer as to how, or if, the Prime Minister can form a government.

This could go on a while. So... what about this rain, hey? 


10.15am:

We have photos from the Maidenhead count here and Windsor count here. Not many words are needed for this one: (Lord Buckethead received 249 votes. He didn't win the seat, which means the nationalisation of Adele will not be going ahead)


9.03am:

Maidenhead – you know Theresa May better than anyone. What are your thoughts on her campaign? What did she do right and what did she do wrong? Should she remain as Prime Minister? Tweet us @MaidenheadAds. Try to keep it clean...


8.49am

Wakey wakey. We're back at it. What an extraordinary night. But following recent elections, who’s really surprised?

If you’ve just woken up, here’s a snapshot of what happened locally:

Theresa May won Maidenhead with a slightly reduced majority on what was a hugely disappointing night for her personally and the party she leads.

Tan Dhesi won Slough, keeping it in Labour hands following Fiona Mactaggart’s decision to step down. The seat was heavily targeted by the Conservatives, with the visits of Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Philip Hammond in the lead up to the election.

Conservative candidates Adam Afriyie and Dominic Grieve won Windsor and Beaconsfield respectively. Nothing to see here.


5.33am:

Right, after seven and a half hours of blogging, we are wrapping up for now. There's still plenty up in the air, including Theresa May's position as Prime Minister but, never fear, we will be bringing you updates as they develop as the picture becomes clearer later this morning.

For everyone who stayed with us, thank you and we hope you enjoyed our coverage.


5.30am:

Some words from victorious Windsor candidate Adam Afriyie: “I’d really like to thank all of the very active, hard working helpers, volunteers and activists who worked with me on the streets of Windsor and elsewhere.

“The result has been very good for the Windsor constituency and for the electorate I give you the commitment to continue to fight for the things you care about locally.”

Peter Shearman, of Windsor Labour said: “Nearly a quarter of the Windsor electorate voted for the Labour Party which is a testimony to our hard work.

“I think there’s a number of wards where we can continue to build on what we’ve done today and see if we can bring some red to the Royal Borough.”

Julian Tisi, of the Liberal Democrats, said: “I think it’s a disappointing result for the Liberal Democrats in Windsor and we’ve suffered as a result of the presidential style campaign battle between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn.

“This is a deeply divided country and I don’t think either the Conservative or Labour government are going to improve that.”


5.09am:

Royal Borough councillor Jack Rankin lost out on his bid to become an MP in Ashton-under-Lyne.

Labour’s Angela Rayner secured an increased majority with 24,035 votes with the borough’s deputy member for finance receiving 12,710.


4.50am:

Reaction from Tan Dhesi:


4.46am:

So what next for Theresa May?

There's no way around it, this snap election has backfired for the Prime Minister and her party. Lots of talk on the major television networks about whether Theresa May will have to go, possibly in the next 24 hours.

We shall see...


4.39am:

So, as our local results are pretty much all in, here's a quick summary.

-Theresa May holds Maidenhead, albeit with a reduced majority on a difficult night for the Prime Minister.

-Adam Afriyie holds Windsor for the Conservatives

-Tan Dhesi is elected in Slough with an increased majority for Labour.

-Dominic Grieve holds Beaconsfield.


4.34am:

Maidenhead Labour candidate Pat McDonald was delighted to almost double his party’s vote compared to the last election. Labour polled 11,261 votes compared to 2015, making it Labour’s best showing in Maidenhead for years.

Mr McDonald put Labour’s strong showing down to leader Jeremy Corbyn and his manifesto.

He said: “I would like to thank our leader as clearly his leadership and manifesto persuaded more voters in the Tory heartland to vote Labour this time. I am hugely encouraged by this result.

“It’s having a good manifesto to stand behind. Even in this Tory heartland many, many people believed in this manifesto. And I am delighted that Nick Clegg, who betrayed so many students over tuition fees was defeated by an honest Labour candidate in Sheffield.”


4.29am:

Some words from Slough Borough Council leader Sohail Munawar:

“We’re comrades, we both belong to a socialist party and that brings us under one umbrella.

“It doesn’t matter whether someone is Sikh or Muslim, black or white.

“It’s all about Slough.

“We’re so diverse and so lucky for it.

“You see the community cohesion we enjoy here and this will strengthen it going forward, whatever side you belong to.

“We will all build on this and that’s the beauty of this town."


4.22am:

Here's defeated Conservative candidate Mark Vivis:

“It’s very disappointing but we worked hard to try and deliver for the people of Slough.

“It was always going to be a tough challenge and unfortunately not one we were able to rise to.

“Congratulations to Tan and I wish him the best.”

Asked if he would contest Slough in the future: “Who knows?"


4.18am:

Apologies for the delay. We headed back to the office. We have some quotes from the new Slough MP Tan Dhesi,

He said: “It's an honour and a privilege. The size of the majority shows that the people have chosen hope over fear and progress over stagnation.

"On the doorstep we found that people don't want anymore cuts, they need a Labour government.

"Nationally nobody was predicting the results we've had in so far a month ago, we ran a good campaign and I will be seeking to serve the many not the few."


3.52am:

Reaction from Lib Dem Julian Tisi to the Windsor vote.


3.50am:

Big increased majority for Labour in Slough.


3.48am:

In Maidenhead, the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems all got more votes than they did in 2015. Labour nearly doubled their votes.


3.47am:


3.46am:

Tan Dhesi takes Slough for Labour with 34,170 votes.


3.42am:

Other issues mentioned by Theresa May included 'getting a Brexit deal right' and also to look 'to address the big challenges facing our country'.


3.41am:

Here's Adam.


3.38am:

Does that smile look a little forced to you?


3.35am:

Some more from Theresa May:

"It is a huge honour. It is a wonderful constituency."


3.34am:

Majority of about 22,000 for Afriyie.


3.33am:

Labour in second with 12,334 and Lib Dems in third with 5,434.

The Greens received 1,435 votes.


3.32am:

Adam Afriyie HOLDS Windsor for the Conservatives with 34,718 votes.


3.28am:

A few more results:

Grant Smith (Independent) - 152

Edmonds Victor (Christian Peoples Alliance) - 69

Derek Wall (Green) - 907

Bobby 'Elmo' Smith - 3

Julian Reid (Just Political Party) - 52


3.25am:

A few key quotes from Theresa May:

"We have yet to see the full picture emerging."

"...this country needs a period of stability."

"If the Conservatives were the largest party...that is exactly what we will do."


3.24am:

The majority is 26,457.

3.23am:

Theresa May is now speaking. More on the blog shortly.


3.22am:

Theresa May HOLDS Maidenhead, albeit with a slightly reduced majority. Labour in second.


3.17am:

Gerard Batten (UKIP) - 871

Yemi Hailemariam - 16

Lord Buckethead - 249

Tony Hill (Lib Dem) - 6,540

Howling Laud Hope - 119

Andrew Knight -282

Theresa May (Con) - 37,718

Pat McDonald (Lab) - 11,269

More to follow.

3.16am:


3.14am:

A hush across the hall.


3.12am:

This is much earlier than expected.


3.11am:

Theresa May is in the hall. Think we are ready....


3.09am:

Slough is close.


3.06am:

Lots of standing around and waiting in this hall. Watch this space.


3.05am:

Dominic Grieve HOLDS Beaconsfield for the Conservatives.


2.57am:

Slough's Conservative candidate has arrived.


2.53am:

We're waiting...


2.47am:

The photographers are waiting, but when will we see her in the hall?


2.43am:

Here she is:


2.41am:

Theresa May is here.


2.40am:

Meanwhile, in the neighbouring Wokingham constituency, John Redwood is back.


2.35am:

Something is afoot.


2.29am:

Big commotion from the media. Could be a big arrival soon...


2.27am:


2.22am:

When two lords collide.


2.01am:

'Bloody hell' is the reaction to the exit polls from Lib Dem candidate Tom McCann in Slough.

He added: “To be honest, for Theresa May to have been so arrogant to call an election, anything under a 17-20 increase in her majority is a failure, otherwise what’s the point?
“It looks like they’ve ignored one of the strongest things about the Labour party, which is that they’ve got a very strong membership.
“They’ve probably got about 50,000 hardcore activists - that’s about half the British Army.
“If those 50,000 hardcore activists banged on 50 doors each, that’s a lot.
“Jeremy Corbyn has an army of support that the media has failed to understand.
“If the Lib Dems had an army like that then we could be running the country."


1.56am:

A somewhat disappointing turnout of 66.1% in Windsor. That equates to 48,619 people. The figure is down on the 70.19% turnout in 2015.


1.49am:

Here he is:


1.47am:

Hugh excitement here as Lord Buckethead arrives. Big crowd gathering around.


1.43am:

More from Cllr Dudley: "I think we are dealing with something very different with Brexit, with the youth vote, the collapse of UKIP. It is going to be a long night."


1.40am:

Royal Borough leader Simon Dudley has arrived.

He said: "The night is but young."

He added: "I think we are dealing with new politics here."


1.38am:

Hearing predictions of an 8am finish here might be a bit excessive. Could still come in at 4am-5am.


1.36am:

We are still waiting to talk to Adam Afriyie, but here's a Conservative councillor.


1.32am:

Some bookies now have Jeremy Corbyn as favourite to be the next PM. Blimey.


1.29am:

Slough turnout is 65.4%. Again above 2015 numbers.


1.27am:

In numbers that is 58,364 people.


1.25am:

We have a turnout in Maidenhead. 76.72%! That is massive.


1.19am:

Not going to lie, we've hit a bit of a lull.

I've had another hobnob.


1.08am:

It's all go in Slough. This guy looks chuffed.


1.04am:

I wonder what they're chatting about.


12.57am:

This is pretty impressive to be fair.


12.53am:

Adam Afriyie won't speak to us until he gets 'more intel'. Very dramatic.


12.50am:

Bobby Smith, who is campaigning for father's rights, said: "I think people are sympathetic to family law reform. As a default position people support that children should have two parents in their life."


12.48am:

Monster Raving Loony Party candidate Howling Laud Hope pledged that if the Loonies were to be victorious he would 'rejuvenate Maidenhead'.

He added: "We will turn it into Loony Land, on a par with Disneyland."

He also complained about the weather.


12.47am:

It is very warm in the Magnet right now, so we do not envy Bobby 'Elmo' Smith.


12.43am:

A little bit from Windsor's Labour candidate.


12.35am:

'You must be joking,' was the reaction of Liberal Democrat candidate Tony Hill to the suggestion his party could go back into coalition with the Conservatives following predictions of a hung parliament.
"It won't happen without the party and the party will never allow it," he said.
He said rather than a coalition, parties would have to learn to work together vote by vote and issue by issue.
He said: "It will mean we have debate again. An awful lot of this is a protest. People don't want government by a minority section of a party. Theresa May should never have given in to John Major's bastards.
"This is people saying we want a proper parliamentary democracy where there is still a chance to talk to their MP and get something done."
He said he did not think Theresa May could survive as Tory leader if they did not win a majority: "At this moment it looks like she will not be able to stay leader of the party."
He said the Lib Dems had enjoyed a very positive election campaign locally. He added: "We have doubled our membership and trebled the number of people on the streets. It's been a great campaign."
He said people on the doorstep appeared to have moved on from wanting to punish the Lib Dems for their time in coalition with the Tories. 
Big issues for the electorate had been grammar schools and the dementia tax.
"Theresa May has totally underestimated the intelligence of the electorate," he said.


12.34am:

Here's Laud Hope.


12.31am:

A ripple of applause in the hall here as Monster Raving Loony Party candidate Howling Laud Hope arrives. Bobby 'Elmo' Smith is also here.


12.27am:

Last time out, Afriyie won the seat with a majority of 25,083.


12.26am:

Scratch that, Windsor Conservative candidate Adam Afriyie is in the building.


12.23am:

Three hours have just flown by. Just eight or so more to go. Things have quietened down a little bit.


12.15am:

Photographer Ian has popped up in Slough now. He's getting plenty of exercise.


12.13am:

Sorry about the moment of radio silence. Your trusty live blogger is posting on the floor and my legs went dead. Had a lovely stroll around the room though.


12.04am:

Lord Buckethead is in the building. We haven't spotted him yet though.


Midnight:

Nearly three hours in and barely a mention of UKIP so far. Here's Slough's candidate.


11.54pm:

In Maidenhead, one of the tables (table 4, fact fans) has started counting. Others still verifying.


11.48pm:

Will has been speaking to independent candidate Yemi Hailemariam, who is looking to raise awareness about her partner's imprisonment in Ethiopia.

She said: "We have been campaigning here in Maidenhead for the last three Saturdays consecutively. The reaction there has been amazing. People have really engaged with us.

Speaking of her partner, Andargachew Tsege, she said: "He does not really know the level of campaigning that I have been doing up until now. He has absolutely no idea."

She thought he would be proud of her.


11.44pm:

Windsor Labour member Michael Boyle told reporter David Lee: "I was expecting a larger Liberal Democrat vote because of how well they did in the Clewer North by-election but that doesn't really seem to be the case. I think we'll [Labour] cut into the Conservative majority which will put us in a good place for future elections."


11.43pm:

Prime Minister Theresa May cast her vote in Sonning earlier today. Wonder if she went for Lord Buckethead for a laugh?


11.38pm:

In case you missed our report earlier, Maidenhead Conservative Club was tagged with graffiti by vandals on the eve of the election.

Bar supervisor Gordon Marshall said: “All we can do is treat it with the contempt it deserves. I think it is quite pitiful.”


11.37pm:

Don't forget to let us know how you voted.


11.35pm:

Let's get some Conservative reaction to the exit polls in Slough now.


11.32pm:

Ian has been snapping away. Here's some counters verifying the ballot papers.


11.29pm:

Andrew Marr was here earlier. I think he's gone now but Ian got a snap.


11.24pm:

James has heard they could start counting in Slough by 2.30am.


11.17pm:

Some words from Maidenhead Labour candidate Pat McDonald about the Labour manifesto and Jeremy Corbyn.

He said: "The polls are looking a lot better tonight than they were a few weeks ago. For the first time in 20 years we've got a manifesto which I'm proud to say, as the Maidenhead candidate, I stand behind 100%."

"We are talking about giving kids free university education, we are talking about looking after pensioners. The Conservative manifesto was an absolute disgrace."


11.16pm:

Cllr Coppinger added: "With the greater number of postal votes these days the polls are having less and less relevance. 


11.13pm:

Will Taylor has been talking to Conservative councillor David Coppinger (Bray).

He said: "After last time, how can you trust exit polls? I was surprised but it is an exit poll."


11.11pm:

By the way, Newcastle Central beat Sunderland to be the first seat to declare (Labour hold).

Your Newcastle supporting live blogger is very happy about this fact.


11.07pm:

A major challenge for our weary reporters tonight: Make you always spell count correctly.


11.05pm:

Our photographer Ian Longthorne has taken this portrait of Pat and has now nipped off to take some photos of the Slough count.


11.03pm:

...and now, a moment with Maidenhead Labour candidate Pat McDonald.


11pm:

Let's hear from Slough Borough Council leader Sohail Munawar after the exit poll results were revealed.


10.58pm:

Someone has just suggested we could be waiting until 8am for a result. Your trusty live blogger is already one can of red bull and a couple of coffees in.


10.56pm:

Oh, in case you wanted to know more about those 13 candidates, you can find out about them here.

Might have been worth checking on that before the polls closed though.


10.50pm:

Ok, let's switch our attention back to a local level. Back in 2015 (it seems so long ago) Theresa May claimed an enormous majority of 29,059.

Naturally she's odds on favourite to reclaim the seat and a certain national broadcaster suggested Maidenhead may be the safest seat in the country.

However, with 13 candidates standing, it will be interesting to see who comes where.


10.49pm:

We are hearing Boris Johnson's odds of being the next Prime Minister have been slashed.


10.41pm:

Anti-grammar school campaign group Excellent Education for Everyone are protesting outside.

Member Jo Smith said: "We do not feel that the issue of grammar schools coming to Maidenhead has been given enough debate this election."

She added she hopes, if the exit polls are correct, the result will lead to more scrutiny of evidence surrounding grammar schools.

The protesters have been outside since 9.30pm.


10.36pm:

We just spoke to independent candidate Grant Smith, who is patiently awaiting the results.

He said: "I hope I get a few votes. It's been an interesting few weeks. I didn't think there would be this many people standing against the Prime Minister but there was always going to be alternative candidates."

When asked if he would stand down if Theresa May were to step down as an MP, he said: "I wouldn't stand again. It's been very hard work."

He added one of the positives was making friends with the other independent candidates.


10.28pm:

Let's not forget the every-favourite #dogsatpollingstations. Here are some Animal Welfare Party campaigners earlier today.


10.27pm:

The first ballot box back to Maidenhead was from the Holy Trinity Parish Centre in Cookham. Pretty impressive as it's a lot further away than some of the polling stations.


10.25pm:

An anti-grammar school protest is taking place outside the count in Maidenhead.


10.21pm:

OK, lot's of questions to be answered.

What next for Theresa May? Who will win in Slough? Will the Tories retain their huge majorities in Maidenhead and Windsor? Who on earth is Lord Buckethead?


10.17pm:

Speaking of Windsor, I haven't mentioned it much yet (sorry!). The count is taking place right here in the Magnet Leisure Centre but there is not so much of a media scrum. Here is Windsor reporter David Lee all on his lonesome.


10.16pm:

The postal votes have arrived for the Maidenhead and Windsor counts.


10.12pm:

Meanwhile, we are conducting our very own exit poll. Let us know how you voted:


10.10pm:

Few murmurs going around about what this exit poll could mean for Theresa May. It's certainly a long way from what was expected when she called the election. 


10.08pm:

Meanwhile, in Slough, the first postal votes have arrived.


10.02pm:

Now, remember exit polls do need to be taken with a pinch of salt, but it is fair to say this is not the result the Conservatives wanted.


10pm:

Exit polls are out and it looks like...a hung parliament.

Conservatives are forecast to be the largest party with 314 seats, followed by Labour with 266, the SNP with 34 and Lib Dems with 14. UKIP are forecast to win no seats.


9.57pm:

A long procession of counters are coming out. They are in for a long night.


9.51pm:

Polls close in less than 10 minutes.


9.50pm:

In case you were wondering, Maidenhead candidate and space traveller Lord Buckethead is in the pub.


9.48pm:

As far as results go, we're expecting Maidenhead's to come in at about 5am. That is only a very rough estimate though.


9.46pm:

OK, let's talk turnouts. The magic number for 2015 in Maidenhead was 72.91%. It was 70.19% for Windsor and 55.9% in Slough.

It will be a while yet before we know if 2017 numbers are close to that, but we've heard a lot of reports about strong turnouts at polling stations across the area.


9.40pm:

The room is starting to fill up now. Not long until things really get going.


9.32pm:

So a fair few people seem to have settled in to join us for the evening and, strangely, a lot of them seem to be enjoying it with a nice gin and tonic. Let us know if you're enjoying an #electiondaygin


9.30pm:

Half an hour until the polls close and the first exit polls come out. If you haven't voted yet you've still got time if you hurry. Run (or walk with purpose).


9.27pm:

Right, let's introduce you to our team tonight.

Here in Maidenhead, we have reporters Grace Witherden and David Lee, photographer Ian Longthorne, digital editor James Preston (that's me!), deputy editor Nicola Hine and editor Martin Trepte.

In Slough, reporters Stephen Delahunty and James Harrison will be at the Montem Leisure Centre as the town decides who will become its new MP.


9.20pm:

There is a huge media presence here in the Prime Minister's constituency. Major broadcasters are all here (but you should stick with us for the best coverage).


9.10pm:

Grab a coffee and settle in. We are live from the Magnet Leisure Centre throughout the night for the general election counts.

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