Ones to watch: How the UK’s top politicians will fare in #GE2015
David Cameron, Conservative, Witney, result expected at 4:30 a.m.
Situated in a Tory heartland, the PM’s Witney seat looks safe. His premiership looks less secure going into the final sprint, however.
Rumors abound that, if all else fails, his party – with right-leaning press in tow – will attempt what critics are calling a “coup,” by claiming a Labour government with SNP backing lacks credibility to the point of being “illegitimate.”
Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat, Sheffield Hallam, result expected at 4:30 a.m.
After five years as Deputy PM, and having invited the rage of a generation of educated voters with his U-turn over tuition fees, Clegg’s South Yorkshire seat and leadership position look shaky.
With Labour breathing down his neck in Sheffield, a defeat for Clegg could have far-reaching consequences in the event of a hung parliament.
Ed Miliband, Labour, Doncaster North, result expected at 4:00 a.m.
After receiving a shining endorsement from his brother – whom he was accused of stabbing in the back over the Labour leadership by Defense Secretary Michael Fallon in the run-up to Thursday’s showdown – “Red” Ed’s speech will be one to watch if he retains Doncaster South.
— David Miliband (@DMiliband) May 7, 2015
His words will set the tone for what may turn into a gutter fight with the allegedly “coup”-inclined Tories and could invite tense wrangling with a range of potential coalition partner if parliament is hung, as widely predicted.
Caroline Lucas, Green, Brighton Pavilion, result expected at 5:00 a.m.
The Green’s sole MP won plaudits for stepping aside as party leader for Natalie Bennett and for consistently pursuing a left-of-Labour agenda in the Commons.
However popular she may be, however, Green council cuts passed in her home constituency despite local and internal party opposition have left her with a rockier road than she would like.
George Galloway, Respect, Bradford West, result expected at 5:00 a.m.
The explosive orator stormed to a by-election victory in Bradford in 2012, brutally unseating his former party, Labour, as he did so.
Since then, the party from which Tony Blair ejected him has waged a determined campaign to reclaim one of their traditional territories.
Whichever way it goes, Galloway is sure to roar when time comes to address the crowds.
Nigel Farage, UKIP, Thanet South, result expected at 6:00 a.m.
If the leading light of the Eurosceptic right loses in Kent, he has promised to step down as party leader.
If he wins, he and his party – at least those who are not currently suspended for controversial commentary – will take victory as a vindication of their anti-immigration and Eurosceptic brand of conservatism.
The only two UKIP MP’s to serve in the last parliament were both Tory defectors. A conventional win for the man in tweed would bolster the party’s claim to be an authentic voice of the people.
Boris Johnson, Conservative, Uxbridge and Ruislip South, result expected at 6:00 a.m.
Buffoon act aside, Johnson is a sharp political operator and a win tonight could prove to be the start of a serious bid for the Conservative leadership by the Churchill-channeling Old Etonian.
The switch back from London mayor to MP would also open up the most senior political role in the capital to another scramble, with Boris’s polar opposite, leftist George Galloway, said to be considering a stab at the job if he loses in the North.
Jim Murphy, Labour, East Renfrewshire, result expected at 3:00 a.m.
The Blairite Scottish Labour leader has had a rough few weeks. He and Labour-backing comedian Eddie Izzard were heckled and jostled out of central Glasgow by angry nationalists who called them “traitors” to working people.
Scotland's flag and streets don't belong to any one political cause. Labour won't be silenced by ugly and aggressive nationalism.
— Jim Murphy (@JimForScotland) May 4, 2015
Murphy’s would be the most high profile defeat for Labour in a nation that some predict will go SNP across the board in the wake of the close independence referendum vote last year.
Douglas Alexander, Labour, Paisley & Renfrewshire South, result expected at 3:00 a.m.
Another senior Labour scalp which the SNP rebellion could claim is that of Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander.
What is distinctive about the Paisley predicament is the fiercest opposition, which comes in the form of 20-year-old nationalist firebrand Mhairi Black.
This is a terrifying prospect for Labour and testament to the strength of the SNP insurgency now gripping political terrain which was once Labour real estate.
Vince Cable, Liberal Democrat, Twickenham, result expected at 4:00 a.m.
The Lib Dem Business Secretary looks secure in his seat, though coalition partner David Cameron recently pressed flesh in the Twickenham constituency.
In March, Tory Zac Goldsmith told the Sun newspaper that Cable could provide the “Portillo moment of the election evening,” referring to one of the 1997 election’s shock upsets where then-Defense Secretary Michael Portillo was sent packing by Labour wildcard Stephen Twigg.
Alex Salmond, SNP, Gordon, result expected at 4:30 a.m.
Nicola Sturgeon’s predecessor as the scourge of Westminster isn’t done yet.
In fact, Alex Salmond plans to be a full-time fox among the chickens if he manages to overturn a 6,500 Lib Dem majority and take a seat in the Mother of Parliaments.
A warm welcome can doubtless be expected in Westminster.
Mhairi Black, SNP, Paisley & Renfrewshire South, result expected at 3:00 a.m.
At only 20, Black would be the youngest parliamentarian ever if she manages to defeat Labour’s Douglas Alexander in Paisley.
The politics student has gained serious support in the constituency, not least among women.
Black is pulling no punches, telling the Daily Record that Alexander “only seemed to have discovered his passion when he could lose his seat.”
“In fact, I’ve seen more of Douglas Alexander in the last month than I did in the last 10 years,” Black said.