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CNN International: Exit Poll: Johnson On Track To Be U.K. Prime Minister. Aired 4:55-5:30p ET

Aired December 12, 2019 - 16:55   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Very good evening to you. The final votes are being cast, and we are moments away from polls closing in the United Kingdom. Hello and a very warm welcome to CNN Special Coverage of Election Night in the U.K. I'm Richard Quest with Hala Gorani and Bianca Nobilo.

HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome everybody watching us around the world. It is a very important and historic election. And we are just minutes away - five minutes just about from the first exit poll that will shed light on the political future of this country. We will bring you that at 10:00 p.m. Here in London that's 11:00 p.m. Central European Time.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN HOST: And the numbers will tell us if Boris Johnson has secured a mandate for his version of Brexit or if Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has managed to wrestle control away from the conservatives for the first time in nearly a decade.

QUEST: Julia Chatterley is at Westminster. Good evening Julia.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Thanks very much Richard. Good evening. And we'll get a clearer picture of exactly how Brexit will unfold and how the ground could potentially shift under the world's fifth largest economy.

I'll be bringing you all the action from here outside a pretty calm U.K. Houses of Parliament. Calm before the storm, I ask the question Richard.

QUEST: Thanks for your time. We'll be with you throughout the course of the night as you can see from this. Julia is perfectly place to report the results, explain what's at stake and what it means for the future of this country. And watching over the numbers and passing then for us all night will be Anna Stewart who is at the CNN's results center.

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: That's right, Richard. And first, I think we need to think about where we left off when this election was called. Boris Johnson's Conservative Party held 298 seats going into this election campaign. Labour, 243. So both leading parties well sort of 326. That is the magic number needed to govern outright.

As election results pour in through this we'll find out which seats are safe, which are changing hands and what the political lay of the land will look like.

NOBILO: Anna, now around 45 million of us have had a chance to cast a vote, including, of course, the candidates and the party leaders themselves. You can see them all here heading to the polls earlier today. And now the attention will turn to the counts for all of the drama of the night.

GORANI: Of course, we're going to have that very important exit poll picture coming to us in about two minutes. We at CNN are in critical locations across London and the United Kingdom for these counts. Nic Robertson is in Uxbridge, London Boris Johnson's constituency. Nic?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, this is where Boris Johnson hopes to claim victory and begin to lead that charge towards Brexit. The atmosphere here really the calm before the storm, but it is beginning to be tense and excited and that's what we're expecting to see this evening, waiting for all of that to come.

GORANI: And it is - maybe it's a similar atmosphere across London and Jeremy Corbyn's constituency where we find Phil Black. What's the mood there were a couple minutes away Phil?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL FREELANCE REPORTER: Yes. Hello. Well, Jeremy Corbyn's supporters here in Islington will be waiting to find out if he has done enough to persuade voters around the country with his offer of a final say Brexit Referendum and unprecedented domestic spending.

GORANI: Yes. And in Scotland our Scott McLean is focused on two key players there. Scott what are you hearing where you are?

SCOTT McLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Hala. Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson and Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon, they will both be watching the count from up here. You can see the Edinburgh castle behind me. We are in the Scottish capital tonight to understand what's next for the union.

GORANI: All right. Scott McClean in Scotland thanks very much. Nic Robertson in Uxbridge, and we have Phil Black in Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Labour Party's constituency. Thank you all. We are one minute away.

QUEST: One minute. One minute and then the bell and Big Ben chimes there won't be a long Big Ben tonight, because it's under repair. But after Big Ben does give us the top of the hour we will get the exit poll from the British broadcasters.

And then we'll wait, probably the first result - what time - 11:03- 11:04. So it will take about an hour or so once it's started.

GORANI: And this is really - this is why it's important. It's about Britain's place in the world.


GORANI: It's about where voters in this country want their country to position itself with the EU, it's about Brexit. Brexit it naturally is about how the U.K. will form trade and political relationships with other countries.

QUEST: This is a good moment for us to go now to Big Ben to watch, wait, listen as we get to 10 o'clock and the closing of the polls. This is CNN. It's the top of the hour.

Officially closed and the exit poll is out. The British broadcasters have now released what they say is the exit poll.

GORANI: With a majority - an outright majority for the Conservative Party according to this exit poll of 368; Labor with 191 seats according to this exit poll. This must be a huge relief for Boris Johnson.

QUEST: Forgive me. 26, 36, 46, 56, 66, 40, 42.


NOBILO: And let's not forget that Boris Johnson has disciplined the Conservative Party. He made all of his members of parliament to be signed up to his Brexit plan. So with this majority it does indicate that his deal will be passing through the House of Commons if this is correct.

But what's striking here is, after so much discussion about whether or not Brexit had upended this political system in the U.K. of two parties, this does look like it's actually reaffirming it. This was a traditional battle between the Conservatives and the Labour Party.

QUEST: No votes are believed to be or no seats for the Brexit party. The Lib Dems will get 13. Anna Stewart in a moment we'll have the number crunching on the big board. Julia, hopefully, is with me - Julia, Westminster. Well, this will likely do. What would we expect to see or are seeing already for the pound?

CHATTERLEY: Well, I'd expect to see a further rally, not much, because if you remember, this was where the highest probability was - a majority. But you know if you look at the polls that we saw, even in just the last few days they were worried about how big the majority that he was going to get was.

So if this ends up being the seats that they've got then it is a relief. But I think instantly we'll start looking at the negotiations to come, particularly over Brexit. And he's still going to be in the thrall of them, arch Brexiters in the party.

So while I do think we could see a bit of a pop up with Sterling, we're simply going to very quickly, as investors always do, start asking some of the big questions. Yes, it's a win on the night. It's a defeat for Labour. A gain if these are the results. But there are plenty more questions to come and we're going to be talking about them throughout the night Richard.

QUEST: All right. Thank you, Julia. Anna at the CNN Election Center with the numbers. Take that up. Take that exit poll for us please. STEWART: Bring this up on the floor and take a deeper dive into it. This is a successful Conservative Party. 368, here you see. That is up 50 seats from 2017. And actually it could be - if this is a good prediction, one of the best results for the party since the era of Thatcher.

Now the Labor Party, 191, not a good evening at all. And I think we're going to have to talk a lot about which seats the Conservatives may have taken from the Labour Party. SNP, very solid performance if this projection is right, 55 seats, one shy of their huge success in 2015. But nearly all of the seats in Scotland - there are only 59.

The Liberal Democrats haven't actually moved much at all, but through the night I think we're going to have to talk a lot about the two main parties and what happened there. Did the Conservatives break down the Labour Red Bull?

GORANI: All right. Anna Stewart, thanks very much. We want to go to the constituency of Boris Johnson, the current Prime Minister on course to remain Prime Minister. Nic Robertson is in Uxbridge, that's Johnson's constituency. Phil Black is at Corbyn's in Islington.

Nic first to you. What's the mood there? It must be one of relief, but celebration as well? This is a comfortable conservative majority.

ROBERTSON: Well, we've just seen some of the party members coming in here who will be watching the count. And I must say those wearing the conservative badges just seem to have a little bit of a smile on their faces. No doubt the Prime Minister, if these numbers hold, would no reason to doubt them significantly.

When he does walk in here - and I'm told he'll be walking right past me here, eventually this may be several hours away. One can expect a very big beam on his face. I'll be watching Northern Ireland closely right now, because the likely reaction there to the fact that the Prime Minister will have the numbers he needs to push his Brexit deal through.

I know we're getting ahead of ourselves a little here. But in Northern Ireland tonight there will be very worried Unionists there who are not happy with this deal as this deal stands and he's able to push it through with this sort of majority. That's not going to make people - many people in Northern Ireland happy at all.

GORANI: And Phil Black you're at Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Labour Party's constituency is Islington in North London, disappointment there? What are you hearing?

BLACK: There will be, undoubtedly, Hala. The Labour observers here are looking very serious. But observers at count always do. We don't know if they've heard these exit poll results. But this will become as something - this will come something close to devastating news to the Labour Party and its supporters.

Labour could not have expected to win an outright majority here. They know the electoral map just simply wouldn't have allowed that. But regardless they said that repeatedly through the campaign they were fighting for majority.


What they were really hoping to do though, however, is simply try and repeat their almost success of 2017 where they came from behind, performed better than expected and deprived the Conservatives of a majority. What they were hoping to do this time was to go further. Hopefully, have the most seats in yet another hung parliament from which they could then govern from a minority position.

This, however, suggests they were not getting even close to that. And just as Anna already touched on, crucial as the night moves on, we'll be determining precisely which Labour seats have fallen. How have the Conservatives broken through the so-called Red Wall, those traditional working class Labour seats, the ones that voted very heavily for Brexit. And looked like on this occasion they could fall to the Conservatives.

There was a whole long list of those sorts of seats where for generations the Conservative Party has been a toxic political brand. But where people were now considering doing what was unthinkable only a short time ago and that is to vote to Conservative. Based upon these exit results, it does appear that that is the case.

And what it means for the Labour Party is that they have now suffered their fourth consecutive general election defeat. And from the position of Jeremy Corbyn, in particular, it will be his second straight defeat. And so you could imagine that in the wake of this, there's going to be a great deal of soul searching, a great deal of reflection, perhaps even once again open warfare for the very soul of the Labour Party. Hala?

GORANI: Thanks.

QUEST: Thanks. Thank you, Phil Black. Now let me tell you what's happening in, if you like, election land. The counts are underway. And there is always a race in Britain for the first count. And these are pictures from the Northeast of England.

There are two constituencies, particularly, that battle to get you the result first. Last time it was between Newcastle upon Tyne Central which reported at 23:0 1. Now, it's one minute past 11:00. It's a strong Labour seat. We won't expect any change there.

And the other one that is always that favored to vote - to report first is Sunderland Central, which was beaten - handsomely beaten last time. And what is happening at the moment. This is something that we'll talk about throughout the night.

Two counts actually take place. The ballot papers are taken from the polling stations to the central count where they are initially counted, so that they know how many do the numbers in the box tally with the report of the box. Only when they've got an overall picture of the number of ballots for that district, do they actually start counting them. And they practice - they practice - look at this. They are fast to move them. They even used lighter paper, so they can be counted faster. It's a real it's bragging rights between Sunderland and Newcastle, who will give the first result. And I would expect they'll be anxiously - until we of turnout by the way, we don't know turnout

NOBILO: Well, exactly. There are some things that we're waiting to hear about, because when these first results start to trickle in we'll have them begin to corroborate or in some areas perhaps challenged the exit poll.

Now the exit polls have been pretty accurate over the last couple of years. They do have a history of being wrong occasionally in the past. But what was so significant about this election was pollsters were describing the conservative support as very broad, but incredibly fragile.

Meaning, there were many seats that could turn on something between 100 and 400 votes. So we'll be looking to see whether or not the exit poll is vindicated by the early results that we get in.

GORANI: But it's within the margin - but far out of the margin of error, I should say. And the comfortable majority here, Julia, achieved by the Conservatives should be certainly a relief for the Prime Minister. But, importantly, for our viewers around the world, this was about Brexit.

This tells us that the British voters have chosen to support the notion that Brexit should happen quickly, rather than slowly, that there shouldn't be a Second Referendum. How are markets likely to react? Because this pretty much tells us that Brexit will most likely happen before the end of January.

CHATTERLEY: I mean, that's what's been quite fascinating, I think, about the last few weeks and months. We've gone beyond the point really of debating the potential downsides of a Brexit, to simply saying we're completely Brexausted and we simply want to get it done. And, I think, broadly for business, but even for voters too, we simply want to end the conversation.

So it became a situation, I think, where simply ending, seeing some resolution or light at the end of the tunnel here became the ultimate positive.


And if these numbers prove correct then we'd know when we see that that Boris Johnson will reenter Number 10 Downing Street and he can allow the U.K. to leave the EU on the 31st of January. But then the real difficulty begins.

Of course, of trying to negotiate a trade deal and see ultimately that finalized by the end of December 2020. So there's all sorts of concerns and issues that are yet to come, quite frankly, and there's no end to the Brexit conversation. But, I think, even just bringing it back to the immediate short term, there's been a weight, I think, hanging over the potential economy with some of the policies that Jeremy Corbyn has been talking about, whether it's nationalizing businesses like the energy sector, like utilities in this country.

So if you take that weight away based on what we've got, there's a whole immediate positive effect that the entire country will feel. Inward investment potentially, a relief to seeing some kind of clarity, which if anyone else would have thought a majority or indeed the other parties could afford the majority, that dark cloud would have still hung over, even if ultimately you don't believe Brexit is the right thing for the U.K. economy. And we can argue about that in the coming hours too.

GORANI: Right.

QUEST: Yes. But before we jump. The pound - I believe the pound is also up quite sharply. Anna is at the Election Central--

GORANI: Right.

QUEST: --watching some numbers. What have you discovered?

STEWART: Well just look if this exit poll is right and the Conservative Party is going to have to take quite a few seats from Labour and I want to focus in on the area that the Conservative Party has been targeting now for weeks.

It's the Labour Red Wall he in the middle that goes up from the North Wales through the Midlands, up into North England. And these areas, some of them voted Labour for 100 years. But they are areas that also want to leave the EU. This could be crucial. This could be why the conservatives are going to win tonight.

So let's bring this over. I'll show you the grid of what it looked like in 2017. Here we have all of the constituencies. I want to bring out those Labour ones that we are talking about, so the Labour seats that voted to leave the EU in 2016.

And these are the marginals, so the margins of under 10 percent. This is the battleground. This is Barry North. This is Workington. And let's just delve into some of these with more depth.

So Dudley North, this is in the West Midlands. And you can see here in 2017 it was hardly anything in it, a margin of 0 percent, actually just 22 votes separating the Labour Party and the Conservative Party. This is a seat that has voted Labour for a very long time like many of the others. And I think in seats like this that we're going to see full blue.

Another one just to show you, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, this one in the West Midlands. Again, if we can get it up. This has been in the Labour's clutches for 100 years, another big league vote. Also taking a look at how the Labour MP voted when it came to Brexit. So this is why some Labour voters might feel frustrated this time round because this MP said no to meet Theresa May's deal, no to Boris Johnson's deal. Stephen Collinson explain this, is it time that these seats turn blue? How significant would it be psychologically for a Labour voter to vote Conservative?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Right. That's the big overarching strategic question of this election. Could the Conservatives win enough of these Labor seats and leave majority constituencies to make up for losses we expect to see them have in London, for example or in Scotland.

And what Boris Johnson was asking people to do, longtime Labour voters, many cases with generational suspicion of the Conservative Party, was to vote for a Conservative Prime Minister, because they're so desperate to get Brexit done. That's the reason he had this mantra get Brexit done. He was talking exactly to those long term Labour voters who are very suspicious of the Conservatives.

STEWART: But there was a huge concern for the Conservative Party, looking at these seats - the Labour heartlands that want Brexit. The Brexit Party, this brand new party would spoil everything and steal some of those Brexit votes, doesn't look like it's happened according to the exit poll. Could we have - get a sock in the next few hours?

COLLINSON: That's right. It doesn't look like - first of all the Brexit Party is going to get any seats. But the big danger, as you said, for the Tories was that the Brexit Party was going to siphon away some of these Labour Leave voters who couldn't bring himself to vote for a Conservative, but they would vote for Brexit - the Brexit Party, because they wanted to register their anger that Brexit hasn't got done.

That doesn't look like it took place. And the Labour Party had a big problem here. Its voters in the North wanted Brexit. Its voters in the South wanted to remain. That's why they had such a muddled message and it looks like it may be one of the reasons why Labour is going to do very bad tonight.

STEWART: And we'll soon find out, the first sort of key seats, I think that we'll see Darlington, Workington, that's about 1:00 a.m. So we've got a little bit longer until we get those seats. But first results should be within the next hour. Back to you guys.


QUEST: But we'll get an idea, though, Anna, won't we. We'll get you an idea if the exit poll is on track. If those early results, even though they'll safe seats, if there's any swing to Conservatives within those seats--


QUEST: --we should get us a dazzling nuance.

STEWART: You're absolutely right, Richard. Looking at those numbers, I would expect see quite a big swing even in safe seats, so that is a crucial number we are looking at even in those very fast, very safe Labour seats.

GORANI: All right. And we're going to look at important constituencies and big names. But I think just taking stock of these results here. You have a country that has decided and it's decided pretty overwhelmingly with a comfortable majority given to the Conservatives that it is backing a certain vision of where it wants Britain to be in the world.

It wants Brexit to happen. It wants it to happen sooner rather than later. A certain version of Brexit, that's embraced by the Conservatives, is OK now with British voters. I think, they're at the stage where they want to just get it done to pick up on the on the slogan of the Conservative Party. And this is something that we're seeing in countries like the U.S. and elsewhere in Europe as well.

NOBILO: I was speaking to scan some Conservative strategists and they were saying that the reason that they were enthused by the slogan of "Get Brexit Done" is not only did it appeal to those that you just described, Hala, that want to see Brexit achieved, they want a certain type of Brexit.

But also for those who perhaps did vote Remain, but just cannot bear the inertia in government, the years of wrangling, the fact that it's stifling any kind of - their business and creativity in the country because at the uncertainty.

GORANI: But their frustration - and to both of you and to all our reporters we'll be covering these issues all night. But this is a rejection in some ways of the traditional post-war Western democratic model of international cooperation, multilateralism here, because we are - this country is leaving the EU. That's it. This has been a cornerstone of this country's growth within the world economy for decades.

QUEST: Julia, if he gets a majority tonight, as we - if he gets a majority tonight as we - the exit poll is predicting at some 40 odd seats. This is the largest Tory majority since Thatcher back in '83 when she got - or even '87 - 87, yes.

CHATTERLEY: Absolutely. But, I think, we have to be careful suggesting that this is ultimately all about Brexit. And this idea that - and I agree with Bianca that actually even Remainers - even Remainers are completely exhausted here.

I would kind of push back here and say, look, if you look at the spending, the economic policies even if these two parties, it was also an unknown popularity contest between two individuals. It was also about two different directions, the two versions of the U.K. and the country going forward.

It has to come down to that too. I don't think we can look potentially at this result and say this is the result that we would have got if the country had gone to a Second Referendum and the country overwhelmingly wants to see Brexit happen at this stage. The two parties were going in such different directions, I think, this makes a difference here too.

NOBILO: And ultimately I think it came down to whether or not the electorate, as Julia is saying, trusting Jeremy Corbyn's pledges on spending or trusted--


NOBILO: --Boris Johnson's commitment to Brexit more. And they both had deep issues with trust. But I think when it came down to it, people believed that Boris Johnson would be more inclined to deliver.

GORANI: Let's just say, this election wouldn't have happened if Brexit wasn't an issue and it happened because Brexit was the issue. And it was an election sort of a Referendum light on that question and I think the country has decided quite firmly.

QUEST: I need to correct myself.


QUEST: I know.

GORANI: I've known you 20 years, Richard, and I've never heard you say that.

QUEST: I know. Well, I need to close (ph). Of course, it wasn't the Thatcher. It was in 2010 when David Cameron got the majority of 78 as against Gordon Brown.

GORANI: Wow. We know how that ended.

QUEST: But if this numbers are - if this - I know, you're all incredulous and I'm correcting myself and it's not even half past 10.

NOBILO: So we're keeping on many counts.

QUEST: The Labour it'll be the worst result for them in a generation. You got to go back to Michael Foot's day when he was the leader of the party.

Good round, we're first to take a break. I think we'll be waiting to see whether or not it's Sunderland or Newcastle and you can see they are absolutely running full tilt. They've practiced this. They do dummy runs at it. There are bragging rights. We'll take a break.



QUEST: Well there is a number and all of people will be analyzing it. We'll be analyzing it throughout the night. And it's the - Labour says it tonight, wait and see. But the party that's on the down always says wait and see. Wait for the real votes to be counted, not the exit poll to be interpreted.

But if this is true, and it's the worst Labour performance for the best part of a century and we'll get to the exact number in a moment.

GORANI: Right, absolutely. You can see the projection there which at this stage is a projection of 368 seats for the Conservative Party. Labour with 191, the SNP, the Scottish National Party is 55; Lib Dems, 13; and other parties 23. So where are we going next?

QUEST: Scotland.

GORANI: We are going to Scotland. The battle lines are drawn across the country. There is Scott McLean joining us.

QUEST: It's got 55 seats. If Labour gets - sorry, if the SNP gets the 55 seats, what's the significance?

McLEAN: It will be an absolutely remarkable result for the Scottish National Party here. In fact, just the other day, former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson promised to jump in Loch Ness naked if the party were able to win 50 seats, and so we might be seeing some skin from her. She's perhaps regretting that decision.

But this might actually come as a surprise to the SNP itself. I spoke to the party earlier today. And they said that, look, Davidson was setting an unrealistically high bar at 50 seats, just to sort of taunt the party.

They are well aware that in 2015 after the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum there was this up swell of national pride in a lot of working class people that the Scottish National Party appeals to, voted many for the first time. And you saw massive voter turnout numbers.

The last time around a lot of the other party totals stayed largely the same. But the SNP saw a massive, massive drop. There were seats where the party won by 10,000 votes in 2015 and then significantly - and then managed to lose the seat in 2017.

Also of note, the last time around, when the SNP swept through Scotland with 56 seats in 2015, there were only three seats remaining, one Liberal Democrat, one Labour and one Conservative of those seats. None of them belonged to Jo Swinson. So it will be interesting to see whether or not Swinson, the Liberal Democrat leader, can hold on to her seat.

NOBILO: Well, I finally - thanks Scott - Scott McLean out for us in Scotland. And I've just received an e-mail, because I'm on all these mailing lists from the Labour Party. Interestingly, it's non- committal, as you'd expect. Just thanking all of their party members for all of the hard work that they've done. It says absolutely nothing about the election result.

It was sent after the exit poll about 50 minutes after saying that, "You've done the Labour movement proud and we can't thank you enough for that." With no further details other than thanking people for getting out there on the doorstep. So that's the first communication that we've had from the party officially.

QUEST: The Scottish vote is important tonight. Are you - you wanted to just to say?

GORANI: Yes, I just wanted to quickly note that the pound is rallying. I mean, it's close to 1.35. A couple of weeks ago - I mean I don't check the pound every minute. But a couple weeks ago I remember it being close to 1.31-1.32.

Here we're up more than 2 percent. There's some sense of relief. But better than anyone, Richard and Bianca, it's about knowing what's ahead rather than necessarily embracing--

QUEST: Julia, hold your thoughts on the pound for a second Julia, because I want to go up to Scotland.


So, I want to go to Anna. I want go to Anna to interpret for us the result that we're seeing in Scotland. Why - the significance of it as it seem from your stand.

STEWART: Well, it's a fascinating projection - 55 seats out of 59. So if you look at Scotland after the 2017 election. You can see it's a bit of a patchwork of colors. It did terribly actually last election. Now this should all be yellow really borrow three if the exit poll is right.

So let me switch it over and I'll give you the grid. I want to show you some of the seats that we should be looking at today. So Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath this was actually Gordon Brown's seat and he lost it, of course, to the SNP. This would be a fascinating seat if it goes back to the SNP again - tiny, tiny margin.

This is an area that voted to Remain 57 percent. However, it's an area that voted against Scottish independence in 2014. Hold that thought. Let me show you another, because it seems to be a similar story.

This is the seat currently held by the Conservatives. So this is potentially one the SNP will take from the other side. Again, absolutely minuscule margin, 148 votes in 2017. And, again, they want to remain in the EU, but they also voted in 2014 by 60 percent against Scottish independence.

So what does this mean? Why are Scots voting for the SNP this year? Is it to do with Scottish independence? Is it to do with Brexit or is it just to do with not wanting to vote in a Labour Party? There's so much at play that we're going to see tonight. Can't wait to get those results in. Back to you.

QUEST: Thanks.


NOBILO: Thanks Anna. And it does seem when she asked the question just now, is it about Brexit, is it about Scottish independence? Usually the SNP are quite reticent to lean heavily on the independence message, because it galvanizes those who don't want to be independent from the rest of the United Kingdom. But this time they did unreservedly. So that might indicate that there is a groundswell of support for that.

And we have just had a tweet from the Prime Minister, again, thanking people who got out across the country, saying, "We live in the greatest democracy in the world," with a photo of him looking quite happy, as we can presume he is at this present time.

GORANI: Chris Curtis of YouGov, what do you make of these results?

CHRIS CURTIS, POLITICAL RESEARCH MANAGER,YOUGOV: Pretty shocking - really shocking. We've seen consistently throughout this campaign and ever since Boris Johnson became prime minister that he has been leading in the polls.

Tonight, if this exit poll is correct, it's showing that he can turn that strong lead into seats - into gaining seats, particularly gaining seats of Labour Party. We've heard about Labour's red wall. If these numbers are correct, this isn't just Labour - isn't that red wall just crumbling, it's that red wall being absolutely decimated.

QUEST: Right. Thank you. Well, we've got - we'll hear a lot more from you. We've got a long way to go tonight. Julia, I saw you wanted to just quickly come in here before we take a short break.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. We've got a long road, but already - I mean, you're seeing the optimism as you guys were talking about a further two percent rise there in sterling. And we'd already seen a lot of optimism baked into the cake and I think that's the story here and we've talked about it already.

We just simply want to see an end to the Brexit talk and the Brexhaustion not happening anytime soon. But the story there being told by the pound, optimism at this stage with those exit polls. Looking like a comfortable majority for Boris Johnson back to Number 10 for Christmas it seems based on these exit polls. Plenty more to come after this. Stay with CNN.