Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. BBC Parliament showing 1997 general election
  2. Results coverage presented by David Dimbleby
  3. Analysis by Peter Snow with his computer battleground and swingometer and interviews by Jeremy Paxman

Live Reporting

By Esther Webber, Georgina Pattinson and Ruth Levis

All times stated are UK

Get involved

This is where we leave it...

Parties
BBC

After a long night, the results are nearly complete, and Labour's victory becomes clear.

Tony Blair is prime minister, as John Major leaves office and the battle for the leadership of the Conservative party begins.

Thanks for joining us at BBC Parliament for today's replay of the 1997 general election coverage.

New Chancellor arrives

Spoiler alert...

DJ, presenter, writer tweets

Turnout lowest since 1935

Low turnout this 1997 election - the lowest since 1935, David Dimbleby says.

Professor Anthony King says he's not sure why. But could be that the result looked so assured; or people out there unprepared to vote for New Labour.

"Turnout does not seem to have damaged either party," he says.

Next Conservative leader

View more on twitter

More speculation about the impending Tory leadership election.

The BBC's Nick Robinson outside CCHQ suggests that Ken Clarke, William Hague and Michael Heseltine are all contenders. Peter Lilley is mentioned as someone who could throw his hat in the ring.

Thatcher's legacy

More memories...

Former Labour MP tweets

Spotted in Downing Street

Deputy leader of Labour tweets

Young family pose outside their new front door

Blairs
BBC

The family - and then Mr Blair and his wife Cherie - pose on the steps of Number 10 Downing Street.

Blairs
BBC

Blair's pledges on the steps of Number 10: 'time now to do'

Tony Blair
BBC

Tony Blair stands on the steps of Downing Street outside No 10.

He pays tribute to John Major for "his dignity and courage" and his decency.

He says the British people have placed trust in him: and that "We ran for office as New Labour we will govern as New Labour."

"This New Labour government will govern in the interests of all the people, the whole of this nation," he says.

He pledges an emphasis on education, the NHS, the economy and seeking "to restore trust in politics in this country".

There is a pledge for a "government of practical measures in pursuit of noble causes".

He finishes "enough of talking, it is time now to do".

TOny Blair
BBC

Blairs arrive in Downing Street

Blairs
BBC
Scenes of excitement at Downing Street as the Blairs shake hands with friends and supporters
Blair
BBC
Cheers and cries for the Blairs from activists
Blairs
bbc
At times, the Blairs had to pull their hands away to move through the crowd

Some faces from politics today...

Hindsight...

Political commentator tweets

Tony Blair has his audience with the Queen

TOny Blair
BBC

The Blairs are at Buckingham Palace, for their audience with the Queen.

Results from Wales: no MPs for Tories

Wales MPs
BBC

Following the result from Brecon, Peter Snow takes the viewers back through the history of Conservative seats in Wales.

The 1997 election result leaves the party with no MPs in Wales at all.

Eye-catching technology

Professor of political science tweets

Former PM expresses confidence in Blair

James Callaghan
bbc

Former Labour PM Jim Callaghan recounts how solemn a moment it was when he assumed office.

And he calls Tony Blair a remarkable young man,saying he fought a bold campaign.

"I've got every confidence that in three months he'll find himself as though he'd been there for three years," he says.

Mr Callaghan was the last Labour prime minister - he served until 1979, when the Conservatives won the election.

He says: "This is like 1945 but in spades."

Conservative MPs discuss Major's role

Green and Norris
BBC

A newly-elected Conservative MP Damian Green and Stephen Norris, who was to stand as London mayoral candidate, both pay tribute to John Major and pass judgement on the Conservative party.

John Major resigns

Major
BBC

John Major appears outside Downing Street before going to see the Queen to offer his resignation as prime minister, and announces he's also resigning as party leader.

He goes over some of his economic achievements before saying: "When the curtain falls it's time to get off the stage."

He says he and Norma intend to "get to the Oval in time for lunch and see some cricket this afternoon".

Blair's majority

majority
BBC

Highest number of Labour seats: Tony Blair wins a majority of 179 seats.

Peter Snow calls it the end of an era as he charts Tory majorities since 1979.

Who gets what?

Plenty of speculation about who's going to be in Cabinet, as election coverage progresses. Gordon Brown to the Treasury? David Blunkett to education?

BBC correspondent Jeremy Vine in front of Tony Blair's house in Islington says Labour wants to talk about what they want to do and how they move forward...

Another familiar face

BBC political correspondent tweets

Alex Salmond defends push for independence

View more on twitter

The future first minister insists the SNP won't give up its fight for Scottish independence despite Labour's promise of devolution.

He observes: "I'm prepared to support a Scottish Parliament, I'm not prepared to support an English parish council."

Delving into the archives

Political reporter, Swindon Advertiser, tweets

Plenty still to come...

After a break, David Dimbleby continues with coverage of the 1997 election.

BBC Parliament is here until 22.50 GMT with coverage from the aftermath of the vote.

"Good morning, and in case you missed it: Labour won," says David Dimbleby as he welcomes viewers back.

Dorrell calls on party to move forward

Dorrell
BBC

Health secretary Stephen Dorrell stresses: "The moment the election is over the party needs to start moving forward."

He says the leadership question is "a secondary one" and it's more important to decide how the Conservatives will meet the challenges of the day.

Major addresses party workers

Major
BBC

John Major returns to Conservative Party headquarters and speaks to party workers, saying: "Sometimes in politics the ball just rolls in the opposite direction and there's very little you can do about it."

He says his party has served more often and for longer in the national interest than any other "and will do so again".

He urges his colleagues to go away, relax for the weekend and come back re-energised.

'A new dawn'

Blair
BBC

Tony Blair takes to the stage saying, "A new dawn has broken, has it not?"

"We were elected as New Labour and we will govern as New Labour - speaking up for the decent, hardworking majority whose voice has been silenced for too long."

He promises to rebuild the NHS, reform the welfare state and work with business to strengthen the economy.

Tony Blair arrives to greet supporters

Tony Blair shows up at the South Bank as Things Can Only Get Better plays on a loop
BBC
Tony Blair shows up at the South Bank as Things Can Only Get Better plays on a loop...

A familiar face

BBC journalist tweets...

Blairs travel to London

Blairs
BBC
Tony Blair and his wife Cherie fly to London to join Labour party activists to celebrate the Labour win.

Edwina Currie loses her seat

Currie
BBC

Former minister Edwina Currie loses her seat to Labour's Mark Todd on a swing of 13%.

Losing out

Sorry for the reminder, Paul.

View more on twitter

Ashdown speaks of Lib Dem success

Ashdown
BBC

Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown is upbeat with his party on course to double its representation.

He welcomes the "largest Liberal force since the days of Lloyd George - and we will use that to fight every second for the things we've campaigned for, education, honesty in politics and a modern constitution".

Alan Clark calls for John Major to stay on

Clark
BBC

Conservative diarist Alan Clark admits that "it's a catastrophe for the party but we can't whinge about it".

Asked if there's a position on Europe his colleagues can agree on, he replies, "it'll have to find that position, this has got to concentrate their minds".

He also says there's no reason why John Major should go, describing him as "head and shoulders above the rest".

The Tories 'a party of the suburbs and shires of England'

Peter Kellner in BBC studio
BBC
Peter Kellner analyses the voting patterns so far

We've seen the Tories wiped out as the party of urban Britain. Given that the Tories don't control local government and their membership is falling, it seems to me the Conservatives have a real problem in reconstructing themselves as a national party. They're hardly there in urban Britain, not there at all in Wales or Scotland. They're now completely a party of the suburbs and shires of England.

Peter Kellner

Song of the night

Howard refuses to say if he'll stand for leader

Howard
BBC

Home secretary Michael Howard refuses to be drawn on his leadership ambitions, saying he will support John Major for as long as he wants to continue.

The Conservatives must look for "new ways of meeting challenges which face the country", he tells Jeremy Paxman.

Striking similarity

Social media journalist tweets