Election timeline: How it happened

A vote counter lays on a table during a break in counting for the Hove, Brighton Pavilion and Brighton Kemptown constituencies for the General Election at the Brighton Centre in Brighton

A vote counter lays on a table during a break in counting for the Hove, Brighton Pavilion and Brighton Kemptown constituencies for the General Election at the Brighton Centre in Brighton

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IT was a night in which Labour were wiped out by the SNP in Scotland and the Liberal Democrats were crushed across the country. This is how the General Election unfolded throughout the night ...

10pm: Exit poll puts the Conservatives ahead on 316 seats, with Labour on 239 seats, the Liberal Democrats on 10, the SNP on 58 and Ukip on two.

Prime Minister David Cameron and wife Samantha arrive at 10 Downing Street in central London after the General Election put his Conservative Party on the brink of securing an absolute majority in the House of Commons

Prime Minister David Cameron and wife Samantha arrive at 10 Downing Street in central London after the General Election put his Conservative Party on the brink of securing an absolute majority in the House of Commons

23.16pm: Labour won the first seat to declare in the 2015 General Election with an increased majority for Bridget Phillipson in Houghton and Sunderland South.

1.52am: Conservatives comfortably hold Nuneaton - one of Labour’s key target seats - with 20,827 votes to Labour’s 15,945.

2.22am: Labour shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander loses his Paisley and Renfrewshire South seat in the House of Commons to the SNP’s Mhairi Black.

2.50am Prime Minister David Cameron arrives at the count of his constituency of Witney.

UUP candidate for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Tom Elliott (left) celebrates with party leader Mike Nesbitt after his General Election victory in the Omagh Leisure centre

UUP candidate for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Tom Elliott (left) celebrates with party leader Mike Nesbitt after his General Election victory in the Omagh Leisure centre

2.55am: Labour loses Gordon Brown’s former seat in Scotland, the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency, to the SNP.

3.10am Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy loses his East Renfrewshire seat to the SNP’s Kirsten Oswald.

3.34am: Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary Ed Davey lost his Kingston and Surbiton constituency to the Conservatives.

3.59am: Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael retained his seat in Orkney and Shetland, with the Liberal Democrat seeing off the challenge from the SNP.

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, who has stepped down

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, who has stepped down

4.07am: Lib Dem Lynne Featherstone, the coalition’s crime prevention minister, loses Hornsey and Wood Green to Labour.

4.11am: Simon Hughes, a senior Liberal Democrat and MP of 32 years’ standing, loses in Bermondsey and Old Southwark to Labour by around 5,000 votes.

4.12am: Labour leader Ed Miliband arrives at the count in the Doncaster North constituency.

4.13am: Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond wins the Gordon seat, beating his Liberal Democrat rival Christine Jardine.

Ukip leader and parliamentary candidate for Thanet South Nigel Farage, who has stepped down after losing his seat

Ukip leader and parliamentary candidate for Thanet South Nigel Farage, who has stepped down after losing his seat

4.18am: Ukip won its first seat in a General Election, with former Conservative MP Douglas Carswell seeing a much reduced majority compared to last year’s by-election.

4.23am: Ukip is forced into third place in Thurrock, one of its highest-priority seats, as Jackie Doyle Price wins re-election for the Conservatives by a slender majority over Labour.

4.31am: Boris Johnson returns to Parliament as MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, winning a majority of more than 10,000 votes.

4.37am: Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable loses his Twickenham seat to the Conservatives.

4.51am: Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg holds onto his Sheffield Hallam seat. He said he would be discussing his leadership with colleagues after a “cruel and punishing night for his party”.

5.01am: Conservative Scotland Office Minister David Mundell holds his seat of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale despite a strong challenge from the SNP.

Mayor of London and prospective Conservative candidate for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, Boris Johnson, after winning the seat during the General Election count at Brunel University, London

Mayor of London and prospective Conservative candidate for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, Boris Johnson, after winning the seat during the General Election count at Brunel University, London

5.02am: Employment minister Esther McVey is defeated in Wirral West, after Labour’s Margaret Greenwood won the tight marginal.

5.25am: Labour leader Ed Miliband, who retains his Doncaster North seat, says: “This has clearly been a very difficult and disappointing night for the Labour Party.”

5.34am: Green Party leader Natalie Bennett falls to an expected defeat 
in Holborn and St Pancras, finishing third.

5.46am: Accepting victory in his Witney constituency, David Cameron says: “This is clearly a very strong night for the Conservative Party. We’ve had a positive response to a positive campaign.”

5.55am: Former Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander loses the Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey seat to the SNP’s Drew Hendry.

8.26am: A tearful Ed Balls, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor has lost his Morley and Outwood constituency to the Conservatives in one of the biggest scalpings of the night.

He says he has ‘huge concerns’ about the next five years.