Friday, 7 May 2010

My Mate Fancies You.

It was the most exciting election night I can remember and even now as the dust tries to settle nobody can really predict what's going to happen. The numbers just don't really add up for any party and I suppose there's an argument for saying all three lost.

The Lib Dem vote collapsed in the final week, firmly establishing them as the third party. Despite the TV debates and Nick Clegg's impressive personal performance throughout the campaign they actually lost seats.

The Tories, who for so long looked the inevitable victors, couldn't squeeze past the winning post and although all the Shires swung firmly back behind them after a thirteen year sabbatical. London, Scotland and much of the North remained fairly loyal to Labour.

Labour in the end will be relieved still to be in the game. The losses were great, but they haven't been cut out of the picture in the way Major's Conservative Party were in Blair's 1997 landslide.

I was glued to the TV for over fifteen hours watching the leaders sway rather than swagger their way into Friday; returning to London by plane, train and limousine whilst I stayed firmly on the sofa.

There were some sad moments. Michael Foster, whose campaign I worked on in the optimism of 1997, lost his Hastings seat after doing so much to rejuvenate the town and local economy and in Richmond Park a decisive swing towards the Tories saw Zac Goldsmith replace Susan Kramer as my own MP (see pic).

By 2pm it became clear that despite a disappointing night Nick Clegg's 57 MPs carried the balance of power and suddenly both Brown and Cameron were flirting. I think the Liberals have more in common with Labour than they do with the Conservative party, but Clegg stuck by a commitment he'd made during the election to talk to the party with the most seats first. So off into conclave the Tories and Liberals went leaving the Labour party twiddling their thumbs and hoping the seduction fails. I felt a bit jilted. It's the heart crushing nausea, confused emotion and wounded pride of watching someone you quite fancy get off with a bad boy who you know's going to screw them over.

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