I cannot remember a more dramatic result from an election. It was unpredictable because the swing between parties was no where near uniform and because it was not clear what the final result was going to be.
Usually UK elections the exit poll results plus the first few results tell you who has won and that they will have a working majority plus or minus a few surprise local 'upsets'.
In this election the upsets were the norm.
On a personal level I was pleased Labour held Nottingham East (my constituency) and neighbouring Nottingham South and especially Gedling which was a fantastic result. At the same time we lost Sherwood, Erewash, Broxtowe and Amber Valley.
Anyway results now in. We are well and truly hung - or balanced as I believe the phrase has it.
It's really hard to make sense of the campaign and its result. While Labour was completely written off and whose national campaign was broke and not very good and our leader was not telegenic in debates we did much better than predicted and came a clear second and won in many close seats.
There is in this country a seem of people, activists and voters who together want there to be a Labour party and will make this happen.
While a reform coalition is possible it seems unlikely. This is because the Lib Dems appear to not want to invest in a historic moment where we could create a government to reform the voting system and the House of Lords amongst other things and instead are turning to the Tories because they came first in the election - that is to say according to the logic of first past the post at constituency level which they so object to but appear to embrace at the national level.
So we'll have a Con Lib government whereas I'm an anti-Tory who wants all options to be explored to avoid a Tory government.
The consequence of this is we must embrace and learn the art of opposition until we are back in the government. I am sure that we'll have to revisit some policies, learn from mistakes and elect new leaders by which time we can be renewed and work out what we're really about, what we really want to achieve in political alive.
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
OK, I'm not pretending everything over the past 13 years is all brilliant - some of it isn't. Some of it is brilliant but took a long time to get there.
BUT for the Human Rights Act, Civil Partnerships, Minimum Wage, saving us from a massive depression, Sure Start, improving the NHS......
Added to the risk of getting a Tory led administration with or without a majority that will put all of this at risk.
You can of course vote Lib Dem, Green or whatever floats your boat. Please feel free to do so but beware of the consequences under our voting system (Labour want a referendum on changing this so you're not forced to vote tactically) the risk could be letting the Tories in - especially in Labour Tory marginals. Go to bed with Nick and wake up with Dave. Not a nice thought and a major risk to the country's recovery and prosperity.
I am therefore voting Labour in this election. I am sure and know that with the Labour Party we will be able to make progress in the days, weeks and months ahead.