Friday, May 06, 2005

Morning after 

Despite having been an unexciting campaign, election night itself was actually quite lively. A combination of the 'Iraq factor', a lot of tactical voting, and interesting challenges from independent candidates made for some pretty varied results. At the time of writing there are just under thirty seats left to declare (the majority of which are in Northern Ireland, where the political parties are different, so it doesn't majorly impact the overall shape of the House of Commons) and it's looking like a Labour majority of somewhere between 60 and 65. Small majorities are much healthier I think, it keeps to Government on its toes more and makes for better legisltaion.

Locally, the LibDems took my constituency, which I'm very happy about, and with a respectable majority. I was talking to people involved in the campaiging last weekend and they thought we might miss by a couple of hundred votes, so it's wonderful to see all their hard work pay off. The constituency where I grew up remained Lib Dem, and with what can only be described as a stonking majority. When I was growing up it was a safe Conservative seat, and although local politics had been moving towards the yellow part of the spectrum for some years, when the Lib Dems took it in 1997 I think the general national backlash against the Conservatives and the vileness of their candidate (the sitting MP had retired and a senior party member had been parachuted in) both had a significant influence on the result. I was a bit worried it might turn back to blue this time round, and I'm extremely glad that it hasn't.

So, on balance, I think a good result, although there've been some individual casualties that I'm sad to see lose. It's going to be interesting to see how things play out over the next few years, even if I'm watching from a distance.


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