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Thursday, May 07, 2015 

Erection special!

05:53:

Yeah, that's it.  This is what you wanted Britain, this is what you're getting.  I think the only thing left to do is reprise the only thing of worth Neil Kinnock might have ever said, only I've slightly altered it for 2015:

I warn you not to be ordinary.  I warn you not to be young.  I warn you not to fall ill.  If you're old, you're the only ones who will be protected.  Everyone else will be fair game.



05:40:

The strange thing about all this is that turnout doesn't seem to have gone up dramatically, except again for Scotland.  It might be 1 or 2 percentage points higher overall, but not to where you might have thought it was the turnout that swung it.  Rather it seems to have been the weeks of deadlock that prompted the switch at the last minute, aligned with the SNP fearmongering and perhaps some renewed "shy Tories" shenanigans.

05:36:

Not that that's surprising when I feel sick to my stomach at what's happened.

05:26:

Ed Miliband looks to have aged 10 years in one night.

05:21:

Norwich South, the seat the exit poll had inexplicably flagged up as the other Green win, has gone to Labour with a near 8,000 majority over the Tories.  Something went slightly haywire with your sample there lads.

05:14:

If by some freak of nature you're one of the 1,141 who voted Green in Bury North, where Labour's James Firth fell short by 378 votes of the Tories, hang your head in shame.  It won't have made any difference, but still.

05:00:

Esther McVey has gone.  Quite possibly the only bright spot of the entire night.  That's how little we've had compared to the position we started from.

04:51:

Amazing.  Clegg leads his party to a result so terrible they might have less than 10 seats, and yet he hangs on in Sheffield Hallam.  Never has a win been less deserved.

04:47:

Vince Cable has gone.  I've knocked Cable on here over the past few years for his bashing the Tories while remaining a minister, but there was the one hope if Clegg lost his seat of there being a Labour-Lib Dem pact of some variety.

Turned to dust, like so much else on this dreadful night/morning.

04:45:

The result we're looking at right now is quite possibly the worst of all possible worlds.  An indecisive one would have had to put electoral reform back on the agenda, a point being made by Douglas Carswell, who could be UKIP's only MP.  If the Tories either fall slightly short or scrape over the line, they have absolutely no reason to make any concessions on that front, and why should they?  In Scotland, we now have a party that hates the Tories probably just marginally more than it does both Labour and the union in total control, and will spend every moment of its time at Westminster raising hell, shouting at the complete illegitimacy of whichever government we have.  Add in how a referendum on EU membership is now certain, and which will in turn become not so much a vote on Europe as on immigration and the government itself, and to say the next five years look even bleaker than the 5 previous doesn't seem an understatement.

A few years back now I saw Simon Munnery, not long after he had (bizarrely) appeared on a panel on Newsnight alongside Greg Dyke on the AV referendum.  Afterwards, according to Munnery, Paxman said to Dyke on the economic situation, "this country really is fucked, isn't it?"

If it wasn't then, it is now.

04:24:

Results flooding in now.  Thurrock, Hendon, 2nd and 3rd on Labour target list, both remain Tory.  It was over long ago, but seems to be confirming we're seeing a repeat of 1992 only sans the Sheffield victory rally.


04:17:

Lynne Featherstone has gone as well.  She was one of those who demanded someone must resign over the death of Baby P, helping along the demonising of social workers that followed.  Probably also worth pointing out that David Cameron's bright idea a few months back was that those in a position of authority who fail to protect their wards should face up to 5 years in prison.  That, unfathomably, was one of his less wacky pre-election brainfarts.

04:11:

Simon Hughes has lost his seat.  He you might recall defended the prisons book ban, and thus richly deserves to lose regardless of the good he has done previously.  Not that it's going to make much frigging difference in Labour beating the Lib Dems at this point, sadly.

04:05:

By the way, hello to the one remaining person who seems to reading my ramblings now.  And I don't mean myself.  Apologies this hasn't been more insightful, but I'm trying not to start crying.

03:58:

Rare gain for Labour in Ilford North on a swing of 6.3% from the Tories, still adding up to a majority of just 589 mind.  This was 84th on Labour's target list.  What might have been had Labour managed that across the board.

03:41:

I'll say this right now: David Lammy shouldn't seek the London mayorship, he should seek the party leadership.  Looking at all the other potential candidates, he's the only one even remotely inspiring.

03:33:

Incidentally, I haven't seen much evidence tonight of that fabled BBC bias.  Labour figures might be in mourning, but the BBC presenters seem pretty buoyant, despite a Tory majority spelling the all but end of the licence fee.  The SNP aren't great fans of Auntie either.  Still, eh?

03:18:

I think I've gone very quickly through the 5 stages of grief tonight.  Not that I was angry, I'm rarely angry these days.  Despair has taken over on that score.  Acceptance has already arrived though, don't worry.

03:16:

When I said vote, you bastards, I didn't mean vote for the bastards.  Just to clear that up.  Because clearly it's your fault.

03:11:

Jim Murphy has lost his seat.  He looks demob happy, and again, who can blame him despite his utter uselessness.

02:59:

Story of the night is told by North Warwickshire result, Labour's number 1 target seat.  In 2010, the Tories won by 54 votes. They've turned it into a majority of nigh on 3,000.  Speechless.

02:54:

All the Labour people on so far look absolutely shell-shocked, not by Scotland, but by England results.  Can't say I blame them.

02:45:

Swindon South, 2010 Conservative majority: 3,544
Swindon South, 2015 Conservative majority: 5,785

Labour has gone backwards.  I repeat, Labour in the Tory marginals has gone backwards.  Not a single person predicted this.  In Scotland the polls were about right.  In the rest of UK, completely and utterly wrong.

02:40:

Incidentally, don't worry about the constant references so far tonight to suicide.  That's perfectly normal around here.

02:35:

I think at this point I have to stay up just to see if the Tories get a majority.  Something to tell my, err, actually fuck knows who I'll tell.  Probably the birds in the park when I'm sitting on the bench about to slit my wrists.

02:25:

Flying Rodent, who I don't think has been wrong about anything ever, tweeted this prediction this morning

The Tories, having correctly and shamefully chosen a strategy of spite and resentment, to squeak it. 5 more shithouse years.

Closer than any other pundit it seems thus far.

02:17:

Tim Farron: We know the scale of nothing so far.

Indeed we don't.  I really, truly hope the Conservatives aren't going to somehow squeeze a majority but as this point it looks possible.

02:00:

The Nuneaton result confirms it, if there was any doubt.  A 2,069 Conservative majority in 2010 has turned, incredibly, into a majority of nigh on 5,000.  Something major happened today that the polls failed completely to pick up on.

01:54:

Call me premature, but we may as well already get on with the post-mortem.

Any gains Labour will make, and there will be a few no doubt, are going to be wiped out by the losses in Scotland.  Labour has fouled up there spectacularly: how did it not realise within a matter of weeks of the referendum result that almost all those who voted yes were going to vote SNP?  Answer: years of neglect and taking its base for granted.  With a dedicated campaign of listening and action it might, just might have been able to staunch the worst of the losses.  What did it do?  It elected Jim Murphy, the la-la not listening act went on, and the end result could be a complete wipe out.  The party couldn't have bargained on Cameron's the SNP are going to crash the economy act, but it could have prevented him from being able to make the argument with such force.

Peter Mandelson, sad as it is to say, is right.  Labour has been squeezed between two nationalisms.  UKIP probably won't win more than 2 seats, but it looks as though it's on course to be the opposition to Labour in its northern heartlands.  Meanwhile, in the seats Labour had to win to stand any chance, voters have gone to UKIP and the Greens, while the 2010 Lib Dem voters have split down the middle between the Tories and Labour rather than en masse heading left.

How much of the blame can be personally assigned to Ed Miliband is difficult as yet to ascertain.  The gains in popularity he made during the campaign don't look to have been enough.  As I wrote before, I honestly don't believe David Miliband or Alan Johnson would have made much if any of a difference.  Even if the exit poll ends up being dead right, this isn't so much a vote for the Tories or against Labour (except in Scotland) as it is against the "threat" posed by the SNP to England.  You can say again that's Labour and Ed Miliband's fault for not dealing with the SNP, and you'd be right, but this is hardly a vote of confidence either in David Cameron.  With so much in his favour he should still have won a majority tonight, and that isn't going to happen.  As said, it could still turn out that thanks to the vote against the Lib Dems, which is total, Cameron will still find it extremely difficult to govern.  Let's not split hairs though, he will say he's won, and in truth he has.  Second election or not, we've got another 5 years of the Tories coming up.

01:21:

I think the very best we can hope for now is the Tories don't get quite as many seats as predicted by the exit poll.  If the Lib Dems have done that badly, then a difference of ten seats could be, as Ed Balls said earlier, the difference between the Tories being able to govern and not.

Battersea result, another swing to the Conservatives.  Doomed.

01:08:

Oh, and the Lib Dems have mostly it seems gone Tory in the marginals.  I missed them out.  Easy to forget.

01:03:

What seems to have happened as always looks obvious in hindsight.  More defectors from Labour to UKIP than expected.  UKIP/Tory waverers went back to the Tories.  Undecideds until the last minute went Tory.  Mass scaremongering about the SNP seems to have worked, as the Tories were claiming it was.  And we didn't expect it because the polls couldn't cope with the UKIP rise in support/couldn't tell us about undecideds properly.

What a horrible, horrible night.

00:50:

Swindon North result: 4.3% swing from Labour to Conservatives.  102nd Labour target seat.

I think it's over already.

00:48:

According to Isabel Hardman, Nigel Farage has failed in Thanet South.  Not really much of a consolation when so many of the Tories set to be returned want precisely what he does.

Also looks as though Douglas Alexander has lost his seat.  He had a majority of 16,000, and his SNP opponent is 20, yes that's 20 as in years, said she fantasised about headbutting Labour councillors and that no voters were gullible.

Fuck me.

00:34:

You know, you forget just how life threateningly terrible the hours are before the results proper start coming in are.  I'm sitting here with the BBC on mute and am still just inches away from beating myself to death with a plastic bottle based on how many of these terrible, terrible cunts from all three parties have already been in my line of sight.

00:20:

So how are you all?  Been to any good gigs lately?  And what brand of rope do you recommend when it needs to be good and strong?

00:02:

Three seats down, number of Liberal Democrat deposits lost: 3.

P.S.  The Greens also got more votes in all three than the Lib Dems.

23:58:

Please BBC, it is beyond pointless going through all these seats based on your forecast.  If it's right there's plenty of time to beat us over the head with that later.

23:48:

If Nick Clegg has held on, that's the cherry on the gigantic shit sundae we're all going to have to chow down.

23:43:

Also I'm not sure that 2 constitutes a group.

23:39: 

Natalie Bennett:
If we have doubled our parliamentary representation and we are sending perhaps Darren Hall in Bristol West to join the brilliant Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavilion as a strong group of Green MPs in Parliament - then that will be a good result for the Green party. 

Yeah, shame about the rest of the country, oh and the potential for keeping the temperature rise to 2C, but you carry on Natalie.

23:27:

Let's try and cheer ourselves up a bit, eh?  Check out the balls on this fucking lecher (Yes, it's probably her old man or her electoral agent, but play along with me here):



23:06:  Last bit of exit poll speculation after saying I wouldn't, I promise:

Nicola Sturgeon tonight: I'd treat the exit poll with HUGE caution. I'm hoping for a good night but I think 58 seats is unlikely!

Nicola Sturgeon tomorrow: The people of Scotland have spoken.  A second independence referendum will be in the 2016 SNP Holyrood manifesto.

22:52:

Just to add, the poll is clearly wrong on one thing.  If the Greens win another seat, I'll join Paddy Ashdown in eating a hat.

22:49:

Oh, and if it's right, what I said about the press having lost their influence?  Saturday morning, the Mail, Sun, Telegraph, they'll all have "IT WOZ US WOT WON IT".

22:36:

The Labour line: coalition has lost its majority if exit poll is right.  Come on, please.  If it's right, the Tories have won.  Simple as.

22:28:

Speculating about speculation is pointless.  I just can't see how the exit poll could be so wrong though.  Last night I was optimistic.  Right now I am staring into the abyss.

22:05:

To bring a completely local anecdote into this, I saw a hell of a lot more people voting in the neighbouring safe Tory seat than I did 5 years ago.  Only way I can possibly get my head round how the exit poll could be right.  Still, the Lib Dems down to 9 seats?  That's what I can't quite believe more than anything, or indeed Labour losing seats.  As Mike Smithson has tweeted, if right, a complete disaster for all the polling firms and some major inquiries to be held.  Oh, and we're all utterly boned.  But that comes second, obvs.

22:01:

OK, if this exit poll is right I'm going to fucking shoot myself.  With my imaginary gun.

21:58:

It's not until it's real that you remember just what a complete prat Jeremy Vine is.

21:42:

At this point, I think I can say if you voted for the party that used in all seriousness the slogan "BAIRNS NOT BAMBS" and put this out with the intention of winning over support:



You deserve everything you've got coming.

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Blimey! You really are live blogging it. Well, good luck with it...you're a better man than me. Personally I'd really like to be around for the 4.30am to 6.00am slot for the seats I'm really interested in.

That exit poll is grim. I don't think I could cope with how smug Kay Burley must be right now.

Although, all through this campaign I've always thought of the polls during the George W. Bush vs. John Kerry 2004 election in the US. The polls suggested a tie for a long time, but Bush had a surge on the day. The theory being that when polled people actually lied that they weren't supporting Bush due to his unpopularity at the time and the related social pressure to pretend to be "anti" him. Maybe that phenomena took place in the UK this time?

Anyway, Good luck with it. Have er...fun?

I think we'll know with the Nuneaton result at about one. If the Tory share of the vote has gone up substantially there, I think I'll be calling it a night. My snap opinion on why: the undecided voters, SNP scaremongering, last minute Tory switch from those who claimed to have been decided.

But hey, it could be wrong.

John Curtice is saying the exit poll ("his" exit poll) should be taken with caution.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-30/u-k-election-exit-pollster-says-his-poll-may-be-vague-or-wrong

There might be something in that.

In my local constituency, there's certainly been more money (but not effort) thrown behind the Conservative campaign. Especially on the negative campaign leaflets.

Anyway, I look forward to your election post mortem.

Live blogging? This is so 2009. I think it's finally time for Twitter, man...

You could be right.

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