Exciting post-electoral scenes

I was at band practice last night, and opted not to stay up late following any election coverage as no one really knows what’s going on anyway. This morning I had to hurry into work whilst being accused by my landlord of taking a bottle of tomato food (I didn’t take his sodding tomato food), so it wasn’t until half nine that I finally saw the results of our glorious democratic process.

Blue is such an ugly colour. So! Initially it’s depressing, a wash of Tory blue flooding over the country, particularly here in the southeast. Frankly, I think we should cut Kent off and let it float away. Or sink. No one needs another British principality.

But, as ┬áthe last few contested seats start to come in, it’s clear that there is no Tory majority. Labour have done better than I expected but still lost a lot of seats, and the Lib Dems have hung on to most of their seats but lost a few overall (despite some impressive wins, such as Eastbourne). Despite that the Tory lead is not big enough for them to govern alone.

It seems that the Lib Dems’ success in polls and Clegg’s performance in the debates has not translated into votes or seats, just like in every other general election for the last twenty years if Private Eye are correct. This is probably as much a result of voters picking the lesser of two bloated evils as anything else. Who wants to risk letting the Tories in?

Well, the voters of Brighton Pavilion. I’m extremely pleased to see that so many people in my constituency turned out to vote for a politician like Caroline Lucas, someone who has proven herself as a South-East MEP over the last few years, who has a long history of anti-war and environmental campaigning, and who is pushing for the Green Party to straighten itself out (apparently the anti-science bullshit, for example, is being torn up by younger Green activists). It was a close race between Lucas and Nancy Platt (Labour’s new candidate to replace previous incumbent David Lepper) and the Tory candidate did better than I thought possible, but ultimately Lucas won it with a 1,300 vote lead.

Fucking awesome. Here’s hoping she, and the Green Party, do a good job of this significant opportunity for progressive/left and environmental politics. And here’s hoping that whatever coalition ends up forming to govern the country with usher through the electoral reform that is increasingly being demanded.

EDIT: Johann Hari’s Indy column from yesterday is a powerful read. I had just turned 18 when the 1997 general election that swept Labour into power took place. I was in Brentwood and Ongar at the time and voted for independent Martin Bell, who was attempting to unseat Eric Pickles. Accusations were surfacing that a locally powerful and lunatic right-wing church – the Peniel Pentacostal Church – had infiltrated the local Tory Party. I was also told at the time – by one of my sixth form schoolteachers – that the church had distributed anti-semitic literature to Brentwood residents. Anyway, my point is that I’m too young to have any real experience of living under a strong Tory government, and I’m probably unaware of just how bad that could be. Sobering stuff.

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