BeebMaster's Election Diary 2010
Week 5

Final update: Tuesday 11th May 2010 9pm

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5

3rd May 2010
Day 28

Nearly there! Immigration Minister Phil Woolas must be getting pretty worried, and not just because he's my MP and he might have been reading my diary - on my Bank Holiday walk this morning, I counted up the number of posters being displayed and this is the tally:

UK Independence Party0

It's the final push of the 2010 general election. Gordon Brown was ambushed again when he visited a pub in London - the entrance was surrounded by a LibDem rabble and he & Mrs Brown had to escape via the cellar!

Cleggy must be feeling tired after four weeks of zipping about all over the land - today he called for an end to Lord Ashdown. I think he meant Lord Ashcroft! It's not his first muddle of the campaign - in that leaders' debate last Thursday, he kept talking about getting chancellors and vice chancellors together for an economic summit, meaning of course shadow chancellors.

If you're fed up of the election and you're praying for a break from politics, your prayers have been answered - the volcanic ash cloud is back, so don't expect to hear any talk of the general election before Friday!
4th May 2010
Day 29

The ash cloud threatened to thwart a visit by David Cameron to Northern Ireland. "Iron Man Cam", his new super-hero moniker courtesy of the Currant Bun, eventually got there, presumably by taking a run-up from Hull to Liverpool and then leaping over the water to Belfast.

There was a little bit of cheer in the Labour camp early on today, after a empassioned speech by Gordon Brown at Methodist Central Hall yesterday. Unfortunately, it was on a sunny Bank Holiday right at the end of a campaign everyone is pig-sick of, so nobody was listening.

Events, dear boy, conspired to draw the black clouds over Labour later on, though. We learnt that three senior ministers are actively promoting tactical voting in Thursday's election to keep the Tories out - but Labour ministers campaigning for LibDem votes hasn't got down terribly well with Nick Clegg, who called it all "desperate".

Then the Labour candidate in Norfolk North-West said that Gordon Brown was the "worse Prime Minister that Britain has ever had". Speaking live from Leicester (just a mile or two away from Norfolk) Manish Sood ravelled off a string of complaints against the Labour leader. The PM will be wondering what he has done to deserve this.

Not to worry, he'll have plenty more to wonder about on Friday morning.
5th May 2010
Day 30

The ash cloud grounding flights all over Scotland, Greek-style riots in Greece and the worst oil-spill disaster ever to affect America - news junkies like me could be forgiven for temporarily forgetting that there's a general election tomorrow!

Twenty-four hours from now it will be all over! Well, all bar the counting. Most constituencies will be counting when the polls close on Thursday night but 22 can't be bothered doing it till Friday. For rural and remote seats where they have to fly the ballot-boxes back to base, that's fine, but for anyone else it's a national disgrace, and I certainly hope that at the next election, there will be no excuses for not counting on the night.

David Cameron has made much of an all-night campaign, meeting shift-workers and fishermen and the like; Gordon Brown managed a few hours' sleep but still started at 5 o'clock. It's a measure of how close the election appears to be, but I'm sticking to my prediction last Thursday of a Con Majority of 38.

I'm publishing some helpful documents tonight for you to use on election night - the first is the Constituency Cross-Off List which is an alphabetical listing of all 650 UK Constituencies over 9 pages. Print them off and stick them on the wall and then you can shade them in Blue, Red, Yellow or Purple as the results are declared.

The second document is the 2005 Election Results adjusted to take account of the new constituency names and boundary changes. This 12-page reference guide has the 650 new seats with their notional 2005 results if the boundaries in use now had been in place at the last election. There are two tables showing each seat, winning party, numerical majority and percentage majority, sorted firstly alphabetically by constituency and secondly by majority.

The final download for you is the Target Seats list which shows the top 200 Conservative targets, 100 LibDem targets and 100 Labour targets, each sorted alphabetically and then by majority. Beware though that the listings by marginality are sorted strictly by numerical majority, which means that seats on the target list where the challengers are in third place appear higher in the list that would be the case if sorted by swing required for the challengers to take the seat. In these instances, the "swing required" column is marked with an asterisk to indicate that the challengers are not in second place.

Hope that's clear - happy downloading and number crunching and happy voting tomorrow!
6th May 2010
Day 31

Time's up!

If you haven't voted by now, it's too late, and don't say you didn't have any warning!

There's not much campaigning activity happens on polling day usually (UKIP 'plane crashes notwithstanding); just some footage of the main party leaders voting and then a lot of sitting around waiting for the polls to close and the counts to began.

That's where we are now - the ballot boxes are being loaded up and driven back to the counting halls, and in less than an hour, we'll have the first results.

The early indications are of an increased turnout, about 66-67%, which is still below the 75% plus we managed in every election till the twenty-first century came upon us.

Maybe voting, casting our ballot, making our voice heard, standing up and being counted isn't appealing in this modern age. Well, if that's what you think, I'm afraid to tell you that there ain't no alternative!

Very few would claim that our system is perfect - but actually the way we run elections in this country is held up around the world as an example to be proud of, and we should cherish and nurture our democracy to make sure it's still in rude health for future generations.

As Winston Churchill said - Democracy is the worst form of government. Apart from all the others.
11th May 2010
Well, I was hoping to talk about the election result long before now, but I've only just found out myself in the last few minutes!

At 8.35pm this evening, Her Most Excellent Majesty The Queen appointed David Cameron as Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury. Last time there was a change of government, it happened at about 11.30 am on the morning after the election, not five days later!

It's absolutely typical of inept Gordon Brown that he couldn't even lose an election properly! By Friday morning it was clear that although the Conservatives had won the election, they hadn't won enough seats to form a majority government.

So an unseemly scramble for power ensued, with Cleggy first starting talks with Tories, then having secret meetings with Gordon Brown, then official talks with Labour and finally back to the Cons to wring more out of them in concessions.

It became clear this afternoon that there would be no deal between Labour and the Liberals - a good job too, in my opinion, since I don't think a conglomeration of losers with the defeated Labour party remaining in office would have been acceptable to the people of this country. We were told that the PM would be resigning as soon as a deal was concluded between the Tories and Liberals.

The talks resumed this afternoon at 2pm, and went on and on and on and on. By 6 o'clock Gordon Brown had got fed up so he submitted his resignation to Her Majesty and went back to Scotland whilst Mr Cameron was sent for.

So the Labour government is out and a new era of Con-Lib coalition has begun. We're still to learn who will be in the Government, what policies will be taken forward, what policies will be sacrified and whether we'll get the "strong and stable" government everyone has said is necessary for economic recovery.

Worried about the future governance of Great Britain after such a topsy-turvy election result? You might well be, but there's only one thing I can say in response. You lot voted for it!