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UK Election 2005
May 5, 2005 11:41 AM   Subscribe

Psephologists rejoice! The Guardian will be blogging the UK election as it happens, and there's already some comments and links to other online discussions. As the UK polls close at 10:00 pm, this means that early results and exit polls will be in late afternoon for US poll-watchers.
posted by carter (223 comments total)

 
My reaction is to say So What? Do we really need Big Media to do this sort of thing?
posted by MrMerlot at 1:28 PM on May 5, 2005


LibDems! LibDems! : >

CNN just pushed Guardian and Chicken Yoghurt on its horrible blog segment.
posted by amberglow at 1:49 PM on May 5, 2005


CNN (some feed from Britain tho) is saying 66 seats for Labor.
posted by amberglow at 2:05 PM on May 5, 2005


Do we really need Big Media to do this sort of thing?

I don't know; I just wanted to say 'psephologists' ;)
posted by carter at 2:25 PM on May 5, 2005


There are rumours doing the rounds (via BBC) that Blair's agent is being "cagey" about the turnout in Sedgefield. Blimey.--from Chicken Yoghurt's comments.
posted by amberglow at 2:30 PM on May 5, 2005


oh, CSPAN2 here in the US has some fun thing on from Britain--a guy in front of a 3-d computer generated battleground/war map thing, i guess--red, blue and yellow
posted by amberglow at 2:38 PM on May 5, 2005


it's BBC?
posted by amberglow at 2:38 PM on May 5, 2005


Is it volunteers who do the counting? from all parties? from the public?
posted by amberglow at 2:40 PM on May 5, 2005


I think they're volunteers. They make piles of paper according to the candidate, and count them. The candidates and party members can watch them counting and can challenge anything they think is in the wrong pile. However, as it's a case of marking an X in a box, rather than chads, it's usually pretty easy to tell what someone's intent was.
posted by carter at 2:47 PM on May 5, 2005


The first one in will most likely be Sunderland South -- they've got a tradition of racing to report first.

A Labour minister currently holds this seat, and is pretty safe. But the number of votes he gets will be a tell as to the general turnout of Labour supporters -- this seat also has a lower turnout rate on the whole. If he gets 19,000 votes, Labour is fine. If he gets 17,000, then Labour is in real trouble. If he gets 15,000, he's in real trouble -- and the chances of Labour holding Parliment have to be called weak.
posted by eriko at 2:48 PM on May 5, 2005


they just reported--Labor won, but is down 5%.

thanks, carter. the coverage is so so different from ours : >
posted by amberglow at 2:52 PM on May 5, 2005


he got 17,000 i think.
posted by amberglow at 2:53 PM on May 5, 2005


this BBC pendulum is hysterical
posted by amberglow at 2:54 PM on May 5, 2005


From the first result at Sunderland South there seems to be a swing to the tories of about 4%. Making the ridiculous assumption that this will be a typical result, Labour's majority will be reduced to 50. I don't think it will be quite that low, but it could be an interesting night.
posted by nthdegx at 2:55 PM on May 5, 2005


what kind of area is Sunderland tho? liberal? conservative? is it representative at all?
posted by amberglow at 2:57 PM on May 5, 2005


Sunderland is northern. Rather than liberal it's probably decidedly lefty.

Which channel are you tuned to, amberglow?
posted by nthdegx at 2:59 PM on May 5, 2005


CSPAN2--it's showing BBC.
posted by amberglow at 2:59 PM on May 5, 2005


this BBC pendulum is hysterical

It's known as the 'Swingometer,' and it's been an essential part of election night viewing since before I can remember.
posted by carter at 2:59 PM on May 5, 2005


ahhh -- the Swingometer. : >

(it looks very gameshow-ish.)

They just asked a bunch of people near Newcastle and most went LibDem.
posted by amberglow at 3:01 PM on May 5, 2005


you can watch streaming CSPAN2 from here
posted by amberglow at 3:02 PM on May 5, 2005


BBC are saying Sunderland South's fairly representative, but then they will try to hype up their present result to keep the excitement and hence viewers up. If you look at the regional reporters they will all claim exiciting things are happening there in order to further their careers. While the outcome at a particular seat might give an indication of local alliegances, the swing from one party to another is crucial, and *probably* more representative of national trends.
posted by nthdegx at 3:03 PM on May 5, 2005


is that a Blair impersonator?
posted by amberglow at 3:10 PM on May 5, 2005


Thanks for the C-Span link; I can't get through to the BBC at the moment; although it looks like the whole thing's over before I get home from work ...
posted by carter at 3:10 PM on May 5, 2005


I hate this light relief bullshit they feel the need to insert every now and then -- like this TV had wide appeal in the first place.
posted by nthdegx at 3:10 PM on May 5, 2005


amberglow -- yeah. Average impersonator. Piss poor comedian. I hate it when the BBC confuse what their job at any particular time should be.
posted by nthdegx at 3:12 PM on May 5, 2005


lots of talk of how this was a "presidential" election. that impersonator sucked.
posted by amberglow at 3:13 PM on May 5, 2005


Keep an eye on this guy, amberglow. Jeremy Paxman, in the chairs with the party representatives, is a first class political commentator and heavyweight interviewer.
posted by nthdegx at 3:14 PM on May 5, 2005


very butch woman on now.

is he the one talking the most?
posted by amberglow at 3:15 PM on May 5, 2005


i like the old lady--what party is she? : >
posted by amberglow at 3:16 PM on May 5, 2005


Ian Hislop, too -- one of the chaps in the chairs with him. Excellent. Paxman is left-most. Hislop right-most. Literally, not politically.
posted by nthdegx at 3:16 PM on May 5, 2005


She's Shirley Williams (sp?). Liberal Democrat. I like her too.
posted by nthdegx at 3:17 PM on May 5, 2005


ahh. : >

who'd you guys vote for?
posted by amberglow at 3:18 PM on May 5, 2005


Despite the fact that Sunderland is solid Labour there are pockets of Tory and the BNP pulled in 4%.

I used to play 5-q-side in the lesiure centre where they were counting ;-)
posted by i_cola at 3:18 PM on May 5, 2005


so if they're wearing red ribbon things, they're Labour?
posted by amberglow at 3:18 PM on May 5, 2005


i_cola! : >

who'd you vote for?
posted by amberglow at 3:19 PM on May 5, 2005


Her party bio... A good sort. In the Lord's rather than the Commons. No real pressure on her to tow the party line too closely, so she's a more valuable pundit.
posted by nthdegx at 3:19 PM on May 5, 2005


Ian Hislop edits Private Eye, a satirical UK political magazine, very funny in places.
posted by carter at 3:21 PM on May 5, 2005


Living in Brighton (Pavillion) I get the luxury of voting Green and it meaning something. So I did. Altho' I was going to vote LibDem for a long time. [All my city councillors are Green too..]
posted by i_cola at 3:21 PM on May 5, 2005


so if they're wearing red ribbon things, they're Labour?

Aye! Casual US observers beware! The colours are the other way round! I didn't vote for very boring technical reasons (terrible, I know) but had I voted I would have voted tactically to keep out the Conservatives. Were that not an issue I'd vote LibDem.
posted by nthdegx at 3:23 PM on May 5, 2005


ooo-a Baroness! fancy! ; > (she sounds great--you guys don't vote for Lords tho right? only Commons?)
posted by amberglow at 3:23 PM on May 5, 2005


Shirley Williams was one of the 'Gang of Four' who left Labour and founded the Social Democratic Party in the 1980s because they thought Labour was too left. The SDP later merged with Ye Olde Liberal Party. which had been around fopr about 150 years, to form the Lib Dems.
posted by carter at 3:25 PM on May 5, 2005


Now their talking about Plaid Cymru ('Plide Cumree'), which is the Welsh national(ist) party.
posted by carter at 3:26 PM on May 5, 2005


*heh* I spy a Clear Channel advert in Cardiff leisure centre...
posted by i_cola at 3:27 PM on May 5, 2005


nthdegx writes "had I voted I would have voted tactically to keep out the Conservatives. Were that not an issue I'd vote LibDem."

You know, that's exactly the reasoning that'll ensure that 20 and 50 years from now the lineup will still be Conservative, Labor, and everything else.

If they know they'll get your vote anyway, there's absolutely no reason for a political party to change.
posted by clevershark at 3:27 PM on May 5, 2005


this Labour guy is a pill.
posted by amberglow at 3:27 PM on May 5, 2005


amberglow

Yeah -- but that isn't quite so bad as it sounds as the Lords, technically, should only advise and revise Commons legislation rather than throw it out (which, when it does happen, can be overturned by the Commons if they want to badly enough). It's one of those bizarre British quirks. It sounds just plain wrong, but they can generally be trusted to make sounder decisions than the Commons can. A bit like judges, really.
posted by nthdegx at 3:28 PM on May 5, 2005


Gah. s/their/they're
posted by carter at 3:28 PM on May 5, 2005


Labour was more left back then, wasn't it? and now the LibDems are?

ahh, nth
posted by amberglow at 3:28 PM on May 5, 2005


more Sunderland stuff? (it's like our New Hampshire towns that vote at midnight--dumb.)
posted by amberglow at 3:29 PM on May 5, 2005


"You know, that's exactly the reasoning that'll ensure that 20 and 50 years from now the lineup will still be Conservative, Labor, and everything else."

Err, no. Because if everyone thought like that there'd be no Tory MPs would there? For many the biggest priority is reducing Conservatism as a force for evil in UK politics. That done, we can tackle the messy business of who we really like. But any way...
posted by nthdegx at 3:30 PM on May 5, 2005


Oh, and the swingometer guy is Peter Snow, who's quite a character too.
posted by carter at 3:32 PM on May 5, 2005


this guy on BBC has almost an American accent.
posted by amberglow at 3:32 PM on May 5, 2005


Ooo look...Prime Minister Gordon Brown!
posted by i_cola at 3:33 PM on May 5, 2005


did Portillo ever come out? Ages ago i was in London and went to a protest about the age of consent and the big chant was "Portillo is a faggot!"
posted by amberglow at 3:33 PM on May 5, 2005


is Brown ok? better than Blair or more of the same?
posted by amberglow at 3:34 PM on May 5, 2005


Ooo look...Prime Minister Gordon Brown!

...and he's smiling. I'm not sure it's the *real* Gordon Brown.
posted by nthdegx at 3:34 PM on May 5, 2005


so, so far Labour's winning but by less than last time?
posted by amberglow at 3:36 PM on May 5, 2005


is Brown ok? better than Blair or more of the same?

Very different characters: a matter of taste. Idealistically, Brown is more to the left. Policy-wise it's swings and roundabouts.
posted by nthdegx at 3:36 PM on May 5, 2005


See? This is interesting. After three results, there's a swing away from Labour, but no real trend as to where it's going, yet. When Conservative's Liam Fox said there would be no national trends but things would be diffierent seat by seat he may well have been right.
posted by nthdegx at 3:38 PM on May 5, 2005


amberglow: He admitted to 'an experience' as a young man...

So far it looks like the LibDems are getting the swing votes...
posted by i_cola at 3:38 PM on May 5, 2005


ahh.

and the National Party is the far-right no immigrants, etc, party?
posted by amberglow at 3:39 PM on May 5, 2005


BORIS!
posted by nthdegx at 3:39 PM on May 5, 2005


so, so far Labour's winning but by less than last time?

Yup; and the amount of "winning-but-by-less-than-last-time" could be very significant for Blair, especially if he wins by a lot less.
posted by carter at 3:39 PM on May 5, 2005


who's this joker in the blue ribbon?
posted by amberglow at 3:39 PM on May 5, 2005


he's like a blonde Christoper Hitchens--is he drunk too?
posted by amberglow at 3:40 PM on May 5, 2005


that hair!
posted by amberglow at 3:40 PM on May 5, 2005


The one tory I'd vote for.
posted by nthdegx at 3:41 PM on May 5, 2005


Damn...I should really go to bed...I have to be up at 7...

Boris Johnson. Token Tory nutter, Editor of the Spectator & MP for one of the safest Tory seats in the country...
posted by i_cola at 3:41 PM on May 5, 2005


Boris.
posted by carter at 3:41 PM on May 5, 2005


Boris is taking it quite well, I think.
posted by carter at 3:42 PM on May 5, 2005


ahh : >

what are they yelling about? postal votes?
posted by amberglow at 3:42 PM on May 5, 2005


Yes. We're getting all Florida on our own arses.
posted by i_cola at 3:43 PM on May 5, 2005


(Boris was born in NY?, and he's the same age as me--looks older tho)

Metafilter: Yes. We're getting all Florida on our own arses.
posted by amberglow at 3:44 PM on May 5, 2005


Boris is taking it quite well, I think.

What? The Merlot?
posted by nthdegx at 3:45 PM on May 5, 2005


totally, nth : >
posted by amberglow at 3:49 PM on May 5, 2005


Party leader masks [pdf]. Part of the BBC's "Election night party pack." Scary.
posted by carter at 3:49 PM on May 5, 2005


Just as the rare example of an MP who doesn't take himself too seriously I'd vote for him. That and the hair. If the tories do get a PM in the next 20 years, odds on it'll be him, though; believe it or not.
posted by nthdegx at 3:50 PM on May 5, 2005


i saw that, carter, and the Guardian had their own
posted by amberglow at 3:52 PM on May 5, 2005


how come only female reporters ?

Boris=Margaret Thatcher 2000something?
posted by amberglow at 3:53 PM on May 5, 2005


Is there a reason that the BNP is listed as "other" on the BBC's graphics? Besides that they are a bunch of blackshirted twits?
posted by QIbHom at 3:54 PM on May 5, 2005


Incidentally, amberglow. I don't know if Portillo has outed himself or not (I doubt it enormously), but he isn't standing this time round. He's reinvented himself in the media as more of a pundit -- and he's much less odious than his '97-self. Had he been standing he'd be the other tory that just *might* get my vote, as he votes with his head rather than with his party, necessarily. That's when he can be arsed to vote and isn't courting the media, of course.
posted by nthdegx at 3:55 PM on May 5, 2005


The King's Head Islington. I had a beer in there last month.
posted by nthdegx at 3:55 PM on May 5, 2005


ahh. so far almost everyone they've spoken to voted LibDem.
posted by amberglow at 3:57 PM on May 5, 2005


I noticed that amber...some quite foxy ones too ;-)
posted by i_cola at 3:57 PM on May 5, 2005


Is there a reason that the BNP is listed as "other" on the BBC's graphics? Besides that they are a bunch of blackshirted twits?

The c**** should be grateful they're counted at all. Seriously -- I think their share would have to increase significantly before the media could stomach putting such an odious, racist party on their screens. The choice of f***ing idiots.
posted by nthdegx at 3:59 PM on May 5, 2005


I'm a Cardiff Central consituent - big Labour vs. LibDem battleground. Here's who else is standing for election here.
posted by nylon at 3:59 PM on May 5, 2005


nth, take i_cola up to Islington to get him some, willya? ; >

cool, nylon-who'd you go for?
posted by amberglow at 4:00 PM on May 5, 2005


Captain Beany for Prime Minister!!!
posted by amberglow at 4:01 PM on May 5, 2005


Captain Beany, of course!
posted by nylon at 4:02 PM on May 5, 2005


Wow...they have elections in Wales too? How quaint!
posted by i_cola at 4:03 PM on May 5, 2005


so, Wales and Scotland vote for this, and for their own Parliaments?
posted by amberglow at 4:04 PM on May 5, 2005


So far, 3 in, 3 Labour -- all safe Labour seats.

The bad news for Labour -- so far, all three have been won with a 9% smaller plurality than last election. Doesn't hurt them in safe seats, but if that trend holds, they're getting creamed.

So far, the (meaningless) percentages are 59.4/18.5/15.9 for Labour/Tory/Lib Dem. Not surprising -- if anyone but Labour had won these three seats, we wouldn't be discussing the size of the Labour Majority, we'd be wondering if Labour would even be the Opposition.
posted by eriko at 4:04 PM on May 5, 2005


One day i'll get to Cardiff--is it cool?
posted by amberglow at 4:06 PM on May 5, 2005


Time to hit the hay...you kids have fun.
posted by i_cola at 4:07 PM on May 5, 2005


i_cola: they're not elections, as such - all the condidates dress up as dragons and race up Cadr Idris carrying a loaf of barra brith. The first one up is the winner. In the event of a dead heat, the one with fewest vowels in their name wins.
posted by nylon at 4:07 PM on May 5, 2005


Oops. One more. Kenneth Clarke. Another tory I'd possibly vote for. Good bloke, although he's playing party diplomat tonight, for some reason. Maybe he fancies his chances for party leadership after Howard should they lose tonight.
posted by nthdegx at 4:08 PM on May 5, 2005


nite hon!

is this guy blind?
posted by amberglow at 4:08 PM on May 5, 2005


amberglow writes " One day i'll get to Cardiff--is it cool?"

Cardiff's OK, but it doesn't have the really neat 12th-century castles that you can see in Northern Wales.
posted by clevershark at 4:09 PM on May 5, 2005


One day i'll get to Cardiff--is it cool?

This time of year? Yes. Absoultely freezing.

is this guy blind?

Yes.
posted by nthdegx at 4:09 PM on May 5, 2005


I like Cardiff, grew up there. It's changed a heck of a lot though.
posted by carter at 4:10 PM on May 5, 2005


maybe i'll go next time i'm over there. (i'll call for a meetup, of course)

carter, are you in London?
posted by amberglow at 4:13 PM on May 5, 2005


terrible Bush impersonator--awful
posted by amberglow at 4:15 PM on May 5, 2005


Yes, he's awful. Not as awful as the original, though.
posted by QIbHom at 4:17 PM on May 5, 2005


amberglow - I'm in Colorado, and have been for a few years. I was in UK last year, I think I maybe just missed your London meetup.
posted by carter at 4:17 PM on May 5, 2005


You know, the silliest thing about those 3D virtual displays they keep going to is the simulated noise.
posted by clevershark at 4:17 PM on May 5, 2005


Yes, he's awful. Not as awful as the original, though.
so true!

ahh, carter. sorry i missed you.

that 3d stuff is cheesy (but expensive--your tv license money at work?)
posted by amberglow at 4:19 PM on May 5, 2005


it's so embarrassing to have to stand there while they announce the votes--i'd be mortified if i came in last.
posted by amberglow at 4:20 PM on May 5, 2005


Obviously, results will roll in thicker and faster as the evening progresses.
posted by nthdegx at 4:22 PM on May 5, 2005


this big map outside with spraypainters is just silly too.
posted by amberglow at 4:23 PM on May 5, 2005


like a reality show, and a talent show for the impersonators and a gameshow for the swingometer and 3d stuff.
posted by amberglow at 4:24 PM on May 5, 2005


Also, ITV don't seem to be waiting for the official announcements. They have Labour at 13 seats with others yet to score so far. Probably still all v. safe Labout seats, though.
posted by nthdegx at 4:27 PM on May 5, 2005


aw, the Baroness went to sleep i guess.
posted by amberglow at 4:31 PM on May 5, 2005


That Liberal guy with Paxman is a real sleezeball. The others are much more reasonable and more fun.

I do miss Williams, though. Perhaps she'll come back.
posted by QIbHom at 4:34 PM on May 5, 2005


How many pistachio nuts do I have to eat before I feel like I've had enough?

I do miss Williams, though. Perhaps she'll come back.

Aye. I think sleeping is the last thing she'll be doing!
posted by nthdegx at 4:35 PM on May 5, 2005


LibDems are up everywhere, but not winning anywhere.
posted by amberglow at 4:36 PM on May 5, 2005


why can't they just call in the votes? why helicopter?
posted by amberglow at 4:37 PM on May 5, 2005


Putney's London, isn't it?
posted by amberglow at 4:39 PM on May 5, 2005


A helicopter is harder to eavesdrop on than a phone line.

Also, isn't that the Lifeboat guys bringing it in? Everyone trusts them.
posted by QIbHom at 4:41 PM on May 5, 2005


Yeah, south west on the river.
posted by ninebelow at 4:42 PM on May 5, 2005


ahh.

How much do MPs make?
posted by amberglow at 4:44 PM on May 5, 2005


£40K for a backbencher?
posted by ninebelow at 4:47 PM on May 5, 2005


that's it? do they keep their other jobs?
posted by amberglow at 4:48 PM on May 5, 2005


LibDems are up everywhere, but not winning anywhere.

Yeah, but don't panic. They haven't really been in contention yet. Realistically, we just want them to increase their share in the house. That means holding those they have, and taking seats from both parties where its close. Geographically it's all Labour, so far (except Putney -- which just *sounds* like a tory seat, doesn't it?) so it's too early to call anything. Frequently early eveing trends are confounded later on. God knows what might happen when, as tonight, there aren't really any early evening trends.

I'd love it if Tessa Jowell lost her seat.

Putney's London, isn't it?

Yes. South-west.

£40K for a backbencher?

Think it might be a little less, but these guys get everything paid for...
posted by nthdegx at 4:49 PM on May 5, 2005


"Congratulations! In your heart of hearts did you expect to win?"

Hard-hitting, probing questions from the BBC's Anna Ford, there!
posted by nthdegx at 4:50 PM on May 5, 2005


ahh

so far this Putney Tory win has gotten enormous airtime.

(i just realized that each district/precinct has the same amount of people, no?) : >
posted by amberglow at 4:52 PM on May 5, 2005


First score for the Tory Party: Putney switches from Labour.

2005: T 15,497; La 13731; LD 5965 Turnout 59.5%

2001: La 15,911; T 13,140; LD 4671 Turnout 56.5%

Very bad news for Labour: Labour isn't voting -- but everyone else is.

Now, my bet: Labour with a 40 seat majority, +- 5 seats. A very bad day for Labour.

So far, no joy for Lib Dem -- but we haven't seen a race called where they were competitive.
posted by eriko at 4:54 PM on May 5, 2005


district/precinct - constituency in UK/Ireland

not too sure how many in each though
posted by daveirl at 4:54 PM on May 5, 2005


veritas? your party?
posted by amberglow at 4:55 PM on May 5, 2005


LibDems win in Southport
posted by trey at 4:55 PM on May 5, 2005


There's one Liberal Democrat elected just now (in Southport).
posted by clevershark at 4:55 PM on May 5, 2005


omg--this is hysterical
posted by amberglow at 4:56 PM on May 5, 2005


Veritas are an egotistical offshoot of the UK Independance Party (right wing anti-EU nutters).
posted by QIbHom at 4:57 PM on May 5, 2005


(i just realized that each district/precinct has the same amount of people, no?)

Not at all. My vote in bustling Hackney is worth less than a vote in a rural seat with 6 farmers and 13 sheep, which is where the pracitce of gerymandering comes in. LibDem are the only party pro proportional representation, where everyone's vote has equal value, and the proportion of a party's people in the house is directly proportional to the number of votes they received.
posted by nthdegx at 4:57 PM on May 5, 2005


It's the Ministry of Silly Walks!!!
posted by QIbHom at 4:57 PM on May 5, 2005


Veritas are an ego-split from UKIP. TV "personality" Robert Kilroy Silk left UKIP to form Veritas because he wasn't UKIP leader. UKIP and Veritas fall somewhere in between the Tories and the BNP on the anti-Europe, anti-immigration downright racist front.
posted by nthdegx at 4:59 PM on May 5, 2005


oh...thanks.

I think maybe Labour's regretting making Blair so visible, no?

exactly, QIbHom!!!! : >
posted by amberglow at 5:00 PM on May 5, 2005


The average size is about 70,000 electors, but there's quite a variation in size.

amberglow - I think Blair made himself visible. There were some stories at the start of the campaign about how few of the local campaigns had put his photo on their campaign literature.
posted by carter at 5:01 PM on May 5, 2005


LibDem are the only party pro proportional representation, where everyone's vote has equal value

PR doesn't work exactly perfectly like that. We use PR in Ireland but because of consituencies some votes are always going to be worth more than others. The only way for perfect PR would be (in the case of the UK) to have a single constituency with 324 seats available. In practice that is completely impractical so you have to break it up into smaller constituencies. For example in Ireland we have 3,4 and 5 seater constituenices.

The Wikipedia has a good article on PR-STV which is what is used in Ireland.
posted by daveirl at 5:02 PM on May 5, 2005


STV sounds great--and fair. Someday we'll have some kind of proportionate representation here.
posted by amberglow at 5:04 PM on May 5, 2005


I like the blind guy--he's Labour?
posted by amberglow at 5:05 PM on May 5, 2005


oops--never mind
posted by amberglow at 5:05 PM on May 5, 2005


Blunkett's insane! "Tony Blair led us out of the wilderness." That's simply mad!
posted by QIbHom at 5:06 PM on May 5, 2005


Gordon Brown looks like he sleeps around.
posted by amberglow at 5:08 PM on May 5, 2005


Blunkett's insane! "Tony Blair led us out of the wilderness." That's simply mad!

He's just gunning to get back into the cabinet next week!
posted by daveirl at 5:08 PM on May 5, 2005


Not keen on Labour's choice of words. They make it sound as if no party has ever won a third term.

David Blunkett, the blind guy, is the government's Home Secretary. I find him enormously likable, but as Home Secretary he is in charge of some highly questionable legislation, particularly on libertarian issues. National ID cards are on the agenda, and Labour have been forced back from extreme anti-terror laws that allow the detaining of suspects without evidence. It's not clear how much of this is his policy rather than the party's at large, though. Really good reasons to not vote Labour, imo.
posted by nthdegx at 5:08 PM on May 5, 2005


The "blind guy" used to be Home Secretary -- the loose equivalent of the Attorney General -- until he had to resign over a rather complicated scandal.
posted by clevershark at 5:09 PM on May 5, 2005


"Tony Blair led us out of the wilderness."

I noticed that too. No wonder Blair thinks he's the Messiah if his cabinet tell him so every day.
posted by nthdegx at 5:10 PM on May 5, 2005


ahh--once he spouted the party line about Iraq (same shit our administration says), i went off him.
posted by amberglow at 5:11 PM on May 5, 2005


BoJo looks like he just stepped out of the pub and into BBC studios...
posted by clevershark at 5:11 PM on May 5, 2005


I'm inclined against Blunkett, anyway, because I spend too much time reading The Register beating on him for the National ID card stuff, and a few other things.

I'm just disgusted, nthdegx, as someone from the Socialist wing of the US Democratic Party (yes, there used to be one), who watched the Dems become the Republicans of my youth, watching Blair do the same thing to Labour.
posted by QIbHom at 5:11 PM on May 5, 2005


Bah! Brief glimmer of excitement here when Newcastle Central was mooted as a possible Lib Dem gain, but in the end local Labour MP Jim Cousins hangs on despite an 11% LD swing.
posted by anagrama at 5:13 PM on May 5, 2005


used to be Home Secretary -- the loose equivalent of the Attorney General -- until he had to resign over a rather complicated scandal.

Bless me! I forgot about that! Who the hell is home secretary now? Charles Clarke, isn't it?
posted by nthdegx at 5:13 PM on May 5, 2005


Straw--this one is important.
posted by amberglow at 5:17 PM on May 5, 2005


Blackburn is rowdy enough to pass for American.

I'd hate to live anywhere the BNP gets 4x's more votes than the Greens.
posted by QIbHom at 5:21 PM on May 5, 2005


Tessa Jowell has been in my bad books ever since she condemned a TV programme in parliament she hadn't seen.
posted by nthdegx at 5:21 PM on May 5, 2005


too bad they didn't get rid of him.
posted by amberglow at 5:23 PM on May 5, 2005


even the blind guy spoke out against it! hysterical
posted by amberglow at 5:25 PM on May 5, 2005


Yeah, but as Secretary for Culture, Media & Sport, it's supposed to be her area of expertise.
posted by nthdegx at 5:28 PM on May 5, 2005


Yeah, I remember that Brass Eye "scandal"... very funny.

It reminds me of a gag show we used to have in Quebec -- some people set up a fake subway entrance in one of the larger public places in Quebec City (Place D'Youville) and asked people what they thought about the Quebec City subway.

Of course there isn't a subway in Quebec City, and never has been. The way the city is set up it would be practically impossible. That didn't keep people from saying positive things about it, and one person in particular claimed to use it every day.
posted by clevershark at 5:28 PM on May 5, 2005


You know a tory will get in in any constituency that has a candidate from the "National Front: Britain before refugees". Jesus Christ.
posted by nthdegx at 5:30 PM on May 5, 2005


Was that the Motorcycle News Party in Peterborough? Huh?

*blink* subway in Quebec City? *blink* That's pitiful.
posted by QIbHom at 5:31 PM on May 5, 2005


Okay. LibDems are down a seat overall so far. It's still early doors but that's really not a good sign for them...
posted by nthdegx at 5:38 PM on May 5, 2005


aw..fixed! fixed! i demand a recount!
posted by amberglow at 5:39 PM on May 5, 2005


Recounts everywhere at the moment. I think it's turning out to be a lot more interesting than the first exit polls suggested, although I can't really figure out what's going on yet.
posted by carter at 5:40 PM on May 5, 2005


"Let's join Jeremy."

"What?!"

classic stuff
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:42 PM on May 5, 2005


I love live TV, P_G.
posted by QIbHom at 5:43 PM on May 5, 2005


"Labour holds Ynys Mon" -- is that a typo or a place in Wales? :-)
posted by clevershark at 5:48 PM on May 5, 2005


Straw - "I interpret it as a vote of confidence in me"

And now he's claiming the Muslims cheated.

He'd fit it beautifully here in Detroit.
posted by QIbHom at 5:49 PM on May 5, 2005


what kind of neighborhood is Blair's place?
posted by amberglow at 5:50 PM on May 5, 2005


Yeah, Ynys Mon is in Wales. And I have no clue how to pronounce it.

Loved listening to the results in two languages. That always makes me feel good, for some odd reason.
posted by QIbHom at 5:52 PM on May 5, 2005


"Labour holds Ynys Mon" -- is that a typo or a place in Wales? :-)

Sounds like female genitalia to me.
posted by nthdegx at 5:52 PM on May 5, 2005


What's Welsh for "Monster Raving Looney Party"?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:52 PM on May 5, 2005


LibDem picks up a seat in Scotland!
posted by amberglow at 5:53 PM on May 5, 2005


Incredible result: following a public-private partnership with Diebold, the Republicans have taken Slough.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:54 PM on May 5, 2005


silly walks again
posted by amberglow at 5:54 PM on May 5, 2005


Pretty : >
posted by amberglow at 5:55 PM on May 5, 2005


More Ministry of Silly Walks!
posted by QIbHom at 5:55 PM on May 5, 2005


Well I'm not staying up anymore. Last time I went to sleep during the US election, when I woke up everything was different and Kerry had lost, so hopefully I'll come back to a Labour minority in the morning!
posted by daveirl at 5:57 PM on May 5, 2005


and another seat for LibDem!

Pretty, who'd you vote for?
posted by amberglow at 5:58 PM on May 5, 2005


night dave!
posted by amberglow at 5:59 PM on May 5, 2005


Assume I'm saying something particularly insightful and acerbic at this juncture.
posted by nthdegx at 5:59 PM on May 5, 2005


My old Blairite appara-chick MP Barbara Roche has lost to the Liberal Democrats, which is great. I wrote to her to ask her how the indefinate detention without trial of terrorist suspects could coexist with the Human Rights Act, and she wrote back with some nonsense about it not being a criminal issue but an immigration one. The House of Lords threw out that nonsense, thankfully, and now she's out of a job.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:01 PM on May 5, 2005


"Tory Party has changed"

"Parts of it."

That's amusing.
posted by QIbHom at 6:01 PM on May 5, 2005


ok nth : >

Maidenhead Revisited?

cool, Pretty.
posted by amberglow at 6:01 PM on May 5, 2005


I voted Labour tactically, as part of a vote swap. I'm in a pretty solidily Conservative constituency, and Labour are in second place. I've got a Labour supporter to vote Lib Dem, in a constituency where they are in second place. Stopping the Tories has to be a priority.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:02 PM on May 5, 2005


This is fun. It feels like amberglow would make a good TV anchor (silent 'w').
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:03 PM on May 5, 2005


ahh. (But the Tories have no chance of being the majority party)
posted by amberglow at 6:03 PM on May 5, 2005


I'll be that Jeremy guy..."What?!"

this guy on now is just scary and twitchy.
posted by amberglow at 6:04 PM on May 5, 2005


The ideal result for me (other than a Lib Dem landslide, ho ho) would be a very narrow Labour majority, with Brown taking power immediately from a humiliated Blair. It's possible...
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:05 PM on May 5, 2005


Glossary for our foreign friends: The BNP are Nazis who like to dress in suits; the National Front are Nazis who behave like slathering John Carpenter extras.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:07 PM on May 5, 2005


this welsh guy is on my team : >

ahhh
posted by amberglow at 6:08 PM on May 5, 2005


...but unlikely. I agree a massively diminished majority is good for everyone, though. Those rebel back-benchers should be able to stop any bullshit Labour want to put through. Bad result for them in Wales...

I like how no one shakes the BNP candidate's hand.
posted by nthdegx at 6:09 PM on May 5, 2005


Minority governments are more fun, they're in a position where they're restrained from much harm.
posted by clevershark at 6:15 PM on May 5, 2005


oops... from DOING much harm of course.
posted by clevershark at 6:16 PM on May 5, 2005


so, the party will force Blair to step down for Brown?
posted by amberglow at 6:16 PM on May 5, 2005


Sooner rather than later, I hope.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:17 PM on May 5, 2005


and if he says no, it's off with his head? ; >
posted by amberglow at 6:18 PM on May 5, 2005


another LibDem gain!
posted by amberglow at 6:19 PM on May 5, 2005


Blair looks like shit.
posted by amberglow at 6:20 PM on May 5, 2005


so, the party will force Blair to step down for Brown?

Massively unlikely. Labour can 't kick out the first leader to take them to a third successive win, regarldess of how slim the majority is. No election victory is a humiliation, regardless of how much the media care to spin it that way.

Remember -- it's not so much about how many Labourt lose, but who they go to... at the moment it seems to be LibDem Tory 50/50. If America choose to go to war in the future, it makes a massive difference who's sitting the opposite side of the house, not to mention on a variety of social issues.
posted by nthdegx at 6:21 PM on May 5, 2005


Damn, I was hoping that Blair was going to get a right spanking in his own constituency.
posted by clevershark at 6:23 PM on May 5, 2005


OK, sorry for making a comment that's irrelevant to the thread, but has anyone else visited the BBC News homepage and noticed their "Election Monitor"? Is it me, or is that a Firefox logo in low resolution?
posted by Hal Mumkin at 6:23 PM on May 5, 2005


Cherie looks like a bird (tiny head, wattle and all)

ahh, nth
posted by amberglow at 6:23 PM on May 5, 2005


the X thing, Hal?
posted by amberglow at 6:26 PM on May 5, 2005


Also, Brown, as a tight miserable Scots grump is good for one Labour victory at best. Love or hate Blair, people trust him, despite the fact he's a liar. More tea?
posted by nthdegx at 6:27 PM on May 5, 2005


the BBC icon it a homage to Firefox at best. Nothing wrong with that.
posted by MrMerlot at 6:28 PM on May 5, 2005


another LibDem pickup! Go LibDem! It's your birthday!
posted by amberglow at 6:28 PM on May 5, 2005


Blair did look awful. Interesting that he actually said he thought the public were voting for a minority Labour government.
posted by ninebelow at 6:32 PM on May 5, 2005


I think you're underestimating both Brown and the electorate, nth. One thing the vast majority of people agree on about this government is that it's had a great chancellor running a great economy, and people don't forget that very quickly.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:33 PM on May 5, 2005


Jeremy's bored with his guests--bring back the Baroness
posted by amberglow at 6:34 PM on May 5, 2005


ok--what'd i miss? cspan stopped showing it at 10. : >
posted by amberglow at 8:16 PM on May 5, 2005


it's a jrun landslide
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:22 PM on May 5, 2005


jrun is BNP or National Front? ; o
posted by amberglow at 8:25 PM on May 5, 2005


"In Cardiff North (held by Labour), Catherine Taylor-Dawson of Vote for Yourself Rainbow Dream Ticket wins just one vote."

A party living up to its name!
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:38 PM on May 5, 2005


George Galloway has got mad skillz.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:41 PM on May 5, 2005


Vote for Yourself Rainbow Dream Ticket

That's it! Forget the LibDems! I'm a Vote for Yourself Rainbow Dream Party Person now. : >

night all--i hope to wake to see all your Rainbow Dreams come true.
posted by amberglow at 8:46 PM on May 5, 2005


Four (well-at-least-two-or-perhaps-three-maybe-even-four-but-probably-not-five-given-the-reduced-size-of-labours-majority) more years!
posted by carter at 8:51 PM on May 5, 2005


Actually, after CSPAN dropped the BBC, I switched to CNN for more information, but all I got was Larry King and Nancy Grace.
posted by carter at 9:06 PM on May 5, 2005


Awesome. Captain Beany got 159 votes. I'm so proud of him.
posted by nylon at 9:07 PM on May 5, 2005


A few minutes ago MSNBC's leading story was still the Michael Jackson trial.

Gotta love American media.
posted by clevershark at 9:37 PM on May 5, 2005


Who won?

I'm just home from running our election edition, and was so busy running things I'm not actually sure who won what. Strange life
posted by bonaldi at 10:07 PM on May 5, 2005


Does Sinn Fein always win in Belfast?
posted by amberglow at 8:38 AM on May 6, 2005


Does Sinn Fein always win in Belfast?

In some of the constituencies. Their support is growing since the ceasefire in 1994. They've basically decimated the support for the SDLP who are the peaceful party that brought Sinn Féin in from the cold.
posted by daveirl at 9:10 AM on May 6, 2005


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