The last day or so went by in a bit of a blur, with frantic last-minute campaigning, the election day stuff itself and then the two election counts and a disrupted sleep cycle. As I am not any sort of political expert, there is zero chance of me composing a reasoned and erudite essay about what happened, so instead I’ll just spew out a few random thoughts and observations from the whole circus, probably not even in chronological order.To start at the end, I won my own election in Langley Green, which was one of the few happy aspects of the election. With 12 seats up for grabs our tradition is not to have speeches from all candidates but just to have one from each party, which is normally decided by who has the largest majority. This time round it was me, and I had threatened to do an homage to Father Ted’s Golden Cleric acceptance speech – look it up on YouTube – but resisted the temptation.
Being in the main hall of the local leisure centre I missed the few other happy events on TV like Galloway’s crushing defeat.
One thing I did catch between getting home at 4am and going to bed, was a broadcast from the Witney count where, instead of the usual bare trestle tables for counting they seemed to have tablecloths. It looked more like a wedding reception than an election count. I was half expecting to see floral centrepieces and tellers sitting on chairs with ribbons on the back.
Back at the more traditionally austere Crawley count the place was full of Tories, most of whom we had never seen before. I think they had been bussed in from surrounding rural constituencies to make it look like Henry Smith has friends. All I will say is that Thursday night will have seen a lot of Sussex villages missing their idiot.
In a way I am glad to have been otherwise occupied because I am getting increasingly tired by the endless post-match over-analysis and during-match speculation on the election specials. In those periods at home when I did watch TV I was watching the Channel 4 alternative because at least they were making jokes about it.
I think the reason it leaves me cold is that everybody has a theory about why the British public voted as they did. All the theories are different, but all seem to assume that everybody votes for the same reason. The peak of the ridiculousness of this was in 2010 when the soi disant experts were talking about ‘the public’ voting for a hung parliament deliberately because nobody convinced them enough.
Having said that, it did occur to me that one reason for large numbers of people voting for the Tories could just as easily be that they really, really, really didn’t want any chance of another election before 2020 and would rather have a government carving up the NHS, demonising foreigners, and breaking up the union than face another avalanche of election leaflets and disruption of TV schedules. On Friday night I listened to the Bugle podcast and Andy came up with exactly the same theory.
It makes as much sense as any of the other theories and I could sympathise with people who felt that way. If you think it is bad to receive 5 different leaflets from one party in a month just think how much worse it is to have to deliver them!
Anyway, its all over now and we have to live with the consequences for the next five years and in the case of the council it is going to mean four years of meetings and paperwork, but I knew what to expect there so I can’t complain about that.