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British General Election ‘Result’ May 7, 2010

Posted by Audit Monkey in The State of the British Nation.
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Well, my prediction looks like it won’t happen (Conservative slim majority or a deal with the DUP). As the media predicted, it’s a Hung Parliament. Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems look like they will hold the balance of power. Given that the pound is sliding against the dollar, he better be PDQ. Anyway, I know everything bangs on about proportional representation being more equitable but even under First Past The Post, the minority parties are going to decide the final outcome.

If David Cameron is unsuccessful in forming the next government, I think he will have to shoulder some of the blame for the Conservative campaign. As I’ve commented previously, if the political parties had been more honest and forthright with the electorate, their arguments and policies may have been more credible and this would have been reflected in the vote.

Last comment on one matter I didn’t pick up on in its entirety last night, the Luvvies on the Boat in the Thames, a celebrity bash and alcoholic beverages paid for by the Beeb and by Licence payers like myself. Sure, the boat party may have been a drop in the ocean in terms of the Beeb’s overall budget but as Audit Monkey’s father says,”drink always tastes better when someone else is paying for it”. Quite

Anyway, some reassurance for my two blog readers. I’ll be dropping the General Election posts and reverting back to blogging about Audit. Something to look forward to!

General Election Night Blog – As it Happens 2.00am onwards… May 7, 2010

Posted by Audit Monkey in The State of the British Nation.
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03.30 It is unclear what the result will be. Time will tell.

03.20 I love Paxo’s style of questioning. To Liam Fox (Conservative). “It’s 3.20am in the morning. Can I have a straight answer to a question – will you do a deal with the Lib Dems?”

03.06 As David Dimbleby on the Beeb notes, there does seem to be little drama in this election, probably as it is proving so inconclusive at this point. Even I was looking forward to some ‘ooohs and arrrs’ but these are strangely absent.

02.59 I’m going to call it a night in a moment but some thoughts. If David Cameron doesn’t win an overall majority, some blame can be apportioned to him for not being bold enough in his criticism of the incumbent government and having a decentralist policy agenda which didn’t chime with the electorate.

02.56 Conservatives gain Broxtowe but the swing isn’t great.

02.50 Recount in Birmingham Edgbaston but looking like a Labour hold. Looking increasingly like a Hung Parliament.

02.42 The Conservatives don’t take Somerton & Frome from the Lib. Dems, but lose Eastborne. The Lib.Dems retain Eastleigh but lose Harrogate to the Conservatives. The variations appear to have no consistency per se. The Lib. Dem gains/losses seem to be neutral while Labour is losing seats to Conservatives.

02.35 It’s all happening on Sky. Alastair Campbell is having a pop at the press for being bias against Labour. Kelvin McKenzie thinks the Labour Party should be writing a cheque to Rupert Murdoch for all the support from News International over the years! You gotta laugh!

02.26 Basildon South. Conservative gain this seat but lose in Bolton Northeast. Curious and curiouser.

02.23 Lembit Öpik, famous for his association with one of the Cheeky Girls, has just popped up in Montgomeryshire. Wondered where he had got to. Well he won’t be popping up much more as he has lost his seat. Now that is cheeky!

02.19 Vale of Glamorgan. Conservative gain from Labour. Looks like it will go to wire.

02.14 Two Conservatives gains from Labour, Loughborough and Aberconwy. And a recount in Broxtowe!

Right, 02.02am. Results coming in thick and fast. Labour retain Exeter.

General Election Night Blog – As it Happens Midnight to 2.00am May 6, 2010

Posted by Audit Monkey in The State of the British Nation.
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01.59 Mood on ITV is different. Tom Bradby, the Political Editor, reckons Britain will be at the Polls again within the next 18 months and Labour aren’t a spent force. I could be a spent force though; time for a caffeine fix.

01.49 I reckon the Beeb are having problems interpreting swings in vote in different constituencies to the overall result. They’ve had this issue before in previous General Elections and had to abandon the swing’ometer.

01.43 Tootin’ is just abat to declare! Sorted! Labour hold. The Labour crew in the Hall are shoutin’ “Yes we Khan”, drawing on Obama’s phrase and the Labour candidate’s surname. You gotta luv’ London humour! However, the Conservatives have gained Battersea.

01.39 Noticeable change of mood. Gordon Brown was rather sombre at the declaration in his constituency and there is the sense that the election victory has slipped away.

01.29 David Blunkett (former Labour Cabinet Minister) concedes that the Conservatives have won the General Election.

01.14 Conservatives hold Putney. No surprise.

01.08 Paddy Ashdown,”Your opinion poll is rubbish Jeremy!”, especially after the Conservatives gain Kingswood. Still too early to call as the Lib. Dems have retained Torbay.

01.05 The Conservatives may have taken Basildon South. If this is the case, I reckon the Conservatives could have a majority.

00.45 Mmm. Belfast East. Alliance Party takes the DUP seat. My prediction of a Conservative and DUP coalition doesn’t look as likely if the Conservatives do not achieve a slim majority.

00.40 The Polling Station fiasco is likely to be the defining moment of this campaign. Polling stations running out of ballot papers, voters not on the roll, lack of proper cut off at 10.00pm (by allowing voters to vote). The Doris (Jenny Watson) from the Electoral Commission is claiming the voting system is from the Victorian era and dated, designed for 5 million enfranchised voters. Nick Robinson, however, rightly notes, we never had these problems in earlier elections and she is talking poppycock. I just hope that any breakdowns are attributable to electoral fraud.

00.30 Interesting news from Brighton Pavillion. The Greens are confident they have taken the seat. This will be the first ever seat for the Green Party in the UK. We’ll gloss over the fact the count hasn’t begun…

00.25 High turnout in B’ham Egbaston, so a delayed declaration. Just to correct my earlier post, the Hackney sit in was at a Polling Station, not the actual location of the count.

00.14 The Beeb has a ship load of Luvvies on the Thames on a boat. Joan Collins has so much war paint on she looks like Morticia Addams. Indeed, news is a bit thin on the ground…

00.05 Peter Hennessy, Constitution Expert on the likelihood of a Hung Parliament and interview of The Queen: “The Queen is a bit like Heineken lager; she reaches parts of the Constitution others don’t reach!” Love it.

General Election Night Blog – As It Happens May 6, 2010

Posted by Audit Monkey in The State of the British Nation.
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Since we are on the verge of a defining moment in British politics, Audit Monkey will be blogging into the early hours or as long as he lasts on the General Election as it happens.

Midnight. Looking at my schedule for this evening’s events, the next pivotal event will be Birmingham Edgbaston. Time for 40 winks!

23.56 The Polling Station fiasco is the main topic of conversation at present. On face value, as the General Election has occurred during University term time, this has swelled the numbers voting at certain Polling Stations than would usually be the norm. Legal challenges could be in the offering is the results are close in these constituencies. We shall see.

23.40 Sunderland Central Court declaring, Labour hold. Digressing, a sit in at a Hackney count has been dispersed. A change in Met Police tactics from kettling then?

23.33 The analysts have reviewed the Washington result. Despite the Labour hold, a big underlying swing from Labour to Conservative.

23.26 Not alot to comment on at the moment. Labour hold Washington & Sunderland West. Quelle surprise.

23.18 The Beeb have just got hold of Ester Rantzen in Luton. Just switched to ITV to catch Ann Widdecombe saying that the Exit Polls “smell wrong”. Even Alastair Stewart is taken aback at this psephological insight.

23.17 If you were wondering, I’m not biased towards the BBC’s coverage, honest, but Sky just had Ester Rantzen being interview. You have to credit me with some taste.

23.16 Magical insight from Dom Jolly. Where is Lembit Opik? Have the Lib Dems hidden him?

23.10 A lull in proceedings. Old Dimbleby on the Beeb saying that people being unable to vote is “a disgrace…third world politics…there should be an investigation…they should have got out of bed earlier”. I love the train of thought.

23.00 A quick interview with a Ulster Unionist on the Beeb on a deal with the Conservatives. The Unionists have gone for the ‘cross my palm with silver approach’; subsidise Northern Ireland and it’s game on…

22.53 Houghton & Sunderland in. Labour Hold. The New Labour MP went to Oxbridge, how very working class.

22.49 Isn’t that typically British – the counts will take longer than usual as ballot papers for local elections have been placed in the same ballot boxes as the General Election, so have to be separated. Wouldn’t separate boxes for the different elections be easier?

22.37 More chat on the Hung Parliament and changing the electoral system. As Paxo notes, the results of the General Elections over the past 40 years would have been different. Can’t believe the hypocrisy and the front of Alan Johnson saying First Past the Post doesn’t provide ‘effective government’. You can say that again!

22.32 Bad news from Sunderland South. The record is in doubt as there has been a large turnout! Reports of voters being turned away from Polling Stations abound.

22.30 Mandelson has said that ‘First Past the Post’ is “on it’s last legs”. News to me! Sounds like a deal in the offering with the Liberals if push comes to shove. However, the maths from the Exit Polls suggest Lib & Lab 314 against 307 Conservative.

22.26 – Amusing start. Jeremy Paxman (Paxo) on the BBC has described himself as being on the ‘Naughty Step’ being in the Gods in the BeeB Studio. Much speculation about the Hung Parliament and talk of a Lib-Lab pact. The race is on in Houghton & Sunderland South to be the first constituency to declare. Twelve minutes to go if they are going to get the record.

British General Election Prediction May 5, 2010

Posted by Audit Monkey in The State of the British Nation.
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Well, we’re on the Eve of Voting Day in the British General Election. There’s been tonnes of media speculation regarding a hung parliament. The campaign for the most part, has been by politicians, for politicians and hasn’t really been terribly engaging. It’s been a ‘Alice in Wonderland’ experience; policies to tackle to the huge public sector deficit have been largely ignored by the politicians and they have skirted around the issue to varying degrees.

Anyway, the top three defining moments of the ‘campaign’ for me.

i) The Last Leadership Debate. Let’s face it, the Leadership Debates weren’t debates. So fearful of coming unstuck, the three leaders agreed on such an arbitrary set of rules to regulate the hustings, real challenge couldn’t be exercised by the Chair. It was more an elongated multi-political broadcast. The most banal moment was Gordon Brown claiming that cutting public spending by £6billion would hit the recovery. Of course, this was spin of the worst sort.

ii) The ‘Bigot Gate’ moment. Gillian Duffy asked some simple questions of Gordon Brown which the majority of the electorate wished to have answers to. Admittedly Gillian did trip herself up. Courtesy of ‘The Times’ and transcript of that conversation.

“You can’t say anything about the immigrants because you’re saying you’re – but all these Eastern Europeans coming in, where are they flocking from?”

I think the clue is in the question, Eastern Europe perhaps? You know, Romania, Poland, etc. But jesting aside, the point was the electorate have legitimate concerns on immigration but these have been brushed aside. Immigration is a multi-faceted issue; there is legal and illegal immigration, asylum seekers, transitional immigration such as foreign national students visiting these shores but the issue hasn’t been ‘fully explored’ during the campaign. Gillian also had questions on pension taxation. Sure, her phraseology may have been skew whiff but she deserved a coherent answer.

“No point looking surprised Gill, Eastern Europeans are from Europe…”

iii) Mervyn King. This could be a bit of hearsay but Mervyn King has commented that deficit cuts implemented by the next government could leave such scars in the public imagination that it could ultimately make that party unelectable. This is the real tragedy of this campaign. No politician has been entirely honest on what they will do to resolve this. I would have had more respect for the party who had told it as it is and provided the electorate with some choice, not the opaqueness that has been served up.

Anyway, as I’m suffering from ‘computer eyes’, my prediction. Conservatives a slim majority. In the event of a minority government, if the numbers allow there will be a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party. If Queen Elizabeth II gets dragged into the melee into deciding the government, I will be mortified!