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Blog: Election Day

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You find me this morning all EXCITED, for LO! it is ELECTION DAY and i have just been and done VOTING!

This election campaign has a) been b) FELT incredibly long and by the past couple of weeks even I - someone who TAPES programmes about constitutional matters and SQUEALED "Hooray! It's Gus O'Donnell talking about the Cabinet Manual!" the other night and MEANT it - was getting fed up with the whole business. As my close associate Mr P Myland has remarked (in regards to The Football, but still), "it's the hope that gets me". Every time I see an opinion poll saying Tories and Labour are on the same percentage, every time I read an article about how Mr D Cameron can't possibly put a coalition together, I get a little leap of JOY at the idea of getting rid of this shower of hideous shitehawks. And every time that happens a little voice in my head whispers "remember 1992?" and I get SAD.

However, as soon as we set off for Chobham Academy, our local polling station, this morning, I was EXCITED. I love voting, it's the democractic equivalent of going to buy STATIONERY i.e. dead sensible but also THRILLING (NB yes I am one of those people who think Mr E Milliband is a bit of a racy risk taker). Every other time I've voted I've wondered in, gone straight to the table, got my ballot slip, and been out in minutes, but this time there was a QUEUE. A very BIG queue too, of about 50 people, nearly all of whom were looking at their phones and doubtless tweeting "I am in a QUEUE to vote!" This made it all even MORE exciting, like being in a newly democratised country or something (CHANCE would be a fine thing, AMIRITE everybody?). I was hoping to be dipping my finger in red ink at the end!

As we shuffled along I looked around at my fellow citizens and swelled up with PRIDE. There's been so much cynicism and pretending not to care, but here we all were, British people of all shapes, shades and sizes, politely waiting to do our CIVIC DUTY. I live in an EXTREMELY safe Labour seat and for the past few weeks have been a bit depressed about the fact that my vote (like most people's votes) doesn't really make a difference at all, but once in the building I knew that, although voting reform surely MUST come this time around, that isn't the whole story. As we waited with our neighbours we knew that all around the country other people were doing exactly the same thing, patiently queuing to be PART of something bigger than all of us.

By the time we got into the last bit of queue I was genuinely GIDDY with it all, so when The Names On My Paper said "What would happen if you shouted 'Let's kick the Tories out!'? Do you think they'd still let you vote?" the temptation was GRATE. I almost GIGGLED when I got my paper and then, as usual, I went straight to PANIC when I got to the actual booth. EVERY time I have ever voted I am always CONVINCED that I will somehow accidentally put my cross in the wrong place and end up voting BNP or something (whatever happened to THOSE guys eh?) so do it VERY VERY carefully. And then check it again. And then check it AGANE just before I put my paper in the big box.

Into the big box it went though and that was that done. In a funny sort of way it now feels like CHRISTMAS. We've had the weeks and weeks of build up and now it's finally happening so we can sit back and enjoy the day. I'm already thinking of the chums who I know will be staying up, who I can BUG via email as the night progresses, and thinking of the Essential Supplies I'll need to see me through. I do have a GIG tonight (it's Totally Acoustic at the King & Queen, with Keith Top Of The Pops and Simon Love - come! it'll be GRATE, also finished by 10pm!) so chances are I might be a bit piddly and SNOOZE for some of it, but I'm ready for the long haul. Let's just hope it's more 1997 than 1992!

Happy Election Day one and all, and fingers crossed for a Merry New Government!

posted 7/5/2015 by MJ Hibbett

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Hi Mark - any chance of slipping in "It only works because you're here" into your set later? Dearest Daughter likes that one and I promised her some drinks later - at the K&Q!! Mike...........
posted 7/5/2015 by Mike Cresswell

On the subject of electoral reform, if we had full PR, how would you feel about 85 or so UKIP MPs in the house of commons? (Based on 13% national support reported on the BBC as of today.)
posted 7/5/2015 by

If 13% of people vote UKIP then they should have 13% of the representation. And yes, that would also apply to BNP or Communists whoever - it's a crazy little idea called 'democracy'. To suggest anything else is the kind of arrogant 'we know better than you' argument that makes people disenfranchised in the first place.
posted 7/5/2015 by MJ Hibbett

Agreed. I was just intrigued why you think voting reform will surely come this time around. None of the smaller parties are likely to make it a red line issue going into a coalition, and lab / con supporting it would be like turkeys voting for Christmas.
posted 7/5/2015 by

Arf! I wish you'd said you agreed to start with - I got all pre-annoyed for nothing!
posted 7/5/2015 by MJ Hibbett

(and you're right, it probably won't happen - wishful thinking!)
posted 7/5/2015 by MJ Hibbett

Yes sorry for the confusion. I did rather not say what I meant. But I do wonder if most supporters of PR (traditionally LDs and Greens) would be so keen on it if it handed so much power to UKIP.
posted 7/5/2015 by

Thanks again, Mark. A good evening all round. You must feel a bit left out not having an orchestra behind you! See you in June. Mike.........
posted 8/5/2015 by Mike Cresswell

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