Friday, May 8, 2015

Election Diary - Day 40: Solved

Thursday 7th May
The polls have closed and the exit polls are in, and it’s good news for David Cameron. Sort of. They are projected to have increased their seats, but still ten short of a majority. With a return of the Coalition, they would have a majority of two.
It looks like terrible news for Ed Miliband, as he has posted a poorer result than Gordon Brown, but it could be worse. He could be Nick Clegg. It is unclear as to whether he’s held his seat, but his party has been hammered after late predictions they maybe the surprise of election night.
Well, they are. In a way.
The SNP have swamped Scotland by the looks of things, whilst the nation holds it breath to see if Nigel Farage has won South Thanet, as UKIP are predicted two seats.

Paddy Ashdown has said he’ll eat his hat if the exit poll is true, but he has sent out for a hat. Which would suggest that he’s trying to regain trust in the Lib Dems by making a ridiculous promise and keeping it.

A different Exit Poll by YouGov has suggested a milder result, more in keeping with the recent opinion polls. Labour are trumpeting it to the lowlands and the highlands, though not so much to the Highlands.

Now Alastair Campbell has promised to eat his kilt if the predictions for Scotland are correct. Even after the polls have closed, the parties are out-pledging each other. However, this one I really do want carved in stone.

Cameron is hoping and praying that the omens are true, and ringing up Boris to see how the Romans interpreted auguries. Ed Miliband is in disbelief. Nick Clegg is drinking. Nigel Farage is drunk as a Lord, and working out which UKIPers should go to the House of Drunks. Sorry – of Lords.
Meanwhile, somewhere in Manhattan, David Miliband is desperately resisting the urge to call his brother.

Friday 8th May
Whatever happened to Lembit Opik? Because he was a Lib Dem who lost his seat catastrophically before it was fashionable.

Neil Kinnock makes an appearance, looking harrowed and shaken. Basically like a man who is experiencing terrible flashbacks to 1992.
Meanwhile, the Lib Dems, who have lost £2,000 on deposits so far (after 8 seats declared) have tweeted “Thank you to our members & volunteers - who give their time and money to make our society fairer & freer”. The emphasis very much on the money part.

The decapitations begin, and it is the rather nice Douglas Alexander who is the first to go. He was defeated by a 20 year-old student. The SNP swing is huge, but the victor is most courteous to Alexander’s defeat, and Alexander returns the compliment. It is worth saying that a lot of good people will be cut down by the electorate’s scythe across the UK. No doubt good people will be returned, but good people will go.

Rumours have been circling that Ed “Ed Balls” Balls’ seat is too close to call. Labour say that the news on this seat is “all Balls”. (I’m keeping that joke in because, if he loses, I won’t be able to make Balls jokes anymore).

Reports are rife that Labour have gained a seat from George Galloway. Oh dear. If only he’d dressed up as a cat. Still, I bet that pub he threatened with closure is having the most awesome lock-in right now. (He lost to Labour at 6.08am.)

Alastair Carmichael, the Scottish Secretary, is re-elected, but this raises a question: if the Tories form the next government, who could they possible propose as a Scottish Secretary? The only eligible Scot would be Michael Gove (MP for Surrey Heath). Good luck with that.

Boris Johnson is an MP again, and gives his acceptance speech flanked by two loonies (actual, Loony Candidates that is – not members of his campaign). He is delighted that Britain has rejected a return to the 1970s, but is disappointed that it hasn’t endorsed a return to the 1870s

Vince Cable loses his seat, and he is the real symbol of the collapse of the Lib Dems. 6 years ago he was the most trusted politician in Britain. Now the Business Secretary is out of business. Lib Dem losses were expected, but this is beyond their worst nightmares. Nick Clegg is quaking in his vulnerable boots.

Nick Clegg arrives for his declaration, with a face (and there’s no other way of putting this) like a slapped arse on a dreadful night for his party.
He holds his seat, but to what end? The rumours are that he will look to quit politics “altogether”. He talks of giving remarks on his leadership and the devastating national picture in the morning. The man who took a brave decision five years ago is now walking into a totally different sort of rose garden.

Ed Miliband holds his seat, with a significant swing to UKIP, and he delivers the closest thing to an American-style concession speech. He looks like Michael Dukakis, if Dukakis had a big stone he had to find a buyer for.

David Cameron holds his Witney seat, and praises the response to the "positive Conservative campaign”. He kept that quiet.

There is no denying that this has been an extraordinary, staggering night. The SNP rules Scotland, but David Cameron is destined for Number 10, which makes those of us who were wondering how on earth you cover undisclosed coalition discussions on a satirical blog relieved that we don’t have to keep doing this for yet more days.
The return of a Tory government is no doubt good news for…………… HSBC?
It is undoubtedly bad news for Paddy Ashdown, who is obliged (by oral contract) to eat a hat live on television. If he doesn't, the Lib Dems will lose all credibility.
Oh, wait... hang on a minute. (For what it's worth, he refused to eat the hat in the morning.)
I would like to end on this note. No doubt, this has been a bruising night not just for the Lib Dems but also for the passionate supporters of many parties. It must be noted that, on a night of many decapitations, victorious MPs have sought to give credit to their defeated predecessors where credit is due.
And that is something which much be treasured, and not satirised.

“It’s all looking surprisingly simple, isn’t it Liz?” said Philip.
“Indeed,” replied Her Majesty. “Still, it always does from my perpective.”

She turns to Sir Christopher Geidt, her Private Secretary, and says: “Call Sir Humphrey would you? I have some instructions.”

Events depicted may differ from actual events. In fact, this is a work of fiction, with some facts. But mostly, it's nonsense.

Very many thanks to everyone who read and enjoyed. The Diaries will return.

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