1. At the moment, I think that a Lib Dem-Tory agreement is a real possibility. I would have thought that the Lib Dem rank and file would rise up in rebellion against any such thing, but the Guardian seems to be of the opinion that Lib Dem MPs would in fact defect if Clegg considered backing Brown. English politics confuses me.
2. My idea of a happy ending would be a rainbow coalition. This is possible. Labour (258) and SDLP (3), plus Lib Dems (57), plus some combination of SNP (6), Plaid Cymru (3), Greens (1), and Alliance (1) would get over the 326 needed. Alex Salmond has ruled out backing the Tories, and is planning to/already talking to Gordon Brown. Alliance I'm sure would follow the Lib Dems, and surely Caroline Lucas would extract what she could and then back Labour? At which point Plaid Cymru wouldn't actually be needed, although I'm sure they'd still be welcome.
I'm not sure how long that could actually last, but we'd get electoral reform.
3. Someone asked me what I'd prefer: the above rainbow coalition, or a Falkirk win tomorrow. I'm ashamed to say I did actually need to pause and think about it.
4. This is the second 'big' election in a row where there's been a fight at the Glasgow count (yay stereotypes?). In 2007, if I recall correctly, which I may well not, it was some kind of Solidarity-Labour-Socialists affair. This time it involved the BNP. And while I know that violence at election counts is obviously wrong, the BNP were apparently being quite provocative: for the Glasgow East announcement, the other candidates weren't happy about standing on the platform with the BNP, but the BNP candidate insisted on following them around as they tried to avoid him. Also, there were several Muslim candidates standing for both Labour and the SNP, and allegedly
some BNP supporters made some remarks.
My source at the count would also like people to be aware that while the media seemed to blame the fight on the Socialists, plenty of people from other parties piled in as well. And if we do have to have a punch-up at the count, at least this time it was aimed at the BNP, rather than another Judea-related incident.
5. One thing I'm genuinely worried about is Cameron's plan to reform the size of constituencies. It's hard not to see it as targeting the Labour/LD support in Scotland. Also, while the Tories are wittering on about how Gordon Brown has no 'moral authority' or whatever to govern, could they please pause and notice that in Scotland they have 1 seat and only 17% of the vote?
6. I did vote SNP in the end, for all the difference it made. And while I may be biased, I think that if I could pick one UK politician to lead my party through a situation like this, I think I'd pick Alex Salmond. He has his flaws, but sometimes you just need a canny politician.
ETA: Initially I forgot to mention this, but it's more important that any of the above. Much of the voting chaos last night seems to have been caused by simple disorganisation. However, in Sheffield, election officials made the decision to discriminate against students in favour of 'residents'. There are some key quotes at the bottom of this page
, while more info can be found on Facebook
. Contrary to what is now being claimed in some media reports, students generally DID bring their polling cards and DID arrive in plenty of time - only to be left standing in the rain for three hours while said 'residents' were ushered in and out in under 20 minutes. My brother's a student in Sheffield (although he forgot to register at all, the muppet), and knows several people who were unable to vote, despite queuing for long periods of time.