Londonist Blogs The Election

By Londonist Last edited 146 months ago
Londonist Blogs The Election
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Rob:

(To be sung to the tune of Elvis Costello's 'Watching the Detectives')

"Blogging the election.

Blogging the election.

Looks like we're blogging the election"

Well our computers might not be quite as fancy as the BBC's but here we are. The coffee pot is on, the phone's off the hook and our typing fingers are...flexed?

22:05 We're barely 5 minutes into the BBC's coverage and already Peter Snow is stood in a computer generated House of Commons - kind of reminds us of the old kid's programme Knightmare:

"Move one step to the right. Cast a magic spell. Smite Michael Howard with your magic axe."

Oooh it's John Prescott. Is he really 67? He looks great...ok not great, but ok...for his age.

Anyway: politics. David Dimbleby has just complimented Prescott on not hitting anyone yet...oh well, there's a way to go yet.

Who's the Yank in the BBC studio...what do they know about elections anyway?

22:10To the studio panel: Hislop, Falconer, Widdecombe and Shirley Williams. Paxman tells Widdecombe off for muttering. Turns out she's muttering about dirty hospitals.

I love Shirley Williams - I sometimes wish she was my gran or great aunt or something. She's talking about the faintly unimpressive exit poll results.

Hislop weighs in and calls politicians 'quite dull' and the 'result' dull as well.

22:17 To Sunderland South where all 31 ballot boxes are in and the police hhave 'fixed' the traffic lights so the vans full of sixth form students and the boxes could get throught to be counted.

Bloody students.

A 'sharply reduced majority' for Labour has been predicted.

22:20Flick over to ITV where Clive Anderson and Joan Collins (!) are cut off by techhnical problems...thank God. and the 'lesser Dimbleby' is giving his opinion.

ITV have got a graphic called 'Elvis' because apparently the country is 'all shook up'...back to the BBC I think.

22:22Oh the BBC have gone to the other news...back to ITV...

Menzies Campbell isn't "worried at all" apparently. We zoom into County Durham (Blair's seat) where counting is underway...REPEAT: COUNTING IS UNDERWAY!

Shots of people counting...in their heads mostly.

To Folkstone - Howard's seat. His wife looked exhausted apparently...nice one Michael! (Sorry) No one believes the Tory's will win...is it bedtime yet.

And to Ross Skye and Lochaber (Kennedy's seat) where everyone is annoyed about the exit polls.

22:30 First results due in every soon...and Alan Milburn says the 'signs are good' for Labour.

Remember you can email us on londonist@gmail.com if you want to tell us anything or just leave us a comment on this page.

Peter Snow has just said "Don't take it too seriously" for the first time. He's currently astride his 'election battleground' which has three 'battlefronts' and connects to the swingometer somehow. It's like a huge Risk game but one where Oliver Letwin gets his arse kicked.

License Fee well spent.

5 minutes for Sunderland. Five minutes for Sunderland. I have never been so excited about Sunderland.

Whiel we wait let's see what's going on elsewhere:

Sky kicked off an hour earlier with Vote '05. Their main coverage ploy

seems to be "WE HAVE MORE LAPTOPS THAN YOU!!!!".

They have a fairly mundane CGI rendering of the commons that their guy

walks around but when they fill it up with appropriatley coloured avatars it just looks like planet of the apes but with more

orangutans. And he keeps looking to the monitor to figure out where

the hell he is.

The screen is busy busy busy, I keep expecting to see Soccer

Saturday's Jeff Stelling pop up and check in with Tony Cottee.

To be honest it couldn't be much worse. The set is a conceptual nightmare.

CNN meanwhile aren't even trying. 3 heads at a desk. Nothing interesting going on.

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Our insider at ITV has just emailed us asking to stop giving them a kicking. Seriously we're not kidding. Ok, we promise to give ITV a break as long as they use Katie Derham more...mmmm Katie.

22:44 Sunderland are returning: BNP: 1,166. Lib Dems: 4,492. Labour: 17,982. Con's: 6,923. Monster Raving: 149.

So Labour take Sunderland That's not great for Labour though - they needed around 19,500 to retain a decent majority...Blair should be panicing according to the BBC's man in the studio.

Down 5% for Labour. A Labour to Con swing of 4%. This confirms expectations.

22:50 Danger of fraud: in Aberdeen 20 postal votes have gone astray...I expect we'll hear a lot of this kind of thing as we go on.

The Beeb are on the Millennium bridge (the Gateshead one) with Sian Williams (very pink) who is organising some public art: the task: a 'paint by numers' map of Britain, so here's a student colouring Sunderland in red...thrilling stuff.

22:55Right I'm off to put the kettle on and rest my typing fingers. I'll be handing over now to the Londonist Political Correspondent for the hours of 11-12: Will.

Will:

That's it from Rob, Londonist's editor and spiritual leader. Over to me, Will, for an hour.

So far, I'm reminded of the exchange between a woman and 1952 US presidential hopeful Adlai Stevenson.

Woman: "Every thinking man and woman will vote for you."

Adlai: "That's great ma'am, but I need a majority."

We should get some great results over the next hour, so stay tuned. Let's see what happens.

23:00 Barnsley Central will be an interesting one, and should indicate the scale of Labour's lost support.

Clare Short in trouble?! That would be remarkable.

Calling an "exit poll" a "high class rumour" is very apt.

If you're a fan of car crashes, Polly Toynbee is being given a real kicking over on the Guardian's election blog.

23:05 Over to Bethnal Green! Hooray! Looks like Oona King might actually lose it and George Galloway might be elected.

We won't get a real result there until 2am; perhaps much longer considering the ugly allegations of fraud and "ghost voters".

23:08 That Rory Bremner interlude was rather surreal.

23:09 Was that a veiled criticism of the Tory campaign from Ann Widdecombe? Lynton Crosby and his cronies are responsible for pushing Howrd into a more "presidential" role, and she just said she doesn't like that. But Blair is the main culprit there, I suppose.

Is it just me, or is Ruth Kelly incredibly irksome?

23:14 Robin Cook says the war may have influenced the result. Well duh, Robin.

In the absence of real news, here's what's happening on other channels from Londonista Mark:

Nothing but ads on 4 and 5 and barking dogs on 2. Need more channels but can't be bothered to plug the freeview box in.

Same as always.

Scottish constituencies have the most wonderful names - Eilanan Siar is beautiful.

Ironic that the name "Galloway" crops up in two hard-fought marginal consitiuencies, one north, one south.

23:23 Looks like Sunderland North! 5724 Con, 15,719 Lab

-9% fall in support for Labour - 5% swing to Tories, really looking like a worse night for Labour. Could be a radically slashed majority.

Washington East next - isn't that what London should be called under the present government (for the next few hours, at least), ho ho. As in Washington DC East.

23:29 The BBC saying openly that Brown could be prime minister sooner than everyone might expect!

Houghton & Washington East next.

4772 Con, 6245 Lib Dem, 22,310 Lab

A fillip for Blair there. But still a reduced majority.

The BNP is getting more than 1000 in all these north-eastern seats.

23:34 Reality check: we're still dealing with a healthy Labour majority, just not a landslide.

By the way, the London Line is also liveblogging and is well worth a look.

BOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSS!

Sadly, he didn't say that much interesting.

Paxo, Hislop and others are having a huge barney about fraud. Let's hope this isn't the shape of things to come.

Paxo says the postal votes debate was a "disgraceful shouting match", and he's damn right. Ugly, ugly, ugly.

23:42 We're getting unpublicised reports of a punch-up in Romford between candidates - one hospitalised, apparently, but no confirmation on that yet - and reports of two good BNP results in Oldham. More when we hear.

Letwin in trouble in Dorset.

Here's a story that might be related to the Romford punch-up.

I should point out ITN provded the link for the ES Romford story.

23:50 Conservatives about to get their first black MP in Maidenhead?

Fourth result will be from Scotland. I expected more results on my shift - but we're over to Islington, "the home of New Labour"! A pub round the corner from Granita.

Why did you vote Lib Dem, Michael Crick asks a young girl. "It was more by a process of elimination" she says - honest, and a lesson for policymakers.

Londonista Mark, boldly watching non-election news in the name of balance, says:

It seems that 5 have decided Freddie Star is anally fixated.

Apparently the result in Oldham Keighley is being delayed by postal vote concerns and "security concerns". That's where the BNP leader, Nick Griffin, is standing.

I'm signing off now, and handing over to Ken for the next hour. Back to the studio. (I've always wanted to say that.)

Ken:

Thanks, Will, and good morning everyone. According to ITV there's going to be a deluge of results coming our way. Their scorecard is a bit ahead of the BBC's too, showing 6 Labour seats declared.

Our mailbox londonist@gmail.com is open, should anyone feel like commenting, or feel free to use the comment boxes below.

By the way, it's Keighley, just plain Keighley, which is in Yorkshire. Poor Will, I think he's been overcome by the excitement.

0006 My god, the cult of z-list personality holds firm at ITV, with Chris Eubank and Alaistair MacGowan being interviewed on the 'party boat'. To be fair, at least Eubank looks like he thought about why he voted Labour rather than just voting them out of habit.

Enough of this, where's Katie Derham?

0010 Londonista Mark informs us that Channel Five has turned into Sky News, leaving him with just two 'council tv' channels to watch - ads on C4, and Tate on BBC2. BBC2 wins by a landslide.

0012 BBC reporting Galloway to be ahead in Bethnal Green & Bow! Regrettably, just before that news, that some bloke impersonating George Bush made some pervy comment to the eternally-over-made-up Natasha Kaplinsky.

0014 The most important inside information of the night from our ITN source, Katie Derham is due on very soon. Hoorah!

0015 Londonista Mark shows his dislike of johnny foreigner language: "They've just said schadenfreude on 2 so back to 4 where Charles Kennedy has just been weed on by his baby." We assume it's some sort of 'satire' he's watching.

Meanwhile, signs of life from our readers. Grace Avarne asks: "BBC say there are four results in and ITV are saying 11 seats declared to Labour. What's going on?? Is the BBC failing us?" Grace, I'll get onto my friend at ITN to boast about how they're doing it.

Clare Short's Ladywood constituency is due in the next few minutes. It'll be interesting to see what effect the Rover collapse had.

0020 The lighting on Katie Derham is frustrating. I think they've cottoned onto the sheer, er, sheerness of her top. A better quality of commentator anyway, with Andrew Rawnsley (a particular hero of this Londonista) being featured. Oh, and the Sunday Express editor.

Grace, a comment from our ITV/ITN source: "We call the results first because we have people at every single count getting the results before they're officially declared. ITV was first in more than 90% of the seats last time.

BBC and Sky wait for the returning officer, which can be minutes behind the result." So basically ITV peek over people's shoulders and run to the phones, whereas the BBC waits patiently for the official declaration.

0025 BBC are predicting Lib Dems to take Hornsey & Wood Green from Labour.

The Anti-Election tendency is flagging and may resort to plugging in that Freeview box yet.

0030 David Steel reckons 'reports that are going through party HQ' suggest they'll win more seats than the exit polls suggest.

Hull West & Hessle - Lab 15,305, LD 5866, Con 5769, swing from Lab to LD 4.7%.

Putney's been re-gained by the Tories. This is the seat that David Mellor lost in one of those beautiful moments from previous elections.

Labour hold Vauxhall, though.

0035 These little sections with Gerald Scarfe on ITV are horrendous, although the others in the studio seem to how to avoid the awkward silences.

Turnout at Putney was 60% and the haemorraghing of the Labour vote was quite horrendous. As was trying to type that long word at pace.

The Lib-Dems had high hopes of taking Newcastle Upon Tyne Central but despite an 11% swing they fell short by 4,000 votes.

0040 The general tenor of the commentary is that Labour are going to have a bad night, but Paxman puts it to the Tory whose name we can't recall that the Tories have 'nonetheless crashed and burned three elections in a row'.

The Putney result is causing a lot of trouser-wetting on ITV. The swingometer's out and they're talking about a potential hung parliament. Alastair Stewart reckons this scenario is 'very possible'.

0048 According to Sky, the overall change in vote is Labour down 7%, Lib-Dems up 7%, and no change in the other parties.

No surprise that Ming The Merciless Campbell and David 'I'm Hard I Am' Blunkett have won their respective constituencies.

Peter Snow is talking about things being 'extremely exciting'. Is anything ever boring for him? The animation on the computer representations of Blair, Howard and Kennedy is absolutely horrendous. They're walking like they have swingometers stuck up their arses.

0055 Anti-Election Londonista Mark pipes up again, after a deafening silence: "Hooray, we've plugged in the free view and lost all the terrestrial channels. Bryan McFadden is on The Hits. We're going to unplug the Freeview again."

Old Labour heads seem to be almost revelling in the loss of Labour seats. Their view seems to be that it wounds Blair enough to loosen his grip on the leadership but leaves Brown enough to play with to get the party back on track.

Blunkett, to absolute no surprise, makes an aggressive, ungracious acceptance speech. What a tosser.

Right, that's me done and my fingers and eyes need soothing after tapping away on a horrible laptop. Over to you, Dan.

Dan:

Hello readers. Dan the sports correspondent here, allowed out on day release to continue with the Londonist Election Extravaganza. Or something.

So, the results so far:

Lab: 36 Con: 2 Lib Dem: 2 Others: 1

Unless you're watching ITV who have declared twice as many seats than have actually been declared. Possibly some kind of black magic, possibly just an attempt to get viewers over from the BBC. Not that it's going to work - we all know ITV cover the World Cup Final as well as the BBC, but no-one in their right mind would actually want to watch it on ITV.

Anyway, enough of the sporting analogies, and on with the election...

Labour appear to be over the moon at the moment, but as we all know it's a game of two halves, and at the end of the day... Erm...

01:05

Gordon Brown is doing his Oscar acceptance speech after retaining his seat, while the BBC are reporting a recount at Battersea where Labour hold a majority.

01:10

Labour hold Tooting, so that'll be 2-1 to Labour in London then. Election night is starting to get to Londonist Mark: "Wow! I can buy a digital camera on tv! Saved for a while by a Lee Marvin doc on 2."

01:20

Does Fiona Bruce have the highest eyebrows of all time? Is there a record for such a thing?

Gerald Scarfe continues to be unfunny and annoying on ITV. If anyone doesn't own The Day Today on DVD, go buy it.

And in other news, the election continues, votes are being counted, speeches being made. Usual stuff.

01:25

Important News Update! No, not the election, but from Mark who has the latest from the world of non-election telly: "There's an arse on 4", "Now there's a man hitting himself in the head with a saw.", "Wow, what a fantastic stain remover. It really works. Unfortunately the picture keeps breaking up so I can't get the number."

Shame.

01:30

Labour hold Holborn & St Pancras. Nationally Labour have lost 3 seats, Tories have gained 3 (how?), and Lib Dems have lost 1 seat.

Interesting so far how the Labour gains have had in the most part small turn-outs, whereas the Labour defeats have mostly had higher turn-outs.

Michael Portillo is on ITV. The Londonist accepts no responsibility for those who kick their TV's in.

01:35

ITV are talking to Thatcher. Where's an assassin when you need one?

Tories hold Kensington & Chelsea. Now there's a shock!

01:40

Lib Dems gain Portsmouth North apparently on a 20.2% swing from Labour. They had 10% in 2001 with Labour on 50%.

Second recount in Battersey.

And proof that ignoring the election is bad for your health, as the evening gets surreal for Mark: "There's a man in a hat singing on a bus. This is becoming a very frightening experience."

01:45

Technical problems at the Beeb where Jack Straw is attempting to talk to Paxman while hearing an echo of his voice though his earpiece. Technical problem, or technical breakthrough? Well done Beeb.

I have to interrupt you there. Tony Blair's just stepped out of a car to wave at people.

01:50

Robert Kilroy-Silk being interviewed on ITV. Good grief! Why is air time being given to this man? And now Ian Hislop has just turned up - after his stint on the BBC. Which if reflected over the country would mean a 100% swing of Jimmy Sommerville lookalikes to ITV.

01:55

Walthamstow Labour hold, Islington North Labour hold, Hampstead & Highgate Labour hold, Chingford Conservative gain from Labour, Hornsey & Wood Green Lib Dem gain from Labour.

So to wrap up my stint; is this the death of Blairism? Possibly the beginning of the end of Blair - as Highgate and Hampstead MP Glenda Jackson said; a smaller Labour majority will give her and her fellow rebels a greater say in the House of Commons. But on the other hand the seats that Labour are losing are the type of seats that Labour would need to be even more Blair-like to win back.

Let's face it folks - the only real winner of this election is once again Peter Snow. What a star!

And that's all from me. I'd like to thank all the voters who have turned out today, I'd like to thank the returning officer, my campaign team, and finally I'd like to thank Mrs Dan for providing liquid refreshments. Over to Mike...

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Mike

Being the only Londonist without a television (Not due to Portillo, but kicking it in when Doctor Who descended into fart gags seemed a good idea at the time) I'm forced to pool all my coverage from the Interweb... and so far it's very intimidating. I signed up for the Beeb's News Alerts which flash up with a little sound bite designed to make you think that world war III just kicked off, but when you rush back, trailing coffee, to the laptop you find that they just want to double-check your postcode or something. Even more unsettling is the way that a little Peter Snow ambles up onto the screen, delivers his news and then walks off into the sunset. Channel Five are probably doing the same kind of thing but with naked pig breasts or something...

I did have fun checking out the 'election' tags over on Flickr.

Boing Boing pointed me in the direction of the BBC's party pack, but apart from the truly disturbing PDF masks there's not much fun to be had there. They also sent me to I Voted for Because... which is a nice insight into the British mindset on election day:

Laura Love, I voted for you because Eric Joyce is a spineless, traitorous, toady in the mould of Blair, and because I think your name is fantastic. Parliament needs a little more Love instead of the constant antagonism...

Oh hang on... one surprise result is in... Satan, expecting the usual 666, walked away with only 616. That's a swing of 50 to UKIP then...

02.05 Something's happening in Wales, but I have no subtitles... it could be a major upset or just someone clearing their throat...

No... looks like an IND GAIN FROM LAB... could still be Welsh

02.10 Snow is in front of that train timetable gizmo again... oh now he reckons it's a LAB MAJ 76...

Oh goody - Alistair Campbell is on... and in the little part of my screen usually reserved for Internet porn... "If you look back on the history of blah blah blah". It's no use - my anti-spam software is throwing up a TWAT WARNING.

02.15 Mark is over to Ch4 "The woman in the Almodavar can't take her boots off. There are some embroidered leather mules on ideal world for £49.99. She should have gone for them."

And Blair is on my laptop looking glum... but has morphed into either IDS or the other bald git that lead the Cons... I get them mixed up

02.18 Sedgefield: Some guy called Blair took a seat.

02.20 Blair reckons that Iraq has been a tad decisive, but hopes we can all come together again - well of course we can - the minute you resign you two faced Bushlicking git.

Andrew and David back in the studio agree he lookes battered.

02.25 Ken's source: Massive swing of more than 17.5% to Lib Dems in Manchester Withington gives them the seat from Labour...

Back to IDS over on the Beeb's webcast... "It ain't over yet... I don't mind who's leader..."

02.30 Looks like Quimby has hung onto Springfield: "I stand by my racial slur..."

All the cameras at the Beeb are pointing the wrong way.

Looks like King has lost to Galloway...

02.35 Snow is blabbering on about BATTLEFRONTS again. Makes you wonder if any of this coverage is making it over to Iraq. Maybe even now soldiers are climbing aboard their tanks about to go on a major pamphleteering run. Note to BBC: less war metaphors the same week that the troops are getting killed please.

Fiona Bruce is giving us a recap...

02.40 Haltemprice & Howden - David Davis, Shadow Home Sec takes it.

Enfield Southgate - CON GAIN. Twigg gutted, toothy git grinning. 9% swing to the blues.

02.45 Peter Snow has a horribly blue virtual London under his feet. A 5% swing to the Cons.

Back in the studio they reckon this is because of the strong economy. London is where everything gets 'gritty'. No arguments there.

02.50 Blair given a GOOD kicking by the father of a dead soldier. And he had to stand on the same stage and take it... bah, the Beeb have cut away. We will too then. Here's Mark getting to the end of his regular TV coverage:

Ok, a final round up from all the other channels. We have no idea what's goin on in the Almodavar, we've learnt that sulphur is not to be confused with scilicon (I would hope not) on 2, there's a woman on the Hits floating around a spaceship saying she's sorry (although we don't know what for. Maybe she killed the rest of the crew.), the new Gwen Stefani is awesome, there are well spoken Englishmen drinking beer and eating steak and pretending to be Americans on ftn and I can still buy as much shit as I want at quarter to three in the morning. The freeview box is definitely going out the window.

Oh and Labour win Leicester South...

02.57 Confusion in the Beeb studio over who exactly the celebrity UKIP candidate is... Rusty Lee. We figured it had something to do with the spate of rip off Bruce Lee movies that came out of HK just after he died. We were wrong (Bronson Lee was our favourite).

02.59 And I'm out of here...

Handing over to Will. His second go on the election night merry-go-round and he's very drunk.

Will

Hello again Londonistans. Will here again. What a fascinating evening it's been.

It's too late in the evening for balance, coherency, sobreity or even plentiful coverage. Let's be plain - this is shaping up into a great result for people who like parliamentary democracy. We're seeing vibrant democracy across the board, and the smashing of Blairism. Farewell, presidential style.

Frankly, Blairism deserved a good kicking, and this one looks like it'll do.

Bethnal Green and Bow still to come - as an American once said about the Iran-Iraq war, it's a pity they can't both lose.

By the way, Mike exaggerates - I'm not very drunk, only fairly drunk.

03:06 Tories take Guildford from the Lib Dems.

The independent in Blaenau Gwent is speaking. Paxo's being rather harsh on him considering his achievement.

03:12 Arch-Brownite Ed Balls (MP since about an hour ago) and his MP wife Yvette Cooper on now. Some Brownite manoeuvring going on.

03:15 It's been a Labour disaster in London and the Guardian already has some proto-analysis up. I blame myself. I should have been wittier in my condemnation of the Tory London manifesto.

03:19 Blair speaks: historic third term. Rebirth of the party. Historic. Opportunity. Huge challenge.

Letwin keeps his seat. Blast.

Charles Kennedy keeps his seat, natch, and looks exhausted.

Ladies and gentlemen, Oliver Letwin. Never before has a politician looked so sweet, or so punchable.

We've still got Bethnal Green & Bow to come, the last and most thrilling London result. Hammersmith and Fulham has been called for the Tories for ages.

03:36 ITV calls BG&B for Galloway.

Labour majority fluctuating; 40-80 according to who you listen to. Anecdotal sources say a record number of independents. Welwyn is a Con Gain, knocking out Melanie Johnson, a nondescript minister.

Hornchurch is a Con gain ... Nicholas Soames on now, being bouyant for the blues.

Soames has just mistaken London for Venice. It's been done before; Canaletto considered the cities of equal beauty.

03:46 Word here is that the Lib Dems are holding on to Brent East, which the pocket-sized Sarah Teather snatched in a by-election and promptly became London spokesperson for the party.

KILROY ALMOST LOSES HIS DEPOSIT - Erewash is an Erewashout! Hooray! Lab Hold.

03:53 I have to report that Londonista Ken has just compared Sarah Teather to an Oompah-Loompah, and thus wins "simile of the night".

03:57 Nationally, this is a pretty bad result for the Tories. Their share of the vote hasn't shifted. They've done brilliantly in London, but it's really a hopeless result from a dying ideology. They had Iraq to help them this time - not next time, the BBC just said.

04:00 Labour has held Dulwich.

I should point out that fatigue and drunkenness mean that Londonist's coverage is about to grind to a halt. Labout Is about to reach the magic 324, meaning it can form a majority government - I think we'll abandon the effort there.

The Lib Dems have taken Solihull from the Blues by a whisker.

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04:11 Sarah Teather retains Brent East. I think. I didn't quite hear that.

That's all for me. Over to Ken for the final bloody entrails.

Ken:

Right, we're running pure adrenalin here, so forgive us any typos. We're also running on sheer disgust at having to look at that bastard Michael Howard droning on about his racist policies, the sanctimonious twat.

0422 Let's get these results into perspective here. The Tory propaganda sheets will spin this to say the Labour majority's been "slashed" but the fact is the majority was stupidly big anyway. Instead of being stupidly big, it's just... big. Labour supporters - hell, anyone who values parliamentary democracy - ought to be grateful that there is a more than workable majority but one that allows a vaguely effective opposition to challenge the more indigestible aspects of Blairite policy.

0425 ITV "formally" declares victory for Labour as they get their 324th seat. How ITV has any sort of formal authority in these matters, we're unsure, but "formally" is the word used.

Londonist Mike is relieved his constituency hasn't fallen to the Tories.

This Londonist is still waiting for his constituency to declare.

0428 Dimbleby the Lesser has just told me not to go to bed. He was very insistent. It's ok for him, he's getting paid decent money to cover this election.

Just looking at the BBC's London summary, the Tories must be a little disappointed they haven't done more in London. Putney was a cracking result for them, for sure, but at the moment they've only gained 6 seats.

0432 Bethnal Green & Bow result. King 14,978 Galloway 15,801. Galloway wins!

Galloway to Blair: "The best thing the Labour party can do is sack you tomorrow morning the second you go to work."

Galloway chucks wild accusations around, saying basically that Tower Hamlets is a rotten borough. He says the Election Officer should resign.

He is very gracious about Oona King, though, saying she's very able and will be back in politics soon enough. He says it wasn't her who was defeated, but Blair.

He finishes with a warning to Blair: "You ain't seen nothing yet!"

0443 Dr. Fox being interviewed on ITV. This is Liam Fox, though, deputy Tory Chairman, not the recently-departed Capital FM drivetime DJ. Shame.

0446 Oh my god, what the fuck are the BBC playing at? They've got their avatar-tastic poorly animated Tony Blair outside a virtual No. 10 doing some sort of football celebration, blowing kisses at the crowd, and all that palaver. Methinks someone got a bit over-excited playing with the animations.

Interesting, the BBC consider St Albans to be a London constituency.

0450 Westmorland & Lonsdale - Tim Collins, a Tory we remember from very early on in the ITV coverage purely because we found him extremely punchable has lost his seat by 267 votes. He was particularly bullish at the beginning of the night and ITV took delight in using the phrase "pride before a fall". Good riddance.

Looks like the whole of the ITV pundit team agrees with me about Tim Collins. If they could, they'd be doing the Nelson Muntz laugh.

0455 And on that note, Londonist coverage of the election ends. The exit polls suggesting a Labour majority of 66, despite some outlier results, seems to be not far off. None of the parties will be particularly happy, but Labour will have a majority but not so big a majority as to allow Blair to operate in that unilateral way he has been operating in.

We'll leave the editor to clear up our mess when he wakes up in, ooh, probably a couple of hours. We're off for some long-overdue kip.

Last Updated 05 May 2005

Franz

isn't anyone commenting here? election blogging was so much more exciting across the ocean in Nov04. or r u still struggling to attract readers?

G

Results are awfully slow tonight and I'm only awake because of insomnia. Great timing.

Vik

This is great, from Hong Kong, it's a real shame to be missing the graphics extravaganza of election night, but this is nearly as good. Thank you! One thing though, Portillo is one cool MF. I have never voted Tory, but I did once go to Earls COurt Tube Station, purely with the intent to collect Portillo balloons. Sadly the balloon Nazi giving them away said to me "DO you live in Kensington and Chelsea?" "Naaa, mate, Finsbury Park, innit? Jus' wanna balloon." "They are only for Kensington and Chelsea voters." B*****d. Still think Portillo is one cool MF though!

Mike

You're welcome Vik. And trust me that the graphics weren't all that... I'm jealous because you get to ride up to Victoria Peak on that crazy cable car. I miss that view.

I have a soft spot for Portillo too - at least since he became a TV celeb as opposed to a politician.

Selvy

For me it was the story of three very different men - and the life, love and music whirling around them.

Also the fact that two brothers were presenting both main channels' coverage shows that inherited power, patronage and nepotism are here to stay, regardless of voting patterns.

That annoys me on so many levels, I can't even begin to think about it...