Just a few random thoughts about the election, to get it off my chest… Check out my Twitter feed for other random rants I’ve made during today.
Here we go:
- BAD: Very disappointed to see our (now former) MP Evan Harris unseated, especially by such a narrow margin (fewer than 200 seats). In my opinion he has been one of the more clueful, intelligent and hard-working MPs, with a sensible approach to science and technology. He will be missed;
- BAD: Disappointed to see that the pre-election polls indicating a very strong Liberal Democrat showing were not borne out in the election itself, meaning a small loss of seats overall. Either something systematically skewed nearly all those polls, or an incredibly large number of people bottled out of voting LibDem literally at the last minute. I’d be interested to hear more about this one, because this came as a surprise to almost everyone;
- GOOD: One of my least favourite people Jacqui Smith lost her seat;
- GOOD: We have a hung parliament, thus requiring parties to work together. This can only be a good thing. It will be interesting to see how this turns out. As I write this, the Conservatives have offered the LibDems something which – it seems to me – they are unlikely to agree to. Something involving a guarantee of voting reform would be nice;
And I can give my now-familiar rant about the unfairness of the relationship between share of the vote and number of seats: share Con 36% Lab 29% LibDem 23%, seats: Con 47% Lab 40% LibDem 9%…
I suppose one should take comfort from the fact that almost 1,000,000 more people voted LibDem at this election than the one in 2005.
Another interesting demonstration of the broken voting system is that in Oxford as a whole (combining Oxford West and Oxford East), LibDems polled more votes than anyone else, by quite some margin; however, Oxford West was won by the Conservatives and Oxford East by Labour.
As indicated above, the fact that negotiations with the LibDems (and other minor parties) is happening means that voting reform is on the agenda much more than ever before, which must be a good thing.