So Dimbleby has disappeared from my screen (meh), as have Vine (hurrah!) and Alix (bah!). Things I have learned tonight:
1. I contributed today to the re-election of Sian Reid by quite some margin. So hooray. Not that I’m surprised – the only other party who bothered to deliver leaflets to me and my friends were the Tories. The best claim “In Touch” could make for representing students was “supporting” CUSU’s Access campaign. Pfft. Don’t get complacent, now, Sian.
2. The Lib Dems apparently exist in some kind of parallel universe whereby we compete in an electoral vacuum. This seems to me to be the only possible explanation of the BBC’s logic. In 2004, when these seats were last contested, we were riding the wave of anti-Iraq war protest votes, the Tories were steadily recovering but not exactly looking great, and Labour were deeply unpopular. This was, in short, prime Lib Dem electoral territory.
4 years later, the Tories are having a resurgence, and the Iraq war has died down. Apparently, therefore, a drop of 4% in our vote is a reason to berate us. This, despite the fact that we’ve just MADE NET GAINS IN COUNCILLORS, AND MAINTAINED OUR LEAD OVER LABOUR IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUSHING THEM INTO 3RD PLACE FOR ONLY THE SECOND TIME IN MODERN POLITICAL HISTORY.
Yes, you heard me: We, the supposed third party of British politics, have just beaten Labour, the supposed party of government of British politics, into third place on projected national share of the vote. We’re doing pretty bloody well. And yet, in the BBC’s logic, we are to be berated because we’re not doing as well as a time when we did even better.
3. The Lib Dems got rid of Ming Campbell because we got 26% in the 2007 local elections. Which is funny, because I could have sworn I remembered something about poll numbers in October at around 13%, a terminal slump, and a media determined to sideline Ming, plus a bottled snap elecction. Must have been an idle daydream. You live and learn.
4. The BBC’s “projected national share of the vote”, when fed into their magic general election machine, gives Labour about 159 MPs and Lib Dems about 56 (if I remember correctly). This, lest you forget, off the back of Labour 24% of the vote, Lib Dems 25%. As fucking ludicrous as our electoral system is, even I have to conclude that the BBC’s election predicting machine has some pretty robust assumptions built into it.
Thank goodness for Alix, or I might have felt like I was going a bit bonkers.