Friday, 7 May 2010

Election night ramblings

Surprising exit poll; nobody knows what it means. I'm glad I went early today as it looks as though some people are having to queue. I'm curious to know what will happen in my constituency; it has been a very safe Labour seat, but the sitting MP has retired, and there have been some boundary changes, and I've heard a lot from the LibDems, including a man at the station this morning handing out leaflets and asking me whether I'd voted. He looked very excited and happy.

My ballot for the local elections was a bit strange with multiple candidates for some parties; I haven't kept up to speed with the changes of system for local elections and wasn't sure what to make of it. Distributing my three crosses among the parties I broadly agree with or think ought to be heard, still left me with a choice of three potential local councillors for the same party, and no real basis on which to make it. The names were rather similar and I couldn't remember which of them had left me the mildly persuasive leaflet, so I think I chose more or less at random. Minor parties on offer included a Christian and a Trades Unionist.

Early results are totally meaningless, since they're always very safe constituencies - the characteristics of those mean they get counted fast. Am I really going to stay up? The trouble with election night coverage is that the first three or four hours are so dreadfully boring. What is this channel, anyway? It hasn't even got a swingometer. In fact all the channels seem very unimaginative so far, in presentation. Come on. Manga-style Hansen and Lineker for the World Cup, and this silly glass desk for a General Election? Why am I watching this stuff?

In a few minutes the FT website will be doing a 'markets live', which should be fun after the very wierd evening they've already had, what with all those implausible theories about why the Dow was doing backflips. More fun than the telly anyway.

The BBC man has Ian McKellen ... and now Joan Collins. That looks like the bar in Television Centre, full of Celebs - I'm watching with the sound off - and now someone who looks like Vladimir Putin's younger brother and who I am presumably expected to recognise. I don't.

It's a problem if people didn't get to vote because they were there on time but the polling stations did the wrong thing or hadn't planned for an unexpected turnout. That could take some serious sorting out. I think if you turn up before the close, you are supposed to be allowed to vote; not letting people vote is just wrong, a procedural error. If it happens in marginals I suppose they might even have to hold some of them again.

Antidote of the day: Neanderthal genes survive: I once attended a lecture by Professor Stringer in which he said that he thought that most probably, Neanderthals had left no genetic legacy of interbreeding, for one reason or another. But (although Professor Stringer did not say this) given the length of time over which the two species coexisted, no one who knows anything at all about homo sapiens could possibly believe for one moment that it wasn't tried. I'm glad to think we didn't exterminate all trace of them.


Mark said...

From what I can see on the BBC website it does seem to have been a bit of a shambles. Just supports my theory that the country has been going to the dogs for years.

is doing a reasonable job of presenting results without irritating talking heads, Z-list celebs etc.

I won't bother to sit and watch any more. It's tango time :-) Will check again when I get back in 4-5 hours...

Andreas said...

At least you got to see Ian McKellen.

OwenMc said...

Timely comment on the Neanderthals - The Economist has a piece about them this week too :-)

Hope you've had a good night's sleep since that post :-)