AN ALTERNATE HISTORY by NASH
“The Last Post” is a counter-factual, or “alternate history” scenario. It is published in weekly instalments here on Things Can Only Get Better. It is a work of fiction, of speculation, and of a certain amount of wish fulfilment. All quotes and references are “in-universe”.
The Preview post can be read here.
Chapter One can be read here
Chapter Two: Election Night
“ ‘Look, Andrew, it’s simply not going to happen,’ said Peter Mandelson. ‘The Tories are going to win. That’s been the position for months – two years – now, and it’s still what’s going to happen one way or another. And I tell you, if the country wakes up on Saturday morning and Labour is still there, there will be a wave of national revulsion’.”
– Andrew Adonis, 2013. 7 Days in May.
“Just as the 2005 election was one we were never going to lose, 2010 was one we were never going to win outright– once the fateful strategic decision was taken to abandon the New Labour position”
– Tony Blair, 2010. The Journey. 
“I was on a bus heading over to a mate’s house when the exit poll must have came through. He was hosting a results “party”, and only I was geeky enough to want to be there for the very first results – BBC padding and all. He texted me the numbers – I texted back “Lib Dems look far too low?” I’d eagerly followed Cleggmania on social media, played around with those three-way swingometers and seen all the pro-Clegg memes. No way would they lose seats I thought. In hindsight its amusing how even the paid professional analysts were equally sceptical, and equally wrong .”
– Edward Groves, Labour activist.
“For weeks the whole Lib Dem election campaign seemed to have been going so well. But the first, unexpected, dark cloud arrived just after 10.00pm when the results of the exit poll were revealed. The shock was that the BBC was projecting Lib Dem seats of under sixty – net losses of seats against our expectations of big gains.
“ ‘What rubbish,’ I scoffed. ‘All that work, and they have got a totally duff result. How can we possibly end up with fewer seats?’.”
– David Laws, 2010. 20 Days in May.
“That night I was in the BBC studios when their extraordinary exit poll came in. It showed that, with just under three hundred seats, the Tories were going to be the largest party. We were pushing them for a close second. The Lib Dems were way down on their post-debate peak, and were predicted to end up with about the same number of seats as in 2005.”
– Peter Mandelson, 2013. The Third Man.
“I’ll run naked down Whitehall if that exit poll is true”
– Iain Dale 
David Dimbleby: “Its been a most exciting unpredictable election for a generation. over the next few hours we’ll discover what’s happened. Welcome to election night, here on the BBC.”
22:00 – EXIT POLL (NOP/MORI)
HUNG PARLIAMENT – CONSERVATIVES LARGEST PARTY
Con 290, Lab 272, Lib 59, Other 29.
David Dimbleby: “The Liberal Democrats, despite all that noise and fury, have actually dropped three seats, which could be one reason why you need to be a bit sceptical about this exit poll.”
Harriet Harman MP: [on a potential Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition] “We need to have a strong and stable government, we need to follow the constitutional conventions”
Michael Gove MP: “Exit polls in the past have sometimes given us rogue results, and so we need to treat it with caution…There’s a comprehensive rejection of Gordon Brown, and a strong vote for change.”
David Dimbleby: “Do you hold out still on achieving a governing majority, of getting the 326, that you need?”
Michael Gove MP: “I absolutely believe that it is possible.”
Vince Cable MP: “These polls have been horribly wrong in the past”
Jeremy Vine: “We can isolate the 116 seats the Conservatives would need to win to gain an overall majority. The 116th is Waveney. All eyes on that one when it’s declared later on.”
Nick Robinson: “The rules say that Gordon Brown is Prime Minister until he resigns.”
Kirsty Wark: “The Lib Dems may still be in a position to form a coalition with Labour… The price will probably be voting reform, the price may be Gordon Brown’s head.”
Jeremy Paxman: “You’re not going to try to hang on to power are you?”
Lord Mandelson: “Well this has been a most unpredictable election throughout”
Jeremy Paxman: “Will you try to form a deal?”
Lord Mandelson: “Lets just wait and see…”
Theresa May MP: “What the result does show is a clear rejection of Gordon Brown”
Ed Davey MP: “What we want, if there is a balanced parliament, is to make sure that financial stability is the bedrock of the government that emerges.”
Lord Mandelson: “There has to be electoral reform as a result of this result”
Piers Morgan: “I do not believe this exit poll, I cannot believe the Lib Dem vote going down”
Jeremy Paxman: “I’m joined now from Hull by Alan Johnson; Alan can you hear me?”
Alan Johnson MP: “I can.”
Jeremy Paxman: “What do you think: should you think about conceding at this point?”
Alan Johnson MP: “No, not at all, not on the back of an exit poll that shows first of all that the Conservatives Big Society has gone nowhere… a big flop…. Lets wait to see how this pans out. Its hung parliament territory, not conceding defeat territory.”
Jeremy Paxman: “If its hung parliament territory, you would have no problem with a deal?”
Alan Johnson MP: “I have no problem at all. Indeed, if the outcome of this election, if the will of the people is that no party has an overall majority – that’s where grown up mature politicians have to be. I can’t see the Liberal Democrats forming a deal with the Conservatives. I certainly can’t see us forming a deal with the Conservatives. Given that on the central issue of how we secure the recovery we have so much in common, and given on electoral reform we have so much in common with the Liberal Democrats; and I’d be delighted to put before the British people a PR/AV+ deal as well. And I think that really is the proper area to talk about. I think we’ve got a lot in common and we could come together on this, but lets wait and see what the outcome is…Its been an intriguing fascinating election, and its still got a few more twists and turns.”
Jeremy Paxman: “But on that basis we would rewrite results of half the elections in that last thirty or forty years wouldn’t we?”
Alan Johnson MP: “Why? Well look, the simple fact is no party’s got a working majority.”
Jeremy Paxman: “Hold on a sec’, by your logic there was an anti-Labour majority in 2005?
Alan Johnson MP: “No no, you’re talking about proportion of the vote, we’re talking about seats. We don’t know that yet. First-past-the-post depends on seats. And we’re told that the virtue, the single biggest virtue of first past the post is it delivers strong governments. And the fact that it disenfranchises people, and is a miserably disempowering system; we’re supposed to put up with that, because it gives us strong government. Well it hasn’t. It hasn’t. And I think there is a real will among the British people to say ‘Let us decide, give us a say in our electoral system’. They’ve never had a say in it; unlike voters in Ireland and France and Germany, the British electorate have never had a say in the system by which they transfer their vote to political power, and its time to do that.
Jeremy Paxman: “OK Alan Johnson, thanks very much indeed.”
Lord Mandelson: “Throughout the entire campaign, never more than 25% have said they would be ‘delighted’ at the prospect of a conservative government, and never fewer than 35% have said that they’re anything other than “dismayed” at the prospect of a Conservative government. And I think what you’re seeing is that yes people are voting for change, but they’re not absolutely sure what change it is that they want, and they’re certainly not sure it is a change to a conservative government governing alone.”
“First to arrive – after a minor detour via the pie counter at a local petrol station – first to claim a sofa. I plonk myself down amongst indecent amounts of crisps and energy drinks, and the slightly misformed dairy-free ‘Election cake’ that was to be my only venture into baking (and technically my most successful) of the year. At this time of night, with no results in, its usually just the talking heads with their pre-scripted spin. Still, time for geeks like us to get all the numbers up on the laptops and to start predicting ‘seats to watch’…”
– Edward Groves, Labour activist.
….HOUGHTON & SUNDERLAND SOUTH – Labour HOLD…….
David Dimbleby: “That first result in there from Sunderland – traditionally one of the first to declare – showing a seven to eight percent swing from Labour to Conservative. A safe seat of course, but if replicated elsewhere that could spell trouble for Mr. Brown…”
“Westminster’s difficulty is Ulster’s opportunity”
– off-record DUP spokesperson.
Douglas Alexander MP: “Its always going to be tough securing a fourth term Labour government. There have only been two four-term governments in the past two hundred years in the United Kingdom…”
Theresa May MP: “I find it absolutely extraordinary, if that exit poll turns out to be correct… there’s a clear rejection of Labour. The idea that having had their worst result since 1931, the idea that the Labour government could somehow try to desperately cling on to office, at a time when trust in politics is at such a low point… People would think that was quite extraordinary for a Labour party to do that.”
David Dimbleby: [on long queues at polling stations beyond closing time] “Its Third World politics and there ought to be an inquiry about it”
Michael Portillo: “Given the size of the economic problems the new government is likely to face; even a small majority is not the comfortable place to be”
Ian Hislop: “It’s the two old parties, more or less neck and neck, with no clear winner at this stage”
…….WASHINGTON & SUNDERLAND WEST – Labour HOLD……..
Bill Cash MP: “Quite frankly I think we’re in speculation territory”
Eric Pickles MP: “Nobody elected Gordon Brown, he hasn’t stood for any kind of election, he’s there as Prime Minister, he’s lost over a hundred seats. There is no way that this man, who has failed this electoral task can possibly contemplate forming a government.”
Simon Hughes MP: “We are clear what we want, and that’s the policy outcomes.”
George Osborne MP: “Britain needs a change of government.”
..……SUNDERLAND CENTRAL – Labour HOLD………..
George Osborne MP: “The idea of Gordon Brown and the Labour party clinging on to power after being so decisively rejected would frankly shock many people.”
Jeremy Paxman: “If the people of this country have decisively not chosen Gordon Brown as their Prime Minister, its time for someone else to lead your party isn’t it?”
David Miliband MP: “We’ve got a very strong leader of our party, we’ve got a very strong team of which I’m privileged to be a part, and we’ve got a very strong programme. At this stage I think we’ve got enough excitement with the results coming in and the poll that you’ve got…”
Jeremy Paxman: “Its Gordon Brown or bust is it?”
David Miliband MP: “Absolutely. He’s our leader of our party, he’s led that.. I think most people would accept that Gordon really found his voice, especially towards the end of the campaign, er, the authentic Gordon Brown, fighting for fairness, in the last days of the campaign. And I think its very important that if indeed there is an injunction from the people for a new type of politics, that involves politicians talking to each other, then I think we should do that.”
CON 0, LAB 3, LIB DEM 0, OTH 0
BREAKING NEWS: Gordon Brown leaves for Kircaldy count
“The prime ministerial convoy left Ferryhills Road at midnight for the half-hour journey to Gordon Brown’s constituency count… Gordon was working in the back of the car on the critical passage of his acceptance speech on the national picture… We rehearsed different lines and settled on the imperative for ‘strong, stable and principled government’ – ‘strong and stable’ meaning a coalition, not a minority Tory government, and ‘principled’ implying an agreement between like-minded parties, i.e. Labour and the Lib Dems.”
– Andrew Adonis, 2013. 7 Days in May.
BREAKING NEWS: David Cameron leaves for Witney count.
BREAKING NEWS: Gordon Brown arrives at Kircaldy count.
Ken Clarke MP: “It would be a complete travesty if Gordon Brown were to continue as Prime Minister, because he’s clearly been rejected and lost all authority to govern.”
……WEST TYRONE – Sinn Fein HOLD……….NORTH ANTRIM – DUP HOLD….
Jeremy Paxman: “Are you really proposing to keep Gordon Brown in Downing Street?”
Danny Alexander MP: “What we’re proposing to do is listen to what the voters are saying in this election. At the moment we’re getting a great deal of election speculation from the other two parties, we’re getting an arrogant sense from the Conservatives that they should somehow inherit power…”
…….BELFAST EAST – Alliance GAIN from DUP… DURHAM NORTH – Labour HOLD……….THORNBURY & YATE – Lib Dem HOLD……….DARLINGTON – Labour HOLD……….ARFON – Plaid Cymru GAIN from Labour………
David Dimbleby: “Peter Robinson there, leader of the Democratic Unionists, has lost his seat. He remains of course a member of the Northern Irish Assembly, but will no longer represent his party in Westminster. A gain for the Alliance…”
BREAKING NEWS: David Cameron arrives at Witney count.
…..KINGSWOOD – Conservative GAIN from Labour…….
David Dimbleby: “So the Conservatives taking Kingswood there on a massive swing, nearly nine percent. It wasn’t on their target list, but they’ll be pleased nonetheless…”
CON 1, LAB 5, LIB DEM 1, OTH 5
…….RUTHERGLEN – Labour HOLD…..UPPER BANN – DUP HOLD……EASINGTON – Labour HOLD…..BROXBOURNE – Conservative HOLD……
Nick Robinson: “Its just about possible, with the swings to the Conservatives that we’ve seen in Kingswood and in the safe Labour seats in Sunderland, that David Cameron could be on course for a majority. What that depends upon is that swing being uniform across the country…”
Lord Ashdown: “I think your exit poll is rubbish, I think it underestimated the Lib Dems, and I think it underestimated the Conservatives. I don’t think we’re in for a hung parliament, I think we’re in for a small majority.”
…..TORBAY – Lib Dem HOLD….PUTNEY – Conservative HOLD………NORTH DOWN – Independent GAIN from UUP……
…..MOTHERWELL & WISHAW – Labour HOLD…….SEDGEFIELD – Labour HOLD……FILTON – Conservative HOLD……
Nick Robinson: “There’s strong speculation at the moment that Gordon Brown might be trying to make a deal with the Liberal Democrats for some kind of coalition or pact. Word is that’s being suggested to us by unnamed Downing Street sources…”
Alastair Campbell: “If Labour and the Liberals could do a deal, and if the Tories can’t form a government, then that’s obviously an option that people are going to look at… Britain is a progressive country – it doesn’t really want a Conservative government.”
………..VALE OF CLWYD – Labour HOLD…….
Nick Robinson: “What Labour are saying tonight to the Liberal Democrats is come to us; we want to do a deal. Whether the numbers will allow them to do that is another matter”
….YNYS MON – Labour HOLD…….BELFAST WEST – Sinn Fein HOLD….
Vernon Bogdanor: “The strains between England and Scotland are very much likely to increase as a result of this election”
…..EAST KILBRIDE – Labour HOLD…..
David Blunkett MP: “My instinct is that we regrettably have lost the election, but that we should go for uniting the anti-Conservative forces, if we are in opposition, in a way which reduces to a minimum the damage they can do to our economy, to our social policy, to the well-being of the people who have voted for us in the election yesterday.”
……FIFE NORTH EAST – Lib Dem HOLD………CITY OF DURHAM – Labour HOLD.…..KIRKCALDY & COWDENBEATH – Labour HOLD……..
“The outcome is not yet known, but it is my duty to play my part in creating a strong a stable government”
– Prime Minister Gordon Brown,Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath constituency declaration.
CON 4, LAB 14, LIB DEM 3, OTH 8
…….BATTERSEA – Conservative GAIN from Labour……MIDDLESBROUGH – Labour HOLD……LLANELLI – Labour HOLD……TELFORD – Labour HOLD…….CLWYD SOUTH – Labour HOLD…….YEOVIL – Lib Dem HOLD…….NA H-EILEANAN AN IAR – SNP HOLD…….DURHAM NORTH WEST – Labour HOLD……EAST ANTRIM – DUP HOLD…..ISLWYN – Labour HOLD…….
“…a majority of 13,876, the largest in the one-hundred-year history of the Yeovil constituency. I was absolutely delighted and made my acceptance speech from the stage of the Westland Centre, thanking our hard-working team that had run one of the best Lib Dem local campaigns in Britain… It was a good night for the Lib Dems of Somerset”
– David Laws, 2010. 20 Days in May.
Nick Robinson: “It’s quite possible of course, that Gordon Brown could step aside, allowing someone else to become Labour leader and to form a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition…”
……LANARK & HAMILTON EAST – Labour HOLD……EAST LOTHIAN – Labour HOLD……….RUSHCLIFFE – Conservative HOLD…………… …….CHRISTCHURCH – Conservative HOLD………THE WREKIN – Conservative HOLD………..CLACTON – Conservative HOLD……….BELFAST SOUTH – SDLP HOLD…………TOOTING – Labour HOLD……… DUNDEE WEST – Labour HOLD………GUILDFORD – Conservative HOLD…….GLENROTHES – Labour HOLD………BEDFORDSHIRE SW – Conservative HOLD…………WREXHAM – Labour HOLD………SEVENOAKS – Conservative HOLD……….
“YES WE KHAN, YES WE KHAN! YES WE KHAN!”
– Cheers of Labour supporters at the Tooting constituency declaration
Ed Miliband MP: “I’ve no idea really, to be completely honest. It’s one of those things where the people have spoken but we don’t know exactly what they’ve said”
…..KILMARNOCK & LOUDOUN – Labour HOLD…….NEWBURY – Conservative HOLD……..GEDLING – Labour HOLD…….
Ed Miliband MP: “People have voted in a majority for a reform of our voting system.”
01:45 – 58 seats declared
CON 13, LAB 30, LIB DEM 4, OTH 11
……BLANEU GWENT – Labour GAIN from Independent………COATBRIDGE – Labour HOLD………..FALKIRK – Labour HOLD………CANTERBURY – Conservative HOLD……..ANGUS – SNP HOLD………….STAFFORDSHIRE SOUTH – Conservative HOLD……..EXETER – Labour HOLD……….DUMFERMLINE & WEST FIFE – Labour GAIN from Lib Dem……..
CON 15, LAB 33, LIB DEM 4, OTH 12
…..GLASGOW EAST – Labour GAIN from SNP……..LOUGHBOROUGH – Conservative GAIN from Labour………NORFOLK SOUTH – Conservative HOLD………..INVERCLYDE – Labour HOLD……….NEWPORT EAST – Labour HOLD………CASTLE POINT – Conservative HOLD………..BARNSLEY CENTRAL – Labour HOLD……….KETTERING – Conservative HOLD……….HALTON – Labour HOLD……..CUMBERNAULD – Labour HOLD……
Jeremy Paxman: “Barnoness Warsi, you’re not doing very well are you?”
Baroness Warsi: “We’re on course to win more seats than any party since the nineteen-thirties. Labour are on course to lose more seats than at any time since the nineteen-thirties…”
Jeremy Paxman: “But on our projection you haven’t won a majority?”
Baroness Warsi: “Look, we don’t know that yet, its quite possible that David Cameron will be Prime Minister of a majority Conservative government. What is clear is that Labour have lost this election and have lost their mandate to govern…”
……LIVINGSTON – Labour HOLD……RIBBLE VALLEY – Conservative HOLD…………PAISLEY & RENFREW S – Labour HOLD…….ABERCONWY – Con GAIN from Labour………..DUNDEE EAST – SNP HOLD………HERTFORD & STORTFORD – Con HOLD……….
Lord Falconer: “If the Tories miss 326 by a significant amount, then what are the public saying to the Tories?”
…….AIRDRIE & SHOTTS – Labour HOLD……..BISHOP AUCKLAND – Labour HOLD……..CHARNWOOD – Conservative HOLD…….
CON 23, LAB 44, LIB DEM 4, OTH 13
……SWANSEA EAST – Labour HOLD………DEVON EAST – Conservative HOLD……….WORCESTERSHIRE MID – Conservative HOLD……..GLASGOW CENTRAL –Labour HOLD……….VALE OF GLAMORGAN – Conservative GAIN from Labour…….MONTGOMERYSHIRE – Conservative GAIN from Liberal Democrat……….. DORSET WEST – Conservative HOLD……..FOYLE – SDLP HOLD………..LEICESTERSHIRE NW – Conservative GAIN from Labour…………NUNEATON – Conservative GAIN from Labour……TAMWORTH – Conservative GAIN from Labour…..BOLTON NORTH EAST – Labour HOLD……..STIRLING – Labour HOLD…….STOCKTON NORTH – Labour HOLD…………..MIDLOTHIAN – Labour HOLD………..LINLITHGOW & FALKIRK – Labour HOLD…….CAERPHILLY – Labour HOLD………..PAISLEY & RENFREW N – Labour HOLD………FOLKESTONE & HYTHE – Conservative HOLD…….CHESHAM & AMERSHAM – Conservative HOLD…………CEREDIGION – Lib Dem HOLD………BASILDON SOUTH & THURROCK EAST – Conservative GAIN from Labour……HIGH PEAK – Conservative GAIN from Labour…….CARMARTHEN EAST – Plaid Cymru HOLD……..HULL WEST & HESSLE – Labour HOLD……..CITY OF CHESTER – Conservative GAIN from Labour…….
“At this point seats were coming in thick and fast. Its deceptive, because Labour seats, being smaller and more urban, tend to declare earlier. So you get a running seat tally that looks like Labour are ahead. Obviously that would change later when the Shires came in. What’s more, over half the seats in the country never change hands even in landslide years, so you just get loads being declared ‘Labour HOLD’, ‘Conservative HOLD’, and so on. To work out which ones are significant defences, or which actually make a difference; you have to either trust the commentators, or keep one eye on your own copy of the party’s target lists. which we did…”
– Edward Groves, Labour Activist.
Editor of the Financial Times: “All this hype about the ‘sky falling in’ if there’s a hung parliament; its just scaremongering. The markets will cope, this is manageable.”
………..OGMORE – Labour HOLD……HERTSMORE – Conservative HOLD……SWANSEA WEST – Labour HOLD…….HEMEL HEMPSTEAD – Conservative HOLD………NOTTINGHAM NORTH – Labour HOLD………..AYLESBURY – Conservative HOLD………
Director of the CBI: “The markets have been very stable….Clearly there is a crisis in the bond markets, in sovereign debts.”
…….GLASGOW NORTH – Labour HOLD…….PERTH & N PERTHSHIRE – SNP HOLD……..BRAINTREE – Conservative HOLD……
Andrew Neil: “It looks like we’ll either have a minority Conservative government, or a centre-left coalition. Now both must bring question marks over how you’re going to cut this massive deficit because decisions are going to be painful.”
……….SOMERTON & FROME – Lib Dem HOLD……..
Editor of the Financial Times: “Cuts in public services, wage freezes, all of this is going to have to be part of the package”
Director of the CBI :“We’re not Greece”
BREAKING NEWS: Price of Government bonds rises, GBP up against USD.
……GRAVESHAM – Conservative HOLD……..DWYFOR MEIRIONNYDD – Plaid Cymru HOLD……….DERBYSHIRE NORTH EAST – Labour HOLD……
Nick Robinson: “It seems like the markets are already betting on a Conservative victory, and that’s also the narrative that the Tories are keen to establish…”
CON 41, LAB 59, LIB DEM 6, OTH 17
……EASTLEIGH – Lib Dem HOLD…..
David Dimbleby: “Chris Huhne, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson and former leadership contender holds his seat there. The Tories had hoped to take Eastleigh, but he’s returned with a much increased majority. It’ll be interesting to see what his fate is in the new parliament…”
…….EASTBOURNE – Lib Dem GAIN from Conservative…….RENFREWSHIRE EAST – Labour HOLD……..PENDLE – Conservative GAIN from Labour………..STAFFORD – Conservative GAIN from Labour…….HARROGATE – Conservative GAIN from Liberal Democrat………EREWASH – Conservative GAIN from Labour………BLACKPOOL SOUTH – Labour HOLD…….YORKSHIRE EAST – Conservative HOLD…….DUNBARTONSHIRE WEST – Labour HOLD………SUFFOLK CENTRAL – Conservative HOLD………..MERTHYR TYDFIL – Labour HOLD……..TOTNES – Conservative HOLD……..BELFAST NORTH – DUP HOLD………….NEWPORT WEST – Labour HOLD…… WORKINGTON – Labour HOLD…..GLASGOW SOUTH WEST – Labour HOLD…….. …..BARNSLEY EAST – Labour HOLD…..EDINBURGH EAST – Labour HOLD……LICHFIELD – Conservative HOLD……HARTLEPOOL – Labour HOLD……WYRE & PRESTON NORTH – Conservative HOLD…….
William Hague MP: “For Gordon Brown, a Prime Minister who was never elected in the first place remember, to try after being emphatically rejected by the country in this election, to hang on with a new pact with the Liberals; I think that really would be a shameless piece of politics”
……..DON VALLEY – Labour HOLD………BEVERLEY & HOLDERNESS – Conservative HOLD………KNOWSLEY – Labour HOLD…….
CON 51, LAB 71, LIB DEM 8, OTH 18
David Dimbleby: “And we’re hearing that there’s to be yet another recount in Birmingham Edgbaston. The Conservatives only need a two percent swing to take that one, number thirty-five on their target list, definitely one of the kind of seats they would need to take to gain a majority… Gisela Stuart a very popular local MP, known for being independent-minded, which could make their task more difficult…”
WESTON-SUPER-MARE – Conservative HOLD……..THANET NORTH – Conservative HOLD………..BEXHILL & BATTLE – Conservative HOLD……….SUFFOLK COASTAL – Conservative HOLD………GRANTHAM & STAMFORD – Conservative HOLD………..CARDIFF SOUTH – Labour HOLD……………BOSTON & SKEGNESS – Conservative HOLD…………DERBYSHIRE SOUTH – Conservative GAIN from Labour……………..BLACKPOOL NORTH – Conservative GAIN from Labour………TAUNTON DEANE – Lib Dem HOLD………….SPELTHORNE – Conservative HOLD…………SOMERSET NORTH – Conservative HOLD……….BOSWORTH – Conservative HOLD…..BRACKNELL – Conservative HOLD…..BROXTOWE –Labour HOLD……..
David Dimbleby: “Broxtow in Nottinghamshire a Labour hold. Nick Palmer the MP there, Forty-second on the Conservatives target list and one they’ve failed to take..”
“Every time the Tories failed to take one of our seats there was a muffled cheer in the room. It was like a kind of Pyrrhic victory. In our hearts we’d probably all accepted months ago that Labour would lose, but there was a grim satisfaction in thinking that we might – just – deny the Tories a majority of their own. Exactly what we thought would come next, I don’t know, but that was our silver lining, our straws to clutch at furiously…”
– Edward Groves, Labour Activist.
“I left the Westland Centre in Yeovil with the news that in Somerset we were doing much better than could have been expected – taking four of the five seats and increasing our majorities in all our existing seats. This all seemed consistent with a nationwide ‘Clegg bounce’ from the general election leader debates and I expected to hear reports of similarly good results from across the county. But the results I was hearing on the radio seemed anything but good… There was a silver lining, however: no party appeared to be achieving its objectives. Labour had clearly lost power, but the Conservatives looked like finishing well short of an overall majority. Increasingly it looked as if what we lacked in seats we would make up for in influence.”
– David Laws, 2010. 20 Days in May.
…….WITNEY – Conservative HOLD…………
“The Labour Government has lost its mandate to govern our country… The county wants change. That change requires new leadership”
– David Cameron, Witney constituency declaration.
CON 74, LAB 81, LIB DEM 9, Others 21
To be continued…