The Last Post: Chapter Three

AN ALTERNATE HISTORY by NASH

Johnson B+W

“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”.

Previous chapters are indexed here.

Chapter Three: Election Night (part two)

03:00

BBC

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Election 2010

CON 74, LAB 81, LIB DEM 9, OTH 21

David Dimbleby “There’s no sense of real drama. Its just everyone biting their nails and waiting, waiting, waiting…”

……MORAY – SNP HOLD…… SOUTH SHIELDS – Labour HOLD……… SURREY SOUTH WEST – Conservative HOLD………. STRANGFORD – DUP HOLD…. GOWER – Labour HOLD……… CHELMSFORD – Conservative HOLD……. GLASGOW SOUTH – Labour HOLD……. JARROW – Labour HOLD……. ULSTER MID – Sinn Fein HOLD…….. SUFFOLK WEST – Conservative HOLD….. SCARBOROUGH & WHITBY – Conservative HOLD……. SUTTON COLDFIELD – Conservative HOLD……… EDDISBURY – Conservative HOLD……… CAMBRIDGESHIRE SOUTH – Conservative HOLD….. BEDFORDSHIRE MID – Conservative HOLD……… HAVANT – Conservative HOLD…… NOTTINGHAM SOUTH – Labour HOLD……. BRIDGEND – Labour HOLD……. WITHAM – Conservative HOLD…….. ABERAVON – Labour HOLD……. ALYN & DEESIDE – Labour HOLD……. DOVER – Conservative GAIN from Labour……. DONCASTER NORTH – Labour HOLD……DELYN – Labour HOLD……. EDINBURGH SOUTH WEST – Labour HOLD…….. NEATH – Labour HOLD………… SOUTH DOWN – SDLP HOLD………. LEWES – Liberal Democrat HOLD……… BOLTON SOUTH EAST – Labour HOLD…….. ISLE OF WIGHT – Conservative HOLD……….. RHONDDA – Labour HOLD……..

John Simpson: [on the Brown entourage] “It’s slipping away, and I think they can feel it slipping away… That speech when he was elected had a very elegiac sound to it, I think, recounting all his achievements in office. I think [Brown] is fully prepared to go…”

……..GLASGOW NORTH WEST – Labour HOLD…….

“ ‘I need you all in No 10 in the morning’, Gordon said. ‘It’s business as usual, and we need to get talks going with the Liberals as soon as possible.’… The immediate resignation statement – one of three drafted – was left untouched. Work started instead on a statement opening negotiations with the Lib Dems.”

Andrew Adonis, 2013. 7 Days in May.

David Dimbleby: “I suppose Nick, there’s no way that Gordon Brown might step down and make way for another leader, a different leader of the Labour Party? Because if he is deflated, demoralised by the campaign, feels like that rather valedictory speech, that he can’t do much more; do you think there’s any way he might, er, let the Labour Party say, lets have another leader, who can talk more easily to Mr Clegg?”

…..NEW FOREST EAST – Conservative HOLD……

Nick Robinson: “Well I think the argument’s built into his own words. He says he wants a stable government. If there were an offer in effect for a stable government with the Liberal Democrats, but not him, involving another leader, he would have to by his own words recognise that..”

David Dimbleby: “So Nick Clegg could say to him, ‘look I said to you during the campaign, you’re finished, if you didn’t get a majority, but I could do a deal with someone else, because we are the progressive left and we must stick together…”

Nick Robinson: “Perfectly possible, although hugely controversial, as that new figure, that new Prime Minister, if they happened that way, would not have stood in the debates.”

…….CLWYD WEST – Conservative HOLD…….. ROTHERVALLEY – Labour HOLD……. HENLEY – Conservative HOLD…….. LOUTH & HORNCASTLE – Conservative HOLD…….. RUNNYMEDE & WEYBRIDGE – Conservative HOLD…….. DUNBARTONSHIRE EAST – Liberal Democrat HOLD……… HAMPSHIRE EAST – Conservative HOLD…….. WORCESTERSHIRE WEST –Conservative HOLD…….. CARDIFF CENTRAL – Liberal Democrat HOLD……. BRECON & READNORSHIRE – Liberal Democrat HOLD……. GLASGOW NORTH EAST – Labour HOLD……

Dr Liam Fox MP: “I think its very clear that the public have voted for change, and I think its clear that Labour have lost.”

David Miliband MP: “If indeed no party has won an absolute majority, then it seems to me perfectly reasonable and right that parties should talk to each other to see if they can find common ground to establish a strong and stable government. There’s no harm in that; it’s a good thing to do when the voters have clearly not embraced any of us and given us the absolute majority we sought.”

………BOURNEMOUTH WEST – Conservative HOLD……….. DONCASTER CENTRAL – Labour HOLD……….. HARLOW – Conservative GAIN from Labour……..

Jeremy Paxman: “Nick Clegg made it quite clear, did he not, that the first option to form a government should be given to the party with the largest number of seats?”

……..WYCOMBE – Conservative HOLD……….. EDINBURGH NORTH – Labour HOLD……… THANET SOUTH – Conservative HOLD…….NOTTINGHAM EAST – Labour HOLD……..WELLINGBOROUGH – Conservative HOLD…….. NEWTON ABBOT – Liberal Democrat HOLD[1]………..

03:20

CON 90, LAB 94, LIB DEM 14, OTH 23

……..LUTON NORTH – Labour HOLD……… BIRMINGHAM LADYWOOD – Labour HOLD……….. WENTWORTH DEARNE – Labour HOLD…………. BEDFORDSHIRE NE – Conservative HOLD……….. MANSFIELD – Labour HOLD………. TUNBRIDGE – Conservative HOLD…………. NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE C – Labour HOLD…………. OXFORD EAST – Labour HOLD…………. SUFFOLK SOUTH – Conservative HOLD……. DARTFORD – Conservative GAIN from Labour……..WELWYN HATFIELD – Conservative HOLD………..DERBYSHIRE DALES – Conservative HOLD………FYLDE – Conservative HOLD………….WANTAGE – Conservative HOLD……

Vernon Bogdanor: “I don’t believe that the Conservative Party would accept a referendum on the electoral system. This a trump for Gordon Brown – he can promise that, and force the Conservatives to do so.”

……AYRSHIRE CENTRAL – Labour HOLD…….. BOGNOR REGIS – Conservative HOLD…….

BREAKING NEWS: Nick Clegg leaves for Sheffield count.

……..EPSOM & EWELL – Conservative HOLD………. CREWE & NANTWICH – Conservative WIN (HOLD from by-election)……..

David Dimbleby: “Epsom and Ewell – shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling re-elected comfortably there. He courted controversy before the election, remember by suggesting that B&B owners should be free to turn away gay couples…. Understandably he’s had something of a low profile in this campaign. It’ll be interesting to see if he becomes Home Secretary in a Conservative minority government….. Crewe and Nantwich, a hold from the 2009 by-election, but technically a gain from 2005…”

……DEVON NORTH – Liberal Democrat HOLD……… SURREY EAST – Conservative HOLD……… LINCOLN – Labour HOLD[2]…. BEDFORD – Labour HOLD[3]……

David Dimbleby: “A few potentially significant results – Devon North, the Liberal Democrats doing very well in the Westcountry tonight, holding off Conservative advances. Also Lincoln, 89th on the Conservative target list, and Bedford, 71st on the list – both seats remain held by Labour…”

Nick Robinson: “Yes, it looks like its seats like this that might be about to cost David Cameron a majority…”

……BOURNMOUTH EAST – Conservative HOLD……. CARDIFF WEST – Labour HOLD………. ROTHERHAM  – Labour HOLD………. NEWARK – Conservative HOLD……… TORFAEN – Labour HOLD……

“ ‘Is a deal still possible?’ Nick Robinson texted me at 3.26 a.m. ‘ I assume phones are already buzzing between parties.’ ‘Everything looks possible’ I texted back.”

– Andrew Adonis, 2013. 7 Days in May.

03:30

CON 104, LAB 106, LIB DEM 15, OTH 23

“Just before mobiles had to be switched off on the plane for take-off at 3.30am., there were reports of several narrow holds. ‘That’s good organisation on the ground, that is,’ GB remarked casually. He remained confident and gave an upbeat briefing to journalists on the back of the plane…”

– Andrew Adonis, 2013. 7 Days in May.

……..RICHMOND (YORKSHIRE) – Conservative HOLD…… BURNLEY – Liberal Democrat GAIN from Labour……… CYNON VALLEY – Labour HOLD……….. ASHFORD – Conservative HOLD………….. NEWRY & ARMAGH – Sinn Fein HOLD……….. MALDON – Conservative HOLD………. BURY ST EDMONDS – Conservative HOLD…….. SCUNTHORPE – Labour HOLD……… BOLSOVER – Labour HOLD……… BATH – Liberal Democrat HOLD…….. REIGATE – Conservative HOLD……….. EPPING FOREST – Conservative HOLD………. EDINBURGH WEST – Liberal Democrat HOLD……….. SURREY HEATH – Conservative HOLD…………. MAIDSTONE & THE WEALD – Conservative HOLD……… PONTYPRIDD – Labour HOLD………. CAITHNESS – Liberal Democrat HOLD………. HERTS NORTH EAST – Conservative HOLD…………… AYR CARRICK – Labour HOLD…………. CAMBRIDGESHIRE NE – Conservative HOLD……….. HAMPSHIRE NORTH WEST – Conservative HOLD……….. BERWICKSHIRE – Liberal Democrat HOLD…………. WEALDEN – Conservative HOLD……….. HASTINGS & RYE – Conservative GAIN from Labour……….CARLISLE –Labour HOLD[4]………….. TATTON – Conservative HOLD……… SOUTH RIBBLE – Conservative GAIN from Labour……

03:45

CON 119, LAB 112, LIB DEM 21, OTH 24

…….MOLE VALLEY – Conservative HOLD……..ABERDEEN SOUTH – Labour HOLD…….PLMOUTH MORE VIEW – Labour HOLD………NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE E – Labour HOLD……….BRISTOL WEST – Liberal Democrat HOLD……… MAKERFIELD – Labour HOLD………. WILTSHIRE SOUTH WEST – Conservative HOLD………ROCHDALE – Labour HOLD……. CRAWLEY – Conservative GAIN from Labour……. NORFOLK NORTH – Liberal Democrat HOLD………. ROMSEY & SOUTHAMPTON N – Conservative GAIN from Liberal Democrat………. GAINSBOROUGH – Conservative HOLD…….

BREAKING NEWS: Nick Clegg arrives at Sheffield count

……….BLAYDON – Labour HOLD………BRENTWOOD & ONGAR – Conservative HOLD………. SOUTHPORT – Liberal Democrat HOLD……… FOREST OF DEAN – Conservative HOLD………. DUMFRIESSHIRE – Conservative HOLD……….. AYRSHIRE NORTH – Labour HOLD…….. ASHFIELD – Labour HOLD…….

BBC psephologist: “Time and again we’re seeing these differential swings in different constituencies, making it quite difficult to fully project a national picture… It really is quite fascinating…”

…….REDCAR – Liberal Democrat GAIN from Labour……… ALDRIDGE-BROWNHILLS – Conservative HOLD………. NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE N – Labour HOLD…….. MONMOUTH – Conservative HOLD………. SHREWSBURY & ATCHAM – Conservative HOLD……….. NORFOLK MID – Conservative HOLD……….. ESHER & WALTON – Conservative HOLD……… BEACONSFIELD – Conservative HOLD……….. CARMARTHEN WEST – Conservative GAIN from LABOUR……….. SOUTH HOLLAND & DEEPINGS – Conservative HOLD………… BANFF & BUCHAN – SNP HOLD…….. CLEETHORPES – Conservative GAIN from Labour……. STOKE-ON-TRENT NORTH – Labour HOLD……… DERBY SOUTH – Labour HOLD……..

“At one point I’m fairly sure that Dimbleby referred to the BNP as ‘the National Front’. An intentional slip perhaps? The again, he was quite clearly knackered. How he managed that live marathon I have no idea… We were all off our tits on caffeine and we were still dozing off. All those seats, all of them ‘hold’s…”

– Edward Groves, Labour Activist.

……..LEICESTER WEST – Labour HOLD……. SOMERSET NORTH EAST – Conservative HOLD……… BLACKBURN – Labour HOLD…… STONE – Conservative HOLD………DEVON CENTRAL – Conservative HOLD…….. DEVIZES – Conservative HOLD………. STOCKTON SOUTH –Labour HOLD[5]……

“ ‘Coalition of losers’: Term associated with potential Labour-Liberal Democrat post-election deals in the run-up to the 2010 election, likely coined by the Conservative Party press office.. Grounded in the assumption that the two parties would place 2nd and 3rd in seats and votes. With successful coalitions under similar circumstances being common and uncontroversial in continental Europe, the term failed to gain traction in the post-election spin, despite frequent repetition.”

– Kier Robinson, 2018. An Encyclopaedia of Recent British Political History.

……LUDLOW – Conservative HOLD……….. GATESHEAD – Labour HOLD………… NEW FOREST WEST – Conservative HOLD……… PETERBOROUGH – Conservative HOLD………..STRATFORD-ON-AVON – Conservative HOLD……….. MACCLESFIELD – Conservative HOLD……. WYRE FOREST – Conservative GAIN from Independent…….

04:07

CON 146, LAB 127, LIB DEM 25

……BURTON – Conservative GAIN from Labour…….. HERTS SOUTH WEST – Conservative HOLD…….. THE COTSWOLDS – Conservative HOLD……. DERBYSHIRE MID – Conservative HOLD………DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY – Labour HOLD………. CHICHESTER – Conservative HOLD…….. SITTINGBOURNE – Conservative HOLD…….. WARLEY – Labour HOLD……

 

Nick Robinson: “The Tories will be building a moral case for David Cameron as Prime Minister, but they’ll be wondering where the votes will come from in Parliament.”

…….WEST BROMWICH EAST – Labour HOLD……. ABERDEEN WEST – Liberal Democrat HOLD………. HEREFORD SOUTH – Conservative GAIN from Liberal Democrat…….. BIRMINGHAM ERDINGTON – Labour HOLD…….. NORTHAMPTONSHIRE SOUTH – Conservative HOLD……. DERBY NORTH – Labour HOLD…….. WIGAN – Labour HOLD

“Ed Balls’ seat was the one to watch apparently. All I knew about the guy at the time was his slightly giggle-inducing name. He was also a Brownite – not that that means much anymore. Loads of Ashcroft money had gone into the seat, and the Tories wanted their reverse ‘Portillo moment’. I know a lot of the blogs at the time speculated that the Tories feared Balls most as a Leader of the Opposition. Maybe that was why they wanted him out of parliament? On the other hand, was he not caricatured as Mini-Brown? In any case, Dimbleby and Robinson were waffling on about it non-stop. Perhaps in the absence of any genuinely exciting developments…”

Edward Groves, Labour Activist.

………ST ALBANS – Conservative HOLD……… CARSHALTON – Liberal Democrat HOLD……….. WILTSHIRE NORTH – Conservative HOLD….. BRISTOL EAST – Labour HOLD……….. GREAT GRIMSBY – Labour HOLD ……….EDMONTON – Labour HOLD…….. INVERNESS – Liberal Democrat HOLD…….. NORTHAMPTON SOUTH – Conservative GAIN from Labour…………. OCHIL & S PERTHSHIRE – Labour HOLD……..SLEAFORD & N HYKEHAM – Conservative HOLD……… CORBY – Conservative GAIN…………. HYNDBURN – Labour HOLD……….. TONBRIDGE & MALLING – Conservative HOLD………. BARROW & FURNESS – Labour HOLD……… BRIGG & GOOLE – Conservative GAIN from Labour…….. DUDLEY SOUTH – Conservative GAIN from Labour……… HALTEMPRICE & HOWDEN – Conservative HOLD………. PRESELI PEMBROKESHIRE – Conservative HOLD…….. STROUD – Labour HOLD[6]…… ALDERSHOT – Conservative HOLD…….. HEYWOOD & MIDDLETON – Labour HOLD……… SWINDON SOUTH – Conservative GAIN……. WEST BROMWICH WEST – Labour HOLD……… SALISBURY – Conservative HOLD……. PRESTON – Labour HOLD……… COLCHESTER – Liberal Democrat HOLD…….. GORDON – Liberal Democrat HOLD……… BIRMINGHAM NORTHFIELD – Labour HOLD………. HEREFORDSHIRE NORTH – Conservative HOLD…….. DAVENTRY – Conservative HOLD…….. OXFORD WEST & ABINGDON–Liberal Democrat HOLD[7]……. MIDDLESBROUGH SOUTH – Labour HOLD……. WINDSOR – Conservative HOLD….. STOKE-ON-TRENT CENTRAL – Labour HOLD…….. WORSLEY & ECCLES SOUTH – Labour HOLD……… CHESTERFIELD – Labour GAIN from Liberal Democrats……. LUTON SOUTH – Labour HOLD……. WARWICKSHIRE NORTH –Labour HOLD[8]….. YORK OUTER –  Conservative GAIN from Labour…… KENSINGTON – Conservative HOLD…….. LEEDS WEST – Labour HOLD…… LEICESTERSHIRE SOUTH –  Conservative HOLD……… BASSETLAW – Labour HOLD……… FAREHAM – Conservative HOLD……… WALSALL SOUTH – Labour HOLD……. CANNOCK CHASE – Conservative GAIN from Labour……… BROMSGROVE – Conservative HOLD…….. HALESOWEN – Conservative GAIN from Labour……..

Mail Online, 04:42, 07-05-2010.

‘DR DEATH HOLDS SEAT’

“In a result that will disappoint local Conservatives, controversial Lib Dem MP Evan Harris has held his Oxford seat. Dr Harris is known in parliament for his outspoken views on abortion and euthanasia – views that are increasingly out of touch with his more traditional constituents…”

…….REDDITCH – Conservative GAIN from Labour……… DEWSBURY –Labour HOLD[9]………

David Dimbleby: “So Jacqui Smith, former Home Secretary, loses her seat. She remember was one of the more high profile figures in the MP’s expenses scandal – with those pornographic DVDs her husband watched… Perhaps the highest profile casualty of the night… Interestingly minister Shalid Malik, another high profile expenses figure, has held on by around 400 votes…”

…….WORCESTER – Conservative GAIN from Labour……… ROSSENDALE & DARWEN – Conservative GAIN from Labour………  ABERDEEN NORTH – Labour HOLD………. ENFIELD NORTH – Conservative HOLD…….. NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME – Labour HOLD……… CONGLETON – Conservative HOLD………… LEEDS EAST – Labour HOLD…………. WOLVERHAMPTON SE – Labour HOLD……… DORSET NORTH – Conservative HOLD………. ROSS SKYE & LOCHABER – Liberal Democrat HOLD……… SUTTON & CHEAM – Liberal Democrat HOLD…… SHROPSHIRE NORTH – Conservative HOLD………. RAYLEIGH & WICKFORD – Conservative HOLD………. POOLE– Conservative HOLD………… FAVERSHAM & KENT MID – Conservative HOLD………… LEICESTER EAST – Labour HOLD………. CITIES OF LONDON – Conservative HOLD…………. BOOTLE – Labour HOLD………. BASINGSTOKE – Conservative HOLD………. HITCHIN & HARPENDEN – Conservative HOLD

Nick Robinson: “With Ed Balls’ seat yet to declare and the Tories not making any big gains they’d hoped for this time last year, we really aren’t seeing any big names go down just yet. Will there be a Portillo moment? Or will we have to make do with Lembit Opik? We’ll have to wait and see…”

……….PUDSEY –Labour HOLD[10]………..CROYDON CENTRAL – Conservative GAIN from Labour………. WALLASEY – Labour HOLD……… WIMBLEDON – Conservative HOLD………… RUTLAND & MELTON – Conservative HOLD…………. WOLVERHAMPTON NORTH-EAST – Labour HOLD……….

“The mood wasn’t lightened by the convoy getting lost on the journey into London, taking the wrong exit off the A13 at Royal Docks and having to go the whole way round a roundabout to double back, under the whirring gaze of the ever-present media helicopter.”

Andrew Adonis, 2013. 7 Days in May.

………..TEWKESBURY – Conservative HOLD……….. NORTHAMPTON NORTH – Conservative GAIN from Labour……… WALSALL NORTH – Labour HOLD……… ROCHFORD & SOUTHEND – Conservative HOLD………. STOKE-ON-TRENT SOUTH – Labour HOLD……….

David Dimbleby: “So from what you’re saying he clearly anticipates staying on as Prime Minister?”

John Simpson: “I think that’s what he wants, its for you and me to say and broadcast. I don’t think it necessarily is the case in the inner counsels… Downing Street, I think that they want to put a brave face on it, they don’t want to be seen as losers. They want to be seen as the government in being and its up to them constitutionally to make sure that the business of government goes on – I think that’s the line they want.”

Nick Robinson: “They’d have to show that a Labour – Liberal Democrat coalition would be more stable than what is being offered by David Cameron.”

…….CHIPPENHAM – Liberal Democrat HOLD……….. DORSET MID & POOLE N – Liberal Democrat HOLD…….. HARWICH & ESSEX NORTH – Conservative HOLD………. BIRKENHEAD – Labour HOLD……… BASILDON & BILLERICAY – Conservative HOLD……..

BBC psephologist: “Will the Labour plus the Liberal Democrats outvote the Conservatives?… There are a whole range of Labour ‘marginals’ in London where we simply don’t know the result yet…. We don’t know how they’ll behave.”

……..MITCHAM & MORDEN – Labour HOLD……… ENFIELD SOUTHGATE – Conservative HOLD……….. MORLEY & OUTWOOD – Labour HOLD…….. NORWICH SOUTH –Labour HOLD[11]………

David Dimbleby: “Ed Balls holds his seat there – the Conservatives denied their hoped for ‘Portillo Moment’…. Also, Charles Clarke re-elected in Norwich. He had seemed to be vulnerable to the Liberal Democrats, but he holds on…”

Nick Robinson: “Two of Labour’s ‘Big Beasts’ remain in parliament – Ed Balls, one of Gordon Brown’s closest aides and lieutenants, and a possible leadership contender; and then Charles Clarke, arch-critic of Gordon Brown, who blamed the Prime Minister for leading Labour towards defeat… The decisions of voters in Morley and Outwood and in Norwich could be of key importance to the future of the Labour Party…”

……..SWINDON NORTH – Conservative GAIN from Labour……….. CORNWALL SOUTH EAST – Conservative GAIN from Liberal Democrats………. HUDDERSFIELD – Labour HOLD………… LONDONDERRY EAST – DUP HOLD………. YORK CENTRAL – Labour HOLD………… CHATHAM & AYLESFORD – Conservative GAIN from Labour…….STOURBRIDGE – Conservative GAIN from Labour……….

04:56

CON 206, LAB 171, LIB DEM 35, OTH 6

……..BIRMINGHAM HODGE HILL- Labour HOLD……… GOSPORT – Conservative HOLD……….. BEXLEY HEATH – Conservative HOLD………. BANBURY – Conservative HOLD…….. EDINBURGH SOUTH – Labour HOLD…….

David Dimbleby: “Well two thirds of seats are now declared, and we’re increasingly confident in our exit poll projection – a hung parliament, the first since 1974, is looking very likely…”

…….BATLEY & SPEN – Labour HOLD………

Lord Ashcroft: “The debates quite naturally turned everything ‘topsey-turvey’, and what were quite natural assumptions before those debates changed the whole of the playing field.”

………LEIGH – Labour HOLD……… BURY NORTH – Conservative GAIN from Labour…….. RUGBY – Conservative GAIN…….. WESTMINSTER NORTH – Labour HOLD……… SELBY & AINSTY – Conservative HOLD…….. HARBOROUGH – Conservative HOLD…….. BURY SOUTH – Labour HOLD……… SOUTHEND WEST – Conservative HOLD…….. ISLINGTON SOUTH – Labour HOLD……….. LEICESTER SOUTH – Labour HOLD…….. HAZEL GROVE – Liberal Democrat HOLD…….. HULL NORTH – Labour HOLD…………. CHEADLE – Liberal Democrat HOLD……… GREAT YARMOUTH – Conservative GAIN from Labour………… LEEDS NORTH EAST – Labour HOLD………. DEVON SOUTH WEST – Conservative HOLD………. SALFORD & ECCLES – Labour HOLD……… BOLTON WEST – Labour HOLD……….. ROMFORD – Conservative HOLD……… WEAVER VALE –Labour HOLD[12]……….. BIRMINGHAM EDGBASTON – Labour HOLD…..

David Dimbleby: “….and I think, if we just have the numbers up… Yes, Birmingham Edgbaston actually showing a small swing, half a percent away from the Conservatives and towards Labour… quite incredible… Nick? What do you make of that?”

Nick Robinson: “That’s quite remarkable. Edgbaston was the first Labour gain of the 1997 election, indeed the first of many… Every election since then the Tories have tried to take it back, and every election it’s gone against the national swing… Every election they’ve failed, and its seats like Edgbaston that the Tories need for a majority.”

David Dimbleby: “A strong personal vote for Gisela Stuart?”

Nick Robinson: “Undoubtedly – a very popular local MP. Testament also perhaps, to the phenomenal work her team must do on the ground…”

……ISLINGTON NORTH – Labour HOLD…….. LIVERPOOL RIVERSIDE – Labour HOLD……… WIRRAL WEST – Conservative HOLD……. SOUTHAMPTON ITCHEN – Labour HOLD………. LEEDS CENTRAL – Labour HOLD……… WOLVERHAMPTON SW –Labour HOLD[13]…… CARDIFF NORTH –Labour HOLD [14]……… SOUTHAMPTON TEST – Labour HOLD……… SHEFFIELD SOUTH EAST – Labour HOLD………. WOKING – Conservative HOLD………… WOKINGHAM – Conservative HOLD…………. STOCKPORT – Labour HOLD…………. STEVENAGE – Conservative GAIN from Labour………..

BBC psephologist: “With Birmingham Edgbaston a hold, and with the Conservatives failing to take a number of other key target seats, we’re left waiting to see just what the final seat tallies are. Will Labour and the Lib Dems have more seats combined than the Conservatives? What combinations of parties are possible to achieve that 326 for a majority? It looks like it’s all going to come down to those last few seats…

…….COLNE VALLEY – Conservative GAIN from Labour……

Nick Robinson: “In many of these crucial target seats, we’re actually seeing successful defences against the national swing. If the kinds of swing we saw in say Kingswood or Sunderland had been uniform across the country, then the Conservatives would have picked up many more seats…”

David Dimbleby: “I suppose its almost like watching 650 simultaneous by-elections. The margins are so slim that many local factors are coming into play…”

………HOVE – Conservative GAIN form Labour………. WAKEFIELD – Labour HOLD……….. ELMET & ROTHWELL – Conservative GAIN from Labour……….. ORPINGTON – Conservative GAIN………. CAMBRIDGE – Liberal Democrat HOLD……… BRISTOL NORTH WEST – Conservative GAIN from Labour……… STRETFORD & URMSTON – Labour HOLD………… ST HELENS NORTH – Labour HOLD……….. HAMMERSMITH – Labour HOLD……….. ST HELENS SOUTH – Labour HOLD………. SHEFFIELD BRIGHTSIDE – Labour HOLD…….. PLYMOUTH SUTTON – Labour HOLD[15]……….. BIRMINGHAM SELLY OAK – Labour HOLD……..

“As London approached and the sun rose, the news brightened. London results were starting to come through, and these were surprisingly good. Andy Slaughter held on in Hammersmith as did Gareth Thomas in Harrow. Gisela Stuart’s spectacular hold in Birmingham Edgbaston was a further tonic. Ed Balls, John Denham, Ben Bradshaw, Mike O’Brien and Shahid Malik all survived in seats that could easily have gone Tory, not to mention Charles Clarke in Norwich. By the time Gordon arrived in Victoria Street at 5.30 a.m., to be clapped in by Peter Mandelson, Alastair Campbell, Harriet Harman and the party staff, it was very much game on.”

–          Andrew Adonis, 2013. 7 Days in May.

 

“Gordon arrived at Victoria Street before dawn. He addressed the staff with gratitude and grace, and then I went with him and Andrew Adonis to the room where I’d held my daily morning meetings. As soon as we sat down, he tore a sheet from my yellow pad and started stabbing, rather than writing, rows of figures… Andrew and Gordon now seemed to compete with each other in their excited calculation of how we could make what Gordon called ‘an arrangement with the Liberals’ happen: either a loose deal in which we agreed to some form of electoral reform and they agreed to support us on the Queen’s Speech and confidence motions, or a fully fledged coalition with a fixed term. ‘If you’re serious,’ I joked, ‘perhaps you should stop calling them “the Liberals”, and get their name right.’

– Peter Mandelson, 2013. The Third Man.

…………KINGSTON & SURBITON – Liberal Democrat HOLD………… GARSTON & HALEWOOD – Labour HOLD……….LEEDS NORTH WEST – Liberal Democrat HOLD……… WIRRAL SOUTH – Labour HOLD…… SHIPLEY – Conservative HOLD……. ROCHESTER & STROOD – Conservative HOLD…….. FELTHAM & HESTON – Labour HOLD…….. CROYDON SOUTH – Conservative HOLD……… READING WEST –  Conservative GAIN from Labour……….. BRIGHTON KEMPTOWN –Labour HOLD[16]………. WAVENEY –Labour HOLD[17]…….

David Dimbleby: “With just over five hundred seats declared – less than one hundred and fifty to go – we’re revising our forecast slightly… The new forecast is Conservatives on 285, Labour on 276, Lib Dems on 60… A slight narrowing – reflecting perhaps how fewer seats than expected are changing hands…”

………DORSET SOUTH – Conservative GAIN form Labour…… ALTRINCHAM & SALE W – Conservative HOLD….. BIRMINGHAM PERRY BARR – Labour HOLD……. BRISTOL SOUTH – Labour HOLD…….. ILFORD NORTH – Conservative HOLD…… SUSSEX MID – Conservative HOLD……

CON 232, LAB 207, LIB DEM 40, OTH 26

……..TWICKENHAM – Liberal Democrat HOLD……. SHEFFIELD HEELEY – Labour HOLD……….. SEFTON CENTRAL – Labour HOLD………

Lord Adonis: “Our aim is to produce a strong stable and constitutional government, and of course the constitution is very clear that Gordon Brown has the first opportunity to form that government.”

…….. COVENTRY SOUTH – Labour HOLD…….. BECKENHAM – Conservative HOLD…….. SHERWOOD – Labour HOLD[18]………. LANCASHIRE WEST – Labour HOLD…….. ARUNDEL & SOUTH DOWNS – Conservative HOLD……

David Dimbleby: “Vince Cable, who was, er, sainted for apparently, according to the Liberal Democrats having spotted the economic crisis coming, was speaking at Twickenham. Lets hear what he had to say…”

“I won’t attempt any wise comments on the election nationally – there were results all over the place. It seems unlikely that we’ll know the outcome until the morning, so I won’t make any passionate outpourings of thoughts on that broad subject…”

Vince Cable MP, Twickenham constituency count.

………GILLINGHAM & RAINHAM – Conservative GAIN from Labour……….. CROYDON – Labour HOLD……… GLOUCESTER – Conservative GAIN from Labour……….

Nick Robinson: “I don’t think Gordon Brown would make Vince Cable Chancellor, but he could get an important job along with a few others…”

David Dimbleby: “Lets see if the Greens have won Brighton Pavillion, we’ve been waiting a long time for this one…”

……..BRIGHTON PAVILLION – Green GAIN from Labour……. HEMSWORTH – Labour HOLD……… IPSWICH – Conservative GAIN from Labour……..

Nick Robinson: “Even one person in a hung parliament may make a difference”

…….. RICHMOND PARK – Conservative GAIN from Liberal Democrat………. COVENTRY NORTH EAST – Labour HOLD……. CHELSEA & FULHAM – Conservative HOLD…….. BROMLEY & CHISLEHURST – Conservative HOLD……….. CAMBRIDGESHIRE SE – Conservative HOLD…….. LIVERPOOL WAVERTREE – Labour HOLD………. WARRINGTON NORTH – Labour HOLD……… IPSWICH – Conservative GAIN from Labour…….

Dr Evan Harris MP: “There’ve been some big gains and some big losses, so its certainly been choppy… which just goes to show how crazy our electoral system is.”

Dr Evan Harris

……BARKING – Labour HOLD……

David Dimbleby: “BNP in third place… A big result for Labour there. A lot of people will be very relieved that the BNP hasn’t made any headway… Good…”

06:00

CON 245, LAB 220, LIB DEM 41, OTH 27

BBC Forecast: CON 285, LAB: 278, LID DEM 59

Vote Share projections: CON 36%, LAB 31%, LIB DEM 24%

“It was around 6am when I arrived back in Westminster…At out meeting on 2nd May we had agreed that Nick Clegg would make a short speech about the election result at his own count in Sheffield, and then return to Cowley Street to make a more general statement at around 7.00am. This was based on a 3am result in Sheffield, which turned out to be wildly optimistic… It was plain that as the Conservatives were emerging with the largest number of seats and votes, we would be obliged to enter talks with them first, based on the commitment that Nick Clegg had made during the general election campaign…”

– David Laws, 2010. 20 Days in May.

……..CAMBERWELL & PECKHAM – Labour HOLD……….. LIVERPOOL WEST DERBY – Labour HOLD……… BRENTFORD & ISLEWORTH – Conservative GAIN from Labour……… KEIGHLEY – Conservative GAIN from Labour……… TYNESIDE NORTH – Labour HOLD……… BIRMINGHAM HALL GREEN – Labour HOLD……….. OLDHAM WEST & ROYTON – Labour HOLD……. HARROW WEST – Labour HOLD…….. HORSHAM – Conservative HOLD…….. HORNCHURCH – Conservative HOLD……… UXBRIDGE & RUISLIP S – Conservative HOLD………… BRADFORD SOUTH – Labour HOLD………. PORTSMOUTH SOUTH – Liberal Democrat HOLD…….

Andrew Marr [at Conservative HQ]: “David Cameron knows that there is a danger that Gordon might pick up just enough seats to be able to pick up the phone to Nick Clegg and offer him some kind of deal, and of course its in Nick Clegg’s interest to talk about electoral reform, and its in Gordon Brown’s interest.”

…….STALYBRIDGE & HYDE – Labour HOLD……..

David Dimbleby: “And of course we’re still waiting on Nick Clegg’s own constituency, Sheffield Hallam…”

……..ST AUSTELL & NEWQUAY – Liberal Democrat HOLD……

06:15

……..DAGENHAM & RAINHAM – Labour HOLD…….

Jeremy Paxman: “I’m going to be talking to Caroline Lucas, Britain’s first Green MP, congratulations.”

Caroline Lucas MP: “Thank you very much”

Caroline Lucas

Jeremy Paxman: “You’re going to have a lot more power that you could ever have imagined by the look of things?”

Caroline Lucas MP: “Well these are really interesting times and I’m just so grateful to the people of Brighton Pavilion for electing me today, for making history, and I think it just reflects the fact that people are fed up with the tired old parties – they do want something new, they do want something different. That’s what the Greens were offering here, I think it is the start of a new political force in Westminster.”

Jeremy Paxman: “For the avoidance of any doubt, and given that the tired sordid old system in which we find ourselves living right now, could you make any kind of informal or formal alliance with either of the two big parties?”

Caroline Lucas MP: “Well I think what we’ll be doing is what we’ve done in the London Assembly, what we’ve done in the Scottish Parliament, which is essentially to judge issues on a case by case basis. Our manifesto is very clear, we stand on a manifesto of fairness, of social justice, of environmental protection; those are the kind of issues we want to support in Westminster.”

Jeremy Paxman: “And that would be on a case by case basis would it?”

Caroline Lucas MP: “It would. That’s what’s worked very well in the London Assembly, its what’s worked in the Scottish Parliament, and I think that’s the right way for us to proceed.”

Jeremy Paxman: “Although in practice in the London Assembly, you’ve largely, mainly been supporting the Labour Party, haven’t you?”

Caroline Lucas MP: “We mainly have, but there were times when the Tories decided for a while at least that they were going to oppose the expansion of Heathrow Airport; we supported that until they kind of spoilt it with talking about a new airport in the Thames Estuary, so we will judge things on a case by case basis; but as you say, its fairly clear from our manifesto that we have more in common with the broader left of the spectrum.”

Jeremy Paxman: “Caroline Lucas, thanks for joining us.”

Jeremy Vine: “Two clear results this morning are that the Conservatives haven’t taken the 116 seats they needed for their majority, and that they’ve missed some of their targets…”

06:20

“Escaping at 6.20 a.m., I phoned Danny Alexander, not having replied to his text the previous evening… I said Gordon was ready to start talks whenever Nick Clegg was ready, and we hoped it could be in parallel with any Tory discussions. Danny was reassuring. ‘We are licking our wounds and Nick isn’t planning to say anything much apart from thanking party workers at Cowley Street [the Lib Dem’s London headquarters] until all the results are in at lunchtime.’ I said that GB wasn’t planning to say anything substantive either until there had been further contact later in the morning.”

– Andrew Adonis, 2013. 7 Days in May.

 

……TYNEMOUTH – Labour HOLD…….. PORTSMOUTH NORTH – Con GAIN………. HAYES & HARLINGTON – Labour HOLD…….

“Tony phoned next. He was down about the result, and sounded truly sad for Gordon. He was firmly opposed to even thinking about a deal with the Lib Dems. It would be a serious error, he said, echoing my concern about what the voters would think if we tried to hang on… ‘There will be an outcry if we stay on,’ he said. ‘There’s going to be another election, and we’ll be smashed if we don’t make the right judgements’.”

– Peter Mandelson, 2013. The Third Man.

06:30

CON 251, LAB 231, LIB DEM 43, OTH 27

98 remaining, Conservatives 75 short of majority

……..HOLBORN & ST PANCRAS – Labour HOLD……….. SHEFFIELD HALLAM –  Liberal Democrat HOLD……….

Clegg declaration

“As for the national campaign – this has obviously been a disappointing night for the Liberal Democrats. We simply haven’t achieved what we’d hoped. I’m nonetheless proud of the way we conducted the campaign. I think we conducted a positive campaign, full of hope, full of optimism, which I think did engage a lot of people in the election campaign, even if they didn’t then go on to vote for the Liberal Democrats. As for what happens next, clearly the final election result is still a little unpredictable. People have voted, but noone appears to have won emphatically. I can simply say two things at this stage. Firstly, and I think this applies to all political parties, I don’t think anyone should rush into making claims, or to taking decisions which don’t stand the test of time. I think it would be best if everyone were to take a little time, so that people get the good government that they deserve in these very difficult and uncertain times. And whatever happens in the next few days, weeks, months; I will be guided, the Liberal Democrats will be guided by the values, the principles on which we fought this election. Fairness in our society. Responsibility in providing stability and growth to an economy, at a time particularly of growing uncertainty as we’re seen in recent hours and days in the economy in the world around us. And real change to the way we do politics. Thank you very much indeed.”

Nick Clegg MP, Sheffield Hallam constituency declaration.

…….BERMONDSEY – Liberal Democrat HOLD…….. NORMANTON – Labour HOLD…….. WARRINGTON SOUTH –Labour HOLD[19]………… ORKNEY & SHETLAND – Liberal Democrat HOLD…………. ASHTON UNDER LYNE – Labour HOLD…………. PENISTONE – Labour HOLD………. LIVERPOOL WALTON – Labour HOLD……….. RUISLIP – Conservative HOLD…… DENTON & REDDISH – Labour HOLD………. HORNSEY & WOOD GREEN – Liberal Democrat HOLD……… SLOUGH – Labour HOLD………. TOTTENHAM – Labour HOLD………. BRADFORD WEST – Labour HOLD…………. MEON VALLEY – Conservative HOLD…………. CHIPPING BARNET – Conservative HOLD………… CORNWALL NORTH –  Liberal Democrat HOLD……… NORFOLK NORTH WEST – Conservative HOLD……….. READING EAST – Conservative HOLD………

06:45

CON 256, LAB 241, LIB DEM 48, OTH 27

…….WELLS – Liberal Democrat GAIN from Conservative……… BLACKLEY & BROUGHTON – Labour HOLD……… HALIFAX – Labour HOLD……… WORTHING EAST – Conservative HOLD………. NORFOLK SOUTH WEST – Conservative HOLD……….. FINCHLEY & GOLDERS GREEN – Conservative HOLD…….. CAMBORNE & REDRUTH –Liberal Democrat HOLD[20]…….

07:00

CON 259, LAB 243, LIB DEM 50, OTH 27

71 remaining, Con short by 67, Lab short by 83

“Gordon had meanwhile gone back to Number 10 – it was his constitutional duty to stay on in these circumstances until a new government could be formed. He and Andre began working the phones. Gordon called Vince Cable, Paddy Ashdown and Menzies Campbell to try to rally them behind the idea of some form of Lab-Lib arrangement.”

– Peter Mandelson, 2013. The Third Man.

……..CALDERVALLEY – Conservative GAIN from Labour………… ILFORD SOUTH – Labour HOLD……….. WORTHING WEST – Conservative HOLD………… SHEFFIELD CENTRAL – Labour HOLD……… HARROW EAST – Conservative GAIN from Labour……….

Nick Robinson: “At the moment my money would be on David Cameron successfully forming a minority government.”

07:15

CON 262, LAB 245, LIB DEM 50, OTH 27

66 remaining, Con short by 64, Lab short by 81

BREAKING NEWS: Hung Parliament Imminent

………MANCHESTER GORTON – Labour HOLD……….. BRADFORD EAST –Labour HOLD[21]……. CHORLEY – Labour HOLD……..

CON 262, LAB 248, LIB 50, OTH 27

63 remaining, Con short by 64 :.

BREAKING NEWS: Hung Parliament Confirmed

David Dimbleby: “And that result in Chorley means that we can confirm that it is a hung parliament. Now mathematically impossible for either party to achieve a majority. Chorley, held by Lindsay Hoyle, tipping the balance…”

…….CHINFORD & WOODFORD – Conservative HOLD…… MILTON KEYNES SOUTH – Conservative GAIN from Labour…….. SOLIHULL – Liberal Democrat GAIN from Conservative………. ELTHAM – Labour HOLD……..

07:30

David Dimbleby: “Oldham East and Saddleworth, seat of immigration minister Phil Woolas, is apparently looking very close… still to declare though, with the potential for recounts…”

……..TRURO & FALMOUTH – Liberal Democrat HOLD[22]…… DULWICH & W NORWOOD – Labour HOLD…… EALING NORTH – Labour HOLD……… MILTON KEYNES SOUTH – Conservative GAIN from Labour…….. GREENWICH & WOOLWICH – Labour HOLD…….

David Dimbleby: “I thrive on chaos and confusion.”

Michael Gove: “If Gordon Brown, who’s also a keen student of history, wants to draw any lessons from 1974, then he’ll recognise that he should borrow a little bit of Ted Heath’s – how can I put this – grace under pressure, and decide that perhaps now is the time to quit Downing Street and allow a new man to take this country forward.”

Jeremy Paxman: “There is no way you can enforce this, can you?”

Michael Gove: “I don’t want to enforce anything, I just want to see the will of the British people respected, and it seems to me to be pretty clear that they’d like Gordon Brown to leave, they’d like Peter Mandelson to acknowledge, from his vantage point in the House of Lords, the force for democracy, and they’d like David Cameron to have the chance to form a new government.”

…….EALING SOUTHALL – Labour HOLD……… WALTHAMSTOW – Labour HOLD………..

Jeremy Paxman: “Would it be inconceivable to have a Labour minority government, or a Labour-led coalition which did not have Gordon Brown as it’s Prime Minister?”

Lord Peter Mandelson: “Frankly there are quite a number of permutations, and the reason I don’t want to get into hypotheses about what may or may not happen, is because quite frankly I think its premature. I think its premature until all the votes are in, we can see the electoral arithmetic, and we can form a judgement along with other parties about how we can resolve the inconclusive verdict that it appears the public are giving the parties.”

Jeremy Paxman: “I note you haven’t ruled it out?”

Lord Peter Mandelson: “Well I’m not ruling out or ruling in anything.”

…….MILTON KEYNES NORTH – Conservative GAIN from Labour……..

08:00

CON 265, LAB 254, LIB DEM 52, OTH 27

52 to declare

BREAKING NEWS: FTSE opens down over Greek debt worries.

……MANCHESTER WITHINGTON –Liberal Democrat HOLD……. STREATHAM – Labour HOLD………. MANCHESTER CENTRAL – Labour HOLD……

BBC analyst: “Stabilising the markets in the midst of the Euro crisis is going to be the biggest issue from day one for whichever government emerges from this election…”

……..LEYTON & WANSTEAD – Labour HOLD……..

Lord Kinnock: “I hope yesterday is the last day of first past the post voting.”

“Every election – General, European, or Local – seems to be the excuse for the BBC to justify their entire CGI budget. Out came Jeremy Vine again, with his inane infographics, his cringe-worthy set pieces, and his weird oscillating speech patterns… Now he was fiddling with coloured bar charts, because adding up to 326 was clearly beyond our capabilities. Actually, after too much Monster energy drink and Sweet As cider, it might well have be…”

– Edward Groves, Labour Activist.

“Now that the election was over and the results were almost all in, I decided that the time was right to make contact with Andrew again. Andrew answered the call almost immediately and it was clear that he had already spent some time weighing up the emerging parliamentary arithmetic.

‘What do you think?’ I said to him.

‘Well, it is clearly a hung parliament,’ he said. ‘ We need to look carefully at the numbers.’ “

– David Laws, 2010. 20 Days in May

……..HAMPSTEAD & KILBURN – Labour HOLD……… EALING C & ACTON – Conservative GAIN from Labour…….. VAUXHALL – Labour HOLD…………. LEWISHAM EAST – Labour HOLD……….. WATFORD – Conservative GAIN from Labour………

09:00

CON 267, LAB 261, LIB DEM 53, OTH 27

Nick Robinson: “Higher than anticipated turnout across many constituencies is pushing back declaration times. In London there are local council ballots to separate out as well, hence the delays until early morning there. With the seat totals looking even narrower than most people anticipated, every last one of these results matters…”

………LEWISHAM WEST & PENGE – Labour HOLD……….. EAST HAM – Labour HOLD………… WEST HAM – Labour HOLD………… WYTHENSHAWE & SALE EAST – Labour HOLD……… HENDON –Labour HOLD[23]……… LEWISHAM DEPTFORD – Labour HOLD…………. OLD BEXLEY & SIDCUP – Conservative HOLD……… ERITH & THAMESMEAD – Labour HOLD……..

09:41

Julia Hartley-Brewer, Assistant Editor, Sunday Express [referencing potential Tory coalition partners]: “I can’t see certainly a formal coalition with the Lib Dems happening at all, obviously.”

Jonathan Powell: “I imagine there will be another election within a year or so.”

……..THURROCK – Labour HOLD[24]……..

Trevor Kavannah, Sun Editor: “We could see another election before the end of this year”.

BREAKING NEWS: Nick Clegg arrives in London

Lord Steel: “I think it would be very difficult to have a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, very difficult on policy grounds… What I think we’ll see at most is some kind of confidence arrangement, with further support on an issue by issue basis…”

………BRENT NORTH – Labour HOLD……..

“Everyone else had already gone. It was just me and my host left. The party had very much fizzled out as it became clear that any sort of definitive ‘result’ wasn’t to be known any time soon. I got a lift back home – listening eagerly to the radio en route. Lack of sleep was catching up with me, and I’d more or less ceased to pay attention to the running seat totals. But then a result came in – Brent something – and a quite unexpected thing happened. Labour were now the largest party, at least until the next few Tory holds and likely gains brought them back into the lead. Nick Clegg was about to make a statement. He’d pledged to speak first to the largest party. Had he been briefed on this sudden development? So many apparently safe assumptions had crumbled over the course of the night, what would happen next?”

Edward Groves, Labour Activist.

CON 268, LAB 269, LIB DEM 53, OTH 27

LABOUR LARGEST PARTY

33 seats to declare

To be continued…

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One Response to The Last Post: Chapter Three

  1. Nash says:

    Footnotes
    [Highlighting changes in this history as compared against what actually happened in reality (in “our timeline”, or OTL).]

    3.1 – Newton Abbot remains held by the Lib Dems; MP Richard Younger-Ross is re-elected with a small majority in the hundreds. Younger-Ross is a member of the Beveridge Group of centre-left Lib Dems. In OTL (Our Timeline) the seat was taken by Conservative Anne Marie Morris. In TTL (This Timeline) history is robbed of this parliamentary performance: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/video/2012/jul/11/anne-marie-morris-mp-pmqs-video

    3.2 – Gillian Merron MP, a Minister of State in the Department of Health is re-elected by a double-figure majority. In OTL she lost to Conservative Karl McCartney.

    3.3 – Patrick Hall MP is re-elected after a recount on a single-figure majority. He was branded an “expenses saint” by the Telegraph during the expenses scandal. In OTL he lost to Conservative Richard Fuller, who once proclaimed “I am not a Thatcherite, never have been, never will be.”

    3.4 – New candidate Michael Boaden becomes Labour MP for Carlisle. In OTL the seat was narrowly gained by Conservative John Stevenson.

    3.5 – Dari Taylor is re-elected by 1047 votes, despite significant expenses controversy surrounding the misuse of stationary. In OTL she was defeated by Conservative James Wharton.

    3.6 – David Drew pulls of a miraculous defence, seeing less than 1% swing against him. His majority of 2,910 from 1997 is reduced to double figures. In OTL he lost to Neil Carmichael by the smallest losing Labour swing in the whole of England.

    3.7 – Dr Evan Harris holds his seat on a greatly reduced majority, attributed to boundary changes. Stephen Fry once said of him “[Harris is] by far and away the most persuasive and impressive parliamentarian in the cause of good and open science and enquiry that we have had in the past decade. He has been central to mould-breaking and inspirational multiparty cooperation in issues of scientific concern since 1997.” Opponents labelled Harris “Dr Death” for his pro-choice views. In OTL he lost by 176 votes to equal marriage opposing Conservative Nicola Blackwood.

    3.8 – Minister of State for Health, Mike O’Brien easily holds his seat against Dan Byles. In OTL, with no Cabinet-level ministers unseated, he was the highest ranking elections casualty, losing by just 54 votes.

    3.9 – 82nd on the Tory target list, Dewsbury is held by Shahid Malik, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities. In OTL he lost to Conservative Simon Reevell.

    3.10 – New candidate Jamie Hanley holds Pudsey for Labour. In OTL Conservative Stuart Andrew (famous for his patronage of LGBTory, and for being punched and head-butted by Eric Joyce MP in a Commons Bar brawl). Here Joyce’s anger will have to be directed elsewhere. Pudsey was the 111th seat on the Conservative target list.

    3.11 – Former Home Secretary Charles Clarke holds his seat. In OTL Clarke refused to sign an NUS pledge opposing tuition fees, on the basis that he didn’t feel that it was a promise he could keep. He lost his seat to pledge-signing Liberal Democrat Simon Wright by just 310 votes. Wright was one of just 21 Lib Dems who actually honoured that pledge.

    3.12 – New candidate John Stockton holds Weaver Vale for Labour. In OTL Conservative Graham Evans won the seats, and went on to do this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/8358603/MP-caught-on-camera-playing-air-guitar-during-troop-sacking-debate.html

    3.13 – Rob Marris re-elected. Marris was Winner of the 2008 “Backbencher of the Year” award, and an expenses “saint”. This seat was 50th on the Tory target list. In OTL the seat was won by 691 votes by Conservative Paul Uppal.

    3.14 – Julie Morgan re-elected. Morgan is a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association and an advocate of lowering the voting age to 16. This seat was 22nd on the Tory target list. In OTL the seat was won by 194 votes by Conservative Jonathan Evans.

    3.15 – Linda Gilroy re-elected. In OTL the seat was lost to Conservative Oliver Colvile.

    3.16 – New candidate Simon Burgess holds Brighton Kemptown for Labour. In OTL the seat was lost to Conservative Simon Kirby by 1328 votes.

    3.17 – Government Whip Bob Blizzard re-elected. In OTL Waveny was won by the Conservative Peter Aldous by 769 votes.

    3.18 – New candidate Emilie Oldknow holds Sherwood for Labour. In OTL the seat was lost by 214 votes to Conservative Mark Spencer.

    3.19 – New candidate Nick Bent holds Warrington South for Labour. In OTL the seat was lost by 1553 votes to Conservative David Mowat.

    3.20 – Julia Goldsworthy, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Communities and Local Government, is re-elected. In OTL she lost the seat by 66 votes to Conservative George Eustice. Eustice was to be a key player in the Conservative Party’s No2AV campaign and a ringleader in the backbench rebellion which killed House of Lords reform.

    3.21 – Terry Rooney is re-elected. Rooney is the only member of the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) in Parliament. In OTL he lost Bradford East by 365 votes to Liberal Democrat David Ward

    3.22 – New candidate Terrye Teverson holds Truro and Falmouth for the Liberal Democrats. In OTL she lost by 435 votes to Conservative Sarah Newton.

    3.23 – Andrew Dismore MP holds his seat for Labour. Dismore helped establish Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK. In OTL he lost by 106 votes to Conservative Matthew Offord. In OTL Offord would be a prominent opponent of equal marriage.

    3.24 – New candidate Carl Morris holds Thurrock for Labour. In OTL he lost by 92 votes to Conservative Jackie Doyle-Price.

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