May 7th, 2010

The Bad News, The Good News

We stayed up till 4, by which time the shape of the outcome was apparent. At 10 we had an appointment to test drive a Renault at the dealership on Manchester Road- and that's where we were when the numbers clicked over to the total beyond which the Tories lost any hope of an overall majority. Shortly afterwards the result from our own constituency (Oldham East) came in. Phil Woolas, the Immigration minister, is back after a double recount- and  I can take down the orange poster in the front bay window which says, Liberal Democrats Winning Here; it lied.

The bad news for democracy is that the third party breakthrough didn't happen. The good news for democracy is that there was an unexpectedly large voter turn-out. The bad news for democracy is that a lot of polling stations in urban areas- including parts of Manchester- couldn't cope with demand and hundreds of people were deprived of their vote. The good news for democracy is that in a climate of opinion where there is scant enthusiasm for any of the parties, no party won.