Fed up with the election hype, Jack's fled to France... but he can't resist keeping tabs on events
Bring on the smoke filled rooms. It looks like a hung parliament is inevitable with the parties currently at Conservative 291, Labour 251, and the poor disappointed Liberals at 52 seats. If I was Clegg I'd be looking at a judicial review, in the High Court, of the fairness of the system.
At these standings a Lab/Lib pact would be fragile with a tiny majority and arguably not "fair" in Liberal terms as the Conservatives have the lion's share of votes cast.
But will the Tories offer electoral reform which is essential for the Liberal's future? If they do, and we get a Con/Lib Government what does this mean for construction? Instant cuts in public spending and, in particular, an abandonment of the BSF programme Michael Gove has so roundly criticised?
It would take at least two years to get any sort of meaningful "free school" programme going. This could be construction's double dip even if its not the country's double dip.
6am, May 7
Wow, it's not over till the fat PM sings. It's still all to play for on what looks like a hung parliament - as consistently predicted by moi.
The Lib Dem popularity has not translated to seats. They have no heartland and in the end people vote on what can happen in their constituency.
At this stage the Conservatives are only up 4%, Labour down 6.5% and by the mad magic of election maths, the Lib Dems are up 0.9%. Seventy-three seats yet to be decided.
As the sitting PM Gordon Brown has first shot at forming a government. Can Mandelson weave some black magic?
Will the Lib Dems go back on their pledge to deal with the party with most votes (the Tories) to land electoral reform with Labour?
I've had enough, I'm skipping the country on the 18.15 to Nice from Gatwick. I'll catch the early results on my iphone in a little bar in Tourrettes sur Loup. At least there will be no election crazed lager louts to contend with.
And I'll get the final score with my pain au chocolat in the morning. I might need a digestif at lunch to revive my flagging spirits.
But I will regret missing Peter Snow and the great British swingometer. Maybe my Auberge will have cable TV.
Off to the Camberwell local Polling Station in Love Lane. Not so appropriate. Now the dithering has to stop, eeny meeny miny mo... Gordon Brown fought a disastrous personal campaign, looking like a very tired “yesterday’s man” singing a song on one note; “the economy’s safe in my hands”. The economy is the most important issue, but leaders have to have vision too. Gordon looked like a recycled Chancellor of the Exchequer trying to act like a Prime Minister.
How the Labour party must have longed to see a fresh face like either of the Millibands debating with Cameron and Clegg. My local MP is Harriet Harman who, curiously, like a lot of the Labour front bench, has hardly been seen in the campaign. Not much of a team effort, and where the cabinet has been heard, like on tactical voting, they have not been “on message”. Not good.
The 97 campaign was famously coordinated by text messages to keep the troops in line. Maybe Gordon’s no good at SMS. Still, Harriet has a monstrous majority making hers just about the safest Labour seat. Camberwell and Peckham is one of the most deprived constituencies in the country with nearly 70% of families living in rented, often terrible council owned, housing.
There are about three Tory voters making the Conservative candidate a dead duck and although the Liberal chap looks interesting, he has no real chance either – pity. In any case I think Harriet is a trooper and I’d like to see her in Parliament even if it’s on the opposition benches. So, she gets my X. Phew, decision over.
The polling station is deserted, for most of the time I’m the only voter in the place. Maybe Camberwellians are not early risers, or maybe the national mood of indecision is putting them off. After all they have until 10.00 pm to make up their mind. I’m off to work - why isn’t Election Day, of all days, a Bank Holiday?
Looking forward to the “swingometer”. I think it’s going to get some exercise tonight!
The office is strangely quiet. Those that are in are talking of some polling stations “rammed” with voters (Ealing) and others that are deserted (Tower Hamlets). There’s not much news yet either, no exit polls, only the Nigel Farage plane crash.
As a fellow pilot I’m pleased he’s not badly hurt. As a citizen, I hope it’s an omen for his UKIP party’s fortunes. Today’s backcloth of Greece’s economic and political crisis along with fears for contagion in Euro-zone underlines the importance of the election.
The Times seems certain that the Tories have got the right financial formula. I hope it is right. I’d still prefer to see Vince Cable in No 11. Who knows, in a Con-Lib pact I might get my way!