General Election 2005 Blog Posts

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MAY 10, 2005

And now, the end is near…

Well, seeing as I started all this off, I guess it falls to me to say a few final words. It’s been fun doing this blog, and I hope it’s been useful, so if we can’t find anything better to do then, and the internets are still working then look out for something similar at the next election in 08/09/10, whenever it may be.

All of us are still blogging back where we were at the beginning, plus there’s always The Sharpener, for all your point-making blogging needs.

A few words of thanks - first to Dan, the mighty Dustbinman for providing us with the domain name and webspace to run this blog on. Thanks to everyone who contributed, either by posting here, sending information in or contributing to the comments. And thanks to all of you who read us and linked to us over the election - I hope some of you got the result you wanted.

Right, that’s it, time to go home. If you want some closing music, imagine Leonard Cohen’s ‘Closing Time’ as we sweep up the bar, clear up the mess and try to get home before the dawn.

Ah we’re lonely, we’re romantic
and the cider’s laced with acid
and the Holy Spirit’s crying, “Where’s the beef?”
And the moon is swimming naked
and the summer night is fragrant
with a mighty expectation of relief
So we struggle and we stagger
down the snakes and up the ladder
to the tower where the blessed hours chime
and I swear it happened just like this:
a sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss
the Gates of Love they budged an inch
I can’t say much has happened since
but closing time


MAY 9, 2005 Posts

Moving house

Thanks so much to all the visitors and commenters who have supped with us during campaign month. If you want more politics, straight no chaser, some of us and a bunch of others from around UK blogland have started a brand spanking new showcase for some of the most original political writing on the web. It’s called The Sharpener, and we hope to see you there.


My plans for election night

Tonight’s election night, and I plan to blog throughout the election.

As results come in I will be making a continually-updated prediction of the final number of seats that each party will gain. I have written a program to do this (or rather, I am currently writing it — it will be ready for 10pm, honest). The program will read in constituency results that have already been declared; it will then calculate a swing for each party, i.e. the change in that party’s percentage of the votes between the current election and 2001.

Swings for similar constituencies will be averaged. What’s do I mean by a “similiar constituency”? I mean two things: firstly in terms of which parties came 1st and second last time, and secondly for what region of the country a constituency is in. So the program will calculate average swings for all London seats, or average swings for all seats where Labour came 1st and the Tories 2nd in 2001.

These average swings will then be used to predict the results in similar seats. Well, that’s the theory anyway.


General election blog roundup 25 - D-Day

It’s all over bar the count, re-counts, legal disputes over postal votes (and bad luck to reader Michelle Gray whose postal vote got, erm… lost in the post), and that little matter of South Staffordshire, but after tonight we can all, finally, stopspouting quite so much nonsense about this bloody election. (Heh… Sorry, Jarndyce, old bean…)

First up, a plug - some of us General Election bloggers and a bunch of others from around the UK blogland have started a brand spanking new group effort, which we’re hoping will be a showcase for some of the best (loosely) political writing on the web. It is The Sharpener, and we hope to see you there.

Right, pluggage out the way, on with the roundup.

The lovely chap that is Justin “Chicken Yoghurt” McKeating has created a handy resource for those of you planning to spend your election night with us bloggers: a spiffy little guide to where all the action is, as does the last post in this very blog. Something else which should prove useful is the UK Political Blog Feeds site. Always handy, and tonight doubly so.

Perfect also has some pointers to where the action is going to be blog-wise, while qwqhlm (who also plans to liveblog) has compiled an useful list of Labour marginals to watch out for if, like us sad politics geeks, you plan to be up all night. Judging by some of the early rumours, there could be a fair few more Labour marginals after tonight - we can but hope, eh? qwqhlm’s mate Chris also has some election I-Spy, which could make for a nice drinking game…

Tonight could be interesting. This election has brought out some top-notch posts from bloggers - like this effort, Choose Labour, from the Honourable Fiend and this from Blood and Treasure - it was included in the roundup yesterday, but is so good it deserves to be included again (and is now in a new home to boot…) Even some of the candidates have come up with some quality stuff…

The near-inevitable Labour victory is also causing some “what happens next speculation” even before the polls have closed, with pondering Where next for the Right? and your roundupmonkey for tonight desperately trying to start up a campaign for electoral reform, even though some other people got there first and with a far better explanation than mine of why. Others are making worrying predictions that things most certainly CAN’T only get better, and that we could all end up royally screwed in the coming third Labour term.

Was it the anxiety election for you, as Matt Sellers reckons, or just so dull even the bombs were boring? (That last lot, a blog from the new London newspaper The London Line, will also be liveblogging, by the by)

Either way, Robin Grant of Perfect also has some advice for what us mere voters should be doing next: heading to register our reasoning and let those Westminster bastards know how pissed off we all are. My ballot paper, much like my fellow electionblogger Ken Owen’s, would have got a hefty essay if they asked us to justify our votes on there as well, I can tell you…

And finally, Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads and Backing Blair fame notes a last irony…

OK, that’s it. We’ll probably be doing some post-match analysis here over the next few days, so any more links and such like, keep ‘em coming in for now. Technically the general election isn’t over until the delayed South Staffordshire vote takes place in a month or more, but as I type, polls close in half an hour. I hope you voted wisely, and that some of the stuff on this blog helped you make a more informed choice.

Democracy eh? It’s great, innit?


Tonight’s Shenanigans

Just as a reminder that many of us will be gathering on IRC later to chat and keep ourselves interested during election night. Here’s the details one more time:

We’re also going to be running a chatroom for the night to which all are invited. It’ll be on the IRC Nightstarnetwork and will be called #ukbloggers - I’ve registered the channel with the system so it shouldn’t get hijacked in the next 48 hours, should anyone be sad enough to want to!

Nightstar is a regular IRC (Internet Relay Chat) network, so if you already have an IRC client installed, you just need to connect to and join the channel. Nightstar is one of the included networks on MIRC and Trillian, so if you have either of those you should be able to connect. You can also download MIRC from here. If none of that makes any sense, there’s information on how to connect in Nightstar’s Quick and Dirty Guide to IRC or if that’s all too much hassle, you’ll be glad to know that there’s a web-based connection (using Java) available on the Nightstar website.

The Honourable Fiend is also running a channel on another server, so you can flick between the two chats like you flick between BBC, ITV and Sky.

Nosemonkey will have a full roundup of what’s been going on during the day later this evening, including details of who’s going to be liveblogging the event. If you can’t wait to find out, then Justin has a provisional list.

Finally, joining us here at the General Election blog for one night only, Phil Hunt of Cabalamat will be doing his best Peter Snow impression with oodles of statistics and predictions as to what it all means.


Getting your concession in early

The absolutely-not-fascist-at-all English Democrats have announced that Garry Bushell will be their candidate in the South Staffordshire election that’s had to be delayed because of the death of the Liberal Democrat candidate. Given that he’s a candidate in Greenwich at the current election, it’s good to see someone realising that it’s not worth waiting till 1opm to concede defeat.


Attention the interwebnet!

I’m going to be knocking up a close of poll blog roundup this evening for about 10pm, with a few choice bits and pieces from blogland - if any crop up today - but that’s not all.

We want to collect together info about anywhere and everywhere covering the results live - messageboards, liveblogging, whatever. There’ll be a messageboard up round here somewhere (I don’t understand these things), a bunch of the contributors will be liveblogging at their regular blogs, and a bunch of other people will be doing bits and pieces all over the murky depths of British cyberspace.

Considering how God-damn dull this election’s liable to be it won’t be exciting, but - short of marching up to Tony Blair at midnight and shooting him square between his gurningly smug, self-satisfied eyes - we’ll do our best to liven it up.

So - any info on tonight’s web-based plans, bunk an email to - and we’ll try to make this the ultimate hub for all your browing of unqualified self-appointed pundit needs.



Simon Keal
Nick Barlow
Chicken Yoghurt
Ken Owen
Alex Harrowell



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