Whatever the final result – and at this time of the morning it’s still unclear who will end up in Number 10 – there are real issues coming out of this election.
First is a sense of real joy that the repugnant views of the BNP have been so roundly rejected. The result in Barking and Dagenham was a high spot of the night where Margaret Hodge (for whom I don’t have that much time) humiliated Nick Griffin (for whom I have absolutely none).
Second is the “locking out” of voters. No! We don’t need an enquiry into this and it isn’t down to massive failures of the process and it isn’t undemocratic. All those people who turned up late in the evening? You could have got a postal vote – it’s only a tick on a form! The polling stations were open for fifteen hours! Get your lives together and stop blaming others for your own failures.
Most important, though, is the state of our electoral system.
As I write the BBC number crunching gives us:
Conservatives with 285 seats and 9,882,732 votes
Labour with 232 seats and 7,783,385
Liberal Democrats with 50 seats and 6,195,194
This means that it takes 34,676 votes to elect a Tory MP, 33,549 to elect a Labour MP, but a mahoosive 123,903 to elect a Liberal Democrat.
Our “winner takes all” electoral system is corrupt and does NOT reflect the will of the country. (The fatuous fathead Michael Gove is on the telly right now wittering on about the “will of the people”, the “democratic verdict”.) The electorate has spoken, but the system allows those with a vested interest to ignore huge numbers of us.
What IS very clear is that no one single party has a mandate to wield absolute power. Reform of our electoral system is long overdue, but don’t hold your breath waiting for the two major parties doing anything about it.