And all three parties can claim a victory: Labour can still form a majority government, the Conservatives took some scalps, and the Lib Dems have more MPs than we’ve had since the 20s, as well as a national increase in vote share, and oodles more second places, which puts us in a better position for the next general election.
But all three parties are also disappointed. Labour lost seats and support, the Conservatives are still lower in numbers than Labour’s low-water mark, and for us — only 10 gains? We didn’t make the gain in the East Midlands we were hoping for, and our sitting MP’s majority increased slightly when we were hoping for a meteoric rise.
At the end of the night in Nottingham, we definitely took home results we were happy with. We held onto a seat in difficult circumstances in a Council by-election, we were the only major party to see significant increases in vote-share in all three Nottingham, and we snatched second place from the Conservatives in Nottingham East.
But enough of psephology for now. My mind is turning to catching up on domestic and council work, and getting ready for my road trip to France. I have now bought ferry tickets and pretty much everything I need for my extended break.
All I need to do now is find my passport!
In all the excitement, I haven’t had a chance to upload my chopper gags.
‘Axe the Tax’ photos like this have lead to a whole series of ‘how big is your chopper’ gags. As you can see, Paul Holmes MP has a very big chopper indeed.
But not nearly so much as the problem of guillotining leaflets. Printing A5 leaflets on A4 or A3 paper means you need an awful lot of chopping done.
At work we don’t have as big a chopper as I would like. In fact, it’s old, blunt, the safety screen has long since broken off, and it can only handle about 10 sheets at a time, which isn’t much help when you have a constituency’s worth of leaflets to chop.
So, we spent a fair amount of time bombing down the M1 with a carload of leaflets to colleagues 60 miles away who have an industrial size chopper — one so big you need both hands to get it to work. So big, it has a label stuck to it saying ‘Einmanbedienung’ — for use by strictly one operator at a time. It can cut 500 sheets at a time.
Even when you factor in the time to take 40,000 sheets of paper downstairs, load them into a car, drive them 60 miles down the M1, unload them, and carry them upstairs to the chopper, it’s quicker to use the industrial chopper than the office one.
Since I’m going to be working all day on polling day, I’ve applied for a postal vote.
Which hadn’t arrived by this morning’s post, because I didn’t leave home till the postman had been.
So, I phoned the elections office to ask where my vote was and what I can do about it, and apparently it was posted to me a fortnight ago. Not to worry, councillor, if you turn up at the Guildhall tomorrow with photo-ID and something with your address on, we’ll issue you with an emergency ballot.
Which is all very well, and quite reassuring that I will actually get a vote…
… except that somehow, my postal vote turned up at my house inbetween me leaving and my other half getting home.
Where has it been for 14 days?