Smiled when I read Norm's comment on the election and how "from 1979 to 1992 [he] went to bed on election nights (actually mornings) a lot less happy than [he] did at 5.30 today".
Agreed. I did A level politics back in 1983-85 and since the 1979 election of Thatcher and the turning of Nottingham from Labour Red to Tory blue, I had sat up with my mother to watch the election results come in. Despite our longings, the blueness of the area was reinforced in 1983, yet still I sat up, hoping against hope. Finally, Nottingham returned to being a Labour held area in 1992, but I well remember the disappointment and commiserating camaraderie felt when we realised this was not enough to push the Tories out of power. Exhausted and frustrated as I staggered into work, I got into the lift with a guy called John who worked at the banking administrators on the floor below me. Both of us were bleary-eyed and downcast. "If only the local vote had been reflected nationally..." he trailed, wistfully. I often wondered come 1997 what his response was on the bright blue-skied morning of May 2nd when somehow the darkness felt as if it had lifted, despite our deep ideological reservations about the New labour project... fears that in many respects were realised.
Yet, for all my concerns and regrets about how the parties have shifted further and further from the ideals I cherish, the alternatives are SO much more destructive that I still feel a smidgeon of pleasure in election nights... and I hope that I don't have to return to the dark emotions of those nights from 1979 to 1992.