There has been much talk over the last 12 hours about the anti-Labour vote. There was much anticipation about the Liberal Democrat's hopes to challenge and truly bring about 3-party politics in the UK (something we note they say pretty much at every election).
What actually happened? Many Labour strongholds saw shifts to the LibDems without it necessarily affecting how close the Tories got to the Labour vote. Where Tories did make inroads, it was generally to 'gain' seats that had historically been strong swing seats between the Tories and Labour or seats which had gone Labour (in some instances for the first time ever) back in the election of 1997 when the scale of the anti-Tory vote astonished even the Labour party. The LibDems generally lost out to a strengthened Tory vote in seats where the LibDems proclaimed the possibility of 'decapitating' the Tory front-bench. There were some horrifying numbers voting for far-right parties.
What does this show? In 1983 The Labour party was deemed dead and buried with a similar result to that of the Tories in this new parliament. The Tories not only need to continue to hold onto the seats they won this time around, but substantially need to win over more of those seats which Labour held onto - seats where in several instances the LibDem vote went up. And that LibDem increase can't help but be acknowledged as partly a ill-thought out search for a more radical left-ish political agenda [I could talk at length about how the LibDems have been situated by the media as a more left-wing party than the Labour party. I think there are aspects of that which are true, but many more that illustrate this was specious nonsense --- mostly because, as frustrating as LibDems may find it, under the current electoral system they are still NO WHERE NEAR being an electable government].
And as for George Galloway... I feel sick. I have hugely mixed feelings about the war, and the manner in which the decision was made, justified and squabbled over in the period after ground troops declared their ceasefire on hostilities (pity not everyone else has done the same). I sadly don't believe that the quagmire of Iraq is one that will go away anytime soon. But I DO firmly believe that free elections in Iraq, and the demolition of Saddam's regime (so long after he was let off the hook by the post-1990 Tory and Republican agendas) are absolutely GOOD THINGS. As such, the divisive manner in which Galloway fought his election campaign - which in some ways would not have disgraced the sentiments of the BNP - can in no way be celebrated as a positive thing for politics in this country and I feel heartily sorry for a Jewish-black woman MP like Oona King who had to deal with such attacks upon herself. It does no credit at all the our electoral system and for once I have some empathy with Paxo's attacking style of interview.