Friday, March 22, 2013
Out for the count
If it'd had been an episode of some soap or other, the audience would have tutted at the lazy clichés: the tousle haired besuited Tory; the shabby bejumpered Greens; the studenty Labourites; the naked goat sacrificing Lib Dems (OK, small lie, earnest and bebeiged Lib-Dems); and the BNPers keeping themselves to their own, which in this case meant two lads in bomber jackets and DMs, and an agent-cum-ring master in a smart suite and dodgey glasses.There were more polling agents than counters, and for some reason they spent the night trying to guess the result, rather than just watching the process for fairness. Why on Earth they were trying to count the votes for their party during the ballot verification count I'll never know. As you'll have seen from the size of the turnout, the whole process didn't take long, about an hour and a half, beginning to end.I did at least come close to taking Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn's seat from him, when I realised he was sitting on my jacket, but he stood up anyway before I could make that joke. Bum. When the results we announced he cried "Shame!" when the BNP vote was announced. For a while I thought we were in with a chance of beating them (I was disturbed to hear their Glorious leader say they'd only distributed a couple of hundred leaflets on their easier to post-through streets). I spotted him looking twice at a Labourites lap-top why was emblazened with "This machine kills fascists" on it's top, he didn't seem fazed by it.Thanks and praise are due to the election count staff who did their job efficiently and accurately (and with good humour). Also they gave out a little sheet explaining the process of the night, which I told them other councils haven't done, it was good to have some grasp of the order of events.