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It's Election time . . .
 For those of you of a political persuasion, you may have noticed that there's an election taking place in the dear old United Kingdom.  First Result:  Sunderland.  Held for us (whoops, I mean the Labour Party) but an 8% swing to the toffs (oh, I mean the Conservative Party).  Not that I'm biased . . .

Is there a huge policy divide between the two main parties anymore?

I think so, although others may disagree. However, if there's a hung parliament, there may have to be compromises on many policies.

I watched the debates and it all looked like a political custer cream to me. Two of the exact same biscuit slightly left and right of center and a squishy bit of filling getting lost in the middle (lib dems). Can there be a coalition government in the UK or has there to be an outright majority?

It is too early; I'm having an UNCLE fest rather than watch the results; Starting to think I should actually go to bed now and get up about 3am. This early waiting bit is not good.

There can be a coalition.
I'm in Scotland, where we have devolution of a number of powers, and our Scottish parliament would be regarded as a hung parliament. The Nationalists did not have a majority. But oddly enough, it is working.
UK-wide there is some fear of a hung Parliament, yet in our devolved bit it does actually manage.

We normally have coalitions, its supposed to keep the bigger party honest... didnt do that job so well for the last few years though!

Yes, I don't think that a hung parliament is such a tragedy. Personally, I would like to see Proportional representation pushed through, which the Liberal Democrats may be able to do in a deal with the Labour Party.

Unfortunately, there has been a largish swing to the Tories after three seats declared, but the night is young. I'm staying up because my husband is setting off for Italy at 3am on pilgrimage (!)

Its funny you should express a preference for proportional representation as this is the system we have. There is currently a growing movement to change it as it is felt that it leaves candidates open to undue local influence and therefore does not allow them to truly represent the national interest with sufficient impartiality.

I've always thought it was a good idea since I first voted as at least it is a truer reflection of how people actually vote. A lot of young people have felt that their vote was often wasted in our first past the post system. It will be interesting after this election whether there is a great push for PR; if the Tories get in, they will definitely oppose it.

We got the PR for our local councils, and it has made a difference. The key words up here are 'balanced' government and 'consensus' politics. But the power-share thing is working - people have to work together or nothing would ever happen.

I always believed this when I was a local councillor, but it didn't always go down very well. I happen to believe that compromise is a sign of strength not weakness.

Think the way we are split it is also fair. It is more representative of the voters. But we all expected paralysis and we're fairly surprised that it works!
Forgive me for dropping in like this. I'm new to Live Journal and not often on it, but I was bouncing across MFU fiction links then a newsletter, sort of waiting for election results, and here you were mentioning the election.

I'm delighted you dropped in. I don't often post (just make crass comments about the Russian mainly), but I do feel one should mark important occasions, in a spirit of international understanding of course.

"I don't often post (just make crass comments about the Russian mainly)" lets not forget the occasional but skillful flirtation with snark!

Ha!

While we're waiting for the results, a fiasco is unwinding . . . people turning up to vote at some polling stations have been turned away as 10pm dawned because they couldn't cope with the numbers . . .

We swanned in after work and voted in the theatre - the grandest polling station I've been in for a long time.

Aye, I kind of thought more of our American cousins would be around just now, but I suppose our election is a bit of a minority issue.

Or incomprehensible issue, more like! Still, I'm an 'educator' and my mission tonight is to educate our cousins in the mysteries of the United Kingdom electoral process . .

Good luck with that.
Going to head for bed just now, and see how things look in a few hours time...I'm getting too old to stay up.
Night

Thanks for joining in my election fest!

Our last election was awful. They (They?) ran the votes for Holyrood and for the local councils (with PR for the first time so number your choices) on the one day, and the percentage of spoiled ballot papers was incredibly high. They had gone round beforehand giving seminars on how to vote, but there was still too much confusion. Then for the count they used machines which did not work properly. We all stood around a sports centre for hours, and I sneaked off at 3.30am with not a single result declared.
They (!) will not do that again. One election at a time from now on.

Mm, sounds a right mess. I'm scratching my head at the thought of it - sounds like it beat the hanging chads into a cocked hat.

Things are hotting up - the Tories have got a few of their target seats!!

I hate hanging around counts - I used to live in the most marginal seat in England (Kettering). Three recounts . . . yawn.

I may have got that wrong. The voting was in three sections, as we had to choose a) our councillors b) our MSP and c) our list MSP which was an indirect result based on the party votes. I remember standing in the polling booth baffled by a voting slip which had 25 names on it....it was like loo roll.
The whole thing was like a Monty Python sketch.
Anyway, better get a few hours sleep.
Nice chatting to you,
Eilidh.

As an interested American, I'm getting a little worried as the Tories are ahead last I checked. If the Tories get a majority and do away with the BBC, I will be very very upset. I love the BBC. Quality programming! I listen to radio shows on the iplayer regularly. Go labor!

At the moment, as I speak it appears that there will be a hung parliament, the Tories not having enough seats to govern. Mr Brown will probably try to work something out with the Liberal Democrats to keep the Tories out of power. I share your love of the BBC and its commitment to impartiality and quality programming, and I hope that it will be able to retain its independence whatever the party in power.

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