I’ve always enjoyed watching the aftermath of an election. My favourite one was probably in 1997 when the Conservative Party found out that Scotland was a Tory-free zone. The details are a bit hazy, but I’m sure that it was Michael Forsyth who was the last to fall. I cheered so much it prompted my parents to investigate the noise.
Much has changed since. Back then I was a Labour supporter; I am no longer. Tonight, rather than being angry with my reactions to seeing an unpopular party being wiped out, my father was sitting next to me, sipping his drams and exchanging banter.
Politically, we very much differ. He tends to lean towards the right, whereas I’m a fairly liberal lefty. But we both (first) voted in the same way. I don’t know how he cast his second vote, but mine went to the Greens. We both want Independence.
I’ve watched the first few results come in. Rutherglen was held by Labour, but only just. East Kilbride went to the SNP, and shortly afterwards Hamilton, Lanark & Stonehouse fell.
Tonight I expected a wipeout for the LibDems. We eliminated the Conservatives before, and their Westminster bedfellows should expect the same. No matter how much water flows under the bridge, the damage that Thatcher did remains clear in our memories. I expected Labour to get a slight kick up the arse, but not the thumping that it’s getting. So far only three results have been declared, but they’re in the Labour heartland. If ever Labour needed to wake up and smell the coffee, it is now.
I have enjoyed this evening. Despite my stepmother’s protests, it’s an opportunity for my father and I to show some common ground. It’s my first proper Twelection too – I’ve gained a few followers and engaged with the whole social media thing a lot more than I had done before. I just hope that I can enjoy watching the next government of Scotland make changes for the better and that we ensure those parties, who have done so much damage in the past, never see power again.