Well most of the results of yesterday’s election are in, and it is officially a ‘hung’ parliament – no party has more than 50% of the seats. Here’s my take:
- The LibDems didn’t make the breakthrough that we expected. They did poll a respectable 23% of all votes cast, but due to our archaic voting system this has only translated to 51 seats so far. Labour have 29% and that gave them 247 seats – almost 5 times more despite only getting an additional 6%.
- Dr Evan Harris, the LibDem science spokesperson, lost his seat in Oxford, to a religious science sceptic.
- The Conservatives took several seats in West Yorkshire, including Keighley and Calder Valley, and held Shipley which they narrowly won last time.
- The Conservatives haven’t got the majority that they wanted, and it’s possible that a coalition of other parties could form an alternative majority or near-majority government against them.
- The Liberal Democrats won in my constituency, Bradford East, which used to be a Labour seat. Admittedly the win was by less than 400 votes but a win is a win.
- The British National Party have once again failed to win any seats, and in most constituencies came no higher than third place. Nick Griffin, their leader standing in Barking, actually polled less votes than in 2005.
- The Green Party will have their first MP in Brighton.
- Jacqui Smith, whose husband claimed two porn films on her parliamentary expenses, and Shahid Malik, who was also embroiled in the expenses scandal, both lost their seats; however, they unfortunately lost them to the Conservatives.
Although most of the results are now in, this isn’t the end. We can expect days, or perhaps weeks of uncertainty until a government is formed. I’m hoping that a Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition is possible but there’s potentially many different things that could happen during May. Let’s hope that whatever happens will be in the best interests of the country and its people.