The longest TV election night in UK history now reaches its 96th hour. Have they allowed David Dimbleby some sleep? Judging by his appearance at the hurriedly arranged 8.30 pm BBC1 Election special, he’s had a few hours kip.
But under the hallowed unwritten UK constitution it’s actually a requirement that a Dimbleby remains on TV until a new government is formed. It’s going to be a long night.
You guys all wanted a hung parliament – and this is what it’s like. We’re watching the formation of a Government in slow-mo, something that usually happens in just a few hours on the early hours of a Friday morning after the polls close.
But you’ve got to admit these are great, dramatic political events. Today (Monday) perhaps the best of all as Gordon Brown shifted the dynamic once more with his resigning as leader, but remaining PM. It’s one of the great features of that same unwritten UK constitution that we can do this – “I’m resigning as leader, but I’m still in charge of the country”. Beleaguered leaders elsewhere must see this as a pretty neat trick.
General Election Night, usually the time of highest drama as MPs fall and rise, now feels like the phony war. There was no Portillo moment then. But I think we’ve had it now, with Gordon falling on his sword outside No 10. But “were you back home in time for Gordon?”, sadly doesn’t have the same ring to it. Continue reading