Friday, May 03, 2013

UK politics: elections 2013

Election 003-har.jpg

We were filming in Harrogate yesterday, assembling material for the foundation video on The Harrogate Agenda – and took the opportunity to capture some election scenes. We were due to end up at South Shields, filming the count, but our press passes were withdrawn by South Tyneside Council, so we are excluded from the scene.

That brings me back home, with the result from South Shields not due until 2 am, or later – with the local authority results trickling in over the next two days. Hence, I have set up this post, which I will keep active and add to, from time to time, linking to a forum thread, to which we can all add information. 

In the meantime, Peter Kellner is telling us that, if you're looking for simple winners and losers, stick to soccer. The world of politics is more difficult to gauge. You can't argue with the sense of that, other than to observe that the real losers are always the voters. 

Already, though, Kellner is perpetrating his own brand of spin. As far as the national picture is concerned, he says, "vote share matters more than seats gained and lost". But that is not true. What really matters is turnout – the real measure of public engagement in the political process. 

My own personal soundings, on the basis of a very limited sample, suggest that there is nothing to write home about. Despite UKIP injecting some life into the campaign, the turnout was "about normal" – i.e., low. Details of the seats up for grabs are here.

Whether my prediction holds, we will have to wait and see. As Mr Cameron is braced for a "bloody nose", we'll post more as and when we have it.