So home at 6ish, via the polling station to vote, and via tesco where I bought the entire universe of snack food. Amusingly the one thing I went in for (pizza) was the one thing we didn't even think about getting round to eating. Still it'll keep and do for a meal another time. When I got home I geeked a little and then had a couple of hours of nap, which it seems was just what I needed, though I awoke rather frazzled. Switched on the tv while I faffed and cracked open a can of red bull to wake me up. Owen was the first to arrive and we had a nice quiet bit before the first results came in at about 10:44 from Sunderland, and we saw them going on the spray paint map in Gateshead. And we got to see Peter Snow demonstrating his "3-way battleground" graphics, which I think were the best overall winner in terms of presenting lots of information in a clear way. It was especialy good to see towards the end of the night the way the ground will stand at the beginning of the *next* election, and how many many more seats will have become Lib/Lab marginals in particular. Fascinating.
Anyway various other people joined us. Ian, Naath, Richard, Adam, Ganesh, Pete Clay, Phil Kendall, Duncan and MHF (I hope that's everyone). A largish batch gave up and went home around 3ish, and Duncan and MHF left around 4:30 when there was still no sign of the Cambridge result. Adam and Helen stayed to the bitter end though, and it was well worth staying up for the Cambridge results at 5:10. Mike Pitt had kindly dropped us a couple of hints from the guildhall by SMS, but was allowed to say very little, but it was clear it was going to be interesting. We never dreamed of such a *huge* swing though. Anyway we enjoyed the bubbly that Helen had brought along, although I didn't quite finish mine and am in fact sipping flat bubbly as I write. Decadent or something.
And then I caught my Mike on irc and chatted a while before he went out clubbing. 10pm in California. And we ended up going to bed after Mark did in Ohio. Being up so late does very strange things to perception of time across the globe. Adam left at 6:30 to head home and hence to work, and Helen crashed out here, and managed to oversleep her lectures. To see the sunshine in the morning before going to sleep was lovely. And I slept for 5 or 6 hours and woke strangely refreshed.
Perhaps it's not the result a lot of people wanted to see overall. But in general Labour have a reduced majority, the Tories picked up very little extra of the vote and not too huge an extra number of seats, and the LibDems may not have done as well as they wished but they still have a very respectable number of MPs: most for a liberal party since Lloyd George in 1929 or whenever it was. And it was an excellent evening of punditry, good company, light hearted heckling, nice nibbles and a small quantity of nice wine drunk. Not as spectacular a party as the one I was at in 1997, and a much less naive and more tempered feeling of hope, but so much more satisying on all fronts than 2002.