davidn: (prince)

This is incredible - people said that the SNP couldn’t be doing that well, but it’s been five hours, nearly half of Scotland has been declared and nobody else has got a seat yet, even in the ones that were solidly Labour last time. From six seats last election to commanding the country is remarkable. Does this mean the shock Tory gains will be true as well?

With Scotland’s confidence in rejecting the English parties, some commentators on Twitter are already speculating that this could be the last UK election that involves Scotland.

Map stolen from The Telegraph, sorry.

Exit polls

May. 7th, 2015 07:19 pm
davidn: (Jam)
http://www.bbc.com/news/election-2015-32633099

Cripes and gosh. The 2015 UK election coverage has just started and it’s incredible already - by law there, you can’t report on speculated results until the polls are closed, so the first we hear of the forecast is when the exit polls are released at 10pm BST.

The exit polls are completely different from everything all polls indicated in the run-up to the election. It was expected to be virtually a tie between the Tories and Labour at 280ish each with nobody ably to form a majority even with a two-party coalition. But instead, the Tories are predicted to get an unbelievable 316 seats - this puts them 10 short of a majority, and still able to form the coalition with the Liberal Democrats again (even though they’re expected to be ousted in a record-breaking fashion, going down to only ten seats). Meanwhile, Labour will be hammered down even further than they are already to 239 - a disaster for them.

The other big thing is the unprecedented SNP prediction - from having only a few seats at the last election, they’re now predicted to control Scotland. And I don’t mean get a majority of seats - I mean they are predicted to get every seat in mainland Scotland, with just the Orkney and Shetland islands to the north remaining in support of the Liberal Democrats. This would involve swings of up to 50% from the Labour incumbents.

The exit polls show such extremes that there are questions about whether they can possibly be right - either they’ll be the most inaccurate in UK history, or this will be the biggest election upset in UK history.

Referendum

Sep. 18th, 2014 02:34 pm
davidn: (rant)
I haven't even mentioned the Scottish Referendum to anyone - somehow it's always seemed like it was a far-off unimaginable thing, but I think it only hit me yesterday that this is truly going to alter the future of the United Kingdom. An incredible 97% of Scottish citizens have registered to vote (like the one above who forgot he'd left his white suit out on the washing-line before he spray-painted his fence) and my Facebook has been alive with campaigners, mostly showing enthusiasm from the Yes side.

I haven't shared my opinion because I really don't know what to think - in America I've been used to many hot-button political issues having an obvious right and wrong answer from a progressive standpoint, but this is the first time in ages that if given the choice, I really wouldn't know what to decide. "No" is seen as the safe and dull choice, staying with a country that's worked before but is in a serious social decline, and "yes" comes with a ton of risks and uncertainties but allows Scotland to keep providing the things I'm proud it provides like freely available education and healthcare... if the economics of it work out. "Yes" seems like the step to take to hope for an exciting and promising future, but if I were still living there, I'd probably be much more fearful of change and more in favour of things staying the same.

But I don't get a vote, so I'm sitting here hitting F5 on the BBC News site all day - not that this actually does anything, because no reports on the actual polls are allowed until they close, and the results won't be announced until about 7am in Scotland, which is after midnight where I live. If it's a Yes, then I'll have to reapply for citizenship to my own country due to not having been born there - that'll be a barrel of laughs.

There has already been one Yes today - the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews has taken the "NO GIRLS ALLOWED" sign with the S backwards off their treehouse and have decided to allow women to join for the first time in a quarter of a millennium. We are building a fairer society, one step per century.
davidn: (prince)
It's time once again to watch an untold number of people who I wouldn't trust to sit the right way up on a chair make decisions as to how to screw up the lives of me and my friends. Today the Americans voted, Obama has been miles ahead in the polls though the media still insists it couldn't be closer, and we will see tonight if a major upset has been pulled off.

You may notice that I am slightly less enthusiastic about this than four years ago - back then, the result felt like something big, a new era (and it still remains a wonderful cultural achievement). Since then, however, I've lost much faith that this decision actually makes a whole lot of difference, mostly because my post-election expectations were too optimistic. Social change is in reality a painful, drawn-out process during which I've seen a lot of active revulsion towards the type of culture in which I used to live, and multiple false starts and reversals of social evolution along the way. And it's inescapable - for what seems like the last three hundred millennia we've been bombarded with each side slinging negative campaign adverts at each other that are edited specifically for an audience gullible to the point of braindeadness, pandering to a disturbingly simplistic and hateful black and white culture.

With that in mind, let's get this over with - my only real hope is that it ends within the next twelve days.

20:05

I always forget how astonishingly useless the early results are. A couple of states are coloured in that include no surprises, and then the news channels keep cycling around saying that one candidate is 60% ahead but only about twelve votes have been counted. At least many of the critical states are close to the east coast, increasing the possibility that I can just forget about this and go to bed quite soon.

20:20

Still no real news, but I wanted to note that the BBC appear to be presenting the election from the holodeck this year. I admit this is something that I sort of love about elections - it makes every network pit the full force of their graphics designers against each other in producing this newscasting end-of-series special.

I'm surprised David Dimbleby is doing it - I didn't think that there would be another election marathon left in him.

20:32

Everyone's got their eye on Florida (29) at the moment - it keeps going back and forth as more votes are counted. Losing this wouldn't absolutely destroy Romney's chances, but only in the same way that being run over by a Parcel Force van wouldn't absolutely destroy a hedgehog.

I was looking forward to watching the results coming in on Electoral Vote, a purely data-driven site that I trust, but he's just put a note up saying "The servers are totally overloaded. This may not work. I'm trying but not hopeful."

You know what? I'd love watching this if both parties were remotely sane.

21:00

While Whitney chooses the newscaster to listen to on the strength of their hotness, a new hour marks the beginning of some more unsurprising results coming in. This is mostly the equivalent of the rubbish blue eastern states at the moment, with a red wall full of tiny amounts of electoral votes. A couple of more populous states like New York (29) have been declared as blue, though, and we can never forget about brave New Mexico (5) down there in a blood-red sea.

21:05

How is it possible that it's this difficult to cast a vote in this country, anyway? You'd think they would be prepared for an election by now - in between the news people telling us that they can't yet tell us anything, they're talking about how ballot machines have dodgy touchscreens and they're running out of paper ballots. And the swing states still have people waiting outside to vote, with the races in at least five of them still too close to make any guess whatsoever.

I'm already beginning to fear that this election will be another 2000, with recounts going on for weeks and it eventually being decided not by voters but by lawyers.

21:20ish

This has been like watching the world's most boring trainwreck - I'm practically comatose but time is still flying past somehow and I just can't look away from it. Pennsylvania's just gone to Obama - this isn't one of the absolutely vital states for Romney, but it was one that was predicted as only barely democratic, so it might be a sign of more blue to come.

Florida (29) is still blue by the skin of its embarrassingly phallic shape, and Ohio (18) is also blue by a rather safer margin.

One of the two big certainties has been officially called so far - Texas (38) has been coloured, but California (55) hasn't. If we pre-emptively include that in the running total, Obama is over 200 now.

21:40

Wisconsin (10) has been predicted as going to Obama as well now - I still don't understand why some states can be declared instantly despite only 2% of precincts reporting and with the other candidate 4000 votes ahead. Nevertheless, that's another little uncertainty becoming a little more certain.

21:42

Oh, Elizabeth Warren's just won the Senate seat here in Massachusetts. That's a rather nice surprise, her beating the incumbent pickup-truck-driving smeghead Scott Brown, even though her adverts were the marginally more annoying ones.

22:00

Wow, it's been another hour already. No real new results at all. Everything's too close to call. This is like staying up hitting F5 on my exam results page all weekend even though I knew they wouldn't come out until Monday.

22:18

So from where we stand now (on the BBC), Obama needs 113 more electoral votes to win. Certainties still not counted on their map are California (55), Oregon (7), Washington (12), New Mexico (5) and Wisconsin (10) - cumulatively 89. So 25 more have to come from somewhere - Florida (29) would do it instantly, but getting Ohio (18) or Virginia (13) would also more than likely be enough to block all possible Romney paths.

The trouble is that we won't know about any of those for about five days yet.

22:30

Just been interrupted by an advert for Colon Flow, reminding me that there are problems with this country that nobody can hope to fix.

22:44

A very nice, dignified concession speech from Scott Brown just now, to a soundtrack of absolutely shocking behaviour from his audience. At the moment they're chanting "Go, Scott, go" - a sentiment that I wholeheartedly agree with.

I haven't mentioned much but the presidential race so far - the Senate is looking surprisingly democratic at the moment, with a couple of seats being picked up that I didn't expect.

And it's looking quite like Romney will be ahead in the popular vote by a fair margin (though this is still with no western states reporting). Goodness knows I'm not staying up all night - we'll find out whenever it's all over.

23:00

The expected blue boost as the west coast closes - Obama is on about 250 now. No surprises, nothing worthwhile talking about. Count faster, you lot in Florida!

A moment later

Oh, Iowa's been called for Obama now. That's only six electoral votes, but every little helps.

23:12

It's all over - Ohio's gone to Obama as well and that really does put him up over the edge. According to "projections". How does this even work. That's it, I'm going to bed - bye.

Well done.
davidn: (skull)
This morning, I read in the quotations book we keep in the bathroom that people find it easier to name ten artists from any period than ten politicians. "That's easy," I thought. "Tony Blair, William Hague, Iain Duncan-Smith, John Prescott, Robin Cook, Boris Johnson, Anne WiddecombAAAAAGH"

Because it suddenly snapped into my brain that I had had a ghastly nightmare about my parents breaking the news to me (on my brother's birthday) that I was actually Anne Widdecombe's son. I asked who the mother father was, and was told that, to made matters worse, she was actually both my parents, because it had all been the result of some horrific genetic engineering experiment. I've never been so glad to wake up.

Over here in real life, however, the mid-term elections were yesterday - there has been virtually nothing but constant attack adverts on the television for a few months (I've never seen this allowed in Britain - I honestly don't know how the people who live here have all managed to cope with American television all their lives). There are three branches of government and the population never allows one party to stay completely in power for long, and it had been known for some time that the Republicans were gearing up to turn the country red (GBR: blue) in November, but in a very unusual situation last night, the House changed majorities but not the Senate.

The new House seats include a surprising number of crazy people - the semi-organized Tea Party here has sprung up over the last two years as something approaching the BNP Extreme, though they don't appear to distinguish themselves from the main party on the results. Ian Hislop explains the difference rather well. In Britain we laugh at people like this, but here, they stand a chance of getting elected (that woman in the subsequent clip didn't, though).

The hope for splitting the power again is that the two parties will be forced to work together to improve the country, but what will actually happen is that they will never agree on anything and the country is shafted in terms of doing anything at all for at least the next two years - it's known that the world tends towards being more liberal as time goes on, but America lags behind somewhat and this won't exactly help.

As the party who isn't awful seems to have demonstrated over the last while that it's just useless and unwilling to work with its advantages, if I had a vote I would probably have used it to suggest returning to British rule. Perhaps David Cameron would allow Nick Clegg to have the country as some sort of runner-up prize.
davidn: (prince)
Hey, you lot - go and vote along with the other 41% of the American population expected to do so today. The other 59% won't realize how much they miss the opportunity until they don't have it (not that I'm saying this is likely to happen to anyone soon, but anything's possible with the sort of backward maniacs you get in politics around here).

I suspect the time has already passed to stop encouraging the Americans and go back to laughing at them, but what can you do.
davidn: (skull)
I know I haven't exactly been helping this affliction over the last week or so, but if you're sick of the UK election by now, here's a small glimpse into how politics work over here. This attack advert on somebody called Bradley Byrne running for the Governor of Alabama has been going around recently.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJG-7s1e5eM


American political/news laugher-atter Jon Stewart recently made fun of the UK debates because one of the more serious and weighty accusations discussed was the taking away of bus passes. By comparison, this advert instead focuses on the way that someone dares to suggest that evolution is really quite a plausible theory for how life might have come about and demonizes any hint at rationality. I love the question intonation - "evolution best explains the origin of life?" Yes, because a tale about the first of us being moulded from clay and having the essence of life blown up through his nostrils is much more plausible.

Perhaps the saddest part of it is that rather than sticking to what it would seem he actually believes, Bradley has now responded reassuring people that he does honestly think that the earth sprang into existence six thousand years ago and was engineered in about a week by a big man with a beard, because the good citizens there just don't trust people who question the Bible and demonstrate any particles of independent thought - the whole thing is a sort of stupidity arms race in which candidates have to prove that they're the one least suited to life in the real world.

I really do think Obama's doing his best, but it must be difficult to get a country into shape when it contains anything approaching this hailstorm of imbeciles.

And in case you're thinking I'm being a bit unfair about all this - which I'm not - here's an example of what political interviews are like in Britain. We don't debate evolution, because no rational design could have produced Boris Johnson.
davidn: (ace)
I wasn't totally sure what reaction the last post would get, but my Friends list remains happily undiminished. In its place today, here's something related but much lighter - something that used to be a fixture for my family on Friday nights and that I've had to keep downloading to keep up with since moving here. Come to think of it, this series is now where I get most of my UK news from - and this was one of their best episodes ever. As if somebody decided the normal name for the programme just wasn't unwieldy enough, it's:

Have I Got A Bit More Election News For You (Series 39 Episode 5)

It's 45 minutes long but well worth watching, if you haven't seen it by now and/or are one of the people who have been following the election from outside the UK. I was particularly impressed with the performance of the only just defeated (the previous night) Lib Dem MP Osbit Lempik, who I hadn't really known about before this, but he seems wonderfully able to laugh at both himself and the madness of the entire election campaign. Indeed, like Paul Merton says, watching this was very therapeutic - "it's all over, now let's just take the piss out of the whole thing".
davidn: (skull)
Christ almighty, but my Facebook page has become a political vomitzone over the last few days. Listen, everyone:

To some of those on the left, Nick Clegg has done exactly what he said he was going to do from the start to form some semblance of a stable government. So I'm not really convinced that anyone's been "betrayed" or that it's fair to describe this as a Clegg-Cameron slashfest, and the sooner the photos of the Lib Dem leader with horns and a beard crudely scribbled over the top stop coming, the better. Especially if they're also of him in bed with David Cameron.

To some of those on the right, how is it possible that you have no concept of what self-satisfied gits you've metamorphosed into since I saw you last? Go back over your posts over the last week and read over what you're saying to actual people affected by all this, when you try to say you're above arguments with which you disagree with a smug flourish. It's my hope that you'll soon have a revelation of "Wow, I really am a bit of a twat".

Then everyone can go back to making updates about Treasure Island and Farmville that I don't care about, because even that is a fair distance better than all this.

I await the oncoming piley-on with some trepidation.
davidn: (rabbit)
They're still going! Truly, David Dimbleby must be an android. 26 seats remain undeclared, but nobody can win now, so there will have to be dealing either way to form a stable government. Or you could believe the Daily Mail and just accept that this means we're all going to die (as hung parliaments are just behind mobile phones and talcum powder in things that cause cancer).

In tribute to one of the real stars of the evening, who managed to turn "What do you think of the exit polls?" into a loaded and confrontational question, and was heard to say "Look, it's 2:30am, just give me a straight answer" to struggling politicians throughout the night, here's the best thing that radio Dead Ringers ever did.

The Continuing Adventures of Pax-Man

Apart from anything else, I have to admire the Jimmy-Harting of the theme music... coming so close to the actual tune without actually being it.
davidn: (Jam)
I think that this is the first time that I've stayed up to watch the results of the UK elections coming in - ironically, being five hours behind the country now helps with that, because they've been at it for about a quarter of a day now and one tenth of the available seats have been declared. The exit polls seemed to indicate that it was going to go pretty much as expected - the Conservative party getting a lot more seats but nobody having a majority.

Highlights so far have included:

  • Just about everyone from the BBC News ever coming back for a gigantic sort of news end-of-series special
  • Large numbers of people having been turned away because of not enough ballot papers or staff at the polling places - we were behind to America on this for many years, but it looks like we've finally reached their democratic standard
  • The swingometer, which this year is being presented from the BBC holodeck
  • Pax-Man being tough on everyone right from the start, from as innocent a question as just asking three party representatives what they thought of the exit polls
  • One Labour politician almost managing to make it through an interview with him without being sneered at
  • The reaction to Sadiq Khan retaining his seat


But most genuinely surprising was the complete non-appearance in the exit poll of the Lib Dem surge that was going to happen. They're still just about hanging on, but the numbers indicated it was far from a seat-grabbing bonanza and maybe even a couple of losses. We'll have to wait to see, but it looks like it's going to be a long time yet.
davidn: (ace)
This probably isn't something you hear very often, but Election 2010 Challenge has to be the cutest political site I've ever seen.

A group of stickmen queue up at the bottom of the page, and one of them bounces forwards to present its user-submitted idea for Britain to you. If you like the idea, you give it a thumb up, and the figure will celebrate among disco lights or fireworks, or release a load of balloons, then hop off to the other side of the screen while the next stickman in line boings up to talk to you. If you dislike the idea or it's incomprehensible because of the failing school system, you can bring out your inner Caesar and stab the thumbs down button, whereupon the stick figure's head will explode or be abducted by a UFO (it grows a new one), or it'll be squished by a wad of "Cash For Honours", or, wonderfully, a duck-house (it's a long story).

I'm still fascinated by the poll figures (the three links underneath the wheel). The three coloured sections have never been anywhere near that equal before, and it looks more and more likely that we're going to be stuck with a hung parliament.
davidn: (prince)


Well, I think it's fair to say that if there's any party logo poster that'll catch the eye, this is one of them.

I hadn't been following the UK election for May all that much until now, and I hadn't realized that the previously good-natured-seeming but hopeless Liberal Democrats were actually becoming surprisingly visible due to the discontent with the two main parties. I said at the time that it would be quite frightening if the power of the denizens of the Internet was harnessed into something world-affecting when Rage Against The Machine was propelled to the Christmas No. 1 by Facebook, and indeed, there's now a 100,000-strong group (where I got the above picture) promising to vote yellow - not an election-changing number, but a pretty surprising dent nonetheless.

British politics seem inherently more comical to me than American ones - perhaps because there's not a hope of anyone being as pillow-eatingly awful as most of the conservative lot here are, perhaps because of having grown up thinking of them as cartoon versions of themselves thanks to the likes of Spitting Image, Private Eye and Dead Ringers, and the mere existence of Boris Johnson helps as well.

But I've been playing around with the Election Seat Calculator for a surprising amount of time this morning, and spinning the numbers around is rather addictive, especially when you click the recent polls and see how even the split is (in votes and not seats) to cause a hung parliament. Today, the YouGov poll even has the underdog party ahead of both of the other two... and that's just unheard of.
davidn: (skull)
Because America is a nation whose foremost national talent is that of making things slightly worse, I don't suppose I should admit too much surprise at the result of the election in Massachusetts yesterday. I should explain to people outside America that due to the death of Ted Kennedy, an early election was called to fill his seat in the senate for the remainder of what would have been his time in office. This was an important race because it represented still having a 60th vote for the health care... debacle that has been going on for the last while, if the seat went to a Democrat as it should have safely done.

The reason for the result is twofold - because, as I have seen increasingly over the last three years and exemplified by this particular election, the choice in American politics is directly between completely awful and completely useless, and that the American public, having the patience of a Jack Russell terrier and the collective memory of a particularly forgetful goldfish, decide that it would be a good idea to once again get behind the party that had been ruining the country for the last eight years on the grounds that it was having some visible effect.

The hope of last year was good while it lasted, but with this result in what's meant to be a very liberal and forward-thinking state, it's clear that the country is already slipping back to normal and once again inviting a respect level from the rest of the world which hovers around undisguised contempt. Like so many snails climbing wells, it tries but then slides back, evolving every achievement steadfastly backwards - this, gay marriage, everything, until its only contribution to Western culture is the invention of the sausage-wrapped pancake on a stick. Remember this? That's a representation of your future. Knickers to the lot of you.
davidn: (Jam)
Have I somehow become interested in politics because of the election? This is awful. But it's true that I can't seem to stop reading Electoral Vote, mostly because it's honestly a novelty to have some chance of good news. I've started habitually going on to the USA section of the BBC News site in the mornings to see what's being sorted today, after the promise for a more open government on the White House site and asking for requests and suggestions led to the plan for the next four years being a bit like a very long episode of Jim'll Fix It.

Obama's been around a week now, and naturally he could only really live up to the amazing expectations of him at the moment if he actually performs miracles like uniting the Middle East or releasing Duke Nukem Forever, but even if he achieves a tiny fraction of what he's set out to achieve, then it's still very uplifting just knowing that he's there. [livejournal.com profile] gr33bo recently posted about an anti-abortion video, and far from banging my head repeatedly on the screen about its actual message, all I could think of was "You see those people? None of them are the President any more".

Of course, I've still seen little mutterings in the various diverse places I read on the Internet about feeling safer with Bush and proclaiming him the "greatest President of the 21st century" (which I suppose is technically true even if it's like saying "the funniest woman on the Catherine Tate show"), but any feelings I might have had towards those have just been replaced with utter mystification. Having seen him for the last eight years, seeing the country in the state it's in now, your wars, disastrous economy, and wanting him back... none of them will read this so this question is largely rhetorical, but is there something you know that I don't, or are you just a bit of an imbecile?

A non-political good thing is that I think I can now safely declare that we've found the American equivalent of Crunchy Nut - it's an offshoot of Breadtangle of Pizza Honey Bunches of Oats called Just Bunches. Naturally, the disadvantage is that it's one of the most expensive cereals around and only comes in tiny packets, but I won't have to pine quite so much in between British aid packages any more. This country's getting better already.
davidn: (savior)
At last.

I said before that no matter who the President was this time, it would be most remembered as a step up from Bush. I was wrong about that, because against all odds and expectations we got the option that seems the best for moving the world forward, but, equally importantly... it's over. A term that should never have existed in the first place, that was inexplicably extended four years in, and that seems to have lasted a lifetime, is now behind us. President Doofus (as John Stewart has taken to calling him) is now out the door, after having joked "Welcome to my hanging" to introduce his portrait being put up in the White House, in possibly the best thing he's ever said. The contrast was unbelievable last weekend, when we got their speeches one after the other and it was such a change to have someone who looked like he knew what he was talking about rather than that shaved monkey we've had to put up with for the last while, although impressionists everywhere are suddenly going to find themselves much shorter on material. Over the next few years we're going to hear more of a much more pleasant voice that can string sentences together. It's going to be strange at first, but I'm sure I'll get used to it.

Now, I would be lying if I said that all the comments that I heard from the many election-tracking sites that I couldn't stop visiting for months disappeared from my head. I imagine that it's because I tended to visit primarily liberal sites, but all comments that I saw from the Republican voters were childish, inflammatory and seemed to be concentrating far more on getting their side to win, rather than even mentioning the resultant effect on the country and the world. Fairly early on, one of them said he was looking forward to "the liberal savior" being swatted away effortlessly, and even much later on in the campaign, I saw so many comments saying that the Republicans now had Obama "right where they want him" (about 150 electoral votes ahead, at that point. I thought they had more ambition). Worst of all were the racists and white supremacists that vowed to make things as difficult as possible for him simply because of his race.

And now that despite their blind belief, he's won... well, you're not supposed to retaliate if the right thing wins out over the ignorance of the masses, are you? That's why it's the right thing. It's about what you think is best for the world, not a competition like I saw some people making it. You don't gloat, because it's a victory for what you believe is good, not something to turn back at the spiteful people for.

...

Hah, you twats.
davidn: (savior)
Just to remind you that George Bush won't be the President tomorrow.

Feels good, doesn't it?
davidn: (savior)
The final tally looks likely to be 364-174 now, based on a couple of predictions that aren't anywhere near rocket science. That's pretty much landslide territory - which I was hoping for, but they certainly kept us waiting for it yesterday evening. I don't think it's truly sunk in yet, even after a few hours' sleep, and even though it didn't go on for nearly as long as I had though it would. President Barack Obama. The words still seem unbelievable. Well, technicaly he's President Elect Barack Obama until January, but still, in 2008, America have elected their first black president. It's an absolute landmark. You know in all those futuristic films when the president's always someone like Morgan Freeman? We're there now. Not long until flying cars. I've bought two papers reporting his victory, so we can file them away and give them to our children as cheap-as-free 18th birthday presents or something.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] kjorteo, [livejournal.com profile] marcobiagi, [livejournal.com profile] dr_dos, and [livejournal.com profile] lordrosemount for being my main contacts from at least two corners of the globe during the evening and for sharing the historic (yes, I'm sorry, I said it) experience as it happened, along with everyone else who messaged me throughout the process. It's a sign of just how important this is to everyone that so many from Britain stayed up until about five in the morning for it, and that my parents wanted me to phone them and wake them up as soon as we knew the result. I thought that I would be able to make a leisurely update with the numbers every half hour or so, consulting a few other people's journals along the way, but it was more madly hectic than I ever imagined with information coming in constantly and I'm still catching up with sites that I meant to read as the whole thing happened, so I recognized the point of live-livejournalling the whole thing was diminishing throughout the evening. I hope that you weren't too surprised this morning if your Friends page consisted of... me.

Of course, as much as we all would like to believe it with the level of enthusiasm last night, this isn't going to fix the country in one day - but already it's clear that by making this choice, America's standing in the eyes of the rest of the world has improved immeasurably. But if, as the next president said in his acceptance speech, he tries to reach out even to the people who John McCain was trying to quieten down during his concession, who would try to turn his message of hope into one of fear and hate, and tries to put the "united" back in USA... then even though We don't All Live In Future World just yet, I would like to think that each day from now on might be just a little bit brighter.

Yes we can!

Nov. 4th, 2008 10:53 pm
davidn: (savior)
YES YES YES BOLLOCKS I HAVE TO SPEAK AMERICAN FOR A WEEK YES YES

The polls are closed on the west coast. Barack Obama is now above 270 and will be the President. Before we even have certain results from the states still swinging, it's all over.

Well done, America - I think I like you a lot more than I have done for the last eight years. For the first time... I'm actually quite proud to be here.

Here, have some Obiscuits.

Yes we can

Nov. 4th, 2008 10:32 pm
davidn: (savior)
The crowd in Phoenix are looking very damp and glum just now.

Anyway, it's quietened down quite a lot since the initial rush, hasn't it? At first I was hugely worried because a couple of very red or leaning-red-but-might-turn states went first and gave me a heart attack thinking that everything was turning to the Republicans. But then an avalanche started, and a blue flood that I initially thought was overoptimistic seems to have held. I have about twelve different poll sites open, my processor may actually be melting, and I'm having difficult putting words and letters in the right order - but on the whole I now feel safe in calming down.

Perhaps a slight surprise is that while North Carolina has been getting gradually closer (it was about 3000 last time I checked), Virginia, which I had thought was a lost cause very early on, is now about 50,000 ahead for Obama. And that, unlike all other results so far, is with 90% reporting. At the moment, if all predictions are correct, Obama wins by 14 electoral votes - but I wouldn't say no to an extra state, even if the one of those two that looks likely is now 13 instead of 15.

CNN have nothing to report now, so they're arguing about whether they're a centrist or leftist country and asking whether they've moved. The result is comfortable enough that the preferred coverage of the election in the flat has switched to the the smuggest man in the world and the second-smuggest man in the world, even if CNN have holographic buildings springing out of their table.

I've switched one of my obvious predicted states from Colorado to Hawaii. It feels a bit safer.

States so far: 35/50 (39/50 with predictions)
Electoral votes decided so far: 342/538 (469 with predictions)
Democrats: 207 (+HI +CA +OR +WA = 284)
Republicans: 135

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