Former Prime Minister Harold Wilson is famously quoted as saying “a week is a long time in politics”. Well I don’t know about a week, but what a difference the last 24 hours have made!
This time yesterday, as I was getting ready to vote at my local polling station, I, like everyone else, was expecting that today we’d have a hung parliament. How wrong we were, because as the polling stations closed last night, exit polls started to suggest that tectonic plates were shifting and that the Conservatives were heading for a majority government.
Personally I am fairly neutral when it comes to party politics, I’ve voted for various different colours at different times in my life, but one thing that has never altered is my belief in the importance of voting, and the ability of individuals to make a difference to our political landscape by putting an X in a box.
So, as I flicked through the television networks, listening to the pollsters and pundits, I felt a wave of excitement and anticipation as we headed towards the results of the first count.
As the night rolled on so did the results – In Scotland the SNP seemed to be running away with it, marginal seats that were key for the Conservatives and Labour started turning blue, and some of Clegg and Miliband’s biggest hitters soon became casualties of the political war.
At 5am it was finally time for me to turn the light out and get some sleep, even though I didn’t feel tired, but I was up again before 8am to find out what else had happened.
As everyone will now know, the outcome was a majority Conservative government, and it’s a result that has split the views of my friendship groups. Some are bitterly disappointed, while others are optimistic.
Myself, I don’t know whether the result will be positive or not, I don’t have a crystal ball. But what I do hope, is that people who thought the election was a done deal, will see the power of the vote.