Ed Balls: My sense of loss and what Labour got wrong

Were you up for that Ed Balls moment - the symbol of Labour's crushing electoral defeat, the trigger for wild Tory celebrations and Labour despair?

In his first interview since that moment two weeks ago, the man who thought he was about to be chancellor told me about his "sense of loss" after his party's failure and a personal defeat which he describes as "a symbol of the vibrancy of our democracy".

Ed Balls was in reflective mood when we spoke - looking back at what he'd achieved as much as forward to what might be next.

"I think one of the really important things in life is to think about what you've done rather than fixate on what you might not have done," he said.

"So in those 20 years, I helped keep us out of the euro, I helped Britain to have an independent Bank of England, to raise education leaving age to 18, Sure Start, the national minimum wage, changing the health service - these are all good things.

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New government – more change than meets the eye

At first sight it felt less like a reshuffle and more like a re-appoint with more than half of the old cabinet - and almost all those in the top jobs - keeping their old posts.

That is a reflection of David Cameron's long-held belief that ministers need time to master their briefs so moving them merely strengthens the hands of those inside and outside departments who are resisting their agenda.

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Election 2015: The result no-one saw coming

No pollster, no pundit, no political leader saw it coming - not even David Cameron himself.

Governing parties don't gain seats. Parties that have implemented painful cuts and are promising more certainly don't. Until that is the Conservative Party did - achieving what had seemed to be Mission Impossible - a Tory majority.

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Election 2015: Dramatic election could reshape UK

Not since the fall of Thatcher or the Blair landslide has there been a political moment quite like this one.

Personal triumphs for the Prime Minister David Cameron and for Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will not just reshape British politics but could perhaps reshape the future of the United Kingdom itself.

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Election 2015: It wasn't meant to be like this

David Cameron (l) and Ed Miliband

This isn't how this election was meant to go.

It's been marked by the lack of confidence felt by our political leaders rooted in the overwhelming lack of trust felt by most voters.

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Election 2015: And the winner is? Er…

David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband

By 10 o'clock on Thursday evening the people will have spoken but the questions which will then follow look likely to be - "What on earth did they mean by that? Who actually won? Who has the right to govern?"

Unless the polls are wrong - which they very well might be - and unless there is a late switch in opinion - which there still could be - most players and pundits are now expecting an election that is too close to call and may produce a result which could allow for either David Cameron or Ed Miliband to become prime minister.

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Election 2015: Would a Tory government create chaos?

Instability, uncertainty, chaos. Could those words - used again and again by David Cameron to describe the prospect of a minority Labour government propped up by the SNP - apply to a minority Tory government riven by divisions about Europe?

That's a question I put to the prime minister.

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Question Time - Miliband stumbles, Cameron dodges

Leaders

Was this the night Ed Miliband stumbled? Not just when he briefly lost his footing as he left the Question Time stage but also in the minutes before when he came under repeated fire about Labour's record on spending and borrowing from a tough crowd of sceptical Yorkshire men and women?

The Labour leader said nothing he has not said repeatedly before - explaining his view that the deficit resulted from the financial crash and not from over spending by the last Labour government. He gave no new hostages to fortune but it was, nevertheless, the toughest ride he's faced in this campaign.

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Election 2015: Read my lips… no new taxes

President George Bush in 1989

History is littered with politicians promising - or appearing to promise - that they can re-write the rules of economics and then being forced to gag on their own words.

It's not that these leaders are fools - far from it.

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Election 2015: When will it all be over?

Don't worry. Not long to go. The election that never seems to end will be over by next Friday… or maybe it won't.

On the morning after the night before, you might imagine that you won't have to hear from that seemingly endless parade of political leaders anymore but, and I'm sorry to have to break this news to you, you may be wrong. Very wrong.

Read full article Election 2015: When will it all be over?