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Elections - the agony and the ecstasy

Nick Robinson | 07:16 UK time, Friday, 6 May 2011

Elections can bring relief, agony, joy and doubt.

David Cameron must scarcely be able to believe his luck this morning.

A year after failing to win the general election and having announced deep and painful spending cuts he will be deeply relieved that - so far at least - his party has barely received a scratch from the electorate. Losses may still follow but on nothing like the scale once feared.

The reason is clear - it's his coalition partner who has absorbed all the pain. Nick Clegg will have watched in agony as his party headed towards its worst share of the vote in its history and as they were routed in the Northern cities he was so proud to control.

And then there was the surprise of the night - Scotland. The Nationalists' stunning series of results will bring them joy. They were, above all, a personal victory for Alex Salmond. He is re-shaping the politics of his country and dreams of going much further.

Which leaves Ed Miliband. Once all the results are in - he should be be able to celebrate the fact that Labour will govern Wales again, will have many more councillors and a greater share of the vote.

Yet his party will have their doubts when they see it is their enemies - the Tories and the Nationalists - who have the biggest smiles this morning.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Nobody else awake yet? And you, just off to get a few hours kip Mr Robinson?

    Blimey. Very quiet around here....


    I notice you've not mentioned anything about the referendum yet; I guess you'll have more to say on that later on. Guess I'll have to cast around elsewhere to see how the smaller parties in England have done. Suffice it to say though, it doesnt seem like an awfully great surprise as to how the local elections have gone, in all fairness, even in Scotland where it was figured that the SNP might be heading for an overall majority in a system which was put in place ironically (so said the Today programme where I've just heard your piece) to try and stop any one party, particularly the SNP, from achieving such a feat.

    It'll be interesting to see what Salmond does next regarding the referendum for independence. Now he appears to have the momentum, maybe we really could be seeing the beginning of the end of the union and maybe, in my own quite humble opinion, Mr Salmond in the future, just like Gordon Brown, should be careful about what he wishes for. He might just get it.

    Still, if it is the will of the people, so be it. Democracy in action.

  • Comment number 2.

    I have no concerns around Cameron, Clegg or Milliband. I do know I am delighted that my country has finally had the courage to step up and vote for the only party that is ever going to treat it as a distinct entity. Roll on the next stage in Scotland's journey to independence.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    An absolutely stunning night for the Lib-Dems. Well they looked stunned. Curiously the Conservatives defending the Lib-Dems actions in joining the coalition (whilst hoovering up former Lib Dem seats thanks to the end of tactical voting) looked remarkably pleased with themselves.

    Nick Clegg has changed the face of British politics and iniated a return to two party politics. If he'd read Marlowe or Goethe then Mr Clegg would know what happens to those who make Faustian bargains.

    Keep those fingers crossed for AV Nick. Then again that may be the case for every anti-Tory after Scotland votes for independence. Diane Abbot may think that it was only a "local" election (she represents so much that was wrong with Labour in the last ten years) but this could have far reaching effects for the whole of Britain.

    Scotland has consistently voted anti-Tory and yet has been saddled with a govt it didn't vote for on numerous occasions. The charge that Scotland is ruled by a foreign power has hit home. Last night it hit back. Alex Salmond will, this time, push for independence. Don't know if he'll shout "freedom" whilst doing so.

  • Comment number 5.

    The Conservative vote held up because the electorate are not stupid. The cuts and pain we are suffering are directly as a result of the mess left by Labour and only the Conservatives can be trusted to balance the books.

    Now its time for Cameron to tackle the other Labour mess - Immigration.

  • Comment number 6.

    The Lib Dems have paid the price of pretending to be liberal small 'c' conservatives ... when they are in fact 'Liberal Socialists'.

    The game is up for the Lib Dems ... the small 'c' conservatives in England particularly and most elsewhere, can see that voting Lib Dem is a wasted vote for a liberal socialist as the Lib Dems are too close to Labour on the substance of their policies ... despite their procrastanations to the contrary ... and most socialists will now simply vote for their own national socialist party and which for many will be the Labour Party.

    The only way forward for the Lib Dems would be to 'cross-dress' and pursue a small 'c' conservative political agenda and split the small 'c' conservatve electorate and e.g. support policies like massive cuts in UK immigration, particularly, as less than 1% of all immigrants have skills and knowledge that are not already available and surplus in the UK or to British nationals overseas.

    The game is up for the Lib Dems ... 'SPIN' and deception can only get a UK political party so far ... New Labour proved that!

  • Comment number 7.

    AV will reform but unfortunately present too much of a dilemma to the voter. There are too many parties splitting a pathetically poor "Turnout" of votes. People tend to regress to safety while occupying a polling booth, Blue or Red. The Liberals offered a slight distraction but their policies, when it comes down to it, are too thin and people just don't have the level of faith required for them to gain significant ground. This has been clearly demonstrated in the current local elections.
    Personally I think voting should be mandatory, forcing the voting public to pay attention, analyse the options and desist the malignant moaning and the hiding behind "I don't trust any of em" cliche!

  • Comment number 8.

    It's quite simple: at the general election last year, the core protest vote deserted the incumbent Labour government to support the Lib Dems (the second home of those who never want the responsibility of voting for a potential government and are happier always to complain from the sidelines). Now the Lib Dems have found that they are The Establishment Party, none of these fair-weather friends could countenance voting for such a mature, serious or capable party.
    The real joy of the unfolding result is the further proof it provides that Miliband is not succeeding in his unctious attempt at ingratiating himself to middle Britain. This is the authour of the fairy story that was the Labour 2010 manifesto. His Khmer Rouge-like denial of any history before May last year and his responsibility for the pain we now have to endure, is worthy of nothing but comtempt.

  • Comment number 9.

    Oh yes, Cameron should be a happy man this morning. It proves that, with the Conservative vote holding up, the public do believe cuts need to happen and that it is in fact the Lib/Dems who are holding back the Coalition in this respect. With the SNP doing so well in Scotland, and taking the Labour vote as well as the Lib/Dem one, there would never a be a better time for Cameron to consider an early election to rid himself of the toxic Lib/Dems. However, will he have the courage to do so? Labour will never do any good under Miliband and Glegg is reduced to a sad figure producing the worst results in years for the Lib/Dems. So Cameron will never have a better chance to get a Conservative Government in place.

    The SNP doing so well, brings the chances of England gaining Independence much closer.

    All Cameron needs now is the AV vote to go his way which it looks as though it may, and I would imagine he will be a very happy man indeed.

  • Comment number 10.

    It's a disasterous result for Miliband, no doubt about it, but this will be hidden by the terrible losses suffered by the Lib Dems.

  • Comment number 11.

    All in The SNP have done a bloody good job in Scotland and backed it up with a slick campaign backed by good hard facts and numbers, it is refreshing to see a party admit mistakes and show them as well as their sucesses.
    I am baffled as to how we vote for a nationalist party in Scotland whilst out Celtic cousins flounder with the old gaurd.
    Here's to another term behind Alex and his hard working team working only for Scotland.

  • Comment number 12.

    I think that if things continue the way they are going (and the vote on AV goes the way everybody expects) I would say that the big winners here will be the SNP and the Tories.

    The Tories actually look to be gaining at the moment, the Lib Dems are getting crushed while Labour are making gains but at no where near the level that people expected.

    Will be interesting to see how the coalition continues though

  • Comment number 13.

    Liberals liars get what they deserve.

    This should show people that professional politicans & cso-called representative democracy isn't actually democracy.
    The people do not rule whether it's first-past-the-post, AV or PR.
    Representative democracy is the choice of pepsi or cola.

    Only direct democracy can give the people power.
    What will it look like?

    It could take the form of parish councils being the sovereign bodies whereby all in the parish can attend & they send delegates (not representatives) to bodies that represent bigger geographical areas - town councils, county councils, parliament, world council.

    But all of these bodies need to link in & make use of the internet so all can have a say at whatever level.

    And the crucial point is to ensure no-one has a position of power for too long.
    So if someone is a delegate to parliament they should be there for say one year & cannot do the job ever again.

    Bye bye politicans, we don't want you anymore!

  • Comment number 14.

    You say that the Lib Dems bare the majority of the public blame. I disagree.

    The reason why I could not vote for the Lib Dems is because they are led by a number of people who deliberately and with full knowledge, broke a pre-election promise.

    In my eyes, that makes them liars, pure and simple.

    It is not a matter of blaming the Lib Dems, it is a matter of trust. They are not trustworthy and I will never vote for them again.


  • Comment number 15.

    Really, Monogram. Everybody knows it was the Tory bankers who made a mess of the country. Your parroting of the Tory propaganda line does you no credit. Cameron has indeed been lucky but it won't last.

  • Comment number 16.

    I expected a small SNP win in Scotland but not such a clear majority. Salmond must now hold an early referendum on independence, & not sure it will be a YES vote, but again don't live in Scotland and don't know the modern mood. The election I am keen to see now is 2014 - EU. I am convinced there will be a massive anti-EU vote in UK, forcing "Dave" to hold the referendum he once promised. That will be the truly historic moment for the UK.

  • Comment number 17.

    Now that we have talk of a referendum on Scotland's independence, the English too must be allowed to vote on the matter.

    The vaste majority will be only to happy to see this terrible burden lifted from their shoulders.

  • Comment number 18.

    The English results have suddenly diminished in significance in my mind. There's going to be a referendum for Scottish independence! This must surely become an issue in English politics, figuring out exactly what it means - Scottish politics is currently predicated on the right to spend taxes collected in England. Will Scots willingly vote for that to end, or will the English be prepared to let it continue? And the lesson of the Euro crisis triggered by Greece is that you probably can't have a single currency across nations with their own very different borrowing/spending policies. So will an England of spending cuts really want to stay in a monetary union with a fiscally independent (read: lavishly Keynesian) Scotland? Exciting times...

  • Comment number 19.

    Once upon a time the political giants of the Labour party had an idea ; give Scotland it's own parliament and Labour would forever have control of Scotland and Scotland as a safe Labour stronghold forever . Oh ! Oh ! Did somebody get it wrong ?

  • Comment number 20.

    I would imagine the reason David Cameron did not receive a kicking from his core vote is because most conservatives want there to be cuts, in fact some are asking for deeper cuts and the Lib dems are holding them back. Unfair on the lib dems really as they are making a difference . In urban areas Labour have gained some support back from Lib Dem councils but they are having no impact on Tory councils, apart from gaining a few seats, in fact the conservatives actually gained from the lib dems as well. It is certainly not a ringing endorsement of Milibands' leadership and more a reflection on the dissatisfaction of lib dem voters. Both Labour and Lib dem must be gutted to have done so badly in Scotland.

    In four years when the economy has improved this picture may look a lot different though so I do not think any lesson can be learned from this.

  • Comment number 21.

    Last year reality dawned on the Libdem leadership with the opportunity to join the coalition and have ministerial jobs.
    Their (now ex) supporters, however, still appear to inhabit the strange world of a party that could promise anything, knowing that delivery would never be required.
    Will they stay cross with Clegg, or will they start deckchair shuffling?

  • Comment number 22.

    Imagine where Labour could have been without Ed Miliband. He seems like a nice enough guy, but the Tories aren't scared of him, he'll never be able to shake off the association with the unions who squeaked him into the leadership and frankly he needs to be given the heave-ho before the next General Election.

  • Comment number 23.

    I know that the returns are not yet complete, but I find the most surprising fact is that when I write (8:30), the Tories are up in both numbers of councillors and numbers of councils. It appears that Ed Miliband has no chance of reaching the psephologists' target for Labour of 1300 gains in England.

  • Comment number 24.

    Turnout seems to be at an historic low (37.2%).

    Let's take the results with a pinch of salt, me thinks...

  • Comment number 25.

    At 3:

    I thought I couldn't get any more surprises from the 'eloctorate' of this country but I was wrong. The village idiots are still alive and well living in suburbia. The Tories during the 80's and early 90's have virtually destroyed this country financially, and morally yet people still vote them in! They'd rather with their bigotted views see this country go down the tubes than vote for anyone who could get us back on our feet. Those idiots who have voted for tories councils can now enjoy the sight of 'non-jobs' with the council being posted at £25K+ per annum. The country can suffer. They make me sick.

  • Comment number 26.

    Luck? These results are hardly a surprise are they?

    Those who voted Tory last time knew that the first couple of years would involve difficult decisions and therefore wouldn't be surprised with how things have gone to date - why therefore should the Tory vote be expected to drop significantly then?

    In the case of the LibDems, many votes went to them from people who wanted to keep the Tories out of Government. They didn't manage this and therefore, again, it is no surprise that these people didn't bother voting LibDem again this time. I would still expect that at a General Election the voting instinct of the Anybody But Conservative brigade will still see the LibDems getting additional votes by default.

    Unless Labour can demonstrate that they have taken a significant number of seats from the Tories in England then it has also been an underwelming night for Labour - which would sum up Ed Miliband perfectly.

  • Comment number 27.

    The Lib Dems are being used as a human shield by Cameron and rather than resisting, Clegg has embraced the role. He truly is Calamity Clegg responsible for a host of terrible decisions from the Rose Garden love-in a year ago to the tuition fees debacle. Who would be better? The answer is Huhne would be better.

  • Comment number 28.

    Labour (ED) is suffering from a charisma by-pass. Alex Salmond is the only leader that has any pzazz, and in this age of celebrity its that, more than policies that count!

  • Comment number 29.

    As TheArab said: "Roll on the next stage in Scotland's journey to independence."

    Speaking as an Englishman, I couldn't agree more. Roll on Scottish independence as soon as possible. The Scots only joined the Union because their country was then effectively bankrupt and they've since been a drain on England's resources for almost all the subsequent three centuries.

  • Comment number 30.

    1 - Scotland cannot afford independence
    2 - Salmond must be scared of actually getting enough votes to push a referendum on us, as the only thing worse than breaking 2 manifesto prmises to hold one, would be to lose said referendum
    3 - Expect more stagnation in Holyrood, and creaks around the coalition at Westminster.

    Other than that, nothing new until about 8pm when the AV referendum result comes in. If it is a massive "no", Red Ed must be very concerned.

  • Comment number 31.

    Yes the Lib Dems take the flak for the Coalition, I guess just simply because large numbers of their left-leaning voters no longer like them now they've joined with the Conservatives. Clegg & Co would have seen it coming, I'm sure. Interesting to see in the aftermath of this what concessions Cameron has to make to his junior partner to keep the show on the road. Will need to be something quite serious, not a mere sop. I'm thinking a general amnesty for illegal immigrants, or perhaps a move to join the Euro. The challenge then - a not inconsiderable one - will be to keep the tory rank and file on board. Swings and roundabouts. Roundabouts and swings.

  • Comment number 32.

    great to see cleggover punished for his lies pre general election. once a tory always a tory. not surprised by tory results.

  • Comment number 33.

    It's the end of the union. Cue much positioning on who gets the oil.

  • Comment number 34.

    There are some people who live in the UK who are isolated from the realities of what is beyond their garden fence, Monogram seems to be one of them. There is favor in where one is fortunate to be born that induces this myopia, but not always the case. Being an only child might cause one to be over protective of what's been handed down to you, and the delusion of earning great bonuses under the illusion of doing hard work, is usually self inflicted by the greed for oneself.
    I originally come from the valley's of south Wales, my heritage is forged in the furnaces of coal and steel, and no matter how much I earn, or own, given the choice between money and people, I will always choose the latter, that's why I vote Labour

  • Comment number 35.

    Looks like a very bad night for Ed Milliband. The Conservatives are introducing swingeing cuts, especially at the local level, yet they look likely to end up with more councillors. Bizarre.

  • Comment number 36.

    The interesting thing for me, watching the election coverage, was the observation that there comes a point when you are no longer interested in what a politician has to say because you no longer believe in them as politicians.

    That has happened, for me, with Nick Clegg, Danny Alexander (this morning) and most surprisingly Paddy Ashdown who I have hitherto admired.

    These guys clearly believe that they are right - but hardly anybody else does and nobody is listening (so how are they going to change peoples' minds?). At the present rate of progress, what odds would anyone give me on the lib-dems getting less than 10% of the vote at the next election?

  • Comment number 37.

    Absolutely incrediable that the BBC headlines:
    - LD losses
    - SNP gains in Scotland
    - Labour gains in wales
    - something re NI
    Sorry, but am I missing something or are the Tories the largest party in Parliament?
    I can't imagine the BBC not saying anything about how Labour fared when they were in government. Yet the main news site simply ignores their performance, other than a sentence or two hidden away in the other articles.
    Also: nothing on England, the largest country within the Union.
    What the hell is going on?

    Guess it must be because the Tories actually had a reasonably good night, but the BBC don't want you to know it.

  • Comment number 38.

    #9 Susan-Croft

    Susan given your love of the SNP I thought you may like the following:


    SNP 46
    LAB 20
    CON 5
    LD 2
    OTHER 1




    GLASGOW: LAB 3; SNP 2; CON 1; GRN 1
    CENTRAL: SNP 3; LAB 3; CON 1

    Still many counts to come in but it appears that the SNP are in for a landslide win.

    The swing in many seats from NuLabour to SNP has been pretty seismic.


  • Comment number 39.

    A tough night for Plaid in Wales and in spectacular contrast to the SNP's fortunes in Scotland. The SNP benefits from being a broader church than Plaid, and is able to attract voters from a wider political spectrum rather than slugging it out for a share of the centre-left to hard left. The SNP was also able top fight a positive campaign based on achievements during its minority administration. Plenty of lessons here.

  • Comment number 40.

    The significant news of the night is the defeat of Labour in Scotland.With a Labour government,Scotland is represented at Westminster,with a conservative government it is not so pressures for independendence will grow.Factor in a big political personality in Mr.Salmond,the Thetcher legacy of de-industrialization, and a referendum on independence will be tempting.

    Opinion polls show no appetite for independence,so private polling by the SNP would obviously precede a decision.On the other hand this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.Conservative hegemony south of the Tweed,a weakened Labour party and the Lib-Dems desperately trying to shore up their English heartland.

    If the SNP lost however they would lose an essential part of their raison d`etre,become an effective regional party but lose the touch of messianism essential to their project.Expect anxious journeys north by Mr.Cameron and Mr.Miliband,the PM may even persaude the queen to go up and live there.

  • Comment number 41.

    Yes, Cameron really is the cat who has the cream. He's like the sneaky child who does something really bad and manages to dump the blame on a friend, then stands back and watches the fireworks. Poor Nick Clegg, either naive or very stupid, can't make my mind up which. Well if you dump all your promises and principles to make a deal with the devil you deserve everything you get. A dreadful AV campaign where all involved should hang their heads in shame. Now watch oily Dave change the constituency boundaries to suit his own party. Democracy in action, don't you just love it. Politicians are about as principled as a car clamper!

  • Comment number 42.

    @4 "Scotland has consistently voted anti-Tory and yet has been saddled with a govt it didn't vote for on numerous occasions. The charge that Scotland is ruled by a foreign power has hit home."
    Not this old chestnut. I suppose it never occurred to them that they (and the Welsh) foisted a government on England for the previous 13 years that wouldn't have been elected by England alone. You're either in the UK or on your own. I personally wish Scotland would become independent, then we can be done with this constant whining and I can look forward to never being mis-managed, I mean governed, by a Scottish politician again.

  • Comment number 43.

    15. At 08:26am 6th May 2011, KenisnottheMayor wrote:

    Really, Monogram. Everybody knows it was the Tory bankers who made a mess of the country. Your parroting of the Tory propaganda line does you no credit. Cameron has indeed been lucky but it won't last.


    Utter tripe.

    Most of us aren't fooled by Miliband's and Balls's lies. The deficit was HUGE way before the bank bailouts - all down to Labour spending money they didn't have, as they always do.

  • Comment number 44.

    With the exception of Wales, this looks like being a very disappointing night for Dead Ed and Labour, who should surely have done much better.

    SNP and the Tories seem (so far, pending also on the AV referendum) to be the real winners.

  • Comment number 45.

    #9 Susan-Croft

    By the way Aunt Bella lost her seat to the SNP. But she is on the list votes so may get back to Holyrood after all.

  • Comment number 46.

    Can the moderators moderate a bit faster please, it ruins the blog waiting over half an hour to read comments.

  • Comment number 47.

    Lord Snooty will be lhao this morning.

    The Lib Dems are a spent force, Miliband has failed to make much of a dent, and the SNP are looking to destroy Labour's chances at Westminster forever.

    rockRobin7 will be a-crowing soon...

  • Comment number 48.

    The problem with the Lib Dems is that, after so many decades in the wilderness, they were so desperate for a sniff of power, they watered themselves down so much they no longer stand for anything much in particular. They're like the homeopathic remedy of politics: just plain water with perhaps a memory of what they once were. When they were led by David Steel, and were just plain old Liberals, at least they had definite policies, and both stood FOR something and, perhaps more importantly, BY it.

    Still, looking at the results now, when they're just over half in, it's also clear that there is no ringing endorsement for the Conservatives either. People seem to be tactically voting for Labour to hurt the Lib Dems, while the Conservatives are simply benefiting from not being in the line of fire.

    While I personally think that a change from the FPTP system is a very good idea, I'm not at all sure that AV was the answer: it was a watered down change from what could have been a radical change, and it's no surprise that it was championed by the watered down Lib Dems. I'm fully expecting the AV vote to be a resounding 'No', but again, it would be a gross mistake to assume this is a ringing endorsement for FPTP by the electorate.

    Politics in the UK is really all about voting for the lesser of two evils. We need REAL change, not these self-serving clowns running a self-serving system we've had for the last 100 years or more. The real people of this country, those who work hard every day just to put food on their tables and keep a roof over their heads, are never the ones to benefit from the political system we have.

  • Comment number 49.

    All those who switched from Lib to Lab last night may need to reflect. What they have in effect done is to send a message of approval for those on the right of the Tories who are begging for more cuts. Simon Heffer in the Telegraph for one who was recently bemoaning the dire effects of the LibDems in stopping his massive tax cuts for our 'overtaxed' high earners and even more cuts in public spending.

    But Lib Dems (of which I am not one) have been tactically very stupid. They should have been outlining exactly how they have reined in the Tories - and come clean on where they tried to but haven't, like tuition fees.

    They haven't been helped by a crass Yes to AV campaign, that never stressed the best arguments or answered the stupidities of the No campaign, which should have been made a laughing stock. But no to AV may yet mean yes to PR - eventually.

  • Comment number 50.

    Little democracy to be had at my polling booth yesterday.
    Referendum - choice of AV or FPTP, but no PR.
    Locals - choice of Labour or Tories, but no other options.

    No wonder turnouts are low.

    All happening in Scotland... 'SLP leader Ian Grey retained his seat in the East Lothian constituency with 12,536 votes, following a "bundle" recount.'
    Mmmmm, that must have been some bundle.

  • Comment number 51.

    I welcome the SNP gains in Scotland and look forward to their independence, I assume that means they will also fund themselves, arm themselves, police themselves and ultimately tax themselves. I also support independence for Wales and Northern Ireland. Overall that would leave my Country England to Govern itself, my standard of living (under Conservatives) will improve and thankfully it will see the back of the Miliband run Labour Party.

  • Comment number 52.

    . At 08:07am 6th May 2011, Monogram wrote:

    "They make me sick."

    Sorry to hear you're not having a good start to the day and it looks by all accounts it's going to get worse not better.

  • Comment number 53.

    I think the win for SNP in Scotland indicates that when there is a credble alternative to the Lab or Con people will vote for it.

  • Comment number 54.

    I can't help thinking that, as usual in their history, the Scots are showing their Frenchness and voting entirely for their own interests, deliberately ignoring what is going on south of the border. Why would they vote for English parties who are advocating sensible fiscal plans, when they currently have no tuition fees, a vast oversupply of public sector jobs and a wonderful sense of being in fairyland.

  • Comment number 55.

    susan_croft at 8:18am : Carry-on Cameron can't call a snap election. When the coalition started, they upped the number of parliamentary votes needed to voluntarily dissolve government. that means liberals would need to agree to the dissolution.
    an election would need the coalition to lose a vote of no-confidence (by a normal majority).

  • Comment number 56.

    A great result for the Tories, no doubt about that. It looks like they can do whatever they like and their supporters will continue to put the X next to them.

  • Comment number 57.

    Paradoxically the conservatives are only a party of the United Kingdom with Labour in power and Scottish representation at Westminster.

    If Mr.Cameron`s party presides over the dissolution of the United Kingdom what will he tell his children never mind the Queen, who will reign in Australia but not in Scotland unless by invitation.

    The problems of the Lib-Dems pale into insignificance if this constritutional crisis blows up in his face.There`s Scottish oil,Scottish regiments,Scottish shortcake,the Duke of Buccleuch and Balmoral for starters.Enough to keep the lawyers poring over the Act of Union for the next hundred years.

    Meanwhile Cleggers,golden boy of the upper fifth, has been rumbled.Expect no mercy from Flashman,all of you said he was toast and now he`s being toasted.

  • Comment number 58.

    If people really have stopped voting LibDem in local elections, because of so-called "broken promises" by the main LibDem party (aka Nick Clegg!), then I fear their intellect is somewhat lower than should be required in order to be trusted with a vote!!!
    Surely people understand that, if the LibDems had won an outright victory at the General Election, they would have implemented ALL their policies, just as Labour or the Tories would have. BUT THAT DID NOT HAPPEN, DID IT?????
    No party won outright, so we had to have a Coalition, which means COMPROMISES.

    Should the LibDems be penalised in local government, because their main party and MPs had the courage to join the Tories in rescuing the UK from the terrible mess inherited from Labour?

    And, please, why does anyone place any significant emphasis on LOCAL council elections anyway?
    Each party trots out the same cliches, every time we have local or by elections...boring!

    In local elections, I suspect many vote for the person who they think will do most good for the locale - not for a party - and, for me, this often means I vote LibDem, as I did yesterday.

    But when it comes to voting for someone to represent me in governing the UK, then that is different. I don't vote for a person, I vote for a party, as my MP is unlikely to make much difference locally, but the party will make a difference to the country.

    I'm not saying I am exclusively right, but surely penalising decent, good local LibDem councillors for something over which they had no control, and for which most had little heart, has got to be, at best, a "protest vote", and at worst, simply pathetic.

  • Comment number 59.

    The Tories shouldn't be looking so smug this morning.

    Yesterday, the electorate gave the Lib Dems an electoral kicking, to show
    them how much we disapprove of their adoption of Tory pro-banker policies.

    But Call Me Dave has nothing to feel smug about. The voters will reject his pro-banker policies at the next election.

  • Comment number 60.

    #30 daviecooper1

    In your dreams.

    I have been watching and commenting on the Scottish elections since well before the polls closed last night.

    Please, please can you tell me what you have been on I could do with some.

  • Comment number 61.

    9 Susan

    And not just Cameron by the sounds of it Susan. In fact, never heard you sound so happy, well not since you announced your own coalition. But you know, beware to count chickens. It looks like the Lib/Dems vote has gone to Labour (certainly mine did) and still time for the electorate to wake up and start putting the blame on someone else's doorstep. As for Scotland and Wales I'm still trying to spot the 'Blue' areas on the map.

    As for the AV vote. We;; it does seem that the 'No's' have it. No doubt David Cameron will be inviting Nick Griffin to No.10 for celebration drinkypoos.

  • Comment number 62.


    You are a wind-up merchant, mate! Amnesty on illegals and joining the euro.... LMAO!

  • Comment number 63.

    I'm a bit worried about these results. Might result in people asking questions about Miliband's leadership credentials. We don't that. Not prior to the next general election anyway. Mind you, if Labour are true to form they'll probably stick with him no matter how inadequate how is. The ability of Labour supporters to deny the undeniable can be quite frustrating at times, but when it comes to their own leader the trait can be quite a boon.

  • Comment number 64.

    "The reason is clear - it's his coalition partner who has absorbed all the pain".

    Or maybe Conservative voters think the Government are doing a good job, and they got what they wanted from a Government, so have no reason to switch their votes?

  • Comment number 65.

    No-one should be rejoicing at the LibDem's implosion. It only serves to entrench 2-party politics in England, particularly with the possibility of a referendum on Scottish independence in the not too distant future, although I disagree with those who think Salmond will move quickly on that issue.

  • Comment number 66.

    Personally i dont
    But since we have it . As a South west England 40yr old Tory/Ukip Supporter I am very pleased at the Scottish result.

    So independance for Scotland would suit me.Since Labour used their Scottish MPs to push through ledgislation that only effected England and not their constituencies.
    One prime example is Tution Fees which Labour Introduced in England.

    High time independance for Scotland or at very least an England MP only Assembly/Parliament to decide England only issues. (only fair IMHO)

  • Comment number 67.

    Cameron has to make to his junior partner to keep the show on the road. Will need to be something quite serious, not a mere sop. I'm thinking a general amnesty for illegal immigrants, or perhaps a move to join the Euro.
    You couldn't make it up!

    Let's see; the reward to the LibDems for failing so miserably in their attempt to foist an unwanted voting system on the Britsh Public and losing support from fairweather voters ione of two policies should be either of two policies that also go against the majority's wishes.

    Welcome to democracy Sagamix style!

  • Comment number 68.

    "Fredsastar: Scotland has consistently voted anti-Tory and yet has been saddled with a govt it didn't vote for on numerous occasions."

    Ive news for you pal, England has consistently voted pro tory and yet has been saddled with a succession of spendthrift labour governments partly due to a shameless system of gerrymandering where votes in the Celtic regions count for more than English votes despite you lot all having devolved powers

    Thank god Cameron has bitten the bullet and introduced equal sized constituencies and taken away seats from you lot that were not justified

  • Comment number 69.

    I'm surprised how badly the LibDems have done. For their 'supporters', joining the coalition with the Conservatives was the only way they were going to get near real power in the country, and any influence on national policies, anytime in the forseeable future. So, they haven't implemented their general election manifesto, and even supported some policies they strongly opposed before that election, but that's simply the nature of coalition government.
    Any LibDem supporter who is angry with Nick Clegg et al over their general performance in government is living in cloud cuckoo land.

  • Comment number 70.

    Roll_on_2011 38

    Hello there, hope you are well.

    Roll, I am very happy with the Scotland result, it brings English Independence much closer, which has long been my ambition. It also helps England get the party it votes for actually in power, instead of Scotland always propping up the Labour vote.

    Not sure that it is a good result for Scotland, but we shall see. However, personally I am very happy this morning.

  • Comment number 71.

    #31 sagamix wrote:
    "Interesting to see in the aftermath of this what concessions Cameron has to make to his junior partner to keep the show on the road."

    There should be no concessions to the LibDems (but no twisting the knife either). There may be tactical retreats (e.g. on Health Reform) but these should not be presented as LibDem gains.

    The LibDems have an existential crisis. They represent no economic interests and no particular ideology. The only subject that engages their passion is electoral reform. The best solution would be to disband the party, some joining the Conservatives and the others, almost certainly the majority, joining Labour.

    For now, though, everything in the LibDem politics revolves around leading candidiates positioning to replace Clegg as leader. This will become increasingly bitter in the next year and will threaten the stability of the coalition. Cameron should on no account get mixed up in internal LibDem splits and arguments. Let the losers fight amongst themselves.

  • Comment number 72.

    One thing that nobody seems to have mentioned is that the conservatives have probably done better than expected as their core vote has come out to say NO to the AV referendum.

    Totally disagree that the Libdems have been used as a shield too. The truth is conservative voters, knew what they were voting for and still support how the government is putting right the unsustainable spending of Brown/Blair.

    That's why their vote has held, not because Nick Clegg has got the blame.

  • Comment number 73.

    The SNP shouldn't automatically assume that this result is a mandate for independence. I voted for the SNP candidate in my constituency as a means to defeat Labour and I'm sure that many others did likewise. LibDem deserters may have also gone to the SNP, not as an endorsement of independence, but as an acknowledgement of the reasonable job the SNP minority government has done over the past term.
    A referendum is still likely to come up well short of a majority in favour of separation.

  • Comment number 74.

    I see the FibDems have been wiped of the map were I live, Greater Manchester.

  • Comment number 75.

    When the Referendum results are in, whatever the outcome, I do hope the 'winners' have the sense not to claim that the electorate have agreed with them. Without proper surveys and research -

    "Yes" may simply mean the voters recognised the appallingly undemocratic nature of our present system, and see AV as at least some improvement (hopelessly inadequate, but the only thing they've been offered).

    "No" may simply mean the voters recognised that AV is just a fudge, to create the illusion of greater demoncracy.

    Either way, say goodbye to any chance of REAL improvement in our democracy for many years to come. "Yes" and 'they' will say the job is done. "No" and 'they' will say the people don't want change. In reality the outcome of the Referendum will support neither position.

  • Comment number 76.

    Clegg is a liar and has prostituted his party's ideals for a share of power.The Lib Dems are in mourning for a party that has lost its identity and will be hated by the general public for years to come (I voted for them last time).
    Cameron and Osbourne might be looking smug this morning but their day of reckoning will hit them as it did Portillo and Co. in the 90's. The longer they persist with redundancies and lack of provision for vulnerable adults and children, the longer it will stay in the memories of the electorate. Their economic plans have shown a derisory return in economic growth since they've been in power. Don't listen to the Tory rhetoric "It's the right thing to do and it's the proper thing to do". The right and proper thing would have been to hold the real people responsible for the credit crunch to account - the bankers. If Bob Diamond didn't exist, someone would have to make him up.

  • Comment number 77.

    The Scottish result is totally historic - well done the SNP. Amid all the lies and spin, we need to move on and receive the true facts about Scotland finances against UK as a whole. Only then will the Scottish people be able to make a reasoned decision in the inevitable independence referendum that will take place sometime in the next 3 years. Who knows, the next Westminster election may be England and Wales only - I fear for the Welsh and the Northern English as a result, potentially saddled with a FPTP Tory biased result forever and ever. If that turns out to be the case then sincere apologies from a Scottish person.

  • Comment number 78.

    Roll_on_2011 45

    I know the result Roll, and I am not bothered at all. If the Conservatives have no voting base in Scotland, it is much more likely that we will see English Independence sooner rather than later. Good news as far as I am concerned.

    You mistake my genuine concern for the Scottish people, if they vote SNP and come out of the Union, for prejudice against the SNP. I feel the Scottish economy cannot afford Independence and the SNP is pulling Scotland backwards in its outlook. However, on a personal level, I am English and the Scottish vote for the SNP helps the push for English Independence which is what I want.

    Also if all the devolved Governments went Independent the costs of all these layers of Government would have to be met by the Countries themselves. This in turn would see England a much richer Country.

  • Comment number 79.

    38. At 09:03am 6th May 2011, Roll_On_2011

    There is very little swing to the SNP from Labour in many seats, it's just the way the BBC swings are measured. The Labour vote share has held up by and large from the last election - but the SNPs vote share has rocketed.

    What has happened is that the LibDem vote has collapsed totally and much of the Conservative vote has gone with it to the SNP seemingly almost wholesale.

    It underlines that Alex Salmond is the most accomplished politician in these isles by a country mile.

  • Comment number 80.

    9. At 08:18am 6th May 2011, Susan-Croft wrote:

    The SNP doing so well, brings the chances of England gaining Independence much closer.


    Very well put; I agree entirely, about time!

  • Comment number 81.

    59 - You seem to have an odd thing about bankers. Were you frightened by one as a child?

    Is it all bankers you dislike? Even those in retail banking? Even the cashiers?

    What 'pro-banker' policies have the coalition passed?

    Seems to be the biggest friend investment banking ever had was Gordon Brown. He now confesses that he "didn't understand" the way banking worked and that letting them off the leash wasn't a good idea.

  • Comment number 82.

    #60 - Roll on 2011

    What, you have costed it & think Scotland CAN afford independence? A declining oil reserve is going to pay for setting up all the required infrastructure to be completely independent? All the armed forces & equipment which would have to be "bought" from the UK. All the infrastructure paid by UK which would not automatically just "become" Scottish?
    Then you get to the EU question. An independent Scotland would have to apply for membership, with no guarantee of entry, so there goes all your EU subsidies for projects all over Scotland.
    Meanwhile, President Salmond puts income tax top level to 80% and company tax at 50%, causing massive departures from Scotland.
    Oh, and where does the money come from to pay off the RBS debt?

    And with only a small minority actually in favour of independence, Salmond is not going to put something completely central to his party's entire existence, to any vote unless he is massively confident of victory.

    And that is not going to happen any time soon.

  • Comment number 83.

    If people really have stopped voting LibDem in local elections, because of so-called "broken promises" by the main LibDem party (aka Nick Clegg!), then I fear their intellect is somewhat lower than should be required in order to be trusted with a vote!!!

    Your fears are indeed well founded, my young padawan. Those that could be bothered to vote in the first place, that is....

  • Comment number 84.

    #65 TheBlameGame

    Five year term, Wee Eck has said Referendum in second have of term…. They have to sort Calman out first. (The Scotland Bill)

  • Comment number 85.

    58 - pretty good analysis.

    I mean, what was the Lib Dem option? Combined with Labour they wouldn't have had a majority. Not joining the Conservatives would have resulted in no Lib-Dem policies at all.

    Joining with the Conservatives has given us a fudged government which is, after all, what the electorate voted for.

  • Comment number 86.

    Mr N 61

    Sour grapes.

    I am happy, this result brings English Independence nearer and a no to AV, by the looks of it, would be a result I really wanted to see. The added bonus is to see the toxic Lib/Dems getting the boot by the electorate.

  • Comment number 87.

    76 - "The right and proper thing would have been to hold the real people responsible for the credit crunch to account - the bankers."

    Even the bankers at Santander? A bank which sailed untouched through the crisis because it decided that prudent policies were best with regard to lending criteria and security. You know, the sort of policies than banks HAD to follow before Brown let them off the leash. But then, as Brown now readily admits, he "didn't understand" banking.

  • Comment number 88.

    A remarkable performance from the SNP in Scotland & the Conservatives in England.

    What was not so remarkable is the Labour performance a complete disaster. The fact they failed to get a higher proportion of the vote shows that their lack of policies to fix the mess they put the country in has been noted by the electorate.

    Also, a poor performance from the BBC, virtually zero comment from its political reporters on the Conservative vote holding up.

  • Comment number 89.

    Seems to me that much of this so-called "Scottish oil" actually belongs to the Orkney and Shetland islanders. By what right does someone in Glasgow think they should benefit from it?

  • Comment number 90.

    18. At 08:28am 6th May 2011, Daniel Earwicker wrote:

    The English results have suddenly diminished in significance in my mind. There's going to be a referendum for Scottish independence!

    No there isn't. There won't be a referendum on Scottish independence until Salmond is absolutely certain that he'll win it, and he knows that he'd lose if he pulled the trigger now.
  • Comment number 91.

    Dont you just love all these English/Rangers supporters telling us we cant afford independence lol

    Keep it coming Davie. I hope you know more about football than you do about politics, keep flying that union jack while you can.

    Other small countries have managed just fine and hearing the english blaming us for thier problems is comical, once they are on their own they can blame each other.

    Well done Eck, 3 years to convice the Scottish people we can stand alone. Scotland wont put up with nobodies from english parties running our country anymore.

  • Comment number 92.

    #77 The GingerF

    Yeah, thanks for that! The country of England will be ruled from the right for ever more unless Labour and the Liberals can kiss and make up, find some common ground and somehow try and provide an effective opposition together.

  • Comment number 93.

    57. bryhers wrote:
    'If Mr.Cameron`s party presides over the dissolution of the United Kingdom what will he tell his children never mind the Queen, who will reign in Australia but not in Scotland unless by invitation.'

    How about the principles of self-determination and self-rule won the day?
    Both you and Susan appear to be on the same side here, albeit for different reasons.

  • Comment number 94.

    #50 TheBlameGame

    “ Little democracy to be had at my polling booth yesterday.
    Referendum - choice of AV or FPTP, but no PR.
    Locals - choice of Labour or Tories, but no other options.

    No wonder turnouts are low.

    All happening in Scotland... 'SLP leader Ian Grey retained his seat in the East Lothian constituency with 12,536 votes, following a "bundle" recount.'
    Mmmmm, that must have been some bundle. “

    Totally agree with your first point.

    With regards you’re second:

    NuLabour in Scotland’s leader Iain Gray only held on to his seat by a mere 151 votes.

    Down and out: Scottish Labour leader Elmer Fudd may have retained his seat but his party have suffered a hammering at the hands of the SNP.

  • Comment number 95.

    I think the Lib Dems got a kicking for several reasons:

    1) poor and inept communications from their HQ - on good stuff they are doing.
    2) a weak-looking Deputy Prime Minister - who fails to grasp the nettle and openly stand up to the Prime Minister on too fast, and too deep cuts.
    3) It's time Parliament had DEPUTY Prime Minister (DPMQs) in this unique coalition.

  • Comment number 96.

    I have read somewhere that many of the MP’s who money back during the expenses scandle have been quietly given their money back.

    A little bird has also told me that the current legislation, regarding offshore accounts, currently going through parliament will exempt MP’s.

    I thought ‘Call me Dave’ said “We are all in this together.” Just seen a pig fly past my window!

  • Comment number 97.

    23. Cynosarges wrote:

    I know that the returns are not yet complete, but I find the most surprising fact is that when I write (8:30), the Tories are up in both numbers of councillors and numbers of councils. It appears that Ed Miliband has no chance of reaching the psephologists' target for Labour of 1300 gains in England.
    Shouldn’t come as a surprise really; the LibDem’s got my vote at the GE because of their stance on Student fees & PR.
    Having bottled out of both, what was there to vote for, so the Tories got my vote after all.
    I know this should be all about local politics, but i'm afraid Clegg has made things a little personal for many of us.
    9. At Susan-Croft wrote:
    There would never a be a better time for Cameron to consider an early election to rid himself of the toxic Lib/Dems.
    I’d be very careful on this one; the Tory voters traditionally put in more of an effort than their Labour voting counterparts on polling day.
    The pathetic turn out hardly gives Cameron a mandate to do anything really & shows how disillusioned the UK public are with politics in general.
    On second thoughts maybe you are right; a snap early election may be a good thing because the cuts have yet to bite & Cameron’s fortunes may reverse over these.
    He’d better call it before the fixed term issue is decided on.

  • Comment number 98.

    #89 AndyC555

    “ Seems to me that much of this so-called "Scottish oil" actually belongs to the Orkney and Shetland islanders. By what right does someone in Glasgow think they should benefit from it? “

    More right than someone from England, I would say, as happens currently.

  • Comment number 99.

    Firstly, obviously unlike yourself, I can actually separate football & politics
    Secondly, I am not English, having lived in Scotland for all of my life bar 3 years.
    Thirdly - I have listed various ways that Scotland cannot afford independence, neither you nor Salmond have yet to list any that Scotland CAN afford it.

    It will be quite amusing to watch Alec squirm. Now he has now excuse for the mess he makes. Does he have the bottle to go for the referendum, when losing would mean he loses all credibility????

  • Comment number 100.

    #86 Susan-Croft


    SNP 49
    LAB 23
    CON 7
    LD 2
    OTHER 1




    CENTRAL: SNP 3; LAB 3; CON 1
    GLASGOW: LAB 3; SNP 2; CON 1; GRN 1

    Still another 47 seats to declare.

    I can’t swear to it, but from what I have read ‘I think’ it’s a NO to AV in Scotland.


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