This is the seventh general election that I’ve voted in. Over the weekend I was trying to remember which constituencies I was in and who I voted for in each of them. I think I’ve worked it out so, to save myself from having to work it out again, I’ve decided to write it down here.
1983 – Hackney South and Shoreditch
I don’t remember much about this election. I know I voted for Brian Sedgemore, but I don’t remember staying up late to watch the results coming in or anything like that. I know that Sedgemore won though.
1987 – Putney
Probably the highest profile constituency contest that I’ve voted in. David Mellor was the Tory incumbent and he was being challenged by Labour newcomer Peter Hain – who I voted for. Hain lost. My flatmates and I sat up for hours getting very depressed.
1992 – Tooting
One of the most depressing nights of my life. We all thought that the Labour Party was going to win, but somehow John Major managed to scrape a win. I spent the night alone in front of the TV, but I ran up huge telephone bills sharing my depression with a friend. I voted for the Labour candidate, Tom Fox, who was standing for re-election. He won.
1997 – Tooting
This was much more fun. It’s hard to remember how optimistic we all felt that night. It was a fantastic feeling. I spent the day working for the Labour Party (largely collecting voter numbers at polling stations). My wife and I sat up really late watching the incredible results coming in as more and more unassailable Tories lost their seats. I voted for Tom Fox again. He won again.
2001 – Battersea
The election that no-one remembers. The Labour Party had such a huge majority that it didn’t matter what happened – there was no way that the Tories were going to beat them. It was a London Perl Mongers meeting night and a dozen or so people came back to my house to watch the results. They didn’t stay that long. Things weren’t very interesting. I voted for sitting Labour MP, Martin Linton. He won.
2005 – Battersea
Another year where there wasn’t much chance of anything really changing – although there was a lot of anger aimed at the Labour Party because of things like the war in Iraq. I worked overnight on the Guardian web site making sure that the results pages were updated as quickly as possible, I was one of the people who felt that the Labour Party deserved to be punished so I voted for the Liberal Democrat candidate, Norsheen Bhatti. Martin Linton held the seat for Labour but with a vastly reduced majority of 163.
2010 – Battersea
So here I am sitting in front of the BBC election coverage again. I voted by post this year and my vote went back to Martin Linton. It’s been an interesting election campaign and I really wasn’t sure how I was going to vote until the last minute. I plan to stay up as long as I can to see what is going to happen. The BBC exit poll has just predicted a hung parliament with the Tories nineteen seats short of an absolute majority.
I hope you voted. Looks like there has been a much larger turn-out this time. Interesting times.