Thursday 6 May 2010
The dawn is breaking on election morning. Polling Stations throughout the country open at 7am (in 100 minutes) and close at 10pm. Already political activists are up and ready for "the longest day". Many including myself, will go straight from Get Out the Vote activities to "the Count" - with the results being declared in the middle of the night.
I will spend the day in Milton Keynes - where there are two key battleground seats. There has been intense activity for some time. Next door, in Buckingham, John Bercow, "the Speaker seeking re-election" is, contrary to traditional practice, fighting for his seat. UKIP have broken the convention that the Speaker does not face a concerted campaign to unseat him. Most of the buses in Milton Keynes carry (paid for) adverts on their rears for the UK Independence Party.
The results will be counted for the two Milton Keynes seats, in the new Milton Keynes Stadium - which if England win their bid for the 2018 World Cup - will be one of the stadiums used (I hasten to add that we will be counting in a conference room - not in the middle of the pitch! It has been rather windy of late - and the ballot papers - though long by historic standards - are small and flimsy. All candidates and their counting agents spend election evening in the same place - and will be there when the result is announced - unlike the American practice of candidates waiting at separate locations.
Well - I have to get ready, and go out to deliver the last few "eve of poll" leaflets - before turning up at the "committee rooms" where I will be based until polls close. I expect to spend the day encouraging our supporters to come out to vote - by telephone and later on the doorstep. Last night the lists of "promises" (voters who indicated that they would vote for us) were delivered to each of the committee rooms set up in homes around the constituency.
So here goes.....
Results will be published on the BBC website, available here.