Like five years ago, I had a night shift after the election; but I had a smartphone now so I could – furtively – follow the results coming in. The first one came from Orkney: I was glad to see a resolute Lib Dem hold despite the Alistair Carmichael affair.
I won’t list here all the results that thrilled me during the night and the following day, there were quite a few and I’ve already forgotten the chronology; it’s sufficient to mention the two Glasgow constituencies I’d lived in: Kelvin an SNP hold, Maryhill and Springburn an SNP gain.
In the end I was reasonably satisfied with the final result: I concluded I preferred a non-overall SNP majority, as long as they only neeeded help from the increased number of Green seats to have one. No loss to the Lib Dem seats number was good news too; the only flaw was the surge in Tory seats. Then again, Scottish Tories today are possibly a more respectable opposition then Scottish Labour.
What surprised me was the discrepancy between constituency and regional seats, whether it was the SNP in Glasgow or the Tories in South Scotland. (A telltale graphical comparison can be found in Wikimedia Commons.) It seems that lots of voters were unwilling to give both their votes to whichever one party.
Elsewhere, Labour won in Wales, yet likewise without an overall majority, while Plaid Cymru overtook Tories as the main opposition party, and UKIP, rather than the Greens, overtook Lib Dems; still further south, Sadiq Khan was elected to succeed Boris Johnson as the Mayor of London.
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Later, Nicola Sturgeon decided she preferred a minority government to a coalition; Ken Macintosh took over from Tricia Marwick as Holyrood presiding officer; Sturgeon was confirmed as the continuing first minister and made the usual reshuffle. After all those years it’s strange to see John Swinney moved to Education, with his former portfolio divided between Derek Mackay and Keith Brown, but that’s life . . . and politics.