Insights from the UK and beyond
As voters drifted towards polling stations on a damp winter’s night in Oldham East and Saddleworth, it was hard to find anyone bursting with good things to say about Britain’s Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government.
Even some Lib Dems, who came so close to beating Labour in this marginal seat in May, seemed to be voting out of a sense of duty rather than conviction, hoping to limit the shame of defeat to a Labour party still struggling to assert itself in opposition.
“I did vote for them, but I’m not happy with them,” said 59-year-old Lib Dem supporter Lorraine Marner.
The Lib Dems are in danger of losing their way — and perhaps chunks of their core support — in government.
The airwaves have been filled with comments from furious voters who were unable to cast their ballots last night. We Brits think we can go around the world lecturing other countries on how to hold democratic elections, they say. But we can’t do it ourselves! We’re no better than those third-world countries!
I certainly wouldn’t want to minimise the frustration of the hundreds of people who wanted to vote and were not given a chance because of administrative mess-ups. I would be absolutely livid if it had happened to me.
The three leading candidates for the post of London mayor battle it out in the “Rainbow London Mayor Debate”. Watch Boris Johnson fighting hard to convince voters he can run the show at City Hall, Ken Livingstone campaigning on key issues like the buses, while Brian Paddick is trying to get a word in edgeways…not much difference to previously televised debates….except for the outfits!