Save Election Night!

Jonathan Isaby (Conservative Home) started this campaign against the rising threat of the count for elections starting the day after rather than on the night. Politicians from all parties have joined him to Save Election Night!

I’ve joined the campaign! No – it’s not just the excitement of the night nor is it about which day would be a better voting day – it’s because we will be betwixt and between.

If we want to count the day after an election then we need a change to the constitution. In America – there is no ultimate urgency in the count – because the new President, for example, is President Elect for a good couple of months before the new administration comes in.

Not so in our neck of the woods. We have no one properly in charge until the election result is announced. It is our system that is different and is the reason that the count has to take place that night – barring some tricky rural territories where it cannot happen that quickly.

We aren’t American!

On a personal note, and as someone who has generally been going since 4am the morning before delivering ‘Good Morning’ leaflets – I am knackered by the time the result comes through – but I still think it is right to have it on the night.

And it’s not only right, but is the one time in politics when the nation – or at least some of it – gets a little excited and has (and I quote) the ‘audacity to hope’. Let’s not extinguish that faltering flame.

There are lots of arguments save election night and you can back the campaign on Facebook by joining the group.

0 thoughts on “Save Election Night!

  1. Lynne, this is nonsense. There’s no need for any constitutional change for counting on a Friday – under our system the Prime Minister continues in office until the next one is appointed, and that will be the case whether we count on a Thursday night or during the day on Friday. As you rightly point out, some areas already do count on a Friday.

  2. Bernard – well not one of my best explained propositions I grant. I just think if you are going to count the next day etc there ought to be a constitutional change to match – that gives a period for preparationg for the incoming administration. As we don’t have that period – I think counting on the night is spot on.

  3. Election night is virtually the ONLY time us plebs get much interested. Bit like the Grand National or Derby.

    Move it to the middle of a working day when some faceless officials can make announcements of yesterday’s news, fergeddit ! It’s yesterday’s news, and it WILL reflect back on the voting participation.

  4. Don’t forget the symbolism of the former PM being either ejected from office or confirmed in his role in the early hours of the morning.

    Important to remind politicans who they are ultimately responsible to. That was one of the great sins of New Labour – they “updated” and “modernised” things without appreciating the importance of symbolism and undermined much of works really well in our consititution as a result.

  5. “Don’t forget the symbolism of the former PM being either ejected from office or confirmed in his role in the early hours of the morning.”

    But that is only when the results coming in are clear enough for one party leader to concede. They don’t leave office until about lunchtime after the Northern Ireland results are counted, when they go to the Palace.

    This whole thing is based on Newcastle deciding to count their votes in the morning (for reasons of accuracy and cost). That won’t hold up the party leaders going to the palace because Newcastle, being a closely populated city, will finish before the Northern Ireland counts do anyway.

    The comparison with America is nonsense, because most states in the USA start their counts straight away (a few rural ones start the next day) and the new President is usually known more quickly than the new Prime Minister is known here.

    This is the most hysterical over-reaction. It makes me ashamed to be in the same party as you Lynne. Your post could have been written by a child it is such loose nonsense. How on earth can you argue for STV, which will require next day counts, when you are campaigning for night counts?!

  6. Paul – I don’t seem to be getting my point across – which is about the count matching the system. If we had STV then change would be in order and I would concede the excitment and immediacy of election night. However, there is no change to the system – so I am arguing there should be no change to the counting arrangements. Perhaps that’s a clearer way of putting it than my original post.

  7. in my misspent youth I had experience of how STV works in Ireland. The count starts the next day and runs for two days; 10 in the morning until 7 at night.

    It is TREMENDOUS fun.

    The first indications come in about lunchtime of the first day. Results then come in in a stream until the last ones at the end of the second day. Because the votes are preferential huge amounts of information are available regarding party allegiences local personalities and so forth.

    At the end of the first day all the agents, and all the candidates from all the parties go to the pub together; for one night only they are completely united by being in the same trade and not knowing who has one yet.