It’s very late.
After the last results are read out, the leaders of each local party are allowed to make a speech.
Cllr Charles Adje, leader of Haringey Labour Party, and returning leader of Haringey Council:
He makes a pretty cursory, unemotional speech reminding people that they still won the council despite losing a few seats to the Lib Dems. Though he hinted at ‘dirty trick’ tactics by rival parties, he didn’t go into details. Just another day for him.
Cllr Neil Williams, leader of Haringey Lib Dems, returning councillor (from Highgate, in fact):
Mr Williams has a very Lib Dem face, I think. Lembit Opik has one too. Speccy, wary, cautious. He’s slightly angry, reminding people that the Lib Dems have actually beaten Labour on votes across the borough. He doesn’t mention Proportional Representation, though. Some rather rowdy Labour types in the audience heckle him. “Loser! Loser!” “Oh, Neil, really!”
Then Pete McAskie, leader of Haringey Greens and my election agent speaks up. He gives a pretty angry speech, actually. The Haringey target ward results are disappointing, the old first-past-the-post system is an anachronism and misrepresents the thousands of Green votes received across the borough. Going by green issues, he said, an average European council make Haringey look shameful.
The Haringey Tories don’t bother with a speech. With no seat gains whatsoever, they’ve left the building by this time. It’s past five o’clock in the morning.
During the night, I do meet a few gentle and friendly types from all parties. My gut stereotype reaction is:
Tory candidates: Arch, quiet, Women’s Institute, helpful with directions.
New Labour candidates: Bullies, loud, ruddy-faced, Student Union. On-Message.
Old Labour candidates: Friendly, fun, aware of knives in their backs.
Lib Dem candidates: wary, guarded, bespectacled.
Green candidates: passionate, humane, bearded.
The gossip of the night is a locally popular Old Labour councillor losing his seat by three votes. His election agent and party backers, the rumour has it, have deliberately denied him a recount. The implication being New Labour would rather lose a council seat than keep an old-style socialist among their numbers. That’s the story from the other parties, anyway.
I get a lift home in Mr McAskie’s charmingly clunky old van. The sun is coming up.
I put on a rented DVD to help me go to sleep.
“Hellraiser 4 – Bloodline”.