Thursday 7th. May, 2015 – Election Day 

This is a picture I took yesterday when we were at Greenlaw Parish Church. Tom, the minister, showed me this really old copy of the Bible which is part of the treasures of the congregation

I was up early with Mix walked before eight and soon afterwards Rachel and I set out to Duns to cast our votes. Everyone at the polling booth was in a fine frame of mind. Outside there were lots of posters but there were only representatives of the SNP (Alex) and the conservatives and there was much good natured banter. Alex told me that it would come down to two or three hundred votes and that he was really very hopeful, not just that the SNP in Scotland would do well but that Calum Kerr would do well in our constituency.

The rest of the day was shared between the election and getting Olivebank ready for her trip south tomorrow. Tom ensured that the trailer was as it should be, the mast was lowered, the engine checked and the completed convoy of boat and Tom’s car was moved outside Mount Pleasant ready for an early get-away at first light tomorrow. Tom went home in my car so that when he brought it back in the morning we could leap into his car and set off at once.

The evening passed quite slowly as we all waited to see how the General Election had gone. Ten o’clock arrived and the polling booths closed. Immediately the television announced the result of its exit poll and the prediction was quite different from the polls of recent times. In the UK as a whole the conservatives would be the largest party, just short of an overall majority, in Scotland they projected that the SNP would capture fifty-eight of the fifty-nine seats on offer. (Nicola Sturgeon was quick to down-play this forecast). And so the long night began.

It was so exciting that Rachel stayed up all night. I went to bed because I had the boat to launch in the morning, but I had the television on and couldn’t help hearing the results as I dozed. As everyone now knows, Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish Nationalists won fifty six of the fifty-nine Scottish seats – Labour held on to one Edinburgh seat, the Tories held on to their one Border seat and the Liberal Democrats held on to their Orkney and Shetland seat and yes, our Calum Kerr got through in Berwickshire (after a recount but with a majority of over 300). It was quite a night. In the rest of the UK the Conservatives did even better than projected, winning 331 seats to Labour’s 232, with the Liberal Democrats being reduced from 56 to just 8 and with UKIP receiving a huge public vote but gaining just one seat. There will be lots to talk about in the coming days.


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