If I were a cartoonist, which unfortunately I’m not, I’d sketch something here showing Nick Clegg stretched out on a chaise longue with Gordon Brown at one end peeling him a grape and David Cameron at the other, administering a foot rub.
Now clearly Clegg hasn’t had a good night. Polls over the last few weeks, since Clegg wowed us all with his TV talk of electoral reform, smaller class sizes and a fairer tax system, have predicted this election to be the most excited ever for the Lib Dems. The reality however was far from the liberal utopia many imagined. In fact, the yellow team managed to secure even fewer seats than in 2005. A bit of a shocker really – what happened there? Was the Lib Dem surge merely bravado? Did everyone chicken out when they actually got to the polling station and had the pencil in hand?
Whatever the reasons for their poor performance, you can’t deny that the third party now find themselves in a uniquely powerful position. With neither Labour nor the Conservatives able to claim a working majority, Clegg has some pretty big decisions to make over the next couple of days. Both of the main parties are understandably desperate to do a deal – I like to imagine Clegg at home surrounded by muffin baskets, bouquets and cards – ‘Nick, please be my friend, we’ve always been in favour of PR, honest. Dave x’
As much as I like muffins, I wouldn’t want to be in Clegg’s shoes right now. It’s not a great choice really is it? Potential politic suicide but a stab at electoral reform with Labour, or the Conservatives. Enough said.
The most shocking of the night’s events though was the fact that I managed to stay up all night. No exit poll could have predicted it, famous as I am among family and friends for always being asleep by 10pm. It does mean though that today has been fairly unproductive. I’ve found it quite difficult to speak in real sentences and it feels like only a matter of time before I start hallucinating. An hour ago I found myself laughing out loud on my own watching Total Wipeout USA.
Definitely time for a little lie down.
Photo credit: Liberal Democrats