What floats your vote? #2

Ever since I've been interested in politics, I've wondered what it must be like to live in a marginal constituency.

Over the years, I got to know my local MP, Ted Rowlands, reasonably well. We met at various music events as his wife gave out the prizes. All I knew was that my Dad didn't like him very much. And time after time I'd watch the election results come in, and it would always be the same. 'What's the point of that?', I thought.

But two years ago in Cambridge, it got a bit more interesting. I remember thousands of people queuing in market square just to catch a glimpse of Charles Kennedy. The Guildhall was so full he came out and gave an impromptu speech. It wasn't the best, but he delivered it without falling off his soap box and the crowd gave a huge cheer.

It felt like politics mattered and that change was in the air. In the end, the Lib Dems gained the seat in what turned out to be a miserable night for Labour. (I should stress that I have a natural disinclination towards any mass-participation shouting/cheering activities and I was there purely as an interested observer.)

Now, as I push open my front door and the inevitable avalanche of Lib Dem leaflets pushes back, it seems like I'm back to square one. There's simply no chance of anyone else winning in Cardiff Central.

But this is where Wales' much-maligned electoral system comes into its own. Because on the regional list, my vote may actually make a difference.

I'm still floating, but I'm now more of an Onken mousse than a packet of Maltesers. I've narrowed the field and I'm ready to plunge my electoral spoon. (That's about as far as this metaphor can go:)

Also plunging spoons will be Rhodri Morgan, voting at 8am in a caravan, and Nick Bourne, voting at 10.30am in Cardiff South. Note that even he's not voting for himself in Mid & West Wales - and if Glyn Davies, second on that list, loses out by one or two votes he'll be fuming as he goes back to a life of driving around in a tractor with no trousers on.

So it's all to play for and my vote's still up for grabs. The other day I asked Jenny Randerson to sort out my bins. She still hasn't done it. Maybe that will cost her.

By the way, the Conservative candidate for Cardiff Central came along to Bloggers drinks the other night. If there's anything more sad than being a blogger, it's not being a blogger and going along to a blogger's party. I can't decide whether to vote for him out of sympathy or question his sanity, and therefore the legitimacy of his candidacy.

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posted by Blamerbell @ 12:49 am,


At 7:09 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well I always felt Janice Rowlands would have made a great MP
Its still a very red area up here ,mostly because the older people vote However the Labour majority is getting less
Quite a few people who I know who couldnt be bothered to vote last time are turning out and voting wait for it Plaid - yes he is a good candidate
Lib Dems have it wrong the candidate's too young for the audience sadly
Me yes I have finally made up my mind too
I so hope we get a change overall ,some new intelligent challenging people and lets have some surprises --fingers crossed
Just vote folks

At 7:33 am, Blogger cymrumark said...

I thought insanity was an essential qualification to be a politician:)

Thanks for your blogg I have enjoyed taking the time to read it.

Now off to vote then hit the campoaign trail ...

At 8:23 am, Anonymous dave rodway said...

anyone got any idea how postal voting will affect things? that's a traditionally strong Labour card, and they'll have gone in before everyone realised just how shit they are.
PS - Blamer - I've voted postally and am not in Wales today - I'll be reading your blog until the small hours to see how things are going. I don;t expect rolling news, but any cheeky little rumours and tidbits for those of us stuck in the big smoke woudl be most welcome.
Dave Rodway

At 8:43 am, Blogger sulf said...

Yes, I heard that Plaid was doing very well in Merthyr.

At 10:30 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for your blog Blamer - definitely the best Welsh political blog in English - and excellent contributions. Vaughan slightly ahead overall in my humble opinion! Re: Mid & West Wales and Glyn Davies, I've been trying hard to persuade my mother to vote Conservative on the list - she is a lifelong Plaid voter. It seems to me that voting Plaid on the list in Mid & West is a wasted vote if they gain as many seats as they expect. And losing Glyn from the Assembly would be a tragedy.

At 10:42 am, Blogger bethan said...

COME ON!youve got to tell people who ur going to vote for now!

At 10:49 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and Happy Birthday...

At 1:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Mr Blamerbell!

At 4:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as you don't vote for the bully and thug Sue Lent who has tried to destroy the Stop the War Coalition in Cardiff

At 4:54 pm, Blogger Damon said...

Happy Birthday. And Andrew Murphy, as my housemate, came along at my invitation; after all, it was for bloggers and readers (that's how I read it on Chanticleer's blog), and Andrew Murphy does try to keep up with the important political blogs.

At 5:31 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

OK, I'll let you off:)

Thanks all for the birthday wishes.

Last year I was on top of a mountain with free beer on tap.

I'm guessing this year will be a more sober affair, until tomorrow morning at least...


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