We’ll be singing, when we’re winning … in the saloon bar of the Three Compasses, we’re singing, yelling, thumping the tables. The Hackney pub, swarmed by the Momentum movement since the polls closed, is living and dying on the slow drip drip drip of results, starting from 10pm, when the polls closed, and the first exit polls came out.
The crowd tensed before the big screen, and came the results: the Tories losing their majority coming down to 315 seats, Labour rising to 260-270. The crowd exploded. This was not a majority, but no one really expected a majority. To take the Tories below 325 was the goal, and if the exit polls are correct, that has been achieved.
Jeremy Corbyn and his raggle-taggle band of Labourists, Trots, Commies and bohemian desperados may have broken the back of Tory power in a way that no Blairite formula ever could, left the Tories with a hopeless minority government task, and paved the way for a real anti-Tory coalition.
It’s 2am as I write in Dalston, London, England. It is now not impossible that in a week or so Jeremy Corbyn could be the next PM of the UK.
It’s now 2am in this ridiculous, interminable vote count; 650 seats, and only 50 seats declared. The trend is to Labour, giving them about a 35% vote, much above what Blair or Miliband could achieve. No one has a clue what will happen in the next hour. Your correspondent is about to decamp from this pub (closing) to his club (open all night). There’ll be a postscript below. It still won’t be decisive. But looking like a goodish night. We’ll be singing …
Well, God. Here we are at 4am on a Friday morning in the UK. We have repaired, a bunch of us, to the Crikey Global Affairs Desk at a chain hotel, somewhere in the lower wilds of the Angel, Islington. We were all at a Momentum pub in Hackney, Momentum being the left faction that had supported Jeremy Corbyn through thick and thin, and now they were gathering for whatever happened.
Whatever happened, it was good.
There wasn’t much bad news for Labour diehards tonight. They retained most of their seats, and they gained back a bunch of seats, and the overall total may be a 30-seat gain, and it may include 15 seats in Scotland.
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The news for the Tories was shit all over. They may have lost — it’s frikkin 4.30am and the sun is coming up through the hotel window — enough seats to lose a majority, down from 330ish to 315ish. Maybe 310ish?
The pub was rockin’. Everyone was high on possibility. A few key early election results:
Ilana: Russian gal, tall blonde, there because her flatmate was there. Gave me her number, may be fake, haven’t checked yet. A gentleman doesn’t. Nor me.
Rosie: brunette child psychologist. I had to dredge up a lot of stuff about Winnicott. Eyes like a Dresden doll, catfish cheekbones. Says she will meet me at the Freud museum, in Hampstead, on Sunday 1pm. “Dude, she won’t meet you,” some dumb hipster said. Fool. The whole point of arranging to meet a catfish-cheekboned gal at the Freud museum is that she won’t turn up. I mean, duh. You made the effort, you have the rest of the afternoon free. What could be better?
Sarah: Social worker (it’s Islington). Tall blonde drink o’ water. Boxer jaw, psychedelic yoga gear. Come back to the after-party. Crazy as fuck? Future ex-Mrs-Rundle. Votes are still coming in.
Votes are still coming in all over. The count goes on. It will stop in an hour or so, resume. This will take days.
But the key results are already in. This is a disaster for the Tories, for Brexit as is, a triumph for left Labour, a decisive exit for Blairies and Cameroons. All of which to be explored at length in the next few days. For now, triumph, of a sort, disaster as a possibility, is all there, for everyone.
More cogent thoughts later, but for the moment … yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!