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That Florida Feeling

The Guardian's Simon Hoggart has summed it up - this election has turned into "Glastonbury for political anoraks". Yesterday was the "craziest day in British politics, probably ever." I think Thatcher's resignation probably trumped it, and Macmillan's decision to sack half his cabinet lived long in the memories of those who are old enough. There is no doubting, however, that yesterday was different.

It certainly does remind me of that awful morning in November 2000, when Florida was too close to call. There remained the hope that Gore would still triumph. Yet perhaps deep down us progressives knew then what we know now - the game was up - that Bush had won. We were prepared back then to remain in denial for several months. And of course there was much to be in denial about: the small matter of Bush stealing an election where Gore received more votes, and of The Supreme Court usurping the role of the electorate and handing the election to the Republicans (they couldn't really do that, could they?).

Now that sense of denial has returned: That there will be, somehow, a rainbow coalition of the willing, with The Greens' single MP at the heart if it all; that Clegg is simply going through the motions of talking to The Tories, knowing full well that the pathway to Liberal salvation lies elsewhere.

Then I wake up and smell the coffee. I see Brown and realise that he is not a very popular man; that the SNP and Plaid will overstretch in their deals with Labour, and ask for things that Gordon hasn't got (money); that Clegg might be selling his soul; that even if he isn't a Lib-Lab pact just doesn't have the votes, not for the long haul; that ultimately Cameron is heading for number 10 probably at the head of a minority government.

That we really are screwed.

Lies, damn lies and statistics

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