Well I am exhausted. It has taken a dozen cups of tea, sandwiches, a roll, a steady stream of chocolate biscuits and sweets as well as the occasional doughnut to keep me alert throughout the night. I have not slept in nearly 24 hours but I have to say there really is no better way of watching the election unwind than at the BBC.
This year the BBC did an election café style affair where politicians could come and do some interviews and then relax, have their teas/coffees and a biscuits. My job was to sit in the background and look pretty. It was a bit odd watching people on TV and then turning around with your cup of tea and seeing them sitting next to you. I remember when we first saw Alex Salmond everyone was naturally drawn to him and we were introduced. The term “fangirl” was banded about to describe some people. By the end of the night though he was sat watching some of the election on the TV, drinking coffee and nobody thought his presence out of the ordinary. We also had the continual presence of another former first minister Henry McLeash. The presence of most of the country’s media added a bit of buzz and action to the environment.
The chance to watch the election unwind with a group of genuinely passionate young people was a fantastic experience. The diverse range of views and opinions lead to a very interesting night. I feel that politicians have a lot to learn from the way the Generation projects at the BBC have approached politics. They have shown consideration for others views; were willing to listen to others opinions and admit in some cases another alternative may be better. They also do all of this without the petty squabbling that some politics is reduced to; although I am proud to say I have seen relatively little of this in the lead up to the 5th of May election.
The diverse and passionate views about politics was not the only thing though that made the watching of the election with the others involved enjoyable; there genuinely interesting, fun, considerate and just plain friendly attitudes made for a great night which is why on BBC snapchat I posted the three word “surprising, fun, tiring”.
The actual outcome of the election came to some extent as a surprise.
I had not expected that level of Tory presence. I had predicted more than some of those I was talking with my guess being around 22 but the number of 31 shocked all bar one of those there who I still think may have been a little surprised. The green seat gain I did expect and the gain of the seat by Ross Greer was a great win for young people in politics being only 21 years of age. With the SNP only holding a minority government it would appear they are likely to make some form of deal with the Green.
It was interesting sitting in the same room as Alex Salmond while the party list members were being announced. He had an almost unreadable face; what I got from it was cool and calculating. By the time he left just before 8am there was no doubt that he had a fully formulated plan for the success of the SNP in the new parliamentary sitting; I feel it’s fair to say despite no longer being the first minister he still appears to play a major role in Scottish politics.
So that was an enjoyable night, I would sign off with goodnight but unfortunately it is only 9:45am and I’m still on the train.