I never wonder about the addiction. mrs hamburger had me interested in politics at quite a young age, took me canvassing for Committee for an Independent Canada at one point.
I stayed in, watching party conventions, instead of playing, when I was 8 - 10 years old - discussing the results with my friends' parents. It's in my blood Very
There are calls for an inquiry and angry scenes after long queues lead to hundreds of people being stopped from voting.
Or are we now onto the day after
Cliffhanger points to hung Parliament
*Cameron: 'Labour has lost mandate to govern'
*Brown: I'll try for coalition.
6.07am: So much for decision day. This seems to be an election without a result. As Lord Ashdown said earlier, "the country has spoken - but we don't know what they've said". ....
• A hung parliament is virtually inevitable. With more than 500 seats counted, the BBC is predicting that the Conservatives will end up with 306 seats, Labour 262 seats and the Lib Dems 55 seats. The Conservatives are currently on 37% of the vote, Labour on 28% and the Lib Dems on 23%.
• Gordon Brown has said that it is his "duty" to try to form a stable government. Constitutionally, he is right. Given that the Tories do not have a majority, he is entitled to form a government and to try to get a Queen's speech through the Commons. He only has to resign if the Queen's speech is voted down. (Effectively it's a confidence vote.) Although some reporters travelling with him think he seems gloomy about his long-term prospects, he claims to be "energised" by the result and Labour have started semi-public negotiations with the Lib Dems about a coalition. Ministers such as Lord Mandelson and Alan Johnson have indicated that they would like to do a deal over PR.
• David Cameron has said that Brown no longer has a right to govern. But Cameron has not demanded Brown's resignation, and he has indicated that he is not going push for a hasty resolution of the situation. It looks as if Brown will remain in Downing Street for the next few days at least, and perhaps for much longer.
• The Liberal Democrats have had a terrible night. Their share of the vote has gone up just 1 point and they have lost seats. But Nick Clegg - the man who used to say he wasn't a kingmaker - has become the kingmaker. He holds the balance of power. In the past he has said that the party that wins should have first right to try to form a government. But Lib Dems have said that that does not mean the party would automatically support the Tories. As I write, Clegg himself has not spoken.
• Independent candidates have not made a breakthrough. Esther Rantzen did not get elected and two independents who sat in the last parliament - Dai Davies and Richard Taylor - were defeated.
• The Green party got its first candidate into parliament when Caroline Lucas won Brighton Pavilion.
• Hundreds of people were not able to vote because of problems at polling stations. The Electoral Commission has ordered an inquiry.
Brown issues mayday call for coalition partners
By Emma Alberici and wires
Posted 2 hours 38 minutes ago
Gordon Brown needs to cobble together a coalition if he is to survive as prime minister. (Reuters: Suzanne Plunkett )
British prime minister Gordon Brown said he would ensure the country had a "strong, stable" government after an inconclusive election left no party with an outright parliamentary majority.
Mr Brown said he had asked the cabinet secretary, Britain's most senior civil servant, to arrange support for all parties that might be involved in talks over a possible future coalition government.
"It is my duty as prime minister to take all steps to ensure Britain has a strong, stable and principled government," Mr Brown said.
"I have asked the cabinet secretary to arrange for the civil service to provide support on request to parties engaged in discussions on the formation of government."
With 621 seats out of 650 reported, the Conservatives had 291 seats against Labour's 251. The Tories have picked up 92 seats but the swing is not enough to give them an overall majority.
Mr Brown is still the prime minister for now and will need to cobble together a coalition if he is to survive, but that is looking less likely with Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg saying he will talk to the Conservatives first.
"I've said that whichever party gets the most votes and the most seats, if not an absolute majority, has the first right to seek to govern, either on its own or by reaching out to other parties," Mr Clegg said.
"And I stick to that view. It seems this morning that it's the Conservative party."...<cont>
"For centuries the Chinese used an ancient curse: 'May you live in interesting times!'
I've been watching the results of the British election come in from Canberra, where the British High Commission put on a breakfast at the National Press Club - which came with a mock-up of the front door of 10 Downing Street and a British bobby stationed outside. Despite scurrilous rumours that the policeman was, in fact, a "strippogram" and was about to go "Full Monty", I am glad to report that he remained fully-clothed throughout.
In those early morning hours, as David Dimbleby launched the BBC's coverage, the thing that struck me - indeed stirred me - was the sight of so many of my compatriots queuing up outside polling stations. Alas, then came the dispiriting news that many had not been allowed to cast their ballots.
My mind was cast back to the 2000 American presidential election, which I had the good fortune to cover, when polling stations in the richest nation on the planet looked more like a banana republic - the site of scenes of anger and dismay in Florida, most notably, which quickly ended up in court. The scenes from Britain looked more like one of our great exports: a period drama. People are already wondering why the mechanics of British elections look like they come from the Industrial Revolution rather than the digital age.
Could we end up with 3 parties?