After months of interviewing politicians, assessing campaigns, collating polls and buying our own Ed Miliband for the office (see below), the New Statesman is ready for polling day.
It feels like a long time since we began our election coverage – and there’s plenty to catch up on before the polls close.
Back in March, our editor Jason Cowley’s interview with Alex Salmond kickstarted the coalition question when Salmond intimated that he would attempt to “bring down” any Tory government:
“The Tories would have to go straight effectively for a vote of confidence, usually the Queen’s Speech, although it could be otherwise, of course, and we’d be voting against,” he says. “So if Labour joins us in that pledge, then that’s Cameron locked out.”
Ashley Cowburn’s interview with Simon Danczuk caused a ruckus after David Cameron quoted some rather harsh words during PMQs:
“You know, this north London elite view of the world, just doesn’t play in Rochdale, Rotherham, Runcorn or anywhere else beginning with an “r” outside the M25.
In April, Anoosh Chakelian’s interview heard Ken Clarke warn the Tories against “black cheques” and “silly” pledges.
And Stephen Bush revealed why the Tories’ secret weapon may be… Alex Salmond.
More recently, Stephen’s hesitant reading of Labour’s chances proved that our readers are still as unsure as we are about who will come out on top, and George Eaton’s interview with Neil Kinnock made us wonder if this is 1992 all over again:
“If campaigns win elections, we are doing well. But I do recall that I got the prize for the campaign and still didn’t win”
Of course, throughout the campaign May2015.com has been publishing comment and analysis of all the latest polls. In April, editor Harry Lambert suggested that Ed Miliband has more routes to power than David Cameron, casuing a stir in the papers. (You can read the latest analysis here.)
Finally, despite being called the “Bible of the left” by more than one commentator, our essays, interviews and analysis have always prioritised thoughtful critical enquiry – and kept a healthy measure of cynicism. The leader from our election issue explores the highs and lows of Ed Miliband’s leadership, but ultimately notes that Labour is still better than the alternatives:
“Britain is a great country, one of the safest and most prosperous in the world. It has the potential, also, to become a more equal and more democratic country in the next five years. The best means of fulfilling these hopes is to return a Labour government on 7 May.”
In March, Andrew Marr claimed that British politics is broken in an essay on domestic politics:
Some day, there will surely be a thesis about why this avalanche of cultural analysis apparently had so little effect on domestic politics. For, when it came to the fight between the defeated Labour politicians and the newly elected coalition ones, the repeated assertion that the real problem had been profligate overspending under Gordon Brown and Tony Blair seemed to win. As a result of the vast sums required from the public purse to save the banking system and the shrivelling of tax receipts as the recession continued, all governments had to rethink their public spending trajectories. The good times, fuelled by a cosy relationship between politicians and international capital, were over.
More recently, Jamie Maxwell asked if Westminster is prepared for the SNP:
As the SNP quietly readies itself for victory, the mood among Scottish Labour supporters is grim.
While Robert Tombs asked what England wants.
Looking for more reading while you wait? Try Helen Lewis’s Election A-Z featuring all the best (and worst) moments of the campaign, and see how friends of the NS are voting. We’ve even read the key books of this election so you don’t have to.
You can also read our latest contributing writer Owen Jones on what could happen if the Tories get more seats, and Robert Webb on why he’ll be voting Labour (“tax me till I fart”).
As with the Scottish Referendum, we’ll be providing overnight coverage from here in the office, as well as drawing on our contributors all over the country. Because the New Statesman is nothing if not efficient, we’re running two shifts:
The election night team: first shift to the left, second to the right.
10pm – 4am:
4am – Midday Friday: