8 LibDem MPs. Well, between 1951 and 1970 there were 6 Liberal MPs apart from a couple of blips with slightly more -for example in 1970 there were two in Devon and Cornwall and 4 in Scotland. Someone claims that now is the first time since 1679 with no Liberal / Lib-Dem / Whig MP in the West country. Will people have the appetite for going back to that size of party, back to the old days of the 'they can meet in a taxi', albeit one of those large minibus taxis? Will people think there is any point? Now of course we test the 'the Lib-Dems were ameliorating the Tories' hypothesis to destruction.
Obviously there are local councillors, we have 1 Tory, 1 Lib-Dem district councillor here - essentially I assume people vote for 1 Lib-Dem and then 1 Labour or 1 Green for the 2 seats (the Lib-Dem was 13 votes ahead of the 2nd Tory) - with the town council counted tomorrow. Before the last election before this one the town council was all Lib-Dem, then last time it was 10 Tory, 9 Lib-Dem and 1 Labour, but it ended up back under Lib-Dem control after by-elections, defections etc. The district council is now 29 Tory, 9 Lib-Dem.. It was Tory anyway, though.
Have I mentioned before that the town council and district council both run dog poo bins, red for the town council, green for the district.
Anyway, yesterday I did two hours of telling for the Lib-Dems, obviously in OW&A there are only Tory and Lib-Dem tellers. Previously I have typed the numbers in, but maybe they don't need that any more. A young man with stretched ear lobes (gauged? what's the term?) and young person style low slung jeans cycled up, took photos of the sheet of numbers then cycled off. Maybe they are OCRd, maybe the are outsourced to India. Probably not. I was surprised, but probably shouldn't have been, how many people I knew I saw - 2 voting, one for the pre-school group displaced from the hall by the election onto the nearby grass as a 'teddy-bears' picnic', one voting and for the pre-school group, and one for Slimming World in the other hall. Apart from this there were also 2 trips to Oxford to take Benny to the vet to have an op to deal with the hole he had managed to get in his foot by standing on something and to get him back and a meeting at work.
Meanwhile, the Green Party. The only party, I suspect, to have policy on Sussex Stoolball (CMS880 http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/culture,-media-and-sports.html ). I was amused by the butthurt at peopl e pointing out the policy on their website about copyright (14 years), but I kind of know how it got there - there is a long document called 'Manifesto for a Sustainable Society' which gets gradually revised over the years by working parties i.e. obsessives and cranks (*). I think it was originally based on something in The Ecologist years ago. The Ecologist famously being the magazine that had the lead article on 'why vibrators are teh evil' for approximately the reasons you would guess, fast food sex, consumer society, petrochemicals, better to use artisinal glass dildos blah blah http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/other_comments/268921/love_batteries_not_included.html
The problem is of course that if you are The Green Party you have to have policies which simultaneously reflect what you could do with a few local councillors, what you could do as part of a ruling coalition on a local council, what you might do with one or two MPs in a hung parliament, what you would do if Britain had gone for green-ness in a single country and what you could do in the glorious day of a transformed world. Inevitable therfore, the policies are bound to look a bit odd. This does not mean I wasn't amused, particularly at the irony of people taking the sort of views of policies 'if you don't like it fix it' that they would decry when people say it of open source software.
(*) As I'm sure I have said before, I went to the party conference once many decades ago, for want of a better break-out group to go to I went to the one on newspapers. The bloke charing it began with 'first of all - should there be newspapers?'. That one may have solved itself of course.