Thursday, 6 May 2010


Well, today’s the day and I’ve just got back for lunch after a cheering morning on the gates of a polling station.

There were boards advertising the Conservatives, Labour, the Greens and the SNP, but there were no other parties represented in person, and the Liberals didn’t even have a board. Only the SNP had people to cover what was a big polling station.

It’s always difficult to read the voters. You know the ones who will definitely vote for you, because they tell you they will, or, on their way out, that they have. Others are so friendly when they greet you, but you can’t be sure. Some people are just friendly after all.

You can guess the ones who definitely vote the other way. They avoid eye contact and some ignore you completely when you say “good morning”, as if you were going to accost them and give them a long lecture on the benefits of voting SNP.

One man gave me a particularly hateful look and when he came out after voting he righted the flimsy Labour board which had blown over in the wind, and which couldn’t be made to stay upright. There was no doubting his vote. (The board blew over again after 2 minutes when the next gust of wind came along.)

(Talking of friendly, the school where the polling takes place is closed for the day, but the teachers appear to be on some sort of course in another part of the building, and one of them came out during the morning to offer me a cup of coffee. Aren’t people nice?)

So that’s my day so far..... Time for a break and then back out to do some leafleting and another spell on the polling station.

So far it looks good for Stewart Hosie. Let’s hope it stays that way.


  1. I used to like polling station duty. It's just as you say. I too used to have fun with those who purposely ignored me - won't explain further. ;)

    Glad it's going fine.

  2. Hi SR,

    Well, most are just trying to avoid what they imagine will be a lecture on the benefits of the SNP, so I kinda understand that. Although a ‘good morning’ in the passing never hurt anyone.

    It's the belligerent ones that tell you what a “bra joab Gordon’s daein’ an’ we should gie him anither chance adn you guys wid rip Scotland awa fae England an lave us a alane”...

    And you refrain from pointing out that giving him another chance seems to suggest that the job he’s doing at present has been far from ideal....and that really ripping apart is not what we are about..... and that other countries manage perfectly well all alone...... because you’re not supposed to engage in political arguments with them, and in any case there is absolutely no point.

    I remember being on a station with a Labour woman in Glenrothes, and she was embarrassed by some of the rudeness we were shown. She actually apologised after one elderly man called me a traitor to queen and country.

    However, that’s Glenrothes and this is Dundee, and so far no one’s been pointedly rude, just cold.

    Hope it's going well up your way.

    Well, back to it. Thanks for the comment....

  3. Tris,

    Stewart Hosie looks like Seve Ballesteros and his surname sounds Spanish so I won't be voting for him!

  4. Possibly because I live in East Dunbartonshire!

  5. Keep up the good work, Tris! Best of luck for tonight.

  6. Lol@ brownlie.

    Hope you have good day Tris and I'm sure your charm will entice the voters to vote for the right man.

  7. Hope ye enjoyed yersel tris. Ah came oot ma pollin' station wi' a big grin oan ma face, ma step lightened an' ma heart singin', fer it had been a lot easier than ah thocht it wid be. Ah wis gaun tae dae a tactical vote, but when it came tae the thing, ah couldnae. Ah hope tae god a did the right thing, but at least ah can still put ma hand oan ma heart an' say ah voted honestly. I'm still a Nat.

    Anyroads, ah'm comin' oot the door, an' ah minded passin' a man staunin' there wi' a handfu' o SNP leaflets. So ah shout a cheery 'Guid Luck fer th'night!' at him.

    He wis staunin' wi' his eyes shut an' his heidphones thing oan! Did ah feel stupit?

    Sometimes it's jist as weel ye cannae go back an' change yer vote!

  8. As long as John Mason is booted out I'll be happy happy happy!

    Personally i expect a small Tory majority and if they have the most amount of seats then they should be allowed to attempt to Govern.

    I expect Gordon to resign and David Milliband to eventually become leader
    Cameron enters 10 Downing street and his cuts take effect leading to poll tax type rioting and many people dead in the streets.

    The snp are going to fail dismally to improve on the last Westminster election.

    But Alex will still proclaim it a massive endorsement of the snp Government and a great victory.......the people will continue to regard him a knob as more and more realise he
    is unable to adapt to the times and still lives in the past(never to be repeated) Glory of 2007.

    Anyway I'm off to hang meself as a return to Tory hegemony is more than i can bear......even at the cost of not seeing John Mason face on losing his seat..........

    No doubt he will claim the Labour Mafia made the returning officer 'an offer he couldn't refuse'

    as for me i off to sleep with the fishes

  9. Sophia Pangloss

    He was probably thinking !Oh no here comes that flirt again! lol

  10. Mr Irish alphabet

    You appear to be more transfixed with the SNP loosing one seat too Labour than Labour loosing ultimately too the Tory party.


  11. tris

    I saw my first SNP canvasser today. On my way into the polling station. Why were there no door to door canvassers for any of the parties like in the old days ? Or any campaign literature ? People who never follow politics would be swayed by a visit or a leaflet through the door.
    I voted UKIP for the first time ( Dundee East) so will be interested to see how he gets on. Better than Nigel hopefully !
    I used to be SNP but have been shocked at their campaign against public sector cuts and their love of the EU, global warming, attacks on the poor with their smoking bans and attempts to make alcohol more expensive and attempts to increase immigration.
    I'm sure many other voters will feel the same.

  12. Anon

    !shocked at their campaign against public sector cuts and their love of the EU, global warming, attacks on the poor with their smoking bans and attempts to make alcohol more expensive and attempts to increase immigration!

    Think the reasons you have stated above is why exactly England will be voting Tory tonight and not Labour!

  13. LOL @ Brownlie... Even you can't manage to live in Dunbartonshire and vote in Dundee....

    Stuart José... ha ha ha!

  14. Thanks very much James. I hope you have a great night too! I'm sure you will.........

  15. Och Allan... I just hope I didn't put anyone off.

    Actually we did swing a few people over during the day; one because we were the only people there! No representatives from any other party!

    Thanks for your good wishes Allan...

    I hope we'll all have something to celebrate tomorrow.

  16. Sophia... If you voted with your conscience, thats all you have to worry about.

    What matters is that regardless of the result, tomorrow morning you're happy that you did the right thing...

  17. Niko: I have no idea what you have against poor John Mason, but anyway don't do it mate... don't do it even if Labour has a bad night.

    We'd miss your jolly unionist banter.

    I've just heard that Mr Mandleson is urging Brown to squat.... which paints the most horrific picture.

    Let's be honest, no matter what the results, everyone is going to say that it was a great victory for them... Alex won't be the only one who does that! (Although he will do it.)

  18. Anon:

    Hmmmm Right. I’m not sure why you didn’t get anything through the door.

    All the main parties were allowed to send out one piece through the post for free. I got one from Liberals, Tories, Labour, SNP and Greens. It wouldn’t make any sense (as it was free) to miss you out. Maybe you should ask the Post Office/Royal Mail about that.

    The SNP has been out every weekend and most nights canvassing: I know, I get all the emails about where to meet, and I also know Stuart has been out night and day over the last few weeks when he wasn’t representing the SNPs on telly. But they can’t get everywhere.

    Of course the election has been taken over by the television debates so maybe some of the other parties have left it to their English leaders to do all the electioneering!

    As for the things that you criticise the SNP for:

    • The campaign against the public sector cuts is on the type of cuts rather than cuts. We want to cut nuclear weapons, ID cards and the House of Lords to start with.... instead of pensions and hospital beds

    • You talked about the poor being hit by the smoking ban. I have a few points to make on that. The SNP is trying to stop the cuts that will hit the poor, as I pointed out above. Of all the parties, I’d say that the poor were best protected by the SNP. But I doubt if it is only poor people who smoke, or who are affected by the smoking ban. Prince Harry smokes, my boss smokes, our SNP candidate smokes, Barack Obama smokes. There are many well off folk that smoke. But most of all, the smoking ban was introduced in 2006 by the then Liberal and Labour coalition that formed the Scottish Executive. It has SNP support, and I believe Tory support. No one would be likely to repeal it.

    • All parties are going to do something about booze taxes. Watch the price go up in the next budget.

    • As for immigration, I would be the first to agree that the English have problems with it. That is their business. We have no problem with immigration......unless one simply doesn’t like foreigners for the sake of not liking foreigners. We have a demographic time bomb in Scotland. All the parties agree. Old people needing supported by taxes... growing ever longer, with few young people to carry the strain. When Labour, the Liberals and the SNP, and probably the Tories too, agree on something, you’d need to look carefully at it before you disagreed.

    As for poor old Nigel...wasn’t he one lucky man today. Almost unbelievable when you look at the plane smash. I would think it won’t have done him any harm politically too... Poor old John may have to get the removal van round to Speaker’s House sharpish!