It's a big day to be a resident in the United Kingdom.
We are (and have been, all night on and off, if I'm honest) glued to our screens as our general election results roll in.
I love politics. In another life I would've been a politician. (Or a forensic scientist. Two careers I endlessly think about.)
As a Tory, the results have been shocking. The polls have predicted anything but a Tory majority, and here we are watching David and Samantha Cameron enter the big door of Number 10 again.
In the meantime, this is me about to enter the door of Number 10, in 2012.
I was quite excited.
What I find interesting about elections in the UK is this:
1) Commonwealth residents can vote. Until I am actually British, there are a few things I can't do in this country. But I can vote, while the Americans can't.
2) You vote for the candidate of your constituency, not the prime minister candidates. My constituency is Battersea, which is a known 'swing borough.' Most of London's borough's are "safe Labour seats," due to the urban decay of many of the council-estate led areas of the north east.
As Battersea is quite equally divided (investment banker/yummy mummy types living next to poorer people in high rise council flats), it was really important to vote. I knew mine would count.
Jane Ellison has been re-elected as our MP, (a woman, hooray!), and while the Labour candidate had an extremely good campaign going on (hashtags, websites showing his family man status, young and affable), Jane has kept her seat.
And good thing too, if this is to be believed.
3) I arrived in Britain five years ago just after the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives formed a coalition on the eve of a hung parliament. A hung parliament was something shocking at that stage - it just didn't happen. And yet, all the polls predicted the same thing this time around.
4) With Labour's disastrous outcome (especially northern seats, with Ed Balls going for example, and closer to home at Twickenham with Vince Cable), there is a massive backlash hating on the Tories on Twitter.
This pisses me off.
1) This is a democracy. The country has voted.
2) If the shoe was on the other foot....Had Labour won majority, the Tories wouldn't have heard the end of it. It's part of the Marxist DNA, to rally everyone up and shout about victory from the rooftops.
5) Part of the reasons the polls were so wrong is because Tories don't talk about their vote. There's a shameful sort of stigma about being a Conservative voter. "Tories don't care about The People," is the general consensus by leftist voters, which is what I find to be one of the biggest myths of all.
While the Tories have tight reigns on the Welfare State (as they should), they still believe in it. So frankly, why can't Tories gloat about their victory? Because it's just in poor taste. That's why.
6) The most tragic element of this election is the state of the Liberal Democrats. The centrist party is all but completely in fragments. It's a sad state of affairs, that smaller co-operative and central-thinking parties just can't cut the mustard here. People still need a party to take a side.
I would've seriously considered giving the Lib Dems my vote had they simply had more of a majority. (In my constituency, the Lib Dem candidate doesn't even live here. And he probably pushed one leaflet through my door that stated his main policy was to reduce the speeding limit on our roads. Remarkable really.)
7) Scotland has been a major driver (if not the main driver) of this election, with Nicola Sturgeon sweeping through Scotland on the independence wave. Everyone believed that Labour would form backroom handshakes with the SNP - Nicola's party - and this just hasn't happened at all.
8) Nigel Farage sweats a lot. Must be all the pints he drinks.
9) As if by coincidence, I become a permanent resident of the UK this month. (And after my trip to the States in June, a citizen.) Not that I will ever be truly British.
10) British elections couldn't be more different from South African ones.