Tuesday 12 May 1987

…I am still deaf.
I have started my election folder.
Mrs Thatcher has said no to the idea from Neil Kinnock of having a debate
live on TV together.
She said: “There would be more hot air than light.”…

One of the few things Mrs Thatcher has ever said with which I agree.

The election folder was a ring binder in which I saved clippings and cuttings from newspapers and magazines. Looking through them now it is, inevitably, instructive to see the depth of coverage that used to be given to a general election.

Every day newspapers profiled contests in individual constituencies. Every day came long accounts of what each of the main party leaders (including David Owen and David Steel) had been up to. Sketchwriters penned inconsistently witty pieces from around the country. Ministers, shadow ministers and SDP no-hopefuls were afforded exhaustive pen portraits.

And then there were the opinion polls. Dozens of them, sometimes two or three a day. I kept a record of them all and plotted the results on a chart on my bedroom wall.

Meanwhile there was a month to go until polling day: a month to convince my mum and dad to let me stay up to watch the results – to stay up later than I’d ever stayed up before.

A very civil partnership

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