Thursday 03/05/07

There are elections to the Scottish Parliament today. K is due to assist at a polling station from 8 am onwards. Mrs B and myself rise at 11.30, when Kenneth brings us T, who stayed with us last September. He was very pleased with some picture prints. Went out into the city centre to buy a new pair of walking boots and a waterproof coat. The latter was reduced in price by 50%, so the financial damage was not too severe. Returned to Bank Street by subway. A little later on, mrs B and myself went to George Square, in the heart of the city to join a city tourbus. For £9 you can hop on and off at 21 stops for 2 days. As we’re on the last bus of the day, leaving at 4.30pm, we can’t visit anything. Tourguide Claire talks us round the 85 minute tour. Points visited: Cathedral, Merchant City, the Barras, People’s Palace, Whistlin’ Kirk, back to George Square and onto the West End via Central Station. We pass the Squinty Bridge, the Hammerhead Crane, the Armadillo (SECC) and Kelvingrove Park. We return to the city centre via the University and Sauchiehall Street. It grows a bit chilly by the end of the tour, which finishes at 6pm. We jump off at Hillhead subway to buy some fish & chips in Byres Road. The polls in the Scots Parliament and local elections close at 10pm, but the results are extremely slow in coming forth. The ballotbox for Arran is taken to the mainland by a boat which breaks down. The count in the Western Isles can’t take place, because the helicopter which is due to fly the Barra ballotbox to Stornoway is fogbound. It will now be taken north by ferry and road. The dominating feature is that 5% of the ballot papers are spoiled – across Scotland. That is 10 times more than normal, and due to a mixture of voting systems. It means that 100,000 people’s votes are discounted. Watch the results programme until 3 am.

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