2012 is a year of elections. To celebrate them and the chaos and drama that ensues, XCity magazine
will be featuring some of the best campaign anecdotes from across the globe.
As a taster – The Independent’s Andy McSmith describes his experience of the UK 1997 General election.
On the night of 1 May 1997, he was covering New Labour’s landslide as Chief political correspondent of
I was at the Conservative party headquarters with more than 20 other journalists on the night of the general
election count. When the first results came through, the Tories kept telling us it wasn’t quite as bad as it might
have been. They were putting quite a good spin on it.
But suddenly, all of the Tory spin-doctors simply disappeared. There was this long period where no one
was there. Eventually, the spin-doctors came back looking a bit white, and we knew it was going to be really bad.
They predicted that 49 MPs would lose their seat, including various cabinet ministers.
The journalists started getting out of hand. They were enjoying seeing these Tories lose their seats. I felt really
sorry for all the women who were having tea – this big group of badly behaved journalists was cheering the
defeat of the Conservative party in the Tory party headquarters.
As told to Nadia Khomami