Margo MacDonald's campaign diary

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Wednesday, 12 March

We're up and running. Great party tonight to familiarise people who've volunteered with the office routine with each other. Tony Webb's the cameraman seconded to Fiona (Ross) for the feature programme to be shown after the election. It was like old times working with him again. Just as well, my stomach crunched every time I remembered the size of the task ahead. However, at least 50 people turned up (with apologies from about 20 more) so we've made a good start.

Saturday, 15 March

Meet 'n' greet at Safeway's corner in Morningside. Pretty good reception considering the level of local support for Lib Dem, Tory and Labour. We've hit the right note with hand-out post card: there's confusion over the three votes. We used today to test the waters because by next Saturday we'll be at war and the atmosphere might not be right to politick.

Monday, 17 March

Bitterly cold day, huge amount of subordinate legislation to plough through before tomorrow morning's meeting, but had promised to speak at school pupils' anti-war demo, after school, on Calton Hill. Froze. Kids' understanding and seriousness impressive nonetheless. SSP lad spoke Tommy-style, but punctuated each megaphone burst with a Lorenzo Amoruso-style gob.

Wednesday, 19 March

Sat in on Jackie Baillie's members' debate on reforming charities laws. She's right. One pound off at Weightwatchers: undeserved. The Scotsman phoned me for response to news that Scottish Natural Heritage is to be dispersed from Edinburgh to Inverness just as I stepped on to scales, much to consternation of stout candidate, and amusement of determined slimmers.

Thursday, 20 March

The war has started. Reluctant to switch on GMS this morning as I don't believe we should be waging war as we are.

Spoke to ladies from Viewpoint Housing Association. Very nice bunch, very nice scones with loads of cream. Thank goodness WW was last night. Once again introductory card proving effective in informing on three votes.

Felt a bit like the sweeper-up after the Lord Mayor's procession when David Steel called me to question Jack (McConnell) on SNH dispersal decision. John Swinney had been doing his concerned-but-angry-Mr-Nice-Person impersonation, and Jack had been wearing his patient-but-firmly-dismissive persona re the war. However, I tried and Jack bit back. I collared the guilty man, Ross Finnie, much later and I sensed that he could see the argument against wholesale dispersal in SNH's case. Whoopee. Another issue I'll have to pursue during, and after, the campaign.

Saturday, 22 March

The war looks awful. Thank God my family isn't in Baghdad. We had to see to various family members whom we've neglected of late so weren't able to make the anti-war demo. Peter was there and senses a change in the public mood: people on the pavement showing annoyance with anti-war protesters in Princes Street. I think we made the right decision re leafleting at shopping centres. People probably want time to observe what's going on without being pressurised.

Monday, 24 March

Managed to get to Aquafit. Feeling tired but flexible. Excellent meeting with PE students at Telford College re possible incorporation of students into new plans for PE in schools. Must write to Edinburgh Leisure re future plans for Meadowbank and the Commonwealth Pool as some staff members worried. Trying to slot interest in and concern about war into other on-going commitments and responsibilities. Introductory postcard going v. well. Election address well in hand. Asked for meeting with Ross Finnie re SNH dispersal

Tuesday, 25 March

Before last meeting of sub. leg. committee had to open women in public life conference. V. enjoyable event. Met a couple of the Cod Crusaders. Told Morag to pass on my good wishes to Carol, who's standing for the SNP in the council election. I suspect she might have been better to stand as an independent because I think that the Cod Crusaders' views are incompatible with the SNP's "EU at any cost" line. Finished sub. leg. committee with a glass of pink bubbly, everybody except Gordon Jackson was there (he's having real problems in Govan because of Labour's war policy). All agreed that we'd done a fair job of things. Thanks entirely to legal advisors headed up by Margaret MacDonald and clerks team headed by Alasdair.

Election question time at Cluny Parish Church. Excellent turnout around 100. Testing questions. Young Labour chap and young Tory both very good, SNP man competent but lacks spark (he writes better), SSP candidate v. nice woman who used to be in SNP. Mike Pringle (Lib Dem) told me I'd won some Tory votes but there's a long time to go to 1 May.

Wednesday, 26 March

John (Hargreaves) and me at Dove Centre to start morning. V. welcoming as usual, older women's group v. interested in explanation of three votes. Promised Bruce (manager) support in application for better funding if I'm elected. Enjoyed visit and I'll probably get some votes. Photo call at City Chambers with Indy council candidates. The ball has started rolling on campaign to reverse SNH dispersal. One half-pound on at WW. Probably because I had quick, but well-cooked, lunch in Gordon's Trattoria with Euan McColm.

War plans going wrong. Lots of casualties being reported by al-Jazeera and French and German TV. SNP facing two ways: "Illegal war, but backing troops." Nicola Sturgeon seems to be fronting-up response to war now. Making little impression.

Thursday, 27 March

Wanted to take part in older people's debate but had to film for Fiona's fly-on-the-wall: fingers crossed I wasn't too indiscreet in Bill's (hairdresser), then up to PHQ for SNH demo before grabbing soup and a scone for benefit of camera: lunched (quickly) with Dorothy Grace, Alasdair Rankin and Peter. Hope I didn't slurp my soup.

Could have been my last hurrah in chamber. Was called on supplementary to Iain Gray on SNH. SNP benches howled when I referred to common front by Edinburgh MSPs, naming Angus Mackay etc. How good it feels to be free of all that Pavlovian rubbish. David Steel gave v. nicely judged farewell. Kitchen staff gave me a bag of shortbread. People v. uneasy about war. Jack's completely bound to Blair line, suspect loyalty and realpolitic have triumphed over personal analysis.

Friday, 28 March

Election address going to printers. Got to Aquafit: worked hard, straight to PHQ for team meeting and to tie off loose ends. Meeting with Ross Finnie and battalion of civil servants re SNH dispersal. Didn't reach agreement: suspect that politics have played too big a part in decision in favour of Inverness. Alec (Neil) reckons Labour losing votes, but SNP not picking up much.

Saturday, 29 March

Street meet 'n' greet in Portobello and Mussleburgh. Callum (Miller) says recognition factor very high but that the multiple vote is foxing quite a few people. Met John Home Robertson out on the stump: it looked as though stories of few Labour workers are true, only councillors out helping him. Met COSLA president Pat Watters: nice man. My own team pretty up-beat but taking things as unobtrusively as possible as Iraq war is still hanging in the air as regards people's attitudes to politics and politicians.

Tuesday, 1 April

Tommy's manifesto launch. Could it be a sign of our maturing democracy that snide remarks about the date were pretty lack-lustre and confined to hack-pack? He's certainly made the SSP the interesting factor in the early stages of the campaign, but I hear that hacks are bored already by "sameness" of big parties. I'll keep my powder dry till next week. Filmed with Fiona. Lodged papers. Evening News really going to town opposing SNH dispersal. More service personnel killed by Americans than Iraqis. Muscles on left side murder.

Wednesday, 2 April

Aquafit. Have over-exercised muscles in hips, back and shoulders. Half a pound off at WW. Member told me her husband, regular army in Bosnia, on standby for Gulf, reckons the Iraq commitment will be for years. Street meet 'n' greet going well, but large number say they're not voting. SNP campaign doing all the right things, but too safe and hackneyed to inspire. Jack ploughing on with meet-greet-statement-photo-then-scoot. Suspect Labour is ahead by a neck, Lib Dems coming up on the rails, SSP looking dangerous, a length behind (maybe). Pat Lally's going to stand against Mike Watson in Cathcart. Lazarus had nothing on Lally. BBC film crew banned from filming Holyrood project and other public buildings.

Friday 4, April

David (Johnstone) and I agree to go with Holyrood cover-up story/campaign launch on Tuesday. Pete Higgins donates terrific graphic of "Margo" logo. He's been brilliant. David Torrance interview for "independents" feature on Seven Days. SNP and Labour look eekzie-peakzie in System 3 poll. I think it's explained by low turn-out intention rather than SNP surge: John Swinney not a vote-winner. Ironic to see Swinney et al chuntering on about independence when "Fundies" were marginalised for arguing the same case. Moronic to promise a referendum if they're really serious about Indy unless they want the excuse to drop commitment to Indy in favour of some vague "post-nationalist" settlement with Westminster.

Monday 7, April

Got to Aquafit. Hip muscles still v. sore, but feel good. Election address off to printers. Nice feature piece in Herald. Worked with David on tomorrow's Holyrood press conference. Some street work in South v. good response. Wrote short piece on war for Leith local paper. People here just beginning to realise the extent of on-going commitment to Iraq. Opinion polls changing re support for Blair. Total silence from "Honest John Swinney" on Iraq. Plenty of predictable "more nurses, cops etc". Intensive re-reading of Holyrood stuff well into wee sma' hours.

Tuesday, 8 April

Early morning blow-dry at Bill and Mike's. Bill reports vote holding up. Press conference in Scotsman. Great turn-out. Michael Crow starts ball rolling with question about my "manifesto" launch. He'll regret that because I'll send him a personal invitation to discuss policies with me! Presser went v. well, corrs know it's a genuine story. Street work in Bonnyrigg v. good reception. Robert distributing postcards in Dalkeith. Wrote Evening News column. On Politics tonight with Kit Fraser. Nobody willing to come on with me. Newsnight with Gordon Brewer and hapless Green who probably wishes he'd stayed home like everybody else.

Wednesday, 9 April

Good campaign meeting: Tom Steel on board, he'll do loudspeakering. Excellent coverage of press conference. Reported questions asked at BBC morning conference why they didn't cover story. Will need to pursue question of how to deal with independents after this election. Out to Kirknewton for community council meeting. Meeting cancelled. Iraq is a mess. Americans were reckless in not having post-bombing plan.

Thursday, 10 April

Aquafit. Muscles fine in water, absolute murder out of it. Attended a.m. to small matter of clean pants 'n' socks 'n' tops. Fiona in attendance, visited Joe and Dorothy at their garden centre in Armadale: talked old times in Govan '73 campaign with Joe. Peter's car boot full of election stuff, so had to leave behind three cracking plants.

Armadale Community Centre for meeting with community council. SNP members objected to Fiona and crew filming my part in proceedings although it had been agreed prior to meeting. Apart from SNP present, everyone else v. friendly. Wedding anniversary. Jim in London. One of these years we'll get it together in same country.

Friday, 11 April

Photo shoot for Breakfast with Candidate: probably looked a right dooley because only thing contrived for pic of me leaving home for Commie Pool in joggy bottoms and fleece, carrying banana and coffee in Tommie Tippie non-spill beaker, was substitute sleek black hold-all for tatty fluorescent pink sports bag. I sense Labour support has stopped dropping. People are glad Iraq war looks to be over: most people trying to rationalise Blair's actions. Definitely no "Falklands factor". Jack ploughing on with solid, caring and capable image; John Swinney continuing with competently delivered but predictable, politically and televisually unremarkable sound-bites. Expected turn-out dropping by the hour.

Saturday, 12 April

Trailed by Fiona and crew. At 9 am, opened Edinburgh International Age-Group Swimming Championships in Commonwealth Pool. Brought back memories. Left after an hour for street work in South Bridge then Wester Hailes. Great turn-out of helpers complete with balloons, posters on poles and T-shirts. All seemed to go down well until evicted from pitch by shopping centre security. Three votes still a mystery to most people, but sense Labour picking up and SNP slipping. Few mentions of war, feeling of disappointment with Parliament. Can't help feeling I've been here before: huge amount of goodwill, maybe even most people hope I'll get in, but how many will change voting habit to actually vote for me?

Tuesday, 15 April

To Leith, at the foot of the Walk for street work. Malcolm Chisholm can sleep easy, but will enough Labour supporters give me their second vote? The bookies say yes, but I say maybe. Very good meeting with taxi cab inspector, accompanied by Council solicitor. Productive exchange of ideas. If I don't get back in, I'll miss this aspect of the job: the feeling of being able to help and influence policy. Davie McLetchie gave clear indication on Newsnight interview with Gordon Brewer that Scottish Tories are becoming incrementally nationalist. Another prediction which might prove correct.

Wednesday, 16 April

John and I met up with Jack and Charlie to record messages for loudspeakers at Groove Tunnel studio in Edgehead. Rod (studio owner) is donating in kind to campaign. He's a pro, Jack's a pro and I can still remember the old routine, so mission accomplished in half-an-hour and back into Edinburgh City Chambers for meeting on Borders rail link. Good meeting: resolve to take more active role in promoting rail link as central part of economic development if re-elected. Rhona Brankin looked a bit strained. Don't know why, she's as safe as houses.

Met Lezley Cameron outside the chambers: she thinks she may have a fighting chance in Dean ward. Trevor Davies was v. relaxed, but I imagine he's a shoo-in because I'm certain Labour vote is firming up. Neither councillor gives any credence to rumour from SNP campaign that Kenny McAskill is beating Susan Deacon in east. Me neither.

As I thought, Labour is 13 points ahead of SNP in tomorrow's poll. How will the political pin-heads around John Swinney explain that? Godon Brown's Budget has vanished without trace as far as the general public is concerned, business people say they're disappointed with it, opinion polls show a majority in favour of economic powers for the Scottish Parliament and an underlying resentment that Westminster still calls the shots. Incredible they can't capitalise on that.

Election address ready and counted in Peter's garage. It's very good. Tommy's very witty and sharp. At first glance I thought it the best ever. At re-reading I modified opinion: for older or less-interested voters, it's a bit "in" and difficult to read. Phew.

Thursday, 17 April

A fortnight today and I'll know if this is to be another of these times when voters would really like to see me getting in, but vote for someone else. Or a vindication of my decision to stand. I certainly can't call it, the System 3 poll in the Herald suggests the former, Jim and even John Hargreaves, as cautious as myself, believe otherwise. The Herald poll has Labour 13 points ahead of the SNP, first vote, and three points ahead on the second. I don't believe the margin, but I do believe the trend.

SNP in trouble over the "NHS/dying man" broadcast. No wonder, it crossed the line. Also, shallow, muddle-headed referendum policy coming under scrutiny for first time. Nicola Sturgeon has a quippy reply in the Sun to Jim's piece challenging legality of referendum. I wonder who wrote it. Mike Russell or Kevin Pringle? For all her supposed cleverness, she seems quite incapable of producing the lateral thinking and intellectual rigor necessary to differentiate between legality, political power and political judgment.

Lib Dems chugging away quietly. Tories drowning although McLetchie having a good war and reportedly giving Iain Grey a run for it in Pentlands.

Hustings in Broughton organised by local paper enjoyable, large and informed audience. SSP candidate excellent, Tory a decent chap but pilloried by audience over war, Malcolm Chisholm very polished, contrite over his war vote and very likeable. SNP candidate sounded a bit hack-ish, Green and Lib Dem candidates typical of their tribes. Two lads in audience volunteered to leaflet etc. Jim thinks I've a fair share of support. Iraq a disaster area but polls helping Labour.

Friday, 18 April

Dreading tomorrow: big 6-0 birthday. Went early to collect kids from golf lessons.

Street work at Davidson's Mains. Great weather, great reception. Newsnight following me with camera: I'll probably regret agreeing to be filmed. I forget to pose and be careful.

Saturday, 19 April

Up very early. What a way to start being 60. Zoe arrived with present and took me to office. Chocolate birthday cake waiting with troops for bus. Jack McConnell had sent fax agreeing to Holyrood Project inquiry. Great birthday so far. FM phone before we left office for bus, young Sean answered call. Very cool: "J McConnell for you, Margo." The whole surreal scene captured on camera by Tony as Fiona and her crew were due to travel with us on bus. Hope Jack doesn't think I set him up. Brilliant cards , flowers and presents before hopping on to bus for West Lothian.

Terrific weather and great, fun atmosphere on bus. Keith Bell's huge speakers and combination of Proclaimers music and quality CDs produced by Rod create interest in Livingstone, Bathgate Armadale etc. V. good reception. Bathgate market a treasure trove. Fiona and I coming back after election. SNP vote discernible, but lack of enthusiasm and confusion over party's aims. Suspect Labour vote solidifying.

Sunday, 20 April

Newspapers desperately trying to work out what the election's about. Electors hardly fussed at all. News from Baghdad pretty sickening. Labour re-establishing usual lead on SNP, Tommy's troops on the march up the polls. John Swinney seems the single biggest obstacle to SNP advance into Labour, or even Tory, votes. Nobody, apart from charm-free Nicola, at head of campaign with him. SNP high command concerned about Inverness and Perth. Labour worried about Dundee and Govan. Tories just worried. Lib Dems falling back in contest for protest vote. Will need to get to physic: torn muscles on left side v. sore, sleeping a problem.

Monday, 21 April

Got to aquafit, torn muscles v.v. sore, should probably have rested. Heard of some former Tories voting for me. Think my support is evenly-spread, with bias towards mature, but still frisky, ladies. Street work in Pentlands and Central. Wrote column on Jack's promise of inquiry. Anon tip-off about some strange business arrangements in Holyrood Project. Only Herald political corr suggest a "widely-believed" set-up between Jack and myself. One day he'll choke on the rubbish he's spoon-fed by Swinney's svengali.

Tuesday, 22 April

Big day for politics, but not for Scottish election: George Galloway named in Telegraph as in pay of Iraqis. V. fishy: looks like a fit-up, according to various espionage experts and every Muslim in Edinburgh as Jim discovered when he covered for me at hastily-arranged hustings in King Fahd mosque. Looks as though SSP and SNP have done a deal over share-out of Muslim votes. It'll be interesting to see if the muslim votes committee can deliver. I attended "environment" hustings in Loanhead. Robin Harper at Faslane, so same Green candidate as appeared on Newsnight to defend Holyrood project. (Nick Bibbey) Good, well-organised hustings, good Lib Dem candidate. Labour councillors told me I'd scored by asking Lib Dem if I could help him by coughing when he dithered over an answer.

Wednesday, 23 April

Jim, Mary and I to South Queensferry for street work in brilliant weather. Natives and visitors friendly. Torquil Creighton met us for interview over great lite lunch in Bistro opposite pier. I love Lothian and I really want to represent it although I think this is my campaign "cringe" day. I think I'm going to be a well-respected loser. Side a bit easier after physio. Maybe I feel rotten because I'd put on 3lbs at Weightwatchers.

Thursday, 24 April

Hip, hip, hooray. Only a week to go. Prediction? Labour/Lib Dem again, each dropping one or two. SSP with small group, maybe a couple of Greens, maybe Dennis, A N Other Indy and me: still haven't recovered from "cringe". SNP second party with Tories toiling.

Very tired, so tried to grab an hour on couch before hustings in Baptist chapel. Phone rang off hook! Jim came with me. Excellent meeting. Kenny McAskill for SNP. I still don't understand why he turned against his friends and allies so vehemently, it's a tragedy because he's still much better political quality than the second-raters he associates with now: he's very tightly strung. The SSP candidate, Catriona Grant, stole the show with her passion and honesty. Same Green galoot, but he's learning fast. Marilyne McLaren for the Lib Dems. It'll be a shame if she doesn't make it, but I think she's almost given up hope. Jim said I did OK.but Ah hae ma doots! "Cringe" is back.

Friday, 25 April

Recorded another two tapes for tomorrow's broadcasting on bus and truck. Very, very tired and it's obvious on tape. Took about three or four takes instead of one. Side very sore also. Thursday can't come quickly enough. Watched Bernard Ponsonby tearing the wings off John Swinney on his failure to publish legal opinion on Indy referendum . I'd probably have enjoyed being fly on wall (with wings) when Swinney and his "strategists" (cough, cough!) discussed Jim's letter in The Scotsman on the matter. I might have choked to death with suppressed laughter – or tears – for the mess they've made of the constitutional question. Tried to get early night. Failed.

Saturday, 26 April

On bus all day. Magic response from people in streets in Edinburgh, Midlothian. Was it Proccies' music or was it indication of votes in ballot box? Don't know. Everybody on bus had a good time. Thank goodness, I really owe these people. Very little sign of activity from parties. Some street stalls but the joints were not jumpin'. Wester Hailes only place where people looked absolutely browned-off with the whole show: no antagonism, no enthusiasm. Iain Grey might have problems.

Labour have messed up their response to the SNP's referendum weakness. Somebody told me Helen Liddell gave a knee-jerk, legally correct, but politically shortsighted reply which allowed John Swinney to do his Mr Angry act about London rule. But it's a spat for political anoraks only. The voters aren't watching, yet.

Sunday, 27 April

Polls showing me in with a shout in Lothian, Gordon Jackson looking fragile, Tommy looking good: tonight's leaders' TV debate might prove important although it's on at same time as William and Mary. While we're contemplating navel, however, something 's stirring in Labour Party re euro and What Tony Does Next. Flicked between William and Mary and BBC's leaders' debate. If I did so only because of sense of duty, I wonder how many viewers stayed till the end credits. No Tommy on panel. Producer's pay-off to SSP was goodly chunk of studio audience, therefore audience at home aware of the SSP . Jack was tense, John was relaxed. David McLetchie witty and intelligent. Jim Wallace solid and political-looking. Not a good format for viewers: hacks in studio act as cheerleaders. The referendum question came up at end of prog. Jack handled it better this time: "Of course it's legal if John gets the question right." SNP shallow thinkers/strategists will now spend many a happy hour in Deacon Brodie's thinking up the killer question, oblivious to the wider picture and uncaring about the electorate's scunneration with such esoteric indulgence. It somehow passes the SNP's understanding that people have first to be inspired by the big idea before they're ready to pay attention to the minutiae of achieving it. Why do the mediocre mesdames running the SNP show think Tommy is doing so well?

I suspect the Greens' good showing in the polls is evidence of a "safe" protest vote. Our campaign continues to pop up here and there in the papers.

Monday, 28 April

Our house looks as though it's been stirred with a stick. I can't wait to get to the weekend and the big clear-up: the garden also looks like Donald Rumsfeld's had a hand in its reconstruction. Physio first thing: muscle pain is a bit easier, but still debilitating.

Press conference with George and Dennis. Practically a full turn-out of the hacks and even telly. Went well, Dennis is an old pro and a very decent man. George is a lovely guy, I really hope he makes it, but I suspect he's been toiling to raise awareness beyond Peterhead etc.

I gave too much time afterwards to interview with Wark/Clements crew doing Gone with the Wind re-make on new parliament building. So no street work. Polls showing Labour comfortably ahead, Tommy doing well, Tories not, SNP becalmed and probably Lib Dems also. Heard that my vote round about 15 per cent in Lothian telephone (small) poll sample.

This election is desperately boring, but v. interesting things happening in London re euro, in Middle East re American incompetence and recklessness re aftermath of bombing, emergence of Islamic political movement, Israeli behaviour in Palestine and SARS virus in China and Canada.

No Newsnight film because Blair came amongst us to what looked like a lukewarm reception in Dundee, presumably to help Kate McLean. This is one of those moments when a candidate knows what it feels like to be an election agent, and realises it probably wasn't good time management to be as accommodating to the demands of telly when babies were waiting to be kissed and flesh pressed.

Got 10 secs on BBC news for this morning's press conference. Great, I hope George and Dennis think it was worth the trek to Edinburgh.

Tuesday, 29 April

Weather breaking up and forecast is for more rain tomorrow. Just our luck, the bus is booked for another shoutfest on the eve of poll. This is the strangest election I've ever fought: two days before polling and it still seems too early to start shouting through the microphone at convenient corners. Either politicians are apologetic about asking for another four-year licence to disappoint people or I'm getting sensitive in my old age. Hustings meeting in mosque. Contrary to gossip and press reports, votes still coming to me from people I've worked with for years now, but feeling against Labour very strong. I think Shami Khan could have difficulty in council election. Kevin Pringle had a well-prepared, written speech but appeared a bit cold, Marilyne McLaren and Alan Tweedie knocked lumps out of each other and the audience knocked lumps out of him, also. He was brave, but unwisely opted for "foreign policy is responsibility of Westminster" defence of Labour's pro-war vote in Scottish Parliament. This is real problem for Labour. SNP unable to exploit it, and beef-up intellectual/political case for Indy by explanation of how in today's global village economy, foreign policy is indivisible from "domestic" policies and politics. Still, SNP's unoriginal thinkers might incorporate this line as they've done with others expounded by the "Fundies" since the '99 election. Saw Gordon Brewer's interview with Swinney. He looks good, sounds predictable.

Wednesday, 30 April

David and I manage to cover most of the constituency, shouting at folk through a loudspeaker but we see the people in Bonnyrigg looking at us strangely and decide to ease off. Notice an almost complete lack of posters from any party. So it has come to this: old-fashioned campaigning has been replaced by the adshell. Endorsement from the Evening News has our staff turning cartwheels. For the first time in my life I send a man a bouquet of flowers; I suspect it is also the first time the editor has received one. I have agreed to a turn at The Stand, the comedy club in York Place – a John Bird-John Fortune interview routine. I manage to get through but I am sick with nerves.

Thursday, 1 May

Up early and vote early. I would vote often as well, but that kind of thing is frowned on. The heavy rain interrupts last-minute canvassing. I get to the count at midnight but my team is so good that I can leave after a while fairly sure in the knowledge that we have got through on the list. At home I try to sleep but can't and watch some results on television. Very mixed emotions. There are some very good people winning and some very good people losing, and I know what that feels like because I have experienced both. It is the end of an era. For the SNP, it is the end of the Salmond era in the same way that John Major's defeat was the end of the Thatcher era. It will have to go back to its roots, decide why it exists, know its USP. It's no use being a hamburger when people can have steak.

Find out how Margo got on here.