Okay, one more hour …
3.05am: A bit of a lull in proceedings. Results continue to trickle in at a fair clip, but the narrative isn’t really developing much at all. We think the Tories are doing quite well, but no one knows if they’re doing well enough, despite the frantic spin being peddled by the various talking heads.
3.15am: Current state of play: Lab 89, Con 87, Lib Dem 13, Others 23.
3.17am: David Miliband is a slimy weasel, isn’t he? Paxman utters my word of the hour: “king-maker”. Let’s go!
3.20am: Paxman to Liam Fox, Shadow Defence Secretary: “It’s twenty past three in the morning. Can we just have a straight answer?” Oh, really, Jeremy? You know you’re not going to get anything other than evasion and obfuscation. Why not just ask him whether he has ever led prayer sessions to ‘cure’ homosexuals, like Philippa Stroud?
3.23am: A thought. Wouldn’t it be funny if Nick Clegg had turned his phone off, or was in a spot with no mobile reception? Can you imagine what that would do to Brown and Cameron’s blood pressure?
3:30am: No one’s rising to the bait. Everyone’s studiously avoiding the use of the word “king-maker”. Boo! The BBC studio panel is starting to repeat the same talking points they were discussing an hour or so ago. It’s like watching Sky Sports News, but without the ‘goal of the week’ competition.
3.31am: Andrew Neil is now talking to Al Murray and Bill Wyman. That’s my cue for a toilet break.
3.35am: Alastair Campbell’s bad week continues, as the Lib Dems take Burnley from Labour.
3.38am: Back to Fiona Bruce in the vertigo-inducing BBC studio attic. The poor lass has to tell us in a slightly-but-not-at-all-different-really way that she thinks we’re heading for a hung parliament, but nobody really knows. The latest scores on the doors are: Con 122, Lab 107, Lib Dem 20, Others 24.
3.41am: Dimbleby does his best Murray Walker impression as we await the result from Carlisle: “Anything could happen tonight because anything is happening.” I have to take my hat off to him, though. A couple of missteps, but he’s done incredibly well fronting a live, unscripted and wholly unpredictable programme for nearly six hours (so far). I’m having enough problems operating a keyboard in the privacy of my living room. Incidentally, the Tories take Carlisle from Labour courtesy of a 7.7% swing. That’s a big win for the Cameron Crew – it must have been quite a long way down on their list of target seats.
3.45am: Rumours of a recount at one of the seats on my watch-list, Oxford West & Abingdon. Could be a big shock for the Lib Dems, as Dr Evan Harris’s majority at the last election was a healthy 7,683. It would be consistent with the current trend though, which seems to indicate that the Tories are doing rather better in the south of the country than they are in the north.
3.53am: There were reportedly three hour queues at polling stations in Sheffield Hallam, Nick Clegg’s seat. That’s not a minor misjudgement: it’s a gross error.
4.00am: We now have declared results from nearly half the parliamentary constituencies, giving us the following clear-as-mud picture: Con 148, Lab 121, Lib Dem 23, Others 25.
Right, I’m off to bed for a couple of hours. Kids permitting, I’ll be back around 6am.