This election made me fall in love with democracy again

Andrew Marr in The Spectator:

It’s an unfashionable thought, but having spent many hours in the university sports hall where constituency votes for Boris Johnson and John McDonnell were counted, I feel freshly in love with democracy. There they all were, local councillors and party workers from across the spectrum; campaigners pursuing personal crusades, from animal rights to the way fathers are treated by the courts; eccentrics dressed as Time Lords. In the hot throng, there were extremists and a few who seemed frankly mad. But most were genial, thoughtful, balanced people giving of their free time to make this a slightly better country. Stuck in Westminster during relentless parliamentary crises, it’s easy to lose sight of just how energising real democracy is. I came home with my cynicism scrubbed off, and exhausted-refreshed.

However, I hadn’t seen the size of the Tory majority coming. All through the campaign, I’d felt instinctively we were heading for a Boris Johnson victory, but with a modest Tory majority. Thinking back, I’m sure I was over-influenced by social media. Conservative messages on Twitter and Facebook seemed unimaginative and repetitive, while the left was ingenious, starry, witty and emotional. But more than that, I think the online campaign made screen junkies too easily impressed by strange, vivid, eye-catching episodes, which passed most normal people by.

Many of them were to do with the Prime Minister himself: briefly pocketing a reporter’s phone to avoid an embarrassing picture; declining to be interviewed by my colleague Andrew Neil; and apparently hiding in a fridge.

More here.