As with 2005, the plan is to decamp to a fortified compound in Oxfordshire visiting my friend codenamed "Juniper Sandhurst". 24 St Peters brewery beers, and a matching baseball cap, have been delivered to the compound. Up to 1997 or so, it would have been possible to drink one of those beers for every Lib Dem (or prior to that, SDP Liberal Alliance, or just plain Liberal) seat won or retained, and still have some left. But this time, that particular drinking game would leave you running out of beers probably by about 3am. And comatose. Never mind.
My approach is - as with most things election-toned - heavily influenced by the late, irate political journalist Hunter S Thompson. Now Hey Rube: Blood Sport, The Bush Doctrine and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness (2004), while it has one of Mr Thompson's greatest ever titles, is not, by a long stretch, classic work (although it's still good compared with 95% of stuff you'll read). It's a collection of his columns for the ESPN sports website, most of which seem to have been dashed off in between gunshots and quadruple whiskys at 4.30am. However, the foreword by one John A Walsh (whom Google tells me is Senior Editor and Exec VP of ESPN) is a classic. Mr Walsh describes Hunter creating a suitable environment for the big event as only he could:
Hunter visited Washington in the fall of 1978 and invited me to a Sunday football feast at his Hyatt Regency hotel suite. Before the first kickoff, Hunter, the always gracious host, ordered room service for the game. "I'd like a fifth of Chivas Regal, a half dozen bloody marys, and everything chocolate on the menu"... One hour later, two waiters delivered the order with looks only a camera could capture. The chocolate tray included a German chocolate cake, a vat of Breyer's chocolate ice cream, a half dozen chocolate cupcakes, a plate of chocolate cookies, one chocolate sundae, two chocolate cream pies, and a buffet of various chocolate pastries. And of course, the requisite postprandial chocolate bonbons.
Hunter was ready for some football.
Diminish the chocolate and augment the alcohol content somewhat and you have suitable conditions for the Juniper Sandhurst election night party. We have chosen to name the compound that has been sourced for this little event "Renaissance Democrats HQ" in honour of the lowest scoring candidate at the 1997 election, a Mr D Vanbraam of the Renaissance Democrats, who secured 7 [seven] votes. (It was in Putney, where the late Jimmy Goldsmith of the Referendum Party did a little better, but not much).
But kids, I'm ready. So, as Wendy Alexander once said, Bring It On.