By David Rose
With the help of his fellow Press Association reporters, political
editor Jon Smith has produced a narrative and analysis of the general
election in what he believes may be record time.
Election 2005, was published, in association with the Press
Association, by Politico’s on Tuesday, 26 days after Tony Blair’s third
To pull off his coup Smith had to find time to write at the end of a 12-hour shift reporting the election for the PA.
He finished his book on 7 May, two days after voters delivered their verdict.
day-by-day account of the drama ends with the Prime Minister’s
postelection reshuffle and Michael Howard’s announcement that he is to
quit as Tory leader.
“It is one of the fastest turnaround books that anyone can remember,”
said. “It was a marathon effort. I used all the information gathered by
PA reporters across the country and by those who travelled with the
party leaders during the campaign.
“On most days I managed 4,000
words on top of the normal 12-hour day in the office. I don’t know what
induced me to do it, but I felt people deserved the full reportage of
the coverage and the PA made its wealth of information available to the
public as well as to the media.”
Smith said he found the election fascinating.
wasn’t at all boring. I cannot recall a campaign with such dramatic
noises off, ranging from the death of the Pope to the collapse of Rover
and the birth of Charles Kennedy’s baby.
“We also had the
extraordinary tension between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and their
double act. The result has set the scene for a fascinating four to five
years at Westminster with both parties having to renew themselves under