back to top

Here's What Britain Was Like Last Time There Was A General Election

The past is a foreign country. They call old ladies bigots there.

Posted on

Five years ago, you were probably dancing to one of a number of really quite banging pop songs.

This was the year of "Tik Tok" and "Bad Romance", people!

And the chances are you had The xx's album on your iPod.

The minimalist indie etherealists won the Mercury Music Prize with their only slightly overrated debut album.And weirdly, they went on to have a career. Mostly because the first track on the album was used on pretty much every prerecorded BBC news report for the next few years, but still.Over at the Brits, Lily Allen, JLS, and Kasabian all scooped awards.
Chris Jackson / Getty Images

The minimalist indie etherealists won the Mercury Music Prize with their only slightly overrated debut album.

And weirdly, they went on to have a career. Mostly because the first track on the album was used on pretty much every prerecorded BBC news report for the next few years, but still.

Over at the Brits, Lily Allen, JLS, and Kasabian all scooped awards.

Along with Florence + the Machine and Dizzee Rascal, who did this – actually really good – performance.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

People also grew to like this random boy band on The X Factor.

They finished third, behind Rebecca Ferguson and a bloke called Matt Cardle. Come on, Britain.
Ian Gavan / Getty Images

They finished third, behind Rebecca Ferguson and a bloke called Matt Cardle. Come on, Britain.

This lady won The Apprentice.

Although in the end she probably wished she hadn't.Elsewhere we finally learned who killed Archie Mitchell, were unimpressed by Carol Vorderman on Question Time, and watched a rubbish new ITV breakfast show called Daybreak.
BBC / Via celebry.co.uk

Although in the end she probably wished she hadn't.

Elsewhere we finally learned who killed Archie Mitchell, were unimpressed by Carol Vorderman on Question Time, and watched a rubbish new ITV breakfast show called Daybreak.

We were completely rubbish in the World Cup so we won't dwell on that. Spain won it. They beat Holland in the final. Who were filthy.

Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images
Stuart Franklin

AKA The One Where Everyone Got Annoyed With The Vuvuzelas.

The chances are you went to the cinema and watched Inception.

Best interpretation ever, btw.
Warner Bros

Best interpretation ever, btw.

As a result this video deservedly went viral.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

But there was also Black Swan.

Which, like Inception, was pretentious as hell but also had some very cool hidden layers.
Fox

Which, like Inception, was pretentious as hell but also had some very cool hidden layers.

Not to mention The Social Network.

*fast talking**lawsuit**fast talking**done*
Sony Pictures

*fast talking*

*lawsuit*

*fast talking*

*done*

And, of course, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

Warner Bros
Warner Bros

Are we out of the woods yet are we out of the woods yet are we out of the woods yet no and we won't be for at least another hour or so.

You had ~feelings~ over the fact that Cheryl and Ashley got divorced. :(

But in happy news, Jordan and Alex Reid got married! Though that didn't turn out too well either.
Chris Jackson / Getty Images

But in happy news, Jordan and Alex Reid got married! Though that didn't turn out too well either.

You were probably quite excited about this hot new iPad thing.

Look, it's a massive iPhone. That'll never take off.
upload.wikimedia.org

Look, it's a massive iPhone. That'll never take off.

And jiggling around like an idiot in front of your screen while playing video games.

The XBox Kinect and PlayStation Move were launched in 2010 and it's very touching to see how excited people got at the time.

Here are some 2010 magazine covers...

Dr Who Magazine
Q Magazine
Time

In meme news, this was the year of Sad Keanu and The Most Interesting Man in the World.

Now then. What about the 2010 election itself? Well, for many people it boiled down to one moment on 28 April.

buzzfeed-video1.s3.amazonaws.com / Via ITN Source

In this six-minute video from ITN Source, you can see the moment then prime minister Gordon Brown meets lifelong Labour voter Gillian Duffy, talks to her about immigration, and then, back in his car and not realising his microphone is still on, describes her as a "bigoted woman".

It remains one of the most painfully cringe-inducing moments in British political history.

Cue apologetic visit to Duffy's house.

It's fine. IT'S ALL FINE.Gawd.
ITN Source

It's fine. IT'S ALL FINE.

Gawd.

We also saw the historic arrival of TV debates for the leaders.

And if you want to understand how long ago all this was, consider the fact that everyone went mad for Nick Clegg.
BBC

And if you want to understand how long ago all this was, consider the fact that everyone went mad for Nick Clegg.

Election day came round and there were plenty of new faces. Like Louise Mensch, hitherto best known as a chick-lit novelist, who won the seat of Corby with a majority of 1,951.

ITN Source

We said hello to Zac Goldsmith, and goodbye to asteroid watcher Lembit Opik.

buzzfeed-video1.s3.amazonaws.com / Via ITN Source

"Lembit's great in bed but I couldn't quit the Cheeky Girls for him," said former lover Gabriela Irimla.

Elsewhere, the election was overshadowed by the expenses scandal, with a number of MPs either ordered not to stand or losing their seats after being criticised for their expenses claims.

In the end, the results looked like this.

And the whole thing ended with a heartwarming press conference in the rose garden.

buzzfeed-video1.s3.amazonaws.com / Via ITN Source

Feel the burn at five minutes.

Fair to say everyone's slightly less excited this time round.

Just a few days to go, everyone!
PA Wire / Stefan Rousseau / Press Association Images

Just a few days to go, everyone!