I think it’s time I started blogging more regularly again – and now the elections are over, I’ve actually got some time to do it.
I’ve had a stressful month, but in the end it was all well worth it. I spent most of yesterday on my bike dodging rain (and even hail at a couple of times) as I was number-running for my ward, so I’m not quite sure how I found the energy to stay up for the count, but I suspect adrenaline played a large part, replaced after a while by a bit of euphoria.
Yesterday we did a very good job in bucking the national trend and gained four seats off the Tories to put Colchester Council back into no overall control. The first key result was in my ward (Castle) where we saw off the Greens yet again, with my colleague Henry Spyvee increasing our vote as he got re-elected with a bigger majority than me. After that, we were in the Chinese whispers part of the election count with everyone trading box counts and tallies back and forth as we tried to work out how we were doing.
For a while, it seemed like we were going to have a so near and yet so far night as we missed out in Prettygate by 30 votes (after a 9.6% swing to us from the Tories) and in Berechurch by 55 votes (with a 10% swing from Labour) but then came the biggest win of the night as Martin Goss stormed home in Mile End by over 700 votes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a candidate who’s worked as hard as Martin has over the past year and it was a thoroughly well-deserved victory over a member of the Council’s cabinet.
After that, the coin-flips started landing in our favour – Jon Manning followed up on Mark Cory’s win last year to turn Wivenhoe Cross all gold, Laura Sykes won Stanway and then finally, after several recounts, Nigel Offen unseated another member of the cabinet to take Shrub End and leave us all with great big grins on our faces. On top of that, our sitting Councillors all did well and Mark Warner did a great job in Labour’s St Andrew’s heartland with a swing of almost 11%.
As for me, I’m now having my recovery day – my legs are reminding me of how much work they did yesterday – and looking forward to our first new group meeting tomorrow for the 23 of us.
Full results here, if you’re interested.