It was a long day and indeed a long campaign, but it was all worth it when Chris Chatterton took the Grange ward away from the deputy leader of the Tories. It was quite tense as the gap was 29 votes, but in the early hours of the morning the result was confirmed and Chris became the hero of the night.
Really there is two stories here, firstly the one of a long day, being up before 5am to start delivering leaflets, then work then back on the doorstep in Grange until 9.30pm. quick nip back home, changed then off to the count for the rather tense finish. It was really great to see the hard work pay off, the tears of joy from more than one person and that feeling of a job well done.
But the second story for me is almost the David vs Goliath story. When you consider the Tory candidate, Steve Morgan, was the deputy leader, the conservative ‘machine’ was putting in a huge amount of resource, up to 35 and 45 people a day into the ward to try and get the result. In comparison, Chris didn’t have anywhere near that type of resource, and most of what was done, was by him alone. There were a few of us helping where we could, but he largely just got his head down and got on with it. It just shows that the right candidate who is willing to put in the effort really can deliver.
This also bodes well for the County Elections next year as a really good basis to work from for the Labour Candidate in the ward.
While a lot of hard work had gone into the rest of the wards, there were no surprises, though you could highlight the collapse of the Lib Dem vote everywhere except the wards where they held. Also now the Tory have lost the council as a majority, but will still run a minority administration.
However the glaring loss was in voter turnout, it was poor at best. The big lesson to be learned here is, by all, is that the average voter is pi**ed off with all parties and we all need to really change the way we engage with the public to get them to engage with us!