In case anyone has been wondering, I haven't disappeared from the face of the earth, I merely stopped blogging because I was immersed in the County Council Elections in Rayleigh North.
To cut a long story short, I finished a cheerful second out of six candidates, closing the gap on the Conservative incumbent to about 6 percent:
Stephen Charles Castle The Conservative Party Candidate 2095
Chris Black Liberal Democrats 1739
John Hayter English Democrats 718
Tony Smith Say No To European Union 416
Lisa Byrne British National Party 278
David Dennis Bodimeade The Labour Party Candidate 226
I represent one-quarter of Rayleigh North on the District Council, and was ahead by a landslide there. So if I want to win in four year time, I know what I need to do.
The Conservatives didn't have any fun in the campaign, and were too frit to even put their candidate's home address on any of his campaign material (he lives more than 20 minutes away, on Canvey Island. And they had to, ahem, twist the truth quite a bit in their last leaflet.
Meanwhile the Lib Dems advance across Essex, making 4 gains and becoming the second party in the County with 12 seats.