Saturday, May 08, 2010

News From A Blue Heartland

Down in deepest, bluest Rayleigh and Wickford , our Tory MP Mark Francois was swept back to Westminster with 57 percent of the vote and a majority of over 22000. And I wish him well - by the way, he doesn't seem to have the same right-wing reputation in Rayleigh that he seems to have outside the constituency.

It was really good to see Susan Gaszczak win 2nd place for us by a few hundred votes, pushing the affable Labour guy Mike Lesurf into third. Thanls, Susan....

The ten or twelve BNP supporters who came to the count left 90 minutes before the declaration, where they came sixth (behind the English Democrats and UKIP) and lost their deposit.

Incidentally, we have a very cosmopolitan set of names for candidates down here in Rayleigh - a Conservative with the middle name "Gino",Lib Dem with the surname "Gaszczak", Labour with the surname "LeSurf" and even a UKIP candidate with the first name "Tino". You could almost understand why the English Democrat candidate, Mr Hayter, thinks the way he does...

Next door in Castle Point, Brendan D'Cruz stood at very short notice and did a good job for us... he's definitely a guy to watch out for in the future. Spasibo Brendan!

Meanwhile in the Rochford district council elections we had to husband our resources carefully, so only put up 5 candidates.

But the results were gratifying - where we were challenging the Tories we improved our position and had three second places.

And the Tory attempts to take advantage of the general election high turn-out to wipe out the three defending non-Tories failed miserably.

Independent John Mason fought off a charmless Tory onslaught in Hawkwell West to win by over a hundred.

My Lib Dem colleague Chris Lumley, despite being ill during the campaign, won by 485.

And in Downhall and Rawreth - where Mark Francois is a resident - I won by 1846 to 770. With a turn-out of 71.4 percent, it seems that just over 50 percent of the ward electorate voted for me, which is a good mandate to take into the council chamber.

Finally, the Tories got punished in Hullbridge for poor performance on local issues, and having a candidate who lived in Hockley and is a parish councillor there. End result - the Greens get their first councillor on the District!

There's a lot to look forward to....

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