A hectic couple of days

Last Thursday morning my alarm woke me abruptly, a quick cup of tea, a shower, a few clothes in the suit bag and out on the campaign trail. I have a tradition about elections days that always start in the same spot in the same road. After a few hours completing the area I headed off to the polling stations in my ward and had a chat with my tellers and the polling station staff, always best at the start of the day as they have a long day ahead of them.

Then off to Norwich to take up my duties as Agent for Norwich North Conservatives and supporting 22 candidates in the Norwich City and the Broadland District Council’s campaigns.

Picked up a copy of the Guardian to find the article by Patrick Butler he mentioned to me only a few hours before, had a read and as I said in my previous blog I could see how he could draw the conclusions he did, I suspect only time will tell if he is wrong!

Finished my bacon roll and called the team to find out how who was where, I arrived in Norwich and met up with Chloe Smith MP and we proceeded to spend the next 10 hours helping our various candidates supporting them in their poll day ‘knocking up’.

We finished around 8:15pm as less and less people answered their doors and we took the hint. Off I went to the hotel I was staying in, for a welcome shower and call home.

We then all met up in The Spice Lounge for an excellent very quick curry before heading off to the Norwich North Count. I could tell we were in for a long night went it took them over an hour and a half to separate the AV voting slips from the local election ones, let alone verify the boxes; that mile stone came up at 2am and then the  actually count got underway, it was 5:15am before they concluded.

In the city, Norwich North conservatives were fighting 4 seats on the city council with one sitting Councillor standing for elections and 3 others eternally hopeful candidates in seats were we had not previously won. Unfortunately we lost our sitting Councillor, she fought a great campaign and polled roughly the same as at her previous elections but you can’t fight the maths when previous liberal voters moved to Labour. We held our own in the other Divisions having worked hard to get our message across, thatNorwichcan simply do better than the shambles that currently run it. Unfortunately the Greens seem to have been the main beneficiaries of the Liberal exodus, talk about out of the fire into the frying pan!

After a quick kip and some breakfast checked out and headed towards the Norfolk Showground and the start of the Broadland count at 9:00am which seemed much more organised but did not go any quicker at all.

During the morning I was checking my phone anxiously waiting to see the results back home and if I was elected to Forest Heath District Council and was delighted with the good news that I topped my Poll and now have the honour to represent the good people of Lakenheath at the district level as well as the county one. But I was disappointed that I would not be joined by my running mate Iain Frost who put in such a great effort for us both. It is always a horrible thing to lose something you really want but a testament to him that the very next day we were texting about how he wanted to spend the next four years campaigning and working for the village ahead of the next elections.

I also texted as many Conservative friends, during the long periods of waiting that are involved in a count to hear how the other results were going across Suffolk and was really pleased to learn that we won the County Council by election in Wilford, Rosie would have been so pleased.

Anyway back to the cattle shed, literally, at the Norfolk Showground, the final Norwich North Conservative declaration was at 3:52pm and all of our candidates were elected bar one hardworking Councillor who lost and one new candidate who did not gain her seat but it was one we had previously not held. All in all it was a really outstanding team effort lead by our deputy Chairman Political Jonathan Emsell.

As I waited for our final result on the table next door my opposite number for Broadlands, Kate Milbank was involved in one of those electoral drama’s of text books but rarely seen. For the Acle ward the Conservative candidate Lana Hempsall was neck and neck with the Liberal candidate Lauren Bean with the preliminary result being 408 to 406 against Lana. Kate rightly called for a re-count and the voting moved 408 to 407 against Lana, again Kate asked for a re-count and again it moved to a tie 408 to 408 at which point it was agreed by the returning officer to recount again and it stayed at 408 to 408 so what to do? I was decided in agreement with candidates and their agents to toss a coin for it, head for Lana and tails for the liberal; heads it was!, amazing to watch such a rare sight indeed.

After that excitement 4:00pm arrived, the starting time for the AV count and I left the count in the very capable hands of Kate and headed to Newmarket just in time to catch the declaration of the AV count in Forest Health where it was a resounding No2Av by about 75:25, hopefully that will put this nonsense of changing our voting system to rest, I dread to think what it cost to indulge this rubbish and when I think of what they money would mean in terms of care packages for elderly people I get quite cross.

All in all a very tiring but fascinating couple of days, little sleep and very sore feet!

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal, anything I write is promoted by Lance Stanbury on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Park Farm Cottage, Fordham St. Genevieve, BurySt. Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6TS

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