Monday, May 10, 2010

So the result....

A very emphatic Lib Dem hold. Hats off to Mr Sanders and his team who seem to have really dug in to Torbay now; probably until he retires.

I am deeply disappointed, but resigned to the fact that I am probably never going to be an MP. Unlike a lot of people in politics the thought of sitting on green benches has not been a burning ambition since I was twelve, in fact I became involved largely by accident. So contrary to what some have been saying; I will not be leaving Torbay in search of a seat somewhere else - we are totally settled here and the last thing I want is to disturb my family who have stuck by me so firmly for the last 8 years.

Having studied the results from Thursday it is pretty clear now in a way that was not clear then, that the bay is a clearly divided place politically speaking with the mass on the left outweighing the mass on the right by roughly 20%.

After the build-up when we were so far ahead in the polls and all the positive feedback from our own supporters during the campaign it is perhaps understandable that we thought we were going to win. Unfortunately we picked up no signs at all of the fact that Labour were defecting to the Lib Dems in droves, we wouldn't though, would we?

Adrian Sanders team know exactly what buttons to press to garner support from Labour, and they pressed them.

I wrongly thought Sanders' support would be affected by the expenses scandal but it seems however much voters complained in public, in private they are happy to let him carry on - it seems there are at least 24,000 people in Torbay who still want 'anyone but the Tories' to represent them.

95% of the result in a general election is down to what goes on during the National campaign and 5% is down to the local campaign; I am satisfied we delivered our 5% but I fear the 36% vote share we got in the Nationwide result was nowhere near enough for us to take Torbay. When we used to hold the (current) seat the national vote share was never less than 40%.

We did everything we could, but Politics is never fair and the result is not often connected to the effort expended. I said at the start that main reason we had to work hard and leave no stone unturned was to be able to sleep with a clear conscience if we lost.

The ultimate irony, which will not be lost on many Torbay voters (especially Labour ones) is that we could end up with Adrian Sanders working on
our side of the House of Commons voting to support our manifesto - voting for huge spending cuts and a drastic re-drawing of the role of Government.

Quite where that will leave both sides at the next local elections is anyone's guess.

And on a last, philosophical point - it is only politics, after all. The day after the election, while we sat around feeling sorry for ourselves I heard that a friend of a friend had suffered an unimaginable personal tragedy on Thursday - and that really did put life into perspective.


Anonymous said...

Marcus, congratulations on achieving what you did in Torbay, against a national scenario of almost complete economic and social collapse. The Libdems down here are Labour by any other name, and with our high percentage of pensioners, public service employees and benefits dependents, the result really was a foregone conclusion. If there really had been any 'green shoots' over the last 6-12 months, you (and the Tories nationally) would have walked it.

You have, too, had to suffer the additional handicap of the local Tory administration. Inept doesn't even begin to describe them.

I and many, many people in the Bay wish you well for the future.


Anonymous said...

Nice one Sue. Political drivel of this calibre is hard to find. Congratulating Marcus on the swing from Tory to LibDem, and doubling of their majority. Cracking achievement! Have you written to Gordon Brown and congratulated him as well?

Anonymous said...

hard luck but i hope that a election is called soon so that the torys can win a landslide

Anonymous said...

haha that last comment is laughable! We need another election to get the Tories out. Bring back Brown

Anonymous said...

Well the Tory Express tried their unbiased best for you.