It was not the best of nights for my team.
Labour managed to gain control of the Council.
What are my initial thoughts on the campaign?
People told us last night that they weren’t coming out to vote for a wide variety of reasons, but not one of those reasons was about Local Council issues. Not one. We had a large number of people who regularly vote Conservative who decided to just stay at home. All of them wanted to send David Cameron and George Osborne, be it over general dissatisfaction with the government direction, fuel tax, not liking the Coalition, Cameron’s comments on gay marriage, defence cuts, budget mess ups, grannies, pasties and a general malaise with the national politicians.
Taking a quick look at the stats also shows me, that in Harlow, we outperformed the national; which suggests our campaigning was good and that our Party locally, including our very good MP Rob Halfon are respected by a core of our voters.
Overall my message to David Cameron today?
Get a grip!
The country is facing hard times and we have seen enough cock ups from Downing Street.
I spent a couple of lovely hours in Number Ten this evening at a reception for Council Leaders with the Prime Minister. I had never been inside the building, though had stared down the street from the railings like most tourists, so I was very excited to go.
Imagine my horror, on arriving in London, to be told that Whitehall was closed off with students blocked in whilst attacking police vans and burning stuff in front of the Cenotaph. I respect anyone’s right to protest, but protest peacefully people, not like a bunch of yobs! So to my disappointment it seemed there was no way of getting into Downing Street….
However the people organising the recption were soon emailing and phoning me with alternative routes to get to the reception, and I am very glad they did. The Prime Minister was on good form, talking to the reception and even found time to talk to each of us and have a few photos taken – Hope to get hold of one and post it for you soon.
It was an incredible experience, and I especially loved walking the staircase that has all the portraits of former PM’s on the wall; It reminded me once again how great our parliamentary democracy has been for so long.