Friday, 18 May 2012

Election blues!

I have deliberately delayed updating my blog since election day to give a chance for the dust to settle. It is obviously disappointing to lose out overall majority - we now have 25 out of the 51 councillors leaving us 1 short of a majority. So near but so far! Having said that the clear message from our canvassing was that there is general support for the performance of Southend Council over the last few years but increasing annoyance at the performance of all parties at national level. This was reflected by the appallingly low turnout which frustrated candidates from all parties. It does seem bizarre that at a time when we are improving service performance, delivering budget savings and attracting inward investment in a way which is externally recognised by the Council of the Year award we lose seats.However that is politics and the message was that many of our core voters chose to stay at home.The disappointing night was not ours alone - the Liberals were lucky to hang onto their seats with relatively small majorities, and whilst Labour made gains their vote was disappointing (in Milton the successful candidate polled less to win this year than he did when previously coming second).In an environment custom built for the Independent Party they failed to make inroads - even losing their seat in Southchurch to our candidate.Their "gain" in Belfairs was only due to the success of Steve Aylen who before he was not re selected had been a Conservative councillor for many years, voting reliably for us and seeking our nomination this year. If he is true to his voting record and presumable beliefs it is difficult to see that he will not wish to support us on occasions over the coming months.So now to the challenge of a hung council!

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