The campaign is over, the last leaflet delivered, the last door knocked upon, and I've attended the count.
On what turned out to be a less than stellar night for the Liberal Democrats nationally, Mid Suffolk saw its share of losses too, with Tony Fowler losing in the Stonhams, Mohammed Touran in Claydon and Barham, and Carol Milward biting the dust in Elmswell and Norton. We await the result from Stowmarket South but we will retain at least six of the ten seats that we held going into the election, and remain the official opposition.
As for me, it turned out that an 18% swing against a backdrop of a huge fall in Liberal Democrat support and a fiendishly timed series of concessions by Suffolk County Council's Conservative leadership was a hurdle too high to be surmounted. And in truth, that sort of swing only really happens in fairy tales. I did achieve a 13% swing, reducing the Conservative majority in Stowupland to just 91. The result was;
Byles (Conservative) 356
Snell (Labour) 128
Theobald (Green) 127
Valladares (Lib Dem) 265
I'm pretty pleased to have increased our share of the vote quite substantially, and slashed the Conservative vote, whilst pushing up turnout by about 8%.
But I didn't win. And that would have been the last chapter of the fairy tale...
On the other hand, I did get 50% of the vote in Creeting St Peter, and I'm grateful for the support of my friends and neighbours here. I just need the village to be bigger, that's all...
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