Saturday, May 05, 2007

Some of the mix from the bag 

Well the Tories came in hard to get six of our seats in Milton Keynes, and we saw them off in five of them. We also narrowly missed taking two Labour seats. One of our seats up for grabs is a single-member ward, the biggest ward in area, a huge slab of rural fringe around the north of the New City, all small villages. We had held this seat for years on the personal vote of a remarkable councillor who retired this year and everyone and their aunt (even LibDem ones) had this inked in as a sure Tory gain. Result, after a terrific ground campaign involving massive personal contact on the doorstep, a hold by nine votes (and almost as many recounts).

Our new councillor is in his twenties, and incidentally from an ethnic minority.

We had our big losses (four seats) last year when MK went from our control to NOC. In 2006 we were getting some feel on the doorstep of ‘Cameron Stardust’ working, especially with younger voters saying Cameron was ‘doing things’. This year that illusion seems to be wearing off.

Nationally, my feeling is that if the councils with all seats up for grabs had polled last year instead of this, we would really have been in trouble, with much more substantial losses across England than we suffered this year.

A sidebar – last year Northampton Tories sent big teams into MK to help their colleagues in election work, which was a strong factor in the Tory success in 2006. This year Northampton Tories had to stay at home to defend their own patch. And hooray to Northampton LibDems for turfing them out!

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