Taken together the results of North Norfolk Parliamentary Seat and the Glaven Valley District Council seat were pretty much what was expected.
The Parliamentary result was in line with my prediction in yesterday’s blog. Norman Lamb’s majority fell to 4043 and Denise Burke increased the Labour vote from 2896 to 5043. This was a really impressive performance on a dismal night for the Labour Party. In Glaven Valley I secured only 78 votes with the LibDem elected. This was a disappointment and I can offer two possible explanations. The first is that the LibDems have built up an effective organisation, particularly in the harbour town of Blakeney and worked hard, with a very ambitious candidate, to win the seat from the incumbent Conservatives. It was the only LibDem gain of the night. The second is that my popularity increases the further the distance from my home, especially when I cross the Equator. My lecturing has always proved to be at its most effective in Australia, New Zealand or South Africa. On this basis I doubt if I could ever be elected to anything in Norfolk.
One way and another I’m battered if not bruised and want to take time to recover. I will be able to do that in this in our village – at times like this rural tranquility has its attractions. It was not like that when I worked in the City in the 90s. The election that really hurt was when Neil Kinnock lost in 1992. One of my colleagues at NatWest Bank, who was certainly a Tory, rang me at home the following evening and hummed the death march down the phone. He was genuinely disconcerted when I told him he was intruding and his call was not welcome. Still worse, when I narrowly lost a close Parliamentary election myself in 1974, was the colleague who offered ‘congratulations on saving your deposit’. Fortunately our closest friends in the village understand that my political values matter greatly to me, indeed that they are part of my identity. Although they don’t share my politics they treat them with respect.