It was a very good night locally if not nationally for the Conservative Party with them clearing the board in Northamptonshire winning all seven parliamentary seats at the general election. Well done to them. I disagree fundamentally with their politics but the voters have spoken and it would be churlish of us to deny them our congratulations and best wishes.
It was also though an interesting result for the Labour Party, defeated in all six seats but with a vote which held up very strongly. Strongly enough in fact to deny any Liberal Democrat a victory or any give them any big surge in popular support.
Finally though it was a bad night, a very bad night for those of us who either as Independents or as smaller parties tried to gatecrash the Big Party's Party.
Despite lots of good wishes and seemingly a lot of support on the ground, voters clearly returned to the traditional fold when they finally entered the Polling Station.
Having looked at the results of other Independents and small party's locally and nationally I am starting to feel slightly pleased that I held my deposit! it seems few if any others did. Even the celebrity appeal of Esther Rantzen in Luton South did little to help her have her £500 returned.
So what did we all learn? That the country is not ready, at least at a national level for radical politics? or maybe that those of us who propose change to the three party system are wrong to do so?
Or maybe that the national media and the electorate that they aimed their guns at, got exactly what they wanted?
There is no doubt that the Leaders Debates had a huge impact on the outcome of the election, probably leading to the now hung parliament which matched its self promoted prediction, but in reality it also killed off the attempts of the minor candidates to breakthrough. I hold to the view that too many of our voting public who understandably are switched off to the local and national political scene went to the polls expecting the names of Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Gordon Brown to actually be on the Ballot Paper. And the focus of the national media on the "closest election in years" and their ability to choose which policy areas to cover and which not to cover (what happened to MP's expenses debate?) no doubt also played a big part in galvanising voters to poll in favour of the LAB/LIBDEM/CON
coalition. So where was the real debate some may ask?
But were we not supposed to have been choosing our constituency MP's? not a Prime Minister or Government? And how does a Labour candidate in Northampton South who runs a non campaign (turning up just one day a week) and missing the BBC and local newspaper hustings still end up in second place in Northampton South with nearly 10,000 votes!
Over the coming days the party's in Westminster will horse trade with each other to determine who will govern, and electoral reform will be high on the agenda and shopping list of the Lib Dems, but it is not only the voting system we need to change. It is also the role that our national media are increasingly playing in determining the very outcome. Our national Parliament shouldn't continue to be used as a political TV alternative to the "X Factor" or a " Britain's not got Political Talent" beauty contest. The role of the national newspapers, the broadcast TV and Radio media and the publication of national opinion polls without any local knowledge and or weighting thrown in should all be questioned.
I accept my defeat, it was heavy, I feel personaly for those who worked tirelessly to support my challenge, and for those who had the courage and conviction to back me and vote for an alternative to the big three, and I apologise to them here and know publicly for not being able to carry their standard and banner any higher into the battle.
But tomorrow is another day, and the local elections in May 2011 are a different animal, and I have many many miles to walk before I rest.
I would also like to thank you all for reading this blog over the last few weeks, our hits have gone through the roof, keep coming back, I have lots more tales to tell! and we have many more challenges to face and battles to be fought.
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