24 May 2014


Belatedly – I've been working – many thanks to everyone who helped on the Labour campaign in Bixley ward, Ipswich, where I stood for Labour on Thursday.

I came second:
Edward Phillips (Conservative) 1,141 (48%)
Paul Anderson (Labour) 566 (24%)
Robert Odhams (UKIP) 504 (21%)
Martin Hore (Liberal Democrat) 175 (7%)
Majority: 585. Turnout: 41.86%. No change.
I was expecting to lose by a large margin, but I'm pleased to have beaten UKIP into third and the Lib Dem into fourth. I didn't do as well as Elango Elavakalan in 2011, who got 30% on a higher turnout with no UKIP candidate, or John Cook in 2012, who got 29% in a county council by-election on the same boundaries with UKIP standing and a lower turnout. But 566 votes, 24% and second place are in the circumstances – UKIP hype in the media, Euroelections at the same time – consoling. My guess on this turnout is that Labour lost 100 votes to UKIP and the Tories lost 400 ... but the Tories turned out to defeat UKIP.

The other thing is that I've really enjoyed being a candidate. This democracy stuff is reinvigorating, even when a woman with a St George's cross tattoo tells you where to stick your leaflet. Britain loves people who say what they think and put it up for election. Fire the spin-doctors.

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