The polls close and the phones go silent in Newark

Newark campaigningPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

The polls have just closed in the Newark by-election, and after a useful briefing on the Planning system at the council this evening I was pleased to be able to put in a couple of hours making last-minute telephone calls to the residents of that lovely town and the surrounding villages in support of Robert Jenrick’s campaign.

Since the local elections here 2 weeks ago I have mainly been occupied with getting started in my new role as a councillor, helping organise our ward surgeries programme – and this week, trying to hold the council to account over the incredibly disappointing closure of the M&S store in Woolwich town centre.

I managed to get up to Newark on Saturday, however, for a day’s campaigning and have been hitting the phones to help the party’s massively energetic by-election campaign – which with any luck, has today secured the constituency the strong local MP it deserves.

Along with the flurry of Facebook invites, emails & calls urging me to go up, I have to say I was doubly motivated this time round by the thought of UKIP securing its first elected MP – and Roger Helmer, no less – a man whose views range from the disgraceful to the absurd.  Having spent the last 3 months fending off a strong UKIP challenge in my ward, the thought of any opportunity to help stop that party from continuing its run of luck is more than enough to get me out on the doors (and it seems, many hundreds of others too).  It will be interesting to see the results of our efforts.

With the clock having struck 10, however, I suspect the people of Newark will just be relieved that the phones have stopped ringing.  I’m sure activists from all the parties are grateful to them for their patience!

Update Friday 8.30am: Very good result overnight – whichever way you slice it, a governing party getting 45% of the vote and Ed Miliband only being able to win over 6,842 people – in a seat Labour won in 1997 – is an extraordinary outcome. Congrats Robert Jenrick MP…

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