Firstly many thanks to those of you that supported me at this election. My agent who as wonderful and a real rock for me to lean on. My helpers who delivered almost 20 thousand leaflets. Everyone that sent me messages of encouragement. A special thanks to all those that showed faith in me and put their x next to my name and my party.
It has been quite an experience, I've thought and done little else these last few weeks. I've lost a stone in weight and I'm struggling to remember what it's like to wake in the morning and do normal things. I've given everything I've got at this election, I've over come fears and pushed myself hard. As have my small but dedicated election team.
I'm a bit sore that the MK vote did not match all this hard work. I'm glad we got 518 votes and I'm happy that we made progress on the 387 from last time. It may not seem a lot but when you have such a small base to work from but it is a large percentage increase and a definite sign of progress, however painfully slow. It's much the same picture for the rest of MK a small but steady increase in the vote. I think the party deserved more but that didn't happen.
The inevitable reckoning has come, many are talking of what the party needs to change and I welcome that debate and look forward to taking part of it, when I've rested a little of course. I would however like people to consider a tale from the American civil war, when after the event the Confederates got together and lambasted all the mistakes they made, a general Pickett piped up "I've always thought the Yankees had something to do with it."
You have to consider why in any contest one side did not succeed but also why the other side did succeed. Throughout the UK we could ask why did Miliband and Labour not win? and why did Cameron and the Tories get a resounding result against the grain? Same here in Cornwall why did Mebyon Kernow get a tiny share of the vote and why did the other parties succeed?
I told the press at the count yesterday that being a small party in a marginal is tough. Marginals are where parties concentrate money and resources. All of the party leaders bar Miliband came to this constituency at least once and got useful media coverage for their candidates. They spend a lot of money and they are determined in their aim of gaining as much votes as they can and they do that by attracting voters from other parties like MK.
If I compare my campaign with the other 5 candidates there are obvious disparities. All delivered more leaflets than me, all were on tv more than me, all were in the press more than me and all of them spent more money than I did. Politics is about reaching out to the electorate, engaging them and their fear and hopes and showing how your principles, ideas and policies would make a difference to their lives. We had the least opportunities to do that.
That's something for us to consider. I'm not bitching about it, I knew this all along I knew I wasn't entering a fair fight. For next time though I would only stand if I had more support, more members and supporters to help and a lot more resources to throw at it. Till 2020 :)