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Chris Galley

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Saturday 9 May 2015 – Post Election thoughts

Well it has been a long 6 weeks. So much so, that here on Saturday morning, I have this eerie feeling that I should be heading off somewhere to do some canvassing. The days are quite long on the campaign trail, I was rarely home before 8 pm and often much later. It’s quite physically demanding too, you’re on your feet the whole day, and leafleting an estate involves multiple miles of walking up and down drives. So my feet and joints are still aching a bit.

As for the result: I need to thank, for the bottom of my heart, all those who lent me their votes in this election. We got a 4.2% swing, one of the better ones in the North East and indeed the UK  (except my friend Guy Opperman got a stonking 9.2% swing in Hexham which rather puts  mine in the shade!). We regained second place in Wansbeck, and had our best result since 1992, despite a UKIP threat.  And the LDs are going nowhere soon. You will see the first person plural being used there, the Wansbeck Association isn’t big, but thankfully punches well above their weight. I am very grateful for all their support, in all weathers!

CountPhotoBut Wansbeck stayed Labour. I can tell you that Ashington was profoundly Labour (though it was always cheering to see the occasional Chris Galley vote popping out of Hirst!). However there was a hefty challenge from UKIP in certain areas of Ashington apart from North Seaton. East Bedlington also stayed red, but UKIP were firmly on their tails there. I think I probably won West Bedlington, just. Mid Bedlington was a 3 way mash up, though it wouldn’t surprise me if I came 2nd or a very narrow 3rd, with Labour, UKIP and us all on similar figures. I did comparatively well in Pegswood, gaining LD support there. Morpeth? Rock solid Conservative, all over! If there are boundary changes now, this will prove very useful to the Party.

However it’s clear that tribalism to Labour is now slipping away. With the UKIP bubble now burst, it’s very apparent that some very Labour voters are prepared to go elsewhere. Labour’s increased majority is entirely down to left of centre Liberal Democrats returning home, so in a sense Ian Lavery did well in Morpeth Stobhill, but it masks the fact that a lot of Ashington and Bedlington voters no longer feel chained to Labour. Another party, hopefully mine, will be able to reap this harvest.

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I will put some more thoughts up in the next few days, before returning to some more sheep photos! I keep being asked about my orphan lambs featured below. But my closing comment here must be to once again thank the voters of Wansbeck for their fantastic support.

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