Well, I can finally put my phone down after spending most of the day scrolling.
Here in the Preston ward of North Shields where two seats were up for grabs the vote split one for us and one for the Conservatives.
I’m really happy that my colleague Cathy Davis has been re-elected. She’s really part of the fabric of the community. People know her and how hard she works. Literature distributed during the election by the local Conservatives sought to sully her reputation attempting to cast her as some kind of ‘careerist’. Of course that didn’t wash with residents who know that she’s actually a committed foster-carer who received an MBE from the Queen in 2015 for her amazing work with disadvantaged children and families, literally over decades.
I’m also disappointed that Helen Smith wasn’t elected. I was really impressed by the way that Helen threw herself into the campaign. She has a lovely way of humanising campaigning, which can at times feel a bit mechanical. Her election garden signs complete with built-in bird-feeder were a joy to behold 🙂
More widely it has been great to see lots of my Labour colleagues getting re-elected, including the resounding success of our Mayor, Norma Redfearn, elected for a historic third term in office. Indeed, in the couple of seats we didn’t win it’s quite obvious from the final numbers that votes for the Green Party opened the door to let the Tories in. This certainly explains why the Tories were distributing unbranded leaflets encouraging voters to “Go Green”.
So, in the final analysis, it seems that, just as in previous elections, the Labour Party here in North Tyneside hasn’t experienced the downward trend seen in other northern towns. I put this down to two things:
1) A solid, organised campaigning with credible candidates who are quite obviously ‘real people’ with good motives and sensible views.
2) A switched-on population, made up of people who have a positive outlook, who ask good questions, don’t jump to conclusions and (most importantly) have seen right through the Clown-In-Chief who currently occupies number 10 Downing Street.