It was a strange feeling not having the count straight after polling day; you might have thought that we'd get some rest ready for the next day. But no; it was a party straight after and with the Euro verification dragging on we felt just as tired by the end of Friday than we would have just counting into the night!
The results for the Conservatives were oustanding; 60 seats out of 84, with some movement forward for the Greens (though in Norwich only), the LibDems slipped back again and Labour were virtually wiped out. Labour won just 3 seats across the whole of Norfolk - two in Norwich (University and Crome) and one in Yarmouth. UKIP picked up a seat in Yarmouth - but the real story was the Tory wave that knocked Labour out of their urban heartlands; Thetford, Dereham, Yarmouth, Kings Lynn, Bowthorpe, Catton ... they kept falling.
Here in the City, the Greens did pull off the big shocks. Paul Wells and Charlotte Casimir won our target seats of Bowthorpe and Catton Grove respectively; with the Tories coming agonisingly close in Crome and Eaton too. The LibDems picked up Lakenham but lost Thorpe Hamlet. The Greens, as expeced, won in Wensum, Mancroft, Nelson & Town Close. But when they also won Sewell and Mile Cross you knew something big had happened. Norwich Labour seem like they are living on borrowed time. These were even stranger because they were outside the Green "Norwich South" comfort zone.
In the end the vastly expensive LibDem campaign - including some very negative tactics which may yet re-bound on them - got them nowhere. Brian Watkins, a thoroughly decent man, shouldn't let the rogue elements of his party drag down his name like this. Labour looked exhausted by the end and the Greens jubilant.
But, of course, the Tories emerged victorious both on total Norfolk terms and with our new City-division Councillors. A good result all round!