Well, the results from last night were pretty shocking and certainly a poor night for both coalition partners. Judging from the BBC, ITV and Archant reports I was certainly the story of the night. Sadly I lost my seat, by 46 votes, to Labour.
For the last week I had began to become convinced I would lose - and in case you think that is 20-20 hindsight I actually said this to Labour friends as well as my campaign team. Knocking on doors, although there were far fewer Labour voter than Tory ones, they were simply more motivated to vote. The low-turn out, the switch from LibDems to Labour, the campaign on cuts (which never mentioned where Labour would swing the axe, of course) were all factors. But as the sitting member you always look to yourself and your own personal role in the election. I have put my heart and soul into being a good ward councillor but clearly it wasn't enough.
To all those who are my friends in the community, the people who supported me in Bowthorpe and Earlham, to my colleague ward Councillors and to the hundreds who voted for me, I am personally very, very sorry.
Being a councillor has been a fantastic experience and I have got to contribute to the civil life of our City in ways that few ever get. I look back on the last 4 years with pride, but life moves on. I am lucky that I have a job I love and a young family to enjoy. I shall miss helping people in Bowthorpe and working for them (I had resisted being "emotional" until the emails and calls from residents I am helping or have helped started to come through) but I always said that I wanted more in my life than just politics.
I am sticking to that promise - starting today.