Friday, May 02, 2008
Went along to my friend's count. Intense council officers shuffled, tapped and pegged the ballots; they all had their own style. One liked to lick her finger, turn up a corner and count the ballot papers as if she was counting her own money; another preferred the steadier approach of lifting each paper from one pile and transferring it to a second pile. Whichever style they adopted, my friend still lost. He picked up 790 votes compared to the Liberal Democrat incumbent's 949. Irritatingly close for him. The Labour candidate who would normally have picked up my vote got an astonishing 74. Seventy-four votes - and it could so easily have been 75 had I not been inveigled into voting Tory for the first and last time ever. This same Labour candidate - one Carol Griffiths - did not appear at the count. Or maybe she did and she was so humiliated by the fact Labour only got 74 votes, she could not bear to make herself known when the results were announced? Call me old-fashioned, but if people have done you the courtesy of voting for you, at least turn up at the count to hear the result. Was she unavoidably detained on her way into the sports centre by Gordon Brown calling for consolation? Even the independent candidate (who stood as an independent shortly after not being selected as the Conservative candidate) did better with 258 votes. Why there is a feeling Labour has been taking its support for granted, I just cannot think.