As well as being the Labour candidate for the County Council seat of Harpenden South West, I stood in the Harpenden South District Council by-election; the election was triggered after Conservative District Councillor Stuart Roberts stood down earlier in the year.
Now judging from previous results in the seat and the County Council results across Hertfordshire there were no expectations of anything other than a third or fourth place finish.
The results for 2007 and 2008 are as follow:
But I received an email yesterday afternoon stating that there had been somewhat of an upset at the by-election count and that my share of the vote had increased drastically, pushing Labour in to a shock second place finish.
The result shows that I achieved a far higher proportion of the vote than any other second place candidate in the district council seat for some time. I received 703 votes, or a 23.4% share - an increase of 527 votes or 550%!!
OK... now for the minor details of the result. Apparently there was a mix up at the count for the seat; according to my 'election agent' the result was wrongly declared, placing me in second place with 703 votes. However, the Liberal Democrat, Conservative and Green Party candidates did not protest the result. This therefore means that my second foray in to elected politics (the first being the County Council elections some hours earlier) will now go down as a huge swing to the Labour Party in an immensely difficult election year, thus massively bucking the national trend.
Did any other Labour candidate in the country receive a similar swing on Thursday? I am going to go out on a limb and say that the result now suggests my District Council election result was the most successful Labour campaign in the entire country (in terms of increase in share of vote). Huzzah!
(Disclaimer: tongue firmly in cheek!)