Unlucky Thirteen - twice over

Well, some you win, some you lose, but this morning's result was almost enough to make someone superstitious.

Both myself in the "Egremont North & St Bees" division and my colleague Graham Roberts in Bransty missed out on election or re-election to Cumbria County Council by exactly thirteen votes.

In "Egremont North and St Bees" the result was

Henry Wormstrup (Labour)     395
Myself (Conservative)             382
Lorraine Armstrong  (UKIP)   296

Labour majority 13 - one recount. Turnout 23.9%

In Bransty the result was

Eileen Weir (Labour)                    580
Graham Roberts (Conservative)   567

Labour majority 13 - one recount. Turnout 25.7%

Over the county as a whole the Conservatives won most votes: total votes cast throughout Cumbria were as follows:

Political PartyVotes% of vote

rosetteLiberal Democrat2328218.6
rosetteUK Independence Party1459111.7
rosetteBritish Nationalist Party17371.4
rosetteNo party specified8080.6
rosetteSocialist Peoples Party2560.2
rosetteTrade Unionist Socialist Coalition2260.2

Total Votes125168

Overall the new composition of Cumbria County Council is:

Labour: 35

Conservative: 26
Lib/Dems: 16
Independents or no party specified: 7

Considering that these county council elections in Cumbria were being fought in mid-term for a Conservative-led coalition government which is having to take very unpopular decisions to clear up the financial disaster left by the previous government, and that these seats were previously fought in 2009 at the peak of Gordon Brown's unpopularity, I thought that the Conservative vote held up reasonably well. Obviously there are issues for all the established parties in the scale of the votes cast for other parties such as UKIP and we need to listen to voters but this was not the sort of meltdown or electoral bloodbath for the Conservatives which some people had been gleefully predicting.

Unfortunately, as what happened to myself and Graham demonstrates, we were more than a little unlucky in translating votes into seats, with nearly 5,000 more votes cast for the Conservatives than Labour over the county but Labour winning nine more seats.

Some you win, some you lose. It won't be my last election. There are going to be some interesting discussions putting together an administration at County Hall.


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