No, this is not a post about the theological doctrine of election, although I wouldn’t be surprised if some “Reformed” Calvinists have concluded from some of my recent posts on the atonement that I am not one of the elect. This is in fact a post about the Borough Council elections here in Chelmsford.
I deliberately made only a very brief mention here that I was standing as a candidate in these elections. It was for a two member seat which I was not at all expected to win. In the circumstances I did quite well to take fourth place, out of six, by a good margin.
At the last election in 2003 our Liberal Democrat candidates got less than a third of the vote of the two Conservative winners, and one of them was beaten into fifth place by a Labour candidate. This time, on a rather higher turnout, the Liberal Democrat vote was much higher. I received 382 votes, compared with 989 and 934 for the Conservative winners, and 421 for my fellow Liberal Democrat who lives in the ward (voting district). I can claim a minor victory by taking fourth place from Labour, by a large margin; the Labour votes were 207 and 185.
My small victory over Labour but failure to beat the Conservatives was in fact typical for Chelmsford Borough. The last two Labour seats were captured by Liberal Democrats, who also gained four seats from the Conservatives but lost two. So the Conservatives retain overall control by 33 seats to 24. See the results for all the Chelmsford seats here. Results like this seem to be typical of rural and suburban southern England at the moment: Conservatives doing quite well, Labour deeply unpopular, Liberal Democrats often losing out slightly, although not badly so in Chelmsford.
It was interesting to attend the election count, for the first time. But the whole process took a long time. The count started at 10.15 pm and my result was declared about 3.00 am. I stayed for the final results, which came in after 3.30. It’s a good thing I didn’t have too much work to do today!
Maybe I will try again in four years, but then I don’t know where I will be then.