Saturday, June 6, 2009

Lib Dem Gain - Hardwick

In the midst of the `Tory Tide' of local government success, there were odd little eddies and swirls in other directions.

One of these was Bury St Edmunds where, with the support of my team, I turned over a ten percent Tory advantage to win, a Green came from nowhere to beat Labour and an Indepdendent took another seat leaving just one of four in the hands of the Tories.

The day of the results was bizzare. I awoke with a clear and calm sense that I hadn't won. The three polling stations had been busy (44% turnout) which I felt meant a Tory win. I arrived at the count with my Green colleague Mark Ereira-Guyer in `end of term' mood not really expecting a lot.

Then the excitement. My pile of votes was growing at a much faster rate than those of either of my opponents, one of whom was pacing the floor and biting his nails.

All of a sudden, I was being told I had won and then it was announced.

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Immediately a very nice young man approached me from Suffolk County Council came up, shook my hand and gave me a big booklet full of all sorts of helpful advice about what is to come. Then I went to talk to the local press, again two very nice, polite young men.

For the next three hours I felt in shock. Dazed a bit confused. Katy came and met me and we drove into town, me texting and emailing, but not really there.

By teatime, it had sunk in. I had won the election and am now County Councillor Craig Dearden-Phillips. My elation had turned into anxiety. How was I going to do this on top of everything else? Then I saw my kids and started to feel upset. Was this going to be at their expense?

In the evening, we took out both sets of parents to celebrate, though the feeling of apprehension hadn't entirely left me. Thankfully, as the night progressed, that sense of possibility had restored itself and I managed to enjoy myself.

A night's sleep and a meeting today with the 11 other Lib Dems who now formed the Official Opposition, after the decimation of the Labour Party. This meeting put me right. Our Group Leader told me to look after my job, my wife, my kids and the community before worrying about Shire Hall stuff. I felt pacified.

So a big two days and not the ones I was expecting. But, if you play to win, as I did, I guess it is better to expect to do so every so often.


Rob Harris said...

Well done Craig!
Well deserved and i am sure the constituency will see the benefits.

Andy Conroy said...

Well done Craig. Keep a healthy life balance and you'll be just fine.