The riders are under starter's orders......and they're off. But Conservatives and Labour in my ward of Whickham South and Sunniside forgot that there was an election. The result was a bit of a one horse race. No literature from the Conservatives and only one from Labour, and that went out 2 weeks ago.
Size matters so for all of you who like to get your teeth into something big, here goes: I have the biggest vote, biggest share of the vote, biggest majority and biggest percentage majority in Gateshead. My majority of 1500 is bigger than all but 2 actual vote totals for individual councillors.
The neighbouring ward of Dunston Hill and Whickham East was a Lib Dem marginal into which Labour poured a huge amount of effort to try to take back the seat. Unison pumped a wad of cash into Labour campaigning there. The result was a doubling of the Lib Dem majority to 600. Frankly, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Labour get trashed by the voters there. And for good reason. Labour here made some ridiculous and absurd claims about Labour being opposed to decisions Labour had taken. It then became very easy for us to point out the difference between what Labour were saying and what they were doing.
The Labour campaign there also provided me with much material for my blog series of "Tales from the Campaign Trail", especially their monumental own goal over their spinning a story the local school was to be rebuilt, a claim based on the fact the kitchen's were being refurbished and some mobile classrooms replaced.
The disappointment of the day however was Lobley Hill and Bensham. Last year we cut Labour's majority from 900 to 92. This time we cut the lead from 92 to 53. Both parties added substantially to the total number of votes each had. But Labour threw everything at the campaign and they won, though only just.
I know what we need to do to give us the lead but I ain't saying what it is. After all, Labour love to read this blog.