The problem, I think, with a secret ballot is that I have no idea who the 947 voters in Blenheim Park are who I have to thank.
I’m being flippant, of course, as I‘d in no way ever want the secrecy of voting jeopardised. But I am sincere in my thanks.
Thank you, each and every one of you. I cannot describe the feeling of watching ballot papers unfolded with a cross by your own name. The act of someone putting their faith in you like that gets me somewhere deep down in the feels.
When the votes were tallied up, I polled at 947, and came in third. I suppose I should be disappointed with that, to not have won, but to be honest I’m so damn pleased that it’s easy to forget that I didn’t.
After five months of campaigning, 947 people thought that my promise of grassroots, in-touch representation was something worth casting a vote for. 947 people thought that Labour policies of house-building, protecting services, creating a better future, were worth putting their cross besides.
Over the last five months, I’ve walked a lot of miles, and had a lot of conversations. Many of those people, of course, didn’t vote for me. I don’t value the conversations any less for that little fact. I’m happy that I got to meet them, talk to them, find out what mattered to them.
Because I maintain that that is the only way to get people engaged with politics. If politics is disconnected from people, why should they connect with politics?
My sincerest congratulations to James Courtenay on his re-election. And my thanks to my fellow candidates for the clean fight, and to everyone who helped me in my campaign; too numerous to list, but invaluable and unfailing in their support.
I suppose I should be disappointed not to have won, but I enjoyed my time campaigning in Blenheim Park so much that it’s hard to think like that. Thank you to everyone who voted for me, and I look forward to getting back on the campaign trail.