The petulance of Southend UKIP


believe in southend

I always enjoy election counts. They’re one of those rare moments in an election campaign — like the candidates and agents’ briefing which kicks off the whole affair — where whilst the tension doesn’t diffuse, there is a measure of calm. By that point, everything that can be done has been done.

This year’s count was the first time I met two of my four opponents. Cllr Courtenay I have known, and jousted with, for a while. The Green candidate, Jimmy Wild, I canvassed during the election campaign — though before he was selected as the Green candidate.

All of my opponents came across as, I have to admit, nice people, and the campaign was marked by the lack of rancour shown. I have had a number of friendly, fascinating conversations with my Lib Dem opponent Richard Herbert. Richard is chairman of Leigh Town Council, a body which I would like to see replicated across the rest of Southend, and I hope to have more conversations with him still to come.

It was my UKIP opponent, though, who was the most interesting. I maintain that only two of us — myself and Cllr Courtenay — were actually doing any real campaigning in the ward, and I can count on the fingers of one finger the number of residents I spoke to who could identify Mr Paul Lloyd.

A little surprising, then, that he seemed so put out not to have won.

Before the votes are counted, they are “verified”; meaning they are counted raw, to make sure that the overall number of votes there is what it should be, and none have been mislaid. At this point, watching the verification, it became quickly clear that Cllr Courtenay had been re-elected. At which point, also, Mr Lloyd declared that he wasn’t going to come to the actual count, which would take place the following day.

In the end he did turn up, but he didn’t seem terribly happy, and made a single line thank you speech. UKIP, admittedly, had a bad night. In Blenheim Park, I have to say, they deserved it based on the amount of work they didn’t do. Mr Lloyd, as I said, seemed like a nice man; but not a campaigner.

I don’t know if Mr Lloyd plans to stand for election again. If he does, he would do well to learn that turning up at the end of the fight and expecting to win by right smacks of arrogance; and throwing your toys out of the pram when you don’t win of petulance.

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3 comments

  1. Matt,
    A couple of points if I may.
    1. I feel your headline and content to be slightly disingenuous. The fact is, Paul did turn up to the count, did make a speech saying ‘Thank You’, so hardly petulant. Many of us felt disappointment that day but your view, which cannot be substantiated, is, in my view, harsh and unfair.
    2. We both know first hand that however hard we campaign, that is sometimes not enough. I lost to Keith Gordon, who, by common consecensus carried out no campaigning whatsoever. However, it was a strategy that worked, so I have no complaints. However, straight after his win he had a big strop and stormed out of the Tory group! So he stood under the Tory banner when it suited him. Now he is an ‘independent’. (Would the electorate have voted for him as an independent?) Now, this is petulence and the man is fair game when I try again next year; I will remind the electorate of his behaviour at every turn!

    1. Hi Robert.

      Yes, Paul turned up to the count, which I acknowledged, but he did so after proclaiming that he wouldn’t. He gave a petulantly short speech, after proclaiming that he wasn’t going to. All in all I felt his demeanour was sulky and unseamly of a participant in the democratic process. That is, though, my own view. Other views are available.

      When it comes to Cllr Gordon, I think you have good cause to be a little miffed, and I would agree that his behaviour beggars belief; sulking out of the Tories because he wasn’t given a council seat, it’s pretty clear who he’s interested in serving, and it’s not the people of Rochford. That said, what I’ve heard about Cllr Gordon from other sources paints the picture of a thoroughly unpleasant man.

      1. Hi Matt,

        Re, Paul: We’ll beg to differ.

        As for Cllr Gordon, as Francis Urquhart most memorably disdainfully uttered in the ‘House of Cards’: You might very well think that; I couldn’t possibly comment! 😉

        Robert

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