Elections are a tough time for politicians, intriguing, exciting - but tough. Counts are the same but (normally?) distilled over a period of just a few hours.
Despite not having to go through the grinder, I was at the verification last night and the count today - because, of course, I have a buy-in to those seats that I have helped with and a passionate desire to see both Fenland District and Whittlesey Town Council remain under Conservative control.
The happy news is that Fenland remains a strong Conservative District. We went into the election with 38 out of 40 seats, and leave it with 34 out of 40. It is an astonishing endorsement of the work Conservatives have been doing in Fenland. Those that predicted a wave of Independents flooding the District were disappointed (perhaps very mildly satisfied). Those that predicted 8-12 losses for the Conservatives were also wrong (take a bow Mr Elworthy).
The tough stuff is what lies underneath that, especially some good Councillors losing their seats (especially Ray Griffin and David Wheeler, who I know have worked their socks off for Waterlees Ward ), when exciting and fresh thinking candidates don't succeed (such as Adam Triggs and Steve Tierney). I had quite an interesting chat with the Bucknors who won the day over David Wheeler and Ray Griffin today. My instinct is they are decent people and I hope I can work with them.
But life will go on, and Conservatives will continue to deliver for Fenland. It is also heartening that Conservatives won through in every District seat in Whittlesey. Hats off to Roy Gerstner for a hard fought independent campaign, coming a close second to Ken Peachey. Conservatives will continue to fight for Whittlesey.
I have two final things to say. Firstly, the idea that the stress for Town Council candidates should continue over the weekend is ludicrous,. But, it is true that many Town Council counts have been delayed because of a referendum for which we already know the result.
Finally, election agents are the hidden marvels behind successful election campaigns, the last to take the credit and the first to take the blame. Step forward and take a bow Conservative agent extraordinaire Debbie Clark, she deserves huge plaudits for yet another fantastic Conservative result at Fenland District Council.