Having succumbed to the need for sleep just half an hour before the first Swindon election result came through, it was refreshing to wake up to blue parliamentary representation, but a disappointment that in the local council elections the administration had not been punished for the way it has frivolously wasted our money on vanity projects whilst having to makes cuts to other more important services, such as street cleaning. The local election results are, of course, not typical. In an average year turnout is never much more than 30%. Being at the same time as a general election bolstered that to over 60%. Despite that, the overall outcome, in terms of candidates elected, was almost unchanged from the last time these candidates stood.
From the Swindon general election results, it was apparent that local presence helped: Mr Tomlinson converted a notional red majority of 2,675 into one for him of 7,060 — a swing of over 10% — whereas Mr Buckland managed only a majority of 3,544 where before Ms Snelgrove had a notional majority of only 1,493 — a swing of ‘only’ 5.5%.
Our new MPs now need to prove themselves and their commitment to put constituents before party. Some of us have unfinished business with Swindon Borough Council for which their support is expected.