Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Result

11,544 votes. It's a remarkable and rather humbling experience to know that such a number of people in Macclesfield voted for me and for the Liberal Democrats.
True, we came second. David Rutley won the seat fair and square - but we made the Tories work for it! We increased our share of the vote by 3%, against a national increase of 1%, so the local team did well. I had great support from the local party, in Poynton, Bollington and Disley as well as in the town of Macclesfield itself, and it was a real pleasure to work with them all.
The result establishes us firmly as the main opposition party in the constituency, which gives us a great base to build on in elections - general and local - in the future.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Election Day

Sometimes I thought May 6th would never arrive. But now it's here. The leaflets are out, we've pushed them through letterboxes and handed them out in the streets. We've had the hustings debates and I've talked to schools and answered hundreds (not an exaggeration) of emails. Now its up to the voters to make up their minds.

This is the piece I wrote for the Macclesfield Express - for the benefit of those who don't get the paper - or who save it till the weekend.

"On May 6, Macclesfield electors can vote for a real clean-up in politics, for action on climate change, for a fair tax system that helps those that need it most, for the protection and improvement of our health and education systems, and for a responsible but effective reduction of the public sector deficit that doesn’t damage the fragile recovery.

"These are the issues that people have asked about in the campaign, and it’s clear that they feel strongly about them. The Liberal Democrats - unlike the two old parties - have the ideas and the will to deliver.

"As an MP I would look forward to helping with local issues that make Macclesfield what it is – the town centre regeneration, preserving and opening up our heritage, local roads and homes and jobs.

"My aspiration is to be as well-known locally as Sir Nick – though for rather different reasons."

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Macclesfield Civic Service

I'm invited to attend Macclesfield Civic Service by David Nielsen, the Deputy Mayor. It's a friendly town occasion. Good hymns and a well thought out format. Notice the Labour Candidate is also there, but I don't spot the Conservative.
The preacher says that politicians don't have visions, only policies, and that without a vision the nation will perish. I don't think that's quite fair. We certainly have a Lib Dem vision of a world free from poverty, ignorance and conformity. The other parties have theirs. It's just that when we talk about vision the public don't want to hear us and ask about specific issues and policies.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Campaigning in Disley

Disley on a sunny Saturday mornng with bright yellow leaflets and balloons. Anthony Berry takes me to the local coffee morning. There's a lot of local history, and a strong community spirit. Residents are friendly and interested - even those that Tony tells me afterwards are hard-line Labour or Tory voters.