I know my views on the election results are somewhat delayed, but straight after the count I was whisked away by Mrs Cox for a weekend away as a birthday treat and have just returned home. Unfortunately, the internet reception was poor on my smartphone which prevented me posting my thoughts over the weekend.
Firstly, I want to thank the 860 residents of West Shoebury who voted Conservative last Thursday. Yes, the majority was disappointing but am comforted that we polled 39% share of the vote in West Shoebury compared to the 31% nationally and the 30% across the East of the town.
It was also disappointing to loose control of the council but considering the results which happened across the country, a net loss of 3 councillors was a considerably better performance than in many other councils but no consolation.
In the East of the town, most observers would recognise that St Lukes and Kursaal wards are not fertile Conservative territory and both Labour and Conservatives have been used to over the years seeing seats lost in the face of the national backdrop.
With the gain in Milton (My congratulations to Julian Ware-Lane) it made it Labour's night. What was interesting was the poor performance of the Lib Dems who only received 3% of the vote in the East of the town finishing 6th out of the 8 parties which contested seats. It was also a poor night for the Independent Party who lost their seat in Southchurch and came within a whisker of loosing their seat in their Westborough heartland.
In West Shoebury, the UKIP candidate polled very well. It was interesting that his whole campaign was based around him distancing himself from UKIP to make him look like an Independent Party candidate and was endorsed by Cllr Terry and Cllr Woodley. He even pledged to sit with the Independent Party in the Council chamber.
In all of his election literature, there was only one picture of the UKIP logo and only a handful of references to UKIP. He even went as far as declining to have the UKIP logo on the ballot paper - a similar stunt was also pulled last year. It was almost like he was embarrassed to be associated to be associated with UKIP.
There were a number myths and mis-truths peddled. Fortunately these were defeated in the end but concede that these clearly resonated with certain sections of the electorate in West Shoebury. Over the days and weeks I will set about unpicking these myths to offer reassurance to residents and proving that residents faith in me and the Conservative Party is not unfounded.