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Friday, 17 September 2010

It was the postals wot wunnit...

Thanks to a friend of a friend, Hornet has received a first hand account at the goings on at the count last night for the Earls Court and Cremorne by-elections.

The first thing that struck Hornet was the arrangement for the actual count. The friend of a friend tried to explain it, something about Sunderland and not counting the Tory votes and taking part A away from Part B and then dividing it by the number you first thought of, but to be honest, Hornet couldnt quite grasp it so just nodded sweetly and assumed that as no one objected to it, it must be right. Maybe.

Apparently the Labour rabble wasnt there for the initial briefing and it is said the council officer at the time commented about this, suggesting it was justification for where they would come tonight, or words to that effect. So much for political impartiality! Hornet supposes one has to protect the bonus somehow!

The count was graced by, amongst others, the Dear Leader, and a bloat of other Councillors, including Buckmaster, Buxton, Read, Campbell and a very tall cameo by Palmer. The usual cacophony of party hacks were also there, including professional agents sporting a stylish Louis Vuitton off-the-shoulder number containing somewhat unkeeping plastic folders and biros.

As the clock ticked by it became crystally apparent the Tories had lost. Early indications suggested a Labour victory in Cremorne matched by LibDem cruising past to complete the rout in Earls Court. Hornet understands that a recount in the initial Cremorne result overturned a Labour victory to a slender 20 majority for the previous unsuccessful Tory Candidate twice over.

Earls Court faired a little better with the LibDems and Tories vying for first place throughout the night. Unlike Cremorne in Earls Court the LibDems postal ballots seemed to match the Tories, as venturing down south Labour missed a trick and polled far fewer postal votes than their rivals.

Hornets source suggests the Tories were only spared blushes in Cremorne as they pulled in far more postal votes than Labour. On the day, the votes cast in polling stations in both areas the Tories were way behind.

Soon it all became clear, a rather resplendent Malcolm Spalding was looking non plussed and his comrade in arms Terence Buxton, one of the two remaining Tories in Earls Court,  his face looking as deflated and crumpled as the suit he was wearing. Another Tory who the source didnt know, and said  looked like a young Lionel Blair (Hornet believes this chap comes from Holland Ward and if Lionel Blair was ever young) was frantically scrawling notes on scraps of paper adding up imaginary numbers and no matter what calculation method he used, it still came up as a LibDem win.

The Dear Leader applauded the announcement of his neighour winning Cremorne and didn't congratulate Linda Wade who won the seat vacated by Phelps. He then promptly left the count along with the buffoonery of accolytes.

Apparently the comedy input for the evening came from the UKIP candidates, one of whom clearly had been at the Chateau Palmer before arriving, proceeding to tell everyone how difficult it was to engage his would-be voters in "intellectual conversation". The other one on seeing he polled about a dozen votes left early muttering that he couldnt stand being around "these Tory see-you-next-tuesdays" and shuffled off. God help if the electorate momentarily lose their senses and vote this Party into office if these two are anything to go by. Thanks to the heavens the Holy Father is in town.

The independents were there too, Mr Bovill who sat and chatted politely to all and sundry, and seemed happy with his placing above UKIP. Mrs Arbuthnot also turned up with what looked like a triangular bandage arranged as a headscarf, but Hornet's source complained, didnt have the "horn of plenty" she so happily portrayed her blowing into on her literature.

So the Tories lost one, and embarrassingly only just managed to avoid losing the second. Their over reliance on postal votes must not be a serious concern for the Dear Leader, as he managed to get one of his neighbours in at least. Hornet wonders if Spalding will now want to join the LibDems?

Just like the Colville by-election last year, and St Charles and Notting Barns this May they can have another drinks party and pontificate over "what went wrong". It will be quicker if they considered "what went right".

Tory strategists must be going postal about the thought of a Liberal attack in Earls Court and a Labour assault on Cremorne!

Doubles all round!

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