Well, all the votes are now in and counted and the result for Crawley is: just the same as it was before. For the first time in twenty eight years, not a single seat has changed hands. Meanwhile, the popular vote across Crawley was essentially a draw between Labour and the Conservatives, with majorities shrinking significantly in both Labour and Conservative seats.
Crawley is regarded as a ‘bellwether’ constituency, since at each General Election the town has voted the same way as the country, and given that the British public now appears so totally split down the middle on the most basic questions of our national direction, perhaps this result shouldn’t be surprising. Maybe, both parties should accept the result with a certain amount of humility and realise we probably haven’t yet made the case clearly enough as to why we believe the things we believe. With all-out elections coming next year, we will certainly have our chance.
In the meantime, it’s back to work. The council now needs to reconstitute itself, welcoming new members and making all the formal appointments for coming year. As for myself, it has been a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire as the bank holiday weekend has been packed with community events, including another fantastic May Fayre in Ifield, and trying to make my way through the significant backlog of casework and policy which the election put on hold over recent weeks. Just this morning, the first full day back in the office, I have been in meetings discussing how we can significantly improve the way we work at the council in meeting local residents’ needs and a potentially major development for the Town Centre over the next year. After all, there is more to local government than elections.