Election day is a busy time for hard working candidates and their team. We concentrated our efforts in North Ipswich and were able to leaflet the home of every Labour supporter. I was sunburned after a day out tramping the streets! In the evening we called on our supporters and asked them to go to vote. One lady said she was impressed that Labour had come to her door twice in the campaign, so that was a good bit of feedback.
Rain stopped play at about 8pm and a tour of the polling stations revealed that the number of people who had voted in the most pro-Labour areas was much lower than in the more pro-Tory areas. We had dinner and went off to the count at Stowmarket.
It was a long night at the count. The ballot boxes come in and the ballot papers emptied out for counting. This is a three stage process: verification, sorting by candidate and then the actual counting. During verification we can make a sample of the vote and this throws up a couple of surprises. After that we can't do much except watch TV - it's pleasing that the BBC are predicting a 70 seat majority. Bill, my agent, is pleased when Birmingham Edgbaston is held for Labour because his father has been an activist there for many years and immediately calls him.
It's obvious from the gallery that Sir Michael has more votes than me and indeed he doubled his majority as former Labour voters changed to the LibDems and Greens. The announcement is made and all the candidates get a turn with the microphone to address the hall. A brief interview with the EADT, Evening Star and EDP before a turn at the Radio Suffolk microphone. "What's next for you?" asks the reporter. I'm afraid it's back to the day job on Monday!