I spent yesterday afternoon at the Olympia where the counting took place for the London Southwest constituency. Really pleased to see my good friend, Tony Arbour, returned to represent us at the London Assembly. I have learnt a lot from him and hugely admire what he does so really pleased for him and his wife Caroline.
I do not think I am saying anything controversial when I say that we would have lost the Mayoralty had our candidate not been Boris. Having been out and about with him in Feltham and Hounslow West in the past, there really are very few like him. Politicians cross the road to meet the people whereas people cross the road to meet Boris!
Sorry to see Richard Barnes lose his seat in Ealing & Hillingdon. A very nice man!
Elsewhere a friend of mine lost his seat by 7 votes. I have not had the chance to chat with him yet but I can imagine that he will be shattered by the result and inevitably he will ask himself whether an extra 30 minutes canvassing or an extra something else would have made the difference. A pretty unique experience!
Politics is a tough game. Most go into it for the right reasons. Having experienced winning and losing, I appreciate how so many candidates will be feeling.
I have already heard people calling for a change in direction from the Government. I remain as supportive of the principle of deficit reduction as I always have done. It is the right thing to do and there is no alternative.