I wanted to send out a clear message on Election Day.
So, once the final video message was posted, I started a mammoth journey to visit every one of the 42 polling stations in the constituency. I reached the last one at 19.37, then back home for a couple of hours rest before the start of the night that would reveal the future for both Scunthorpe and me!
Many people were amused and impressed by my 0dyssey. The comment which I particularly liked was that I am a “political Mary Poppins”. Whilst my political opponents tried to emphasise the fact that I came from elsewhere (i.e. I was not local), I focussed on my message – that I would be a breath of fresh air whose only mission was to deliver a better future for the area.
So my message on election day was a simple one. I visited every polling station as an act of commitment to every part of the constituency, a promise that all parts of the Scunthorpe seat, from the most rural areas to the most urban, from the traditional villages to the new houses estates, from tower blocks to farmhouses, I wanted to send a message to every resident that I would represent you all.
To everyone who has offered commiserations and sent kind messages, let me reassure you. I am fine – of course I am deeply disappointed that Scunthorpe wasn’t the surprise win for the Conservatives which I had worked so hard to achieve, but I genuinely believe that the result in Scunthorpe shows that my three month campaign has had significant impact. Given more time and a few more helpers, who knows what will happen in the future…..
My Election Night Speech
“My thanks to the returning officer and to all the staff involved in ensuring the smooth running of this election, and also to my fellow candidates for what has been a fair contest.
A big thank you to my local team and to every volunteer, for your contribution and hard work in this election
…..and I want to give a special mention to my best friend Poco, who has worked tirelessly on my campaign and supported me throughout.
It’s been a long night so I will be brief.
I promised the people of Scunthorpe that if you gave me your trust and your vote, I would put Scunthorpe on the map.
I campaigned on a positive message of a brighter future for our area, and I am truly humbled that many people across the Scunthorpe County Constituency have voted Conservative for the very first time or for the first time in a long, long time …………. I want to thank all of you.
I understand that the loudest message people heard locally was the one which played to people’s fears: fear of change, fear of losing benefits and services and fear that the vulnerable will suffer because of welfare reform or that the NHS is at risk. To you I would say this: without a strong economy, there will be less money to spend on the things that matter to you, there will be higher unemployment and fewer opportunites for young people locally. How do I know this – simple – the evidence of the last 10 years.
I truly hope that Nic Dakin will be a strong voice for Scunthorpe at Westminster. I want to see old barriers removed, I want to put aside the old battles of the past. The future is too important for us not to work together.
Today we put a marker in the sand.
Thank you again to all those who gave me your vote.
It was a privilege to fight this campaign and I wish Nic good luck representing our area at Westminster.”
North Lincolnshire Council Results
The amazing work of the Conservative group locally in the Bottesford and Yaddlethorpe area was rewarded when the Council results confirmed the three new Conservative councillors for the Bottesford ward.
We worked as a strong team in this ward, and I was thrilled to see Margaret, John and Derek, who will all be brilliant councillors for their area, elected to serve.
There was no doubt in my mind that the Scunthorpe County Constituency should have been considered a marginal seat in 2015.
Local people have proved this to be true on May 7th, and in 2020 we need to deliver real change in an area which has been taken for granted by a Labour Party which has preached a message of fear, envy and negativity.
Thank you to everyone for your good wishes for the future. As I have said many times over the last three months, I did not have a Plan B, because you can’t dedicate yourself wholeheartedly to a cause if you are making alternative plans at the same time. So now I need to take stock, have a bit of a break and focus on the future.
Whatever the future holds, I will never forget my time on the campaign trail in Scunthorpe, Ashby, Bottesford, Yaddlethorpe, Messingham, Kirton in Lindsey, Hibaldstow, Scawby, Scawby Brook, Redbourne, East Butterwick and the smaller villages and communities within the constituency. I will never forget the kindness and support locally, including from some unexpected sources (you know who you are!) as well as fantastic support from my social media adviser, Mike Turner, from distant Cornwall, who coached me from being a Twitter novice and reluctant Facebook user to an online activist, video maker and Twitter regular – my record on May 7th was tweeting over 50 times in a day!
One of my favourite motivational lines is:
“Find a purpose in life so big it will challenge every capacity to be at your best” David O. McKay
The Scunthorpe campaign was that and more. Thank you for giving me the opportunity. I would have loved to be your strong voice at Westminster, so coming second is my only regret. I hope you will remember me fondly.