It is always tense at the count after elections. So many people pledged their support but will it actually happen on the day? No candidate ever really knows. The count is the moment of truth.
The results of the local elections are now in. We have made some very solid progress in Camborne and Redruth making gains in Camborne West, Camborne Central, Camborne North, Troon and Beacon, Gwinear and Gwithian, Carn Brea North, Illogan, Redruth Central, Constantine and Mabe. Meanwhile the Lib Dems were reduced to just two seats in the whole constituency.
We did well. But all elections hold disappointments for every party. We had two fantastic candidates in Hayle who worked hard but didn't quite overcome the independents they were up against. Barbara Ellenbroek, the Mayor of Redruth, would have worked so hard for Redruth South, but it was not to be. Camborne South should have been won by John Herd who would have given his all - but a last minute gaffe by the Lib Dems, who issued a leaflet smearing the MK candidate, had the reverse effect of putting MK just ahead where they would otherwise have lost to the Conservatives. We lost by a handful of votes in Gweek too.
We mounted serious challenges in Stithians, Mount Hawke and Portreath and even Redruth North. And even though we didn't win, we polled substantial votes and made major progress on which we can build between now and the General Election.
It was a good result for the Conservatives in the South West. We took control of Devon and Somerset, removed the Lib Dems from power in Cornwall establishing the Conservatives as the largest group with 50 seats. All eyes now are on what happens next...