Regular visitors will know that I have not blogged for the last seven weeks, and deliberately so. Having been invited to help run the Rochester & Strood Parliamentary By Election I had no intention of publicly commenting on what we were doing, or posting anything which might help the opposition. This post will be my first and only comment on the campaign.
Already on Conservative Home and elsewhere there are the usual round of laptop warriors and anonymous commentators sharing their infinite wisdom on what we did wrong, why we lost and what we should have done differently. I suspect very few of them visited the constituency. However the team who fought Rochester were, more or less, the same team lauded as heroes after our success in Newark (and Norwich and Crewe & Nantwich before that).As the saying goes, "success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan."
From day one the polls put UKIPs lead in double figures, some as high as 15%. The actual result was was a UKIP margin of 7%. Had we pulled it off - and we only need to win back 35 Conservatives in each polling station to do so - I suspect many of the people who are happy to lob grenades from the comfort of anonymous blog posts would be elbowing their way to the front to try and share in the warm glow of success.
The energy, commitment and dedication of those who run these by-elections is astounding and I salute them, as I salute the army of volunteers who came to help. It was fascinating to be involved and I was honoured to be part of the team.
Now, back to West Kent Towers - we have Christmas Draw reminders to dispatch.