Firstly, the result: As there was a by election at the same time, there were two council seats up for grabs in the Reigate and Banstead Council ward of Horley East and Salfords. 334 votes from getting elected. Its the closest I've ever been to actually being elected.
In the Surrey county division of Horley East, the result was:
Jordan Woonton Beech (elected) Conservative 2,034
Tom Turner Labour 820
Shasha Khan Green Party 716
Number of issued ballot papers 3,612
I really had a fantastic time knocking on doors and getting to know Horley and Salfords. The area covers the full width of the political spectrum, including a nationalistic vote. One of the Horley Conservative candidates was proudly wearing a full Union Jack outfit on his leaflet. At the Count, the same candidate - who duly got elected - and his cohorts, were wearing rosettes with the traditional Conservative logo altered to reflect their fondness for the nation, although maybe not one nation.
In 2019, UKIP stood in this seat. This time around there was no UKIP candidate. What seems to have happened here, and all across the country, is the UKIP vote has diffused into the Conservative column.
I must thank everyone that helped in the effort. It was an amazing campaign. Special thanks to local members Victoria, David, Joe and Will. Amazingly, one of our members lives right by the Salfords Village Hall polling station! Is it possible to take a photo with a Green Party poster and a Polling Station sign in the same shot?!
I met some wonderful people who were desperate for a Green councillor to get elected, including Penelope who went as far as promoting me on Facebook in a big way and putting a poster up.
Given Horley's proximity to Gatwick airport, I met several people who worked in the airline industry. One furloughed long haul pilot said he was voting Green and pointed out that when he was piloting his jumbo, he would look to conserve fuel as much as possible. Fair play to him!
The Green wave that was seen across the country was also experienced in East Surrey. All the target candidates won or kept their seats. Huge congratulations to them all. Full details here.
The county elections and the borough elections were on the same day this year. My borough ward overlapped the county target division of Earlswood and Reigate South, specifically in an an estate known as the Copsleighs.
Hence, I was particularly pleased when the Copsleigh residents, who voted at Salfords Village Hall polling station, were rewarded with a new Green county councillor, the excellent Catherine Baart.
On the eve of the election, I spotted a rainbow right over the village hall. It delivered a pot of gold!
We mustn't forget we were still in the middle of global pandemic. Voters turned up to to polling stations with masks on, and candidates sat outside polling stations with masks on too! Its the sign of the times.
Tags croydon, greenparty