The money is spent, the votes have been cast. The weekend of one-up-manship on twitter is now a distant memory. What is there to say now?
In Trafford we did slightly worse than expected in two wards and did brilliantly in three wards. In Manchester we did much, much better than had been expected. Over-all it was a great election result. In Wales we had seven people elected to the Welsh Assembly. Alas the greatness of that is being tarnished as there is already a rumour mill (as at 8 May 2016) that Neil Hamilton is not content with being elected, but is now considering making a play for the leadership of UKIP Wales. His problem - no-one particularly likes him except for a few people at the top of the party. I have only ever heard two people say good things about him - and i do not know how sincerely held were those thoughts. Everyone else in the party loathes the man and his history. At the count in Trafford I was talking to a conservative, and had to admit that Neil Hamilton is just an embarrassment to most people in the party. How can anyone take him seriously?
Aside from that, the good news of the weekend was a good showing by Owen Hammond at the Salford Mayoral contest and some bloody good results from Manchester. UKIP Manchester under the expert guidance of the exceptionally nice Phil Eckersley saw predominantly second places for UKIP candidates, with Phil gaining second place in Moston with 899 votes compared to the Labour vote of 1,899. UKIP put Conservatives into third place in most wards we stood in. The best result was from Charlestown where Neil Griffiths came second with 27.36% of the vote compared to Labour's 1,671 votes. Again, we put the Tories into a very distant third place. Greens tended to do about the same and LibDems did worse than expected.
Over-all I was delighted with the results. I was upset that in Urmston, where we had put in a lot of work, we lost votes - but as fewer people turned out to vote we will have to consider whether that is something we have done wrong, is just bad luck or whether there is something that really needs to be done to fix it. Andrew Beaumont took it well and has spent the weekend after the vote talking to people in the ward. People are still positive about us - we just have to look at how to convert that to a better result.
In Greater Manchester we did well. If we work at our target wards and make sure over the next two years we are seen in a positive light and do not get negative because we did not achieve better than expected results then we can start gaining numbers between now and the 2020 election.
It was fantastic for me to see a fellow UKIP LGBT member get elected to the London Assembly. Peter Whittle stood as the UKIP London Mayoral candidate. He is a wonderful man, and I am really delighted that his hard work has paid off.
So, for the foreseeable future - we have the Greater Manchester Mayoral race in 2017, council elections in 2018, 2019 and a general election in 2020. Hopefully we will not have an MEP race in 2019 because I expect my next blog or two will be about us succeeding in the EU Membership referendum on 23 June 2016.