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4 May 2007

The morning after

David Sudworth reports from West Lancashire where Labour faired better than expected...

By David Sudworth

THANKS to a substantial caffeine boost courtesy of Costa coffee, I’m managing to keep my eyes open just long enough to post this entry.

It was quite a long night, much longer than most of us in the press room anticipated. Our sweep stake predictions for the finishing time were way off the mark.

On the whole, it wasn’t the disaster many – including Labour members themselves – were predicting here in West Lancs.

They lost Scott and Wrightington, which weren’t unexpected, but they gain Bickerstaffe which was a welcome boost following a full-scale campaign there.

However, I just wonder what the mood would have been if Up Holland had gone to the Conservatives. In the end, it was pretty close and losing your party leader – which would have happened in this case – is a heck of a blow to morale.

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The Conservatives in the end increased their majority by one which they’ll be quite happy to accept. As soon as the Scarisbrick result was announced, they looked markedly happier knowing that if there was a potential banana skin, then that would be it.

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So what happens now? I get the feeling there’s going to be some big changes in both parties soon.

The raft of new councillors (seven new faces in all) could mean a reshuffle of the pack. However, this isn’t likely to happen straight away, but I understand that the wheels are being set in motion.

I think it’s a case of ‘watch this space’…