I’ve spent most of the morning ringing round Labour MPs trying to get their reactions. Strangely today they’re rather hard to come by. But I caught up with Ann Clwyd by phone at Bristol airport to get her reaction to the results particularly the ones in Wales where her Cynon Valley constituency is.
She told me: “Don’t worry, I’m not leaving the country permanently – I’m going to Rome for a family wedding.” Asked what she thought about the surge in Conservative support, she added: “People have got short memories. I can’t believe that people in Wales want a Tory government after putting up with them for 18 years.
“There are ups and downs and we are on a down at the moment but we can can recover from this. I’ve been out on the streets during the campaign and I don’t think this is a permanent hiccup.”
In Reading, Martin Salter MP was in bullish mood: “We did better under Gordon Brown here than we did under Tony Blair last year. In my constituency there were five seats ruthlessly targeted by the Tories and we won all of those. That was despite all the people they parachuted in – I’ve never seen so many ex-public school boys walking around council estates.
“David Cameron came to Reading and said it was his party’s top target and they failed to secure it. We’ve held back the tide in the Thames Valley – we’ve retaken Slough. There were six Labour gains in Oxford. It’s not all doom and gloom for Gordon.”