Friday, 6 May 2016


On the stump in 2010 
Well there we are then, the voters have spoken those who turned out to vote that is. It’s now the early afternoon after the night before and I am still awake after some three and bit hours of sleep. It was has a long day and night (27.5 hours of wakefulness). Perhaps it's time to get civilised and count the votes the following morning rather than on the night - we managed to do this in 1999 and life as we know it did not come to an end. 

Firstly a massive thank you to my agent and my campaign team and the electors of Monmouth / Mynwy for their support. Elections are not just about the voters and the candidates, a whole host of people work very hard behind the scenes to make things work smoothly, including the Retuning Officers, their staff, the council staff who man the polling booths and count the votes and the other council staff and our Police who work tirelessly to make the count function flawlessly.  

It has been as always, an interesting campaign, sadly overshadowed by the illness and passing of my already much missed father. As always the election campaign has given me the opportunity to talk to, to listen to and to meet with many and varied constituents during the course of my prolonged walking tour of (in my opinion) one of the more beautiful, interesting and varied of constituencies in Wales.

Transition towns hustings back in 2015
Now that the sound and the fury have faded, and the hustings blended into one former candidates can take stock. This is no glory in this, any dreams of political immortality should be doused with cold realism - a couple of election campaigns ago - having been featured on the front page of a local newspaper in relation to the campaign to Keep Abergavenny Livestock Market I had the surreal experience of going to buy some chips in a local chip shop with a friend only to find myself literally being wrapped around them (Sic transit gloria mundi - or "Thus passes the glory of the world”.

In Monmouth constituency and across the rest of Wales for former candidates and the successfully elected life can return to a form of normality. For the next few days catching up on sleep will be a priority, that and resisting the strange desire to knock on the doors of perfect strangers and push leaflets through complete strangers letter boxes. 

Across Wales we now have to work with the new Plaid National Assembly members, and prepare the ground for future campaigns and future elections. The National Assembly is now an established fact, it is not going to go away, it needs a fully balanced portfolio of powers to shape our economy and sustainably develop our country and must become a proper parliament. 

Addressing a KALM rally back in 2009 - the revolutionary's leather overcoat did not survive the campaign.
I have fought Monmouth constituency five / six times - three for Westminster, twice for the National Assembly constituency and once on the list and it has been interesting and challenging every single time. 

Frozen at Severn Tunnel Junction back in 2010A.
All in all since 2005 it has been interesting and enjoyable with hustings, canvassing, leafleting and even the doorstepping of prospective voters on freezing mornings at various railway stations. That said, I have  reached the stage when I can recognise when the adrenaline is running out, and the point where coffee is no longer required or having any effect and the sleep of a seriously tired former National Assembly prospective candidate is more than beckoning. 

I wonder how Newport County AFC and the Dragons will do in Satiurday...

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