Response to the results
Firstly, I'd like to thank my family, fellow Conservatives and my campaign team, without whose support I could not have mounted such an effective campaign.
I would also like to thank each and every one of 12,733 voters who put their faith in me and I hereby promise that I will continue to serve them and others irrespective of the position I hold.
The results and our achievements
As you now know, the results are in and unfortunately, Ealing Southall will not get the new dawn it so richly deserves. Despite the manner in which his campaign was conducted - namely the personal attacks and unfounded allegations against me, the unwillingness to partake in public debates, the vandalism and intimidation of constituents - in the time honoured fashion, I congratulate Virendra Sharma and his team.
I truly hope that the new Labour council will continue to invest in the community as the Conservative council did before them and build on the progress which has been made. Of course, in the interest of the community, we will be keeping a close eye on things.
I'd also like to praise Nigel Bakhai of the Liberal Democrats for mounting a positive and spirited campaign in which we were able to debate the issues and maintain the maturity and decorum of engagement that should come with a democratic election.
We didn't get the 19.17% swing required to gain Ealing Southall (which was always going to be miraculous if achieved). Even so, we have achieved a number of successes with this campaign:
- Ealing Southall is no longer a Labour safe seat. Never again, will the Labour Party take the constituents of Ealing Southall for granted. 12,733 of us have sent the message loud and clear - we will not stand for ineffectual representation.
- The Labour majority which in 1997 stood at 21,423 has now been brought down to 9,291.
- We've shattered the taboo that voting Conservatives is some sort of crime and those who "voted for Singh" can now say with pride that they voted for Conservative principles and values.
Upon closer inspection of the results, the following can be drawn:
We've won the battle for 2nd place having usurped the Liberal Democrats.
We achieved an 8.3% swing in our favour -the largest in West London and nearly double the national swing rate.
We now have a 29.8% share of the overall vote which is an increase of 10.8% (also more than double what the party achieved on a national scale) whereas, Labour's vote share was fell by -5.8% and the Liberal Democrats by -3.3% as can be seen in the following graph:
At the council level, we didn't manage to gain any seats - a trend that was repeated across most of west, south west and east London. However, we massively increased our share of council votes, as can be seen below:
The sheer magnitude of the increase can be seen in the graph below:
The results clearly demonstrate that without a shadow of doubt there is a real alternative to the previous political status quo in Ealing Southall. The Conservatives now have a firm foothold in terms of the popular vote albeit without firm representation. It is also clear that there is a strong desire for change and that this Labour "hold" should not be misconstrued as the right to rule without consultation with the public. There are a significant number of people in Southall (almost 30%) who want to see a difference made and have shown that they do not support the current administration.
On a personal level, it's been a very busy 18 months so I think we all deserve a short break especially my wife Rajinder who has been and continues to be my rock.
From a political perspective, I intend to maintain my interest in the politics of Ealing Southall. My website will remain current and up-to-date. I will continue to do what I can to build upon the foundations we've laid for the Conservative Party and I will certainly keep my door open to all Ealing Southall constituents should they want to consult me for any advice and guidance.