So the votes have been counted and I didn’t get in. You’ve probably seen already, but it has been taking me a while to process all of what happened. Though I wasn’t expecting to be elected, I was still optimistic about my chances. More than 8,000 people ticked a box next to my name, which is very humbling. Unfortunately for me, about 10,000 ticked the box next to Phil Clearwater’s, and 11,500 next to Vicky Southworth’s. The best way I can describe the feeling is like being simultaneously dumped by thousands of people. The immediate response is to try and fix things, to go back a day or a week or a month so you could do one thing differently, convincing yourself that it would make all the difference. There is a powerlessness, and then a realisation; it’s not that they don’t like you, they just like other people more.
Across the city, People’s Choice ran two candidates in each of the urban ECan wards. In each of these wards, one of our candidates was elected, but not the other. The ECan election - the first since 2007 - was a big unknown, and while some of the results can maybe be explained after the fact, I don’t think anyone really predicted the way they would go. While a number of people were ticking the ticket and voting for both Phil and I, many more were also picking one of us and one of the other candidates. That meant that I was competing with my running mate as much as with Southworth. There were a number of other factors that I have been ruminating over when I should have been sleeping, but deep down I know there wasn’t much else I could do.
So while I am desperately disappointed, I am still humbled by the support I received. There were more than 8,000 people who believed in me, that my knowledge and skills could make a difference at ECan. I’m grateful for their votes, and for the dozens of people who helped with the campaign, who came to my fundraising events, who delivered pamphlets, who had a sign on their fence. I don’t know whether I’ll have another go in three years - at the moment, it is too dull and raw to really think about. For now, I’ll be trying to spend more time with my family, to finish a few long-delayed projects, and to keep things ticking over at the cinema. Thanks again to everyone for their support through the campaign and after.