I have posted previously on the importance to my election prospects of a good result for the Conservatives in Montgomeryshire in today's Local Government Elections. I've been putting a fair bit of effort into it. We haven't had any councillors on Powys County Council before. I hope we can change that today. I will be as tense during the count tomorrow morning as I would be if I was standing myself. Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan has been with us most of the day, and our candidates were out to meet her. She's a class operator. I have to report that Steve Kaye in Welshpool and Russell George in Newtown really looked the business.
I learned another sneaky Lib Dem trick today. It started when the redoubtable long serving Annie Holloway from Welshpool came running after me up the street, with steam escaping out of the pressure cooker than used to be her head. Annie is an Independent, but never tries to hide her true blue sympathies. Through the steam I could see that she was waving a leaflet put around by her Lib Dem opponent, Mark Howells. I was getting it, both barrels. The offending extract read;
"On Thursday, you'll have the choice between myself as a Lib Dem, or an Independent - no other candidates are standing. Many people who normally vote Plaid or Tory have told me they are backing me, as Lib Dems have a reputation across Powys as hard working councillors who keep in touch and work for everyone in the community".
What a bl***y cheek. You are a naughty boy Mr Howells. In several respects the letter was total b*****ks, but the bit that incensed Miss Holloway was the claim that Tories were backing him, rather than her. Perhaps he has got a couple of Tory mates who are going to back him, but it seemed to me to be a deliberate attempt to deceive people into believing Tories would prefer him to an Independent - which is not true. I'm told that Plaid Cymru are even more incensed than Annie.
And now to predictions. I feel that it is going to be a good night for my party. I sense that Boris will win London, which is the dominating contest of today. In Wales we will jump from the current 4th place to 3rd, challenging for 2nd. And in Montgomeryshire, we will go from no councillors to a minimum of three, which will justify a celebratory tincture. It will be 'uncork the champagne time' at 4. Uncontrolled ecstasy at 5. And demanding a recount at 6 because of incredulity. An absolute certainty that God is a Conservative at 7. If we don't win more than the one unopposed we already have, I will descend into depression. We don't count until tomorrow morning, but I'll go down to the 'verification' tonight, hoping to get some idea.