Sometimes us political campaigners aren’t as good as we should be at saying thanks to everyone who voted for us, indeed everyone who engaged in the election campaign by voting full stop.
So I was glad to join with my fellow Barnet Labour candidates a Jeremy Newmark and Emma Whysall to write to the local papers to say just that. (And, of course, we’re grateful to both the Barnet Times and the Hendon & Finchley Press for printing our letter!).
This is what we wrote:
We’re writing, as Labour’s candidates in Barnet’s three constituencies – Chipping Barnet, Hendon and Finchley and Golders Green – to thank not only everyone who voted for us in last week’s general election, but everyone who voted and played a part in the election too. Turnout was up from the previous election in all three seats; it’s good to know that democracy is in good shape in the borough.
Whilst we did not win, our performance in far exceeded all epxectations, with solid swings from Tory to Labour in all three constituencies. As we all remarked at the declaration on Friday morning, the Tories cannot consider this result, together with other results across London and indeed the country as anything but a rejection. It was a rejection of Theresa May’s shambolic leadership, a rejection of public service cuts and most certainly a rejection of hard Brexit.
Indeed, it was a vote for tolerance, equality and social justice – so we are sure that the Prime Minister’s decision to do a shoddy deal with the deeply reactionary and homophobic DUP does not reflect the values of Barnet voters either.
Throughout the campaign, many voters told us that the Tories were complacent, uncaring and often noticeable by their absence – both as constituency MPs and in terms of the local council too. Whilst we do not know when the parliamentary seats will next be contestsed, we do know that council electiosn is next May and this result should put the Conservative administration in the Town Hall on notice.
Labour is alive and well in Barnet, representing the needs and aspirations of all communities across the borough.
Emma Whysall (Labour candidate, Chipping Barnet)
Mike Katz (Labour candidate, Hendon)
Jeremy Newmark (Labour candidate, Finchley & Golders Green)