Boring? Not this result
I'VE already heard people say the election night was boring – not if you were in Bury St Edmunds!Tory candidate and defending MP David Ruffley turned up at the count brandishing a new girlfriend on his arm – socialite Petronella Wyatt.
I'VE already heard people say the election night was boring – not if you were in Bury St Edmunds!
Tory candidate and defending MP David Ruffley turned up at the count brandishing a new girlfriend on his arm – socialite Petronella Wyatt.
And they were clearly enjoying each other's company enormously as he watched his majority increase to almost 10,000.
I'm told they were so confident that they'd been out for a celebratory dinner before arriving at the count in Bury.
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Of course Ms Wyatt, who works for the Tory house journal The Spectator, is no stranger to going out (or staying in) with a Conservative MPs.
Last year, of course, she found herself entwined with Henley MP and Spectator editor Boris Johnson.
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She was part of the scandal-ring that also engaged then Home Secretary David Blunkett and Spectator publisher Kimberley Quinn.
I hope Mr Ruffley hasn't bit off more than he can chew on this occasion – and I certainly hope he let poor Miss Wyatt up for air!
EAST Anglia is looking more true blue than it has for eight years – but in Suffolk nothing has changed on the parliamentary map.
Labour still holds Ipswich and Waveney – with the Conservatives holding the other five seats in the county.
It's exactly the result I predicted before the election campaign started.
What is different, however, is that the two Labour seats have gone from being the seats with the largest majorities in the county to being those with the smallest majorities.
But while the Conservatives have improved their performance in this election, they'll still a long way from being the electoral force they were in the 1980s.
I suggested to Ipswich Conservative challenger Paul West that this was a mirror image of the 1987 election with the Tories showing the first signs of re-awakening.
He reckoned it was somewhere between the 1987 and 1992 elections. I'm not sure it's anywhere near that good for them.
Across the country, the big winners were the Liberal Democrats – and while the Conservatives will be pleased at their gains, they need to keep them in perspective.
They need 324 seats for a majority in the House of Commons – so to win only about 200 is still a long way short of really challenging for government.
And the fact is that the party has only won one per cent more of the popular vote than it did last time.
The Liberal Democrats have done very well – but they remain a long way short of being even the official opposition, let alone challenging for power.
But overall the parliament of 2005 will be a lot more interesting than those of 1997 or 2001.
Rebels will be able to cause more damage – and national politics could finally be interesting again.