Thursday, 20 October 2011

The Beauty of Democracy – Cokeham Style

As some of you will know, the sometime Britain-Votes contributor Kayleigh Lewis accompanied me to the count on Tuesday. She is a trainee journalist and so she came along for the 'experience'. Here is her take on the evening's events... TH

Tens (16) gathered on Tuesday night for the exhilarating climax of a hard fought campaign for the hearts and minds of Cokeham, Adur District Council. The ward is found in the tiny town of Sompting on the A27 somewhere between Brighton and Worthing but not particularly close to either.

Here the results were counted up in a small local church which smelt exactly like… a small local church.

There was no sign of the Green candidate. In fact I was asked by the Labour agent whether I was the Green candidate, which suggested that no-one knew who the Green candidate was……

However, there was somebody wearing a lot of green and masquerading as a potential Green candidate, but I wasn't fooled. This was just a regular guy in a green coat, green hat with a string around his chin and a generally outdoors-y appearance; he was actually a Labour member.

There were other
fashion faux pas on display throughout the evening, such as the far-out UKIP candidates, ablaze with yellow upon purple, a feast for the eyes if ever there were one. This did make a change from a sea (puddle in this case) of suits and corduroy

As things heated up a few more keen observers arrived, though they were mostly elderly and might have just spent a bit more time getting to the venue.

And there was still no sign of the Green candidate.

There was a flurry of excitement as the counters counted, I noticed the founder of on tippy-toes trying to get a better look at the 'action'. The only other person sitting, stood up, as if to suggest that the time was now and the end to this fascinating event was nearing.

Unfortunately he appeared to be mistaken.

The political throng fidgeted, restless, eager, whilst the counters continued to count, I remained seated, ambivalent at best. Bored, my gaze turned to the window sill where I noticed a box of lost property. A small pink fleece seemed to be trying to escape out of the window. I sympathised.

Then an announcement, the winner (I think); it was nothing like the movies suggested, and certainly no champagne moment, but a winner nonetheless (hurrah)! Nicholas Piggott was elected, the returning Conservative, there were just six votes in it but the Labour party seemed almost as happy, although (visibly) it was more relief than joy.

Meanwhile the LibDems were putting on a brave face after coming last, getting less votes than the Green candidate who I'm not even sure campaigned. UKIP were neither up nor down from last May so their snazzy ensembles clearly didn't win over the classy people of Cokeham ward.

So with all the fun over it was time to head home from my first, and possible last, by-election count.

Needless to say there was still no sign of the Green candidate.


Kayleigh Lewis

Kay is planning to provide a weekend slot on which will be a bit more light-hearted than our usual content. Naturally, most political blogs are written by people who are firmly inside the 'political bubble' (this one is, certainly!) so hopefully Kay will be able to offer something a bit different as an interested, but not engrossed, observer.


  1. Great write up , Kay . More of these articles which hopefully will put a different slant to some of the posters who think politics is a serious business .

  2. Very amusing - great addition!