Elections are highly personal - always have and always will be. The insults on the doorstep stay with you, and the small successes matter disproportionately. But I find in the thick of the campaign, and during the wash of the aftermath, I am reflecting on why I am involved. Who spurred me into this?

There are a mixed and myriad cast of characters: most formidably are my parents and in particular my mother Sally Fordham - voting was what you did, and community involvement and engagement was expected. My father has a strong sense of can-do and so when I see problems I leap straight to finding solutions - nothing too small and few things too large. My primary school headmaster Mick Brookes encouraged me to play chess and with this has gone a sense of strategy and planning and a balanced need to win. John Fordham, my head at secondary school, who patiently explained that people should seek to be judged by their actions and not their name (after I had abused my and his coincidence of surname).

Pride is London is too commercial - really? Pride is well resourced, marketing is at an astonishing level, London in the weeks running up to Pride is away with rainbows and public open gestures.

So what are the perceived problems?


So 24 hours at home (in fact as I type this I realise it was in fact 19 hours) and I'm back on the train dashing back to Cambria - Wales, Ceredigion, Aberystwyth.

And as I leap on the train - mid conversation to the team my husband gesticulates furiously drawing me to the doors.  "The seat you have grabbed," he whispers, "its next to Quentin Letts."  Mercifully and timely the countryside of Cheshire intervenes to cut off my conversation and I return to my seat more aware and more guarded now.

Wednesday just gone was my political birthday - 29 years ago to the day, on 24th May 1988, I joined the political party that I still champion today - my receipt slip for the Stamford and Spalding constituency records me as a member of the Liberal Party, but I was clear I was joining the merged Social and Liberal Democrats.

It is a decision from 1988 that I still have no regrets over today.

Then I was living in Spalding, Lincolnshire and right now I'm sitting in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion. The journey I realise is literally coast to coast with very many places in between. Then I was angry about fair votes, about civil liberties, angry at Labours failure, scared by Conservative dictator and inspired by The SDP/Liberal Alliance.

So what happened - the day after the night before the four weeks ahead - what really happened?  It's Friday May 5th 2017.  Yesterday was local election polling day.

Labour have slumped into the ground - they can still win elections, but they risk becoming a faction, but their meltdown, that was talked of, did not happen.  Thy lost but will and can over a long period of time, recover.  The swathe of 100+ UKIP councillors have been wiped out, but their vote has been assimilated, collected, harvested, vacuumed up by the Tories who emerged as the biggest winners in the night.