It was clear at the count that voters in this two-member ward are not so tribal as might have been supposed, with many splitting their choice between two candidates from rival parties. The point needs to be made to voters whose first loyalty is to a party with only one candidate – the Greens and TUSC in this case – that giving the second vote to WR is a reasonable option. It also means that a negative campaign would be counter-productive, though this is true of many places in Bristol given its genuinely multi-party profile.
The result wasn’t bad for a first go – across the city, one Tory and four FibDem candidates managed less than double this and at 0.849% of the poll it was in percentage terms our third best ever. Second place goes to our founder, then known as Viscount Weymouth, who polled 0.855% when he stood in the first Parliamentary contest at Westbury in 1974. First place goes to Tom Thatcher, who took 3% at Westbury in 1979. Tom was a popular local farmer, active in the community, and so, naturally, we can’t agree that any similarity of name with the then Leader of the Opposition could have influenced the outcome. Wessex voters are too smart for that.