Contrast in emotions as candidates reflect on poll defeat

Matthew Mahabadi (LAB), John Hayes (CON), David Parsons (UKIP), Dan Wilshire (GREEN) and George Smid (LIB DEM) listen to the declaration by returning officer Anna Graves.  Photo by kind courtesy of Tulip Radio.
Matthew Mahabadi (LAB), John Hayes (CON), David Parsons (UKIP), Dan Wilshire (GREEN) and George Smid (LIB DEM) listen to the declaration by returning officer Anna Graves. Photo by kind courtesy of Tulip Radio.
  • Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green Party candidates analyse result

Three of the losing candidates in South Holland and The Deepings are taking stock after picking up less than a fifth of the vote between them.

Labour’s Matthew Mahabadi and the Liberal Democrats’ George Smid felt the same backlash suffered by political heavyweights such as Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls (LAB) and Business Secretary Vince Cable (LIB DEM) who were both ousted by voters.

Mr Mahabadi admitted his disappointment in failing to beat UKIP into second place, while Mr Smid urged his party to regain its identity after five years of coalition with the Conservative government.

“I knew that I probably wasn’t going to win but I don’t believe that it’s the end for the Liberal Democrats,” Mr Smid said.

“I believe that it’s the beginning, even though we did lose our identity a little bit when we joined the Coalition (Government) and we didn’t play the role very well.

“Now that we’re free of the Coalition shackles, we can re-establish our identity and start again.”

One of the good things to come out of this election is that, overall, people voted for moderate parties - now is a really good time for our democracy.”

Matthew Mahabadi, Labour parliamentary candidate for South Holland and The Deepings

Mr Mahabadi came third behind the Conservatives and UKIP, but still managed to win praise for the way he conducted his election campaign.

He said: “I’m disappointed as I’d have loved to have achieved more, but I’m not surprised.

“One of the key things that disappointed me most of all was the fact that so many people chose to vote for the wrong sort of party (UKIP) that uses scapegoating and blame to progress its political future.

“However, one of the good things to have come out of this election is that, overall, people have voted for moderate parties and now is a really good time for our democracy.”

Mr Mahabadi ended up taking just under 12.5 per cent of the vote, slightly down on Labour’s result four years ago.

“I’m very, very keen to continue fighting for Labour and I’d be happy to fight for any opportunity, wherever it was, because we need to raise our voice and get a strong message of hope and empowerment out to people,” Mr Mahabadi said.

Meanwhile, it was a case of from the count room to the exam room for Green Party candidate Dan Wilshire who left the result declaration at Springfields Events and Conference Centre, Spalding, for degree commitments at Birmingham University.

The 19-year-old economics student said: “It’s been quite a learning experience for me but I’ve slowly progressed through it, understanding what had to be said to engage with everyone.

“We’re the only left-wing party that has actually grown in this election, so it’s been a great result for us.”