By David O'Loughlin-I had the privilege and pleasure to be part of a small band of activists who helped campaign in Maryport, West Cumbria for the county council elections.
The British National Party contested 2 seats, Maryport North and Maryport South with Cllr Clive Jefferson standing in the North and Cllr Dawn Charlton standing in the South.
Maryport is very much a Labour stronghold so we knew it was going to be a hard fight but this did not deter us from our objective of trying to win both seats.
I personally spent 7 weeks away from home helping out on the campaign. Both Clive and Dawn work tirelessly day in day out on both wards with the rest of the team in support.
Clive got a very good 348 votes (17%); he was standing against a very good local Independent candidate and an entrenched Labour candidate.
Dawn got a massive 811 votes (40.4%); the highest percentage of any nationalist candidate standing in the country and in my opinion was only denied victory by Allerdale Council not sending out postal votes to people who had signed up for them.
Who knows what would have happened if everybody had received them???
A few things have stuck with me from this campaign, first being what a small team of good hard working activists can achieve, we put in 12 to 14 hour days, 7 days a week and were boosted from time to time by other activists from other parts of the country who gave up there own time to come and help us and for this I thank you all very much.
Secondly, what a great response we got from the good people of Maryport who showed us their support and you could truly see the love these people had for Dawn as they know Dawn is a local lass and has Maryport in her heart and loves the good people there.
Finally, I can not praise Dawn enough for her campaign she showed true class and keep her dignity threw all the provocation being thrown at her by a very hostile local rag and from the local Labour councillors who did nothing but spread lies and try to put Dawn down, but she rose above this and lead her campaign like a true warrior.
I would also like to pass an a few interesting facts that i think the local Labour party would not be too happy to see a few interesting facts from Maryport South:
With 811 votes a candidate would have been victorious in 12 of the 16 Allerdale seats.
Labour's vote of 905 was virtually identical to the 904 cast in Maryport East in 2009 - for the same candidate.
At 39.8% the turnout in 'South' was the highest in all Allerdale ('North' was next at 39.7%) - despite 'East' only seeing 31.5% in 2009.
The average turnout in Allerdale this year was 34.4%.
If Labour had received an 'average' turnout in South their vote would have been 781 (instead of 905). If had been the same as the '09 turnout their vote would only have been 715.