There were some truly inspiring moments at the count in Bridgend and some very discouraging signs from some of the other parties.
Perhaps this is where you would expect the presence of the National Front playing to their stereotype and causing fights or that a UKIP candidate made some ill-thought out remark. Instead the single most disheartening thing at the count for me was the TUSC.
During the count, I had honestly not noticed for quite some time that no one from the TUSC had arrived, it was only really until I asked for two piles, our Pirate votes and TUSC votes to be checked, as I was down as "David Anthony... Elston" and the TUSC candidate was "Aaron David" and at least twice some of our votes ended up in each others piles. I asked around to find the TUSC agents or candidate to let them know we should both watch out for this but they simply were not there.
So TUSC fielded a candidate, who I saw at the count briefing and in the papers before the big night. This is a party that consider themselves a real alternative. A party filled with activism and aggressively fighting for our rights, especially for the right to express themselves at the ballot box and that everyone should have the opportunity to vote for the TUSC.
...but when it came down to it, not a single TUSC candidate or agent showed up. The hall was counting both Ogmore and Bridgend constituencies, yet not a single person for TUSC felt our general election was important enough for them to fulfil their democratic duty.
For a party that comes outs in attack and criticism on every other party I was truly shocked they threw away the trust of those 118 voters who they were to represent at the count that night.
To think without any real campaigning, without any leafleting and purely from the national rep of the party they were handed 118 votes and still could not be bothered to show when it mattered, I think wholly betrays the trust of those 118 people.
I implore anyone who has voted TUSC now or is considering to do so, to seek an alternative. Even if you really disagree with Pirates, pick a Candidate that will have the heart to represent you.
But it's not all about giving the TUSC a kicking. My next blog will go over the many positives seen in our election.