Glenda Jackson wins Hampstead and Kilburn by the narrowest of margins, but my money is on a Chris Philp win next time and that might be sooner than we think.
One of the hardest, gutsiest, most deeply felt battles in the election for a Parliamentary seat was in my area of Hampstead and Kilburn, where Glenda Jackson has been ensconced like a barnacle for 18 long years. 18 years! 18 long long years! I should know what a hard battle Tory Chris Philp was facing when he started his challenge. I have been bumping into champagne Socialists for years, and their rationale is no easier to understand than it ever was. Melvyn Bragg might remember the day when I chased him up the street, telling him “You are a very bad man!” because he pulled a rude face and said “Oh no!” when I was campaigning for Boris for Mayor. This is the typical reaction when you say you vote Tory. Mr. Bragg and I finished up on good terms, mainly because he was laughing himself sick, but you don’t always get such a friendly final reaction.
In addition, Chris had to take on Ed Fordham, and the Lib Dem PR that was a tad overinflated, and look what high expectations did for Nick Clegg. Lib Dems were putting it around that Ed would win easily. The final results couldn’t have been closer. There was a recount and the final result was:
Glenda Jackson 17,332
Chris Philp 17,290
Ed Fordham 16,401
The London Standard said this must have been one of the closest finishes in the whole election. Congratulations, Glenda Jackson, you won fair and square. But if there is another election soon, I am betting that Chris Philp will prevail. I am keeping the huge blue poster that stood on my balcony beaming his name over the whole of London. It’s not over until it’s over.