And so where to start with any analysis of how Conservative Will Quince became the new MP for Colchester?
Probably by eating some #SUNNYCOLCH humble pie and admitting that even as late as 10pm last night, we were still calling it as a safe seat for Sir Bob.
We weren’t alone either. Our hit and miss amateur predictions were formulated by typing in the words ‘Colchester+election+odds’ into Google.
This delivered odds of 5/1 ON for Sir Bob retaining his seat as the King of Colchester.
If the main message coming out of this election is don’t trust the pollsters, then we’d like to throw in there as well one of don’t trust the bookies.
Which we never did anyway.
And just how the hell did Will Quince manage to overturn a LibDem majority of over 7,000 back in 2010, to have a WHOPPING 5,575 majority just five years later?
We’re not entirely sure, and we don’t think that Will – or Sir Bob for that matter – are either.
But ‘aint democracy just grand?
Senior LibDems have been telling The Chronic throughout the week that they would be happy with a 3,000 majority for their man. A defeat was never an option that had been realistically considered.
But then sometime around midnight at Charter Hall last night and the counters for both sides started to put in the phone calls.
Will was told to take extra special care in ironing his shirt as he could *possibly* be a man in demand.
Sir Bob meanwhile was advised to put on another Frank Sinatra album and keep a low profile until the count was about to be called.
Various theories are knocking about to try and explain the MASSIVE shift in Colchester political support.
Will has had a very powerful campaign. Deep pockets and a deep contacts book has allowed him to deliver a text book campaign when fighting to take a constituency.
Cabinet member after cabinet member have been called into the town. This can always backfire of course. The appearance of Gideon Osbourne at Asda on Wednesday was ever so slightly edifying.
Plus Will has put himself out amongst the people.
The support of the street traders in the town is a classic example. Will was damned if he did, damned if he didn’t. He stuck to his cause and looks like achieving a change in CBC policy.
Sir Bob meanwhile was telling anyone who cared to listen during the early hours of Friday morning that he was a victim of the national LibDem meltdown.
He even joked that only three candidates now exist to take over from Nick Clegg.
One of those won’t be Sir Bob.
The man with the dandy yellow waistcoats (what the chuffers is going to happen to those?) also has a nice line about the LibDem tide.
He spoke of how it washed him in 18 years ago, and now he was being washed out back to his allotment, along with other LibDem MP’s.
There was no acceptance that perhaps local issues, or even the MP himself might have been responsible for such a sizeable defeat.
It’s been a tough old campaign for Sir Bob. Will has been preparing for this for seven years, with a high profile role in the Town Hall and around the town.
Sir Bob meanwhile has had his day job to contend with: being the MP for Sunny Colch over in Westminster.
What is going to be fascinating to observe now is how the MP for the town will also carry out his role as a CBC Cllr.
Will is expected to be elected as a Prettygate Cllr later on today at the local election count.
With CBC having an ‘all out’ election in 12 months time, Will has always stated that he will take up the Cllr position as well as being the MP, but only for a year. His CBC allowance will be handed over to charity.
Glad we’ve cleared that one up, Comrades.
But the MP and the Borough Council don’t always see eye to eye. If CBC returns another LibLab coalition later, this is going to be POPCORN time down at the Town Hall.
Given the result of Thursday evening however and we wouldn’t wager against waking up to Willett’s World on Saturday morning.
The local LibDems could be left in a right old bloody mess here. If they lose the local election as well, then there will pretty much no-one in the local party who will want to step forward to fill the vacant Leader’s position.
Jon Manning might give a go though…
Or what about Sir Bob? The Leader of a local party doesn’t have to be a Cllr.
The politics of Sunny Colch was thrown up right into the May skies during the early hours of Friday morning. The LibDem Japanese Knotweed has finally been severed.
Will anyone want to go planting and tending for it once again?
Elsewhere and we haven’t even mentioned the rise of UKIP in our town.
This is deliberate.
Jordan Newell and the Comrades of the Colchester Labour party put in a half decent performance with 7,852 votes.
We were expecting Green March Goacher to poll better than his 2,499. He has been a very strong candidate.
But the story is all about how conservative Colchester with a small c has now become Conservative Colchester wearing true blue Tory knickers.
We weren’t expecting to see those 24 hours ago.