It was a tough night for the Conservatives on Sunday, losing our hard working MEP Martin Callanan by a few votes.
The only consolation to the Euro result locally was that in Northumberland, the Conservative vote actually increased on the Conservatives' high watermark of 2009 - in both real terms and percentage terms.
In Newcastle we also managed to win more votes that we did in 2009, even beating the Lib Dems who ran the Council up until 2010. Overall the Conservatives chalked up 107,733 votes in the region - don't let anyone say there are no Conservatives in the North East! In the end Labour now have 2 MEPs and UKIP 1.
In local government it was a real mixed bag. In Newcastle Labour actually lost a seat to an Independent, and in Sunderland they lost one to the Conservatives. Just like in the County Council elections last year UKIP didn't win a single seat on any of the five Tyne and Wear Councils up for election.
In Newcastle we have been helping the Conservatives rebuild themselves in the West Gosforth ward, using some of the tactics we have successfully applied in my own area. I am pleased to say in West Gosforth we managed to hit all of the targets we set; we increased our popular vote, increased our share of the vote, retook second place, and more than halved the sitting Lib Dems majority. In a ward the Lib Dems not so long ago won with 62% of the vote they scrapped home on Thursday with just 38%. As I have so often said, it is all about the long term, and I hope we can expand this project in other areas over the coming years.
For the Lib Dems perhaps the less said the better... The Lib Dem vote fell 66% in the North East – from 103,000 in 2009, to just 36,000.
I must also put on record my thanks to my excellent professional campaign team Cath and Callum. They really did lead campaign for the Conservatives in my patch and in Newcastle. Be it sunny Saturday afternoons or 5am starts on Polling Day (in torrential rain!), they have led from the front and I couldn't do it without them.