I DON’T think anyone quite imagined the scale of the Conservatives’ victory in the local elections last Thursday.
Silhill and Blythe may have been high on their list of targets - but all three Shirley seats? Now that was a surprise - a triumph right in the powerbase of the Liberal Democrats.
Labour fared little better, losing two seats in their own heartland in the north of the borough thanks to a well worked campaign by the Green Party and their own lacklustre performance.
Undoubtably the national picture and the AV referendum clouded the issue; As a colleague said, if the leaders of the three main parties were all plumbers, which one would you call to fix a leaking pipe? The answer she came up with was Prime Minister David Cameron and it appears the electorate agreed, at least in England.
AV meanwhile undoubtably boosted the Conservative vote, many turning out simply to reject it and endorse their candidate while they were there.
Finally, throw in the rotten hand dealt the Lib Dem/Labour coalition - the swingeing cuts they were forced to make and the row over where to place the hundreds of new homes earmakred for the borough.
Both issues will dog the new Tory administration so ringingly endorsed by the electorate - and it will be interesting to see the solutions they come up with.