14th May 2010 at 01:00
Visitors' pique amp; College politics

Visitors' pique

And so the results are in. Not the election results, in which the people spoke such a resounding "dunno, maybe" that FErret is considering whether he has a mandate to take over Downing Street himself.

No, it is the final tally of the number of colleges visited by party leaders during this short blitzkrieg of a campaign. Visiting an FE college proved to be the new kissing a baby as party bigwigs popped up on 10 occasions to indifference, heckling or the occasional egging.

Gordon Brown won (not a sentence any other reporter has been privileged to type, surely) with five visits to shiny new campuses, deftly avoiding any with leaky roofs, while David Cameron managed three and Cleggmania was detected at just two.

Sadly, that's more than FE was discussed by any of them. But at least they had a chance to look around these magnificent places. FErret hopes their curiosity has been piqued enough that they will try to find out more about them.

College politics

Congratulations to two of our FE candidates, Nic Dakin, principal of John Leggott Sixth Form College, and Neil Carmichael, Stroud College governor, who both romped home to victory.

Mr Dakin, self-described "accidental politician", made the terrible mistake of earning a 2,549 majority for Labour and is now condemned to working in the House of Commons for at least five years. Similarly, Mr Carmichael's 1,299 votes above his nearest rival will send him to Westminster for the Tories.

Sadly, our final candidate, Ros Kayes, failed to win Dorset South for the Lib Dems, despite increasing the share of the vote: her nemesis was Tory Richard Drax (aka Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax).

FErret joked that he sounds like a Bond villain only to find his grandfather was indeed the inspiration for Moonraker's Hugo Drax. Watch out for space shuttles on the Isle of Purbeck.

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