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Chris Foote Wood Liberal Democrat Bishop Auckland

Election diaries

Foote Wood's share of the vote rose from 15.8% in 2001 to 23.7% on Thursday. He climbed from third into second place in the poll but was unable to unseat Labour MP Helen Goodman, who now has a reduced majority of 10,047.

There are no prizes for second place. You always hope to win, but compared with the result four years ago I increased my vote by 50%, so that's an improvement.

We were third last time and reduced the majority. It's par for the course.

The count was appallingly slow. I think it was 4.10am when the result was declared.

The amount of time it took was ridiculous, especially considering that Sunderland South declared at 10.45pm.

Why it took over six hours to do a relatively straightforward count I have no idea. You're tired by the end of the campaign and want to get the results as quickly as possible.

There was no excuse for it to be that long.

I doubt I will stand again.

I'm 64 now and I was hoping we would get another candidate this time. There was a time when more or less any party volunteer could stand, but now our party is much more professional.

You can't just put anybody up, you need someone who has been through the interview procedure and passed all the tests. If you get on the lists you have to quite good. You have to be a potential MP even if you are fighting a seat you are unlikely to win.

There are more things in life besides politics. It's never been the be all and end all for me.

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