Cornwall Council By-Election in Camborne Pendarves Division

With the resignation of UKIP’s Harry Blakely, voters in the Camborne area will be going to polls on Thursday, 20 August to elect a new Cornwall Councillor.

There are seven candidates are standing for election as the Cornwall Councillor for the Camborne Pendarves electoral division:

  • Nathan Mark Billings           Liberal Democrat
  • Peter Channon                    Independent
  • Val Dalley                           Labour Party
  • Deborah Zoe Fox                 Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall
  • John Herd –                        The Conservative Party Candidate
  • Jacqueline Norma Merrick    Green Party
  • Michael Duane Pascoe          UK Independence Party UKIP

Residents on the electorial register can vote at three polling stations, and these will be open between 7 am and 10 pm. The polling stations are:

  • St John’s Church Hall, Trevu Road, Camborne
  • The Lowenac Hotel, Basset Road, Camborne
  • Barripper Methodist Chapel, Fore Street, Barripper

 

 

420,985 people have registered to vote in Cornwall for the General Election

When you walk into the Polling Station on May 7th to cast your vote, or have already submitted your vote via the postal vote, have you ever wondered the function behind the election?

Let’s start with the Returning Officer. For a Parliamentary Election in a county constituency, such as Cornwall, the Returning Officer is the High Sherriff.  The High Sherriff can carry out two duties if they wish. To take receipt of the Parliamentary Writ upon delivery by Royal Mail and to declare the result of the election.  All other duties are performed by the Acting Returning Officer who is the Returning Officer for the local authority.

In Cornwall the Acting Returning Officer is Andrew Kerr, the Council’s Chief Executive.  The High Sheriff is Anthony Fortescue.  Andrew Kerr will declare the three constituency results at Carn Brea.  Mr Fortescue will declare the South East Cornwall Constituency result and may possibly declare the North Cornwall & St Austell & Newquay result.

420, 985 people have registered to vote in Cornwall.  Cornwall Council has received 74, 016 applications for postal votes.

The breakdown for the individual constituencies is:

  • St Ives – Electorate: 65,570 ; Postal Votes: 13793 (21% of votes)
  • Camborne and Redruth – Electorate: 66,944;  Postal Votes: 11494 (17.17% of votes)
  • Truro and Falmouth – Electorate: 73,601 ; Postal Votes: 11062 (15.03% of votes)
  • South East Cornwall – Electorate: 71,071;  Postal Votes: 13907 (19.57% of votes)
  • North Cornwall – Electorate: 67,192 ; Postal Votes: 11787 (17.54% of votes)
  • St Austell and Newquay – Electorate: 76,607;  Postal Votes:  11973 (15.63% of votes)

There are 455 polling stations in Cornwall, with one ballot box per constituency.  The Council has recruited around 1,200 Presiding Officers and Polling Clerks to run these 455 polling stations in Cornwall. In addition to this, the Electoral Service recruited around 750 Count Assistants and 20 Postal Voting Assistants.

Pretty impressive eh?

One day to go till the Polls open and it is just too close to call

Tomorrow the country goes to the Polls to elect candidates to become their MP for the next five-years. From this, and depending if one party has the outright majority, or failing that, the largest number of MP’s, that party should get the chance to form the next Government.

Just about all Polls predict the 2015 General Elections is just too close to call. This national picture is reflected in Cornwall with the six seats all having small majorities. The following predictions could change, but are correct as of the blog post publication.

The National Voting Prediction

The National Voting Prediction

The clever people over at 38 Degrees have put together the latest predictions data from election forecast that ‘predicts’ using your postcode which party is likely to win in that area. To check your postcode, click HERE.

As you can see from the pictures below, four of the seats in Cornwall are too close to call. The remaining two, if the predictions are right, will be ‘held’ by the Conservative.

Of course,  like all predictions we will only know who has secured victory on Friday morning apart from St. Ives who will likely declare Friday afternoon due to the Isle of Scilly vote not reaching the mainland till Friday morning.

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Cornwall’s Parliamentary seats are really ultra marginal

The news is awash with stories of not one party will win an over all majority in this years General Election and from that, the guessing game of who will jump into bed with each other and form a government. As someone who has stood in three elections, I can tell you don’t really know how well you have done until they start the count. Then it all becomes clearer.

Saying that, I have been looking at the vote numbers from the 2010 General Election for the six Parliamentary seats in Cornwall. These six Parliamentary seats all are what you call ultra-marginal. In other words at least three candidates has the chance of winning the seat. I knew the numbers were tight, but I did not realise quite how tight they are.

I will start with the Parliamentary seat I reside in, St Ives.

St. Ives

In 2010 this seat was won by Andrew George for the Lib Dems. Andrew won the seat by 1719 votes, a winning margin of 3.7%. (LD hold). Looking at the 2005* election voting percentages, the Lib Dems had 51.8%, Labour 12.5%, Con 27.3% UKIP 4.3%.Previous elections – 1992 Con, 1997/2001/2005/2010 LD.

Camborne and Redruth

In 2010 this seat was won by George Eustice for the Cons. George won this seat by 66 votes, one of, if not the narrowest – in the Country – of margins by 0.2% (Con gain). Looking at the 2005 election voting percentages, the Lib Dems had 35.8%, Labour 28.8%, Con 25.6% UKIP 4.8%. Previous election winners – 1992 Con, 1997/2001 Lab, 2005 LD and 2010 Con.

Truro and Falmouth

In 2010 this seat was won by Sarah Newton for the Cons by 435 votes, a margin of 0.9% (Con gain). The 2005 election voting percentages, the Lib Dems had 41%, Labour 19%, Con 31.7% UKIP 5.8%. Previous election winners 1992/1997/2001/2005 LD, 2005 Con.

St. Austell and Newquay

In 2010 this seat was won by Stephen Gilbert for the Lib Dems by 1312 votes, a margin of 2.8% (LD hold). The 2005 election voting percentages, the Lib Dems had 47.3%, Labour 13.8%, Con 34.8% UKIP 4.1%. Previous election winners 1992/1997/2001/2005/2010 LD

North Cornwall

In 2010 this seat was won by Dan Rogerson for the Lib Dems by 2981 votes, a winning margin of 6.4% (LD hold). The 2005 election voting percentages, the Lib Dems had 42.3%, Labour 12.5%, Con 35.4% UKIP 5.8%. Previous election winners 1992/1997/2001/2005/2010 LD

South East Cornwall

In 2010 this seat was won by Sheryll Murray for the Cons by 3220 votes, a winning margin of 6.5% (Con gain). The 2005 election voting percentages, the Lib Dems had 46.8%, Labour 10.5%, Con 35% UKIP 5.1%. Previous election winners 1992 Con, 1997/2001/2005 LD, 2010 Con.

As you can see by the winning margin of between 0.2% and 6.5% these seats are really too close to call. However, looking at the 2005 percentages, there was a huge change in percentages towards the Cons. That of course doesn’t mean this will be replicated at this years election, but it does show Cornwall is a real battle ground for the political parties and could have a direct impact on which party forms the next government. furthermore, it is really going to be interesting to see how the Greens, MK and UKIP have an impact on the election in Cornwall.

The point of this blog post not only to show how close this election is in Cornwall, but to encourage people to take 15 minutes and wander down to the polling station on the 7th May and cast your vote. It is not too much to ask that you, as citizens, spare the 15 minutes to cast your vote at this election. After all you only are asked to do this every five years for a General Election. Furthermore, you have 15 hours in which to vote, as the Polling Stations are open for voting from 7am till 10pm.

I have often heard people say what’s the point in voting or my vote won’t really matter. Well, in Cornwall, in this election, your vote can really matter and if you use it, you can really choose who you think is best to represent you in Parliament.

And if by some chance you have not registered to vote, you still have time, as you can register to vote till the 20th of April! There really is no excuse not to vote.

 

(*using 2010 electoral boundaries. Data from Cornwall Council and Democratic Audit)

Cornwall’s Candidates who are standing in the 2015 General Election

We are on the steady march to the 2015 General Election Polling Day on the 7th May. The pundits say it will be close, and we could have no overall winner. This election is one of the first that is not a battle between Blue and Red; as this election really does include the other parties who could act as the Kingmaker, and could really decide who will be our next Prime Minister. I mean who really thought the Con’s and Lib Dems would get into bed with each other before the last election in 2010!

In Cornwall, the six seats up for grabs are what you call marginal. As at the last General Election the winning margin was as little as 64 votes to just under 3000. So for Cornwall it really is all to play for. That brings me onto who is standing in Cornwall. Well, the Statement as to Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll has been released, and it is as follows:

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And remember, use your vote, as in Cornwall it counts. If you haven’t yet registered to vote, you have till the 20th April to do so. Please vote.

 

 

The young people of Cornwall elect its Members of the Youth Parliament

Cornwall’s Member of the Youth Parliament elections were decided on Saturday afternoon at New County Hall with the announcement of who topped the poll and was duly elected as Cornwall’s MYP for the next two years.

18 young people stood and from that three were elected as Cornwall’s representatives in the youth parliament. A further three we elected at deputy MYP’s who will support and if needed will stand in for the three MYP’s. The MYP’s will represent the West, Mid and East of Cornwall. There was nine candidates for the West, six for Mid Cornwall and three for the East.

It was great to see so many young people stand for this election. Their campaigns would rival those who stand in local and national elections with a mix of talking to their peer groups, social media and the use of online videos to get their message across. I was very impressed with the standard of campaign material.

The names of those elected are: Owen Davies and Joseph Lander (dep) for the West; Cameron Sykes and Saffron Blake (dep) for the Mid and Owen Winter and Tabitha Wethers (dep) for the East. In total, 5597 votes were cast. Well done to those who were elected, but congratulations should also go to all those who stood.

The election would not be the success it is without the dedication of the Staff at Cornwall Council’s Youth Services and the schools who helped facilitate the election by allowing students to vote in school and distributed the voting codes. Those schools who excelled at student participation were also awarded with certificates.

The school who had the highest voter turnout was Cape Cornwall with a 74% turnout. Followed by Liskeard 63%; Brannel 61%; Wadebridge 60%; Richard Lanner  a 52%; Launceston College 43%  and Helston College 39%. In total 30 schools took part. It was not only schools who had a good turn out, but  Penzance Housing Project got a 100% turnout.  Thank you schools.

As with any election, the real hard work starts once you have been elected. I am certainly looking forward to working with Cornwall’s MYP’s and helping them solve the issues they raise on behalf of the young people of Cornwall.

The newly elected MYP's and deputy MYP's for Cornwall and me

The newly elected MYP’s and deputy MYP’s for Cornwall and me

Cornwall’s MYP Election under way and it is a record breaker

The elections for Cornwall’s Member of the Youth Parliament (MYP) are under way. Officially the election started on Monday, and will run till Friday 6th February, The results will be made public on Saturday 7th at election event at County Hall. This election event would be run like it is a general or local election.

I said previously, Cornwall Council is conducting this election electronically, with all votes cast online. The aim of voting online is to make it easier for young people to cast their votes. The team behind the election has done a fantastic job in getting all but a couple of eligible schools signed up and engaged in the process. I am really proud of the team behind this election.

So far, the team have issued over 32,000 individual voting codes. This is a staggering amount of codes issued. So it is looking like the 2015 MYP elections will be a record breaker with potential votes cast. It is great to see 19 candidates standing for election. Again, a record breaker. To vote and to stand for office, you need to be aged between 11 and 18.

I am certainly looking forward to the results event, but more importantly, working with Cornwall’s MYP’s in representing young people of Cornwall. For more information on the elections, including voting, and the list of candidates click HERE

Cornwall’s Election for Young People

With all the local and national coverage you certainly know there will be an election happening later this year.  However, before we get to the May General Election, there is an important election that will be taking place between 28th January and 6th February. What is this election? Well readers, it the equally important election for the Members of the Youth Parliament.

There are almost 120,000 children and young people up to the age of 18 in Cornwall, and these elections are a real opportunity for them to help shape their own future. Research shows that older people are traditionally the largest group who vote in national elections which means that their concerns and issues are taken seriously by the main political parties.  I want to see decision makers locally and nationally listen to and act on the concerns and issues facing young people and taking part in these elections is a good start in making this happen.

In November 2014, I made this comment that n the 2010 elections over 75% of over 65’s voted and the receive free bus travel, free tv license’s, free prescription, winter fuel allowance and many more items. Only 44% of 18 to 25’s voted, they had EMA taken away, tuition fees tripped and youth services are being slashed. If you don’t vote you don’t have a voice.

The MYP election takes place every two years in Cornwall and fits in with the national programme. The process formally begins in the autumn term where candidates are recruited through schools, colleges, youth projects, and other youth organisations across Cornwall.  The elections and candidates are then promoted through schools and projects from January into February when the election takes place.  All young people in Cornwall aged between 11 and 18 can stand as candidates and vote in the election. Those succesful candidates take up office in February.

Cornwall’s MYP election will also be the first year voting will be completed using an online format; young people will need a Unique Voting Code (UVC) to enable them to complete the voting process. This is exciting, as if we can organise electronic for young people, then why can’t we do this for town and parish, county and if possible, national and European elections. The number of votes cast will be monitored daily and published on the website. In the 21st Century, we really to look at alterative methods of voting and one I think should stand alongside the Polling Station and the postal vote is electronic voting.

To help encourage schools and colleges to get involved in the elections process this year there will be a Democracy Award Scheme with schools and colleges taking part receiving a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award based on their level of participation. To receive a Bronze Award 50% of young people in the school or college must vote in the election; to receive a Silver Award 70% must vote, rising to 90% for the Gold Award.  The online voting site will monitor the turnout for each school and college, with progress reports being sent to each one during the voting period.

The Candidates for the MYP Elections are: http://www.mi-event.info/event/cornwall-myp-elections2015

Let’s hope these MYP elections have a great turnout with as many young people taking part by voting. It is important to #haveyoursay

 

 

Tory’s win Mevagissey by-election

Voters in the Cornwall Council electoral division of Mevagissey took to the polls Thursday 6th November to elect a new Cornwall Councillor due to the sad departure of Michael Bunny who had to stand down because he became an employee of the Local Authority. The rules are you cannot be in the employment of the LA and be a Cornwall Councillor.

The results of the by election were:

  •  James Michael Mustoe (The Conservative Party Candidate) – 348
  • Michael Williams (UK Independence Party UKIP) – 281
  • Charmain Louise Nicholas (Labour Party Candidate) – 204
  • Christopher Stewart Maynard (Liberal Democrat)  – 197
  • Katherine Elizabeth Moseley (The Green Party) – 50
  • Therefore voters have elected James Michael Mustoe as the Cornwall Councillor for the Mevagissey electoral division. The turn out for this election was 32.53%

    This seat was held by Labour since the election in 2014 and from 2009 till 2014 by the Conservative Party.

    Congratulations to Councillor James Mustoe and welcome to Cornwall Council.

    The swings and voting share from the euro elections

    The 2014 European election is now over and the party machines are now wondering how they are going to convince the public their party is the best for the county in next year’s General Election. Of course this forthcoming election could also be the last UK wide election if Scotland decides to go alone. The political pundits and party strategists will now be trawling through the euro results to see how UKIP topped the polls and won this election.

    For those of us who do not have access to detailed voting patterns or who would lose the will to live if presented with reams of electoral data spreadsheets, the BBC’s news graphic team has produced a set of infrogram clearly showing the voting shifts by the European electoral regions. Good work BBC.

    It is clear UKIP’s win was down to increased vote share. This went up in all regions and only in Scotland and London did this stay in single figures. Labour will be pleased and relieved they came second, but not far behind were the Conservatives. For a party who is in government, they were not punished as much as I thought they would be. But they lost ground in all the regions which must be worrying with a general election in 345 or so days

    I would say the Green Party held is ground overall nationally, but made a breakthrough in the South West by adding another MEP bringing their total up to three. So if I was the party leadership I would take this as a win. SNP stood ground and did not get the third MEP they targeted. Plaid retained its one MEP against a strong Labour and UKIP vote.

    However, the real loser in this election was the Lib Dems. They had a shocker. losing 10 MEP’s must be hard to take. This follows on from a bad local government election where they lost 300 odd Councillors. I do not think you can write-off the Lib Dems, as it has shown in the past they can come back. However, I do think this will be their biggest test to date and definitely looking down the barrel of a shotgun with a finger firmly on the trigger.

    How these result will play out in the General Election is anyone’s guess. The news is awash with the main parties talking about dealing with UKIP. However, and this is the subject of my next blog, is instead of obsessing over UKIP, those parties should be trying to figure out how they will not only engage the 4 million odd who voted for UKIP, but the issue of the 40 million people who did not vote. That reader is the real issue.

    UKIP

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