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.