Sunday, 2 August 2009

MK is doing well in St Austell and Newquay

Over the last six months, I have received the three or four leaflets from Stephen Gilbert, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for St Austell and Newquay. His party seem to be investing a massive amount of money in the constituency – the leaflets were not delivered by Lib Dem volunteers but by the Royal Mail!

The latest one is a booklet rather than a leaflet. It is entitled “Real change for one and all” – even though he wishes to continue the Liberal Democrat representation of the area!

My presence in the race is clearly inconvenient for him. In many places in the booklet, Stephen is referred to as the “only local candidate” before it has to add “from the main political parties.” Interestingly, his localness does not extend to using a local printer. It was printed in London.

The publication does however recognise that MK is doing well in the constituency by telling people not to support us. In the past, we have always been ignored in their literature. They usually claim it is a two-horse race between them and the Tories with Labour unable to win.

This time it states “Labour and Mebyon Kernow are out of the race in St Austell and Newquay – a vote for them will only help the Conservatives win.” We even get to appear on a graph.

Thanks for the kind works and the recognition Stephen.

In the most recent elections, it was certainly more complicated than this.

In the Cornwall Council elections in this area, ten Lib Dems were returned alongside seven Conservatives, five independents and yours truly for MK. I think I am correct in saying that the Conservatives won more votes than the Liberal Democrats. MK did fairly well but only stood in four seats.

In the European Election, the votes from the ‘Restormel’ area reflect the St Austell and Newquay constituency quite well though not exactly. The result was as follows:

Conservative Party - 7,012 (26.59%)
UKIP - 6,109 (23.17%)
Liberal Democrats - 4,794 (18.18%)
Mebyon Kernow - 2,346 (8.90%)
Green Party - 1,598 (6.06%)
Labour Party - 1,250 (4.74%)
British National Party - 1,063 (4.03%)

In spite of the limited coverage given to the campaign, MK was very pleased with the result and we consider it a good base for campaigns over the next few months.

PS. It is normal practice for the Liberals to claim it is a two-horse race, even when it isn’t. In the recent Norwich North By-election, their leaflets claimed that the race was “set for a thrilling finish between local champion April Pond [the Lib Dem] and the Tory Westminster insider” and included "polling evidence" that placed the Lib Dems second. In the event, they came third.

Closer to home, two years ago in an election for a three-seat ward on Kerrier District Council, the Lib Dems put out a last minute leaflet claiming that only the Lib Dems could beat the Tory. MK actually topped the poll and, some days later, one of their activists admitted that they knew we were going to win all along but put out the leaflet anyway!

2 comments:

kernowguy said...

Would be good to see MK become a real political force in Cornwall like the SNP is in Scotland by moving away from the one-issue image. Economy, jobs, housing, even national issues. Of course devolution/Assembly is the party's focus but don't forget that most people in Cornwall aren't Cornish. We need to seriously appeal to everyone.

Andy Phillips said...

We are entering a period where smaller parties are likely to receive more support.

I just hope MK gets it in Cornwall!