The Communion of Saints

The Communion of Saints
I hope there's room for me.

Welcome all - especially Mancunians.

Hello anybody lost in the blogosphere. Welcome to the ruminations of a politically left of centre, Man United supporting, blues loving, history-fixated, Catholic wanderer. Be warned, I am a bit of a curmudgeon.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Church of Torres Strait to join the Ordinariate.

I am very grateful to Conchur for his link to the announcement that the ACCA Diocese of Torres Straitis to become a Territory within the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross.
This is a quite wonderful announcement as it brings to a conclusion a long process whereby the unique position of this former Diocese of the Anglican Church of Australia and then the Anglican Catholic Church of Australia.
Somewhere over a thousand people will be part of this process and, with their Bishop and priests, have something of a journey still to travel. I offer them my prayers and gratitude for the steps that they are taking to represent a unique form of visible unity in the Church, that of the Ordinariates.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Cornwall Unitary Election results, 2013: Penwith

As with my overview of the forthcoming elections last April, I decided it would be fun to follow (as far as possible) the old district and borough boundaries.
The last time that local council elections took place in the now defunct (as of 2009) Penwith District Council, these were the results:

Party                      Votes    Percent    Seats
Conservative            4787    37.9%     8
Liberal Democrat      4101    32.5%     3
Independent             1578    12.5%     1
Green Party                973     7.7%     0
Labour                        699     5.5%     0
UKIP                           299     2.4%     0
Mebyon Kernow         196     1.6%     0

A council elected by thirds (with not all wards having elections each year), the Conservatives had a very good result this time, topping the poll and taking 2/3 of the seats up for election; they gained three seats. The Liberal Democrats didn't poll too badly as they only stood in 8 of the 12 wards, but they lost 2 seats to the Toruies, gaining a couple from Indepe ndents. The Conservatives were unopposed in St. Buryan ward.
There were Independent candidates only in the four wards they were defending, and they lost three of them.
Labour had candidates in Penzance East (Cornelius Olivier coming third with 17.3%), Penzance South (Sara Olivier with last with 9.7%) and St. Ives South (with Terence Murray last with 10%). Both Mr Olivier and Mr Murray returned in 2013 with divergent levels of success.
The Greens only stood in 4 wards, polling best in St Ives South with Ron Tulley as candidate (26.3%).
UKIP had two candidates and polled respectably for the time.
For Mebyon Kernow, only Penzance East was contested by Phil Rendle, taking 12.5% of the vote. Mr Rendle was also a candidate in 2013 in Penzance East.

Unitary Council Elections, 2009:

Party                      Votes    Percent    Seats
Conservative            6678    30.6%     7
Independent             5321    24.4%     5
Liberal Democrat      4830    22.1%    3
UKIP                          1767     8.1%    0
Green Party                1586     7.3%    0
Labour                        1178     5.4%    0
Mebyon Kernow          384     1.8%    0
Liberal Party                 73     0.3%    0

A good result for the Conservatives, topping the poll and taking 7 of the 15 divisions up for election, not as well as in the last District council elections in 2007, but considerably better than the last County elections of 2005.
In 2005, there were only 2 Independent councillors (out of 10 on the old County Council). This time with eleven candidates waving the independent flag out of 15 divisions, they polled very well, pushing the Liberal Democrats into third place in terms of vote share and councillors elected.
For the Liberal Democrats, 2009 was an pretty awful electoral cycle in this area, taking only four of the divisions and being heavily cut back in vote share, despite standing in 14 of the 15 divisions.
UKIP had 10 candidates, polling best in Penzance Central with 17.8% of the Penzance Central vote being the best showing for candidate Oli Faulkner. The 8.1% of the total vote in the old Penwith area firmly established the party on the map at a time not so good for them around the country.
The Green Party only fought five divisions and polled well in St. Ives South (26.3%), St. Ives North (25.8%) where Tim Andrewes missed out on the seat by 24 votes, St. Buryan (20.2%), and polling well in Ludgvan and Lelant and Carbis Bay. They were very disappointed to fail to make the breakthrough they had hoped for in St. Ives.
Labour were shattered by this election, failing to hold on in Penzance East and pushed into fourth place in Penzance Central. There vote share was better than the last district council elections, but they had 10 candidates this time so more of a chance to appear to improve, but it was pretty much a collapse for the party.
Mebyon Kernow only fought Gulval and Heamor (5.6%) and Newlyn and Mousehole (15.3%).
The Liberal Party contested Penzance Central, coming last with 6% of the vote.

Unitary Council Elections, 2013:

Party                      Votes    Percent    Seats
Conservative            4229    21.9%     6
UKIP                          3912    20.3%     0
Independent              3863    20.0%     4
Liberal Democrat       3005    15.6%     2
Labour                       2375    12.3%     2
Green Party                1790    9.3%     1
Mebyon Kernow-PC     144     0.7%     0

An absolutely fascinating result, with 5 parties gaining elected representatives and UKIP, who came second in terms of votes cast, failing to take a seat. The Conservatives fought 13 divisions, won 6 seats (1 down from 2009) and top the poll with only 21.9% of the vote. They only just held UKIP off in Ludgvan (by 51 votes), Marazion and Perranuthnoe (by 67 votes), but weren't too seriously challenged elsweher in the light of a very split opposition. The big loss for them was in St. Ives West where defending Councillor, Joan Tanner, came fourth with only 11.2% of the vote - she won the old St. Ives North division with only 27.6% of the vote and a majority of 24, but this was a crushing defeat to Independent candidate Andrew Mitchell.
The Conservatives can consider themselves pretty lucky, on the whole. Unlike, as already noted, UKIP who have under-performed compared to much of Cornwall. As I have noted elesewhere, where UKIP has an established electoral histroy and are not the 'new kid on the block' they appear to have failed to fully reap the anti-establishment whirlwind. A good vote (20.3%), but a deeply disappointing outcome for them.
Independents only ran in 11 divisions, but garnered 20.3 of the vote, with Independent candidates gaining St. Ives West, and holding Hayle North, Hayle South and Penzance Promenade.
The Liberal Democrats had a shocker of an election here as one would have expected them to bounce back after 2009. Fighting only eleven of the divisions, they lost the Penzance Central and Penzance East divisions to Labour by painfully close margins of 24 and 20 votes, only gaining St. Just in Penwith after the retirment of Chris Goninan as Independent councillor. Their share of the vote collapsed dramatically since 2009 in both St. Ives divisions, Gwinear-Gwithian and St Erth, and Newlyn and Mousehole, St. Buryan (from 32.3% to 7.3%!). Only in Gulval and Heamoor did they have a sitting councillor whose vote increased, from 54.9% to 66.5%. The party seems to have been crushed by the efforts of the Greens, Labour and UKIP.
For the Labour Party, fighting 12 of the 15 divisions, a very satisfactory night with them winning two of the Penzance divisions and polling well where they had candidates, except in St. Ives East where they were heavily squeezed. They still came in fifth in share of the vote (12.3%) but, after the disaster of the 2009 unitary elections and the decline for Labour in recent years, this was a good result for them.
For the Green Party, finally they fulfilled the promise of gaining a victory in St. Ives, with Tim Andrewes winning in the East division with 37.3% of the vote and a 132 majority over long-time Copnservatve councillor, Joan Symons.
Sadly, Ron Tulley failed to join his colleague, losing out in West division by a painful 7 votes to Independent candidate, Andrew Mitchell. The party polled well in Ludgvan (23.9%) and Marazion and Perranuthnoe (20.9%), but will be disappointed not to have fallen back in Lelant and Carbis Bay (13.8%).
For Mebyon Kernow-Party of Cornwall, they only had candidates in the Central and East divisions of Penzances, winning 4.2% and 7.4% of the vote respectively.

Gulval and Heamor

Pretty much a forgone conclusion for defending Liberal Democrat Councillor Mario Fonk (I love the names of some of the candidates in Cornwall), having easily beaten six other challengers in 2009 with 54.9% of the vote, he was not likely to suffer this year, especially given the lack of a centre-left challenger. As it is, his voteshare increased to a very impressive 66.5% with a majority of 572 over the second placed returning candidate, Rose Smith of UKIP. My only real interest was in whom came second, and a very decent increase on her vote last time when she received 9.7%, now up to 24.7%.
Trailing distantly and dismally in third, and last, place came Pam Yeates for the Conservatives, who saw the vote she received last time (15.8%) slip back to an not too impressive 9.7%.

Gwinear-Gwithian and St Erth

A new Councillor was elected for this Division with after the death of Cllr. Ray Tovey in September of 2012. Only elected in the Conservative intertest by 65 votes in 2009, second-placed Independent, Sheila Furneaux, won the subsequent byelection by a nerve-shredding 4 votes. After only four months, she had obviously not recovered and decided not to defend the division.
I predicted a Conservative hold (regain after the byelection), and so it proved, but successful candidate, Lionel Pascoe, only managed to take 30.1% of the vote and had a very flattering 103 vote majority over UKIP's Peter Channon on 22.6%. Two Independent candidates came in third (Angelo Spencer-Smith - 18%) and fourth (Michael Roberts - 13.3%); it was Mr Roberts who just lost out in the byelection , so I expect he will be very disappointed to come a distant fourth.
For Labour, Michael Smith will be pleased to have moved up the pecking order and secured a decent (compared to last time) 13.3% of the vote, up from 5.4% in 2009.
The Liberal Democrats received 22.2% of the vote last time, so the 4.4% this time is a shocker for them as Yvonne Bates must have been hoping to re-establish the party in the area, where they fairly recently had councillors elected.
At least she was denied the agony of last place by the poor result for Green candidate, Theresa Byrne, who managed only 3.1% of the vote.

Hayle North

A good result from this little-revised division for re-elected Independent Councillor John Pollard, who, with only UKIP and Labour challengers this time, increased his vote share to 65.4% (50.9% in 2009). This gave him a very big 466 majority over the second-placed Lynda Chidell of UKIP, who managed 23.8%.
For Labour, in the absence of a Lib Dem, Anthony Phillips might have expected to do better, but 10% is a doubling of the party's result in 2009.
I am surprised that neither the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats fielded a candidate here and think it is sad for the voters.

Hayle South

I predicted Independent Councillor John Coombe would hold the seat, but with a few reservations. I shouldn't have worried, as Mr Coombe achieved 44.7% of the vote, up from 36.5% in 2009.
In a very decent second place came UKIP's Clive Polkinghorne, a campaigner for the local harbour, who more than doubled his party share last time to 29.1%; one of the occasions when a UKIP history didn't seem to have dampened the party vote. He undoubtedly gained from the absence of the Conservative Party (16.5% in 2009) and was a long way ahead of the third-placed Labour candidate, Anne-Marie Rance.
Ms Rance, another well-known local campaigner, will be very happy with her 16.1% of the vote, well up on Labour's 6.4% at the last elections.
Trailing in fourth came the second Independent candidate, retired policeman Graham Coad, who could only manage to take 10.1% of the vote.

Lelant and Carbis Bay

I went with a Conservative hold here but with some reservations as I wasn't sure what the effect of the Green candidate's (Maxine Armstrong) victory in the town council byelection might be (in the then absence of a Conservative candidate).
In the end, Liz Penhaligon held her seat with a much reduced vote share of 34.7%, down fron 51.3% in 2009. As I speculated, the entrance of UKIP into this race seems to have had a big effect on the Tory vote share with UKIP'S Sandy Msrtin polling a very creditable 22.6% of the poll to take second place.
In the end the Green's Maxine Armstrong did even worse than her predecessor, with her only managing to attract 13.8% of the vote (19.8% in 2009); her 156 votes were well below the 372 she received when being elected for the division area in the town council byelection - people were obviously happy to vote Green to stop the Labour candidate then.
Richard Glanville, standing as an Independent, about whom I could glean nothing, received 10.1% of the vote and fourth place, 2 votes above Lib Dem Howard Hollingsbee's (10%) with Labour's Graham Webster a further 8 votes behind in last place (9%).
Local newsagent Mr Webster will be very disappointed to have done so poorly, as he came second in the Independent cause in 2009 with 28.4% of the vote. Labour has still got a lot to do here to build itself up and UKIP have become a clear party of protest against government policies.


There was always going to be a new councillor here following the retirement, due to ill health, of (Independent) Irene Bailey in November 2012. Such a long interregnum was obviously marked by hard campaigning by the three parties who stood last May. I predicted a Conservative victory for returning candidate Roy Mann, but thought he could be run close by returning, and high-profile, UKIP candidate, Robert Smith.
Well, I was right as Mr Mann gained the seat in the Tory cause but was closely pressed by Mr Smith, who fell just 51 votes short of Mr Mann, with his vote share shooting up from 8.3% in 2009 to 35.9% this time. Mr Mann managed to increase his vote share by 9% to 40.2% this time and will be somewhat relieved.
I thought that the Green's Ian Flindall might achieve a decent vote in the absence of the Lib Dems or any other left-of-centre alternative, and he did well gaining 23.9% (up from 13.2% in 2009).
Mr Smith would protest that his opposition to the EU comes from a left-wing perspective (he is the son-in-law of the late anti-Common Market Labour cabinet minister, Peter Shore), and, as will be noted below, his wife and mother-in-law stood for UKIP as well. The problem he has is that he failed to impress the left-wing vote who seem more pro-EU and less enamoured with other UKIP policies, hence their votes for the EU-friendly Mr Flindall.

Marazion and Perranuthnoe

In an almost mirror image result to Ludgvan, the Conservative councillor defending the division, Sue Nicholas, managed to win here by increasing her vote share to 41.9% (34.6% in 2009) just holding off the surging UKIP candidate, Glyn Owen, by 67 votes.
Mr Owen seems to have swept up most of the votes for the Independent candidates at the last elections to take his party share from 12.9% to 37.1%. A very good result but no winner's rosette.
As with Ludgvan, the Green Party, through its candidate, organic B&B owner Peter Williams, seems to have grabbed the Liberal Democrat vote from 2009 to pick up the exact same poll share of 20.9%.

Newlyn and Mousehole

A straightforward win here by sitting Tory councillor, Roger Harding, with his vote share of 47.9% just a little down from the 49.6% he achieved in 2009.
In a distant second place came UKIP's Tacy Smith, daughter of the late Labour grandee, Peter Shore. She will be disappointed to have only received 18.3% of the vote (from 14.3% in 2009)- with the exception of Ludgvan, most of the Penzance area divisions were disappointing for UKIP and confirms a pattern where a long activity for UKIP appears to make them less of a vehicle for protest votes.
In joint third place came the Green Party's Heidi Worth who seems to have inherited much of the vote that Mebyon Kernow received when they stood in 2009, sharing 159 votes and 11% with Labour's Nicholas Round, who must be disappointed not to have done better being only a little up on last time (8.9%).
Independent candidate Nigel Davis came fifth with 6.3%, whilst Caroline White for the Liberal Democrats came in last with 5.6%. Her campaign will not have been helped by the fact the Heidi Worth was formerly the Liberal Democrat candidate before defecting to the Green Party.

Penzance Central

This is a division that likes close run elections, with former Liberal Democrat councillor, Tamsin Williams, just edging out the Tory by 14 votes and only a 30.4% poll share in 2009.
Her replacement as candidate, Penny Young, will be disppointed to have lost by only 44 votes this time, and she managed to hold on to much of the Lib Dem vote with 27.9%. It is not the Conservatives who claimed the crown though as Labour's Cornelius Oliver bounced back from his fourth place and 17.3% last time to take the division with 31.4% of the vote. A real squeaker by any measure. I predicted a Labour gain as it is a seat they should be winning but they never get a massive vote share here.
In fourth place came UKIP's Peter Mates with a disappointing 14% of the vote, a drop of 3.8% on 2009. As I have already suggested elsewhere, Penzance's long history of UKIP campaigning seems to have taken the gloss off them and they are doing worse than one would have expected.
Independent candidate John Moreland, formerly a Lib Dem town councillor, came in next with 12.5% of the vote.
The Conservatives might have hoped to be the main challengers here based on their strong second place in 2009, but selecting a candidate (Michael Rabbitte) who stated in his election address that he has spent the last 28 years in London was undoubtedly a mistake and he slipped back to 5th place with only 10%.
It became clear quite quickly in the campaign that MK-PC's Phillip Rendle had little chance and he was pretty much squeezed out with only 4.2% of the vote.
It was obviously quickly established that the only real contenders were Labour and the Liberal Democrats and Labour's well-organised campaign paid off, but kudos to Ms Young for her campaign putting up a very strong fight to hold the seat. This probably led to the not too bad turnout of 39%.

Penzance East

Another close battle here between the defending Liberal Democrat councillor, Ruth Lewarne, and Labour's Tim Dwelly. In 2009 she edged out Labour's John Payne by only 24 votes as she took 30.4% to his 28.3%; this time, it is a switcheroo with Mr Dwelly being elected with 30.6% of the poll and a 20 vote majority over Ms Lewarne who took 29% of the vote.
It was quite a tough campaign with Mr Dwelly being heavily targeted and which produced a rather unlikely leaflet that suggested to those tempted to vote Labour that only a Lib Dem vote could keep the Tories out - a traditional Lib Dem tactic, but totally untrue in Penzance East (where the Tories only took 13.5% of the vote in 2009). You know though, it might just have worked if 11 Labour voters had bought it and skipped across.
In third place came UKIP stalwart and long-time candidate, Mick Faulkner, who will be unhappy to have only gained 15.7% of the votes cast, a drop of 1.2% from last time - I have already commented on this phenomena in the above commentary.
The Conservatives confirmed themselves as being well out of contention here with their candidate, Angela Elliott, seeing their vote drop further to 10%.
In fifth place came MK-PC's blogging candidate, Rob Simmons, who has learnt the lesson that one needs to be out and about campaigning with a good team to win votes, rather than blogging. He managed 7.4% of the vote.
Last came the Green candidate, Michelle Paine, with 7.2% of the vote. Neither she nor Mr Simmons were ever likely to get much traction in this two-way battle.
I predicted a Labour win but thought it mightn't be quite so close, so well done to Ms Lewarne.
A not bad 36% turnout for the demographic make-up of this division.

Penzance Promenade

I sometimes wish I would be a bit more romantic in my predictions (although some of them come over as fairly fantastic) as I would certainly have gone with this division being won by Independent Jim McKenna; I just believed that the Liberal Democrats would have a better campaigning team. There was no defending candidate as Independent councillor Sue Pass had decided to step down this time.
I am glad I got this wrong as Mr McKenna is an all-round good egg who has dedicated his life, and money, to local charities, campaigning for affordable homes and extending Penzance Radio's coverage. He took 33.4% of the vote beating Liberal Democrat Daniel Garside by 116 votes, which must have been a real blow for Mr Garside who will have hoped to be able to build on the party's 29.6% last time. His party's vote slipped back to 25.4%.
In a very solid third place, and with a much increased vote share, came Labour's standard-bearer, John Kirman, who I described as a sacrificial lamb as the party's concentration would be with Central and East. Well, I think they might wish they had worked harder as Mt Kirman took 19.5% of the poll, up from 3.8% in 2009. With less votes cast than then, they improved from a dismal 62 votes to a very healthy 283 votes. Whilst they would have struggled to overhaul Mr McKenna, they might have snatched second place from the Liberal Democrats.
In fourth place came UKIP's Liz Shore, the widow of former Labour Cabinet Minister Peter Shore. She only managed to achieve a 13.6% vote share, up from 8.3% last time; although it is a rise, it is a disappointing one.
Last came the Conservative candidate, Davis Miles, seeing the vote slashed from 20.4% last time to 8.1% this.
This is an election that will have had a lot of churn in it and it'd be fascinating to see how people's votes changed on last time.
An encouraging turnout of 46%.

St Buryan

A fairly straight-forward victory for sitting Conservative Bill Maddern, taking 40.5% of the poll, but suffering a loss of 7% on 2009.
In second place this time came Independent candidate, Norman Bliss, who seems to have managed to have successfully targeted the Liberal Democrats over their 0% budget rise which he criticised on his StBuryanVoter blog for cutting local services. He pulled in a very impressive 28.5% for a first time candidate.
In third place comes a Labour's stalwart activist, Juliet Eavis, who should be pleased taking 13.7% and 206 votes in an area they failed to stand last time. Labour used to have decent vote here and it seems they still have some potential.
In fourth place comes the Green Party's Peter Hardy, who might have hoped to have pushed for second place after the decent 20.2% showing in 2009, but this seems to have been partly due to the absence of a Labour candidate. This time they have slipped back to 10%.
The shocker in this election was for the Liberal Democrats, for whom Frank Blewett took a battering as he came in last with a dismal 7.3% - a shocking drop from 32.3% last time. Mr Bliss and, to a lesser extent, Ms Eavis seems to have given voters an opportunity to punish them for the 0% budget vote.
This division appears to have a strong possible vote for a single left of centre candidate, if such an opportunity ever presents itself.
A not too awful 41% turnout here.

St Ives East

The long trailed Green Party breakthrough finally arrived with the election of Tim Andrewes, who just missed out on the old St Ives North division by 24 votes in 2009. He took 37.3% of the vote and had a majority of 132 over long-time elected representative, and defending councillor (for the old St Ives South), Joan Symons of the Conservatives (26.8%).
In third place came anti-parking costs campaigner Morag Robertson, standing as an Independent. She managed to take a decent enough 14.4% of the poll. 12 votes behind her came UKIP's Roy Britton, who will be very disppointed with only 13.5 of the vote, a small advance from the St Ives vote last time.
Labour's Terry Murray was always going to find it a less than propitious time to be trying to improve his party's vote, with anyone tempted to vote for him as likely to support Mr Andrewes, so his 5.5% share is a not too unexpected disappointment and, to be honest, fairly disasterous for a party trying to grow.
However, the real disaster is for the Liberal Democrats, a one-time dominant party in St Ives, their candidate, Madie Parkinson-Smith, was always in danger of being squeezed by Mr Andrewes. I never thought it would be this bad: they took 2.5% of the vote.
A decentish 41% turnout.

St Ives West

My prediction: Green gain (the Tories could struggle to be second). Well, I was nearly right as the Greens just missed out by 7 votes and the Conservatives came fourth!
The victor was Independent candidate, Andrew Mitchell, a former Liberal Democrat district councillor. His 27.9% of the vote just edged out the Greens' Ron Tully, and Mr Tully must be devadtated. He had struggled to break out of a 26-27% vote share each time he has stood and only managed 27.3% this time. He lost by 200 votes in St Ives South in 2009 and must surely have thought his chance had come, but their appears to be a reluctance by people to vote for him. Deeply disappointing for the Green Party as a whole as they must have thought that they would have two seats from St Ives.
In third place came Stuart (William) Guppy for UKIP, who might have thought he could take advantage of the split vote, but he lifted the vote to 17.6%, someway off the front-runners.
Most humiliatingly, in fourth place came sitting (St Ives North) Conservative councillor, Joan Tanner. Her victory in 2009 could be said to have been somewhat fortuitous, given a very split vote and only 27.6%, but she only managed to take 11.2% of the vote here.
Just behind Ms Tanner came Labour's Malcolm Hurst, with 10.1% of the vote. He will be happy enough with this as it is quite an increase compared to both divisions in 2009 when they were tightly squeezed. He must have expected this to happen this time but Mr Guppy's inability to attract these votes are an issue for the Greens to consider (it is either the individual or the party).
In a poor last place on 6% of the vote trailed in Lester Scott for the Liberal Democrats. One can only assume that much of the vote has gone to Mr Mitchell but, for the Liberal Democrats, this is all pretty worrying.
A not too impressive 34.5% turnout.

St Just-in-Penwith

Some light for the Liberal Democrats in this area with Sue James, as predicted, gaining the the "open seat" (Independent Councillor Chris Goninan having stepped down). With 36.6% of the vote (up from 33% last time), the Liberal Democrats will be relieved to be having some improvement in what has been a generally disappointing election for them in his part of Cornwall. Given the vote share, her 244 majority is very decent.
As predicted, her main challenge came from Independent candidate, Kevin McFadden, who might have hoped to do better than receive 21.2% of the poll, given a strong tradition of voting for Independents in St Just (Mr Goninan received 51.4% in 2009), but I suppose you have to be the right kind of Independent.
UKIP will be very happy with their candidate, Adrian Smith's, 19.4% of the poll from nowhere last time, not being too far off second place in the split opposition to Ms James.
Not too far behind him, on 16%, came Labour's Kirsty Pritchard, who will be delighted that she has managed to better the 15% vote share Labour got in 2005 (they had no candidate in 2009), a General Election year.
Coming in a poor last place with only 6.8% of the vote was the Conservative candidate, David Lenaghan. They only received 10.5% in 2009, so were never going to be challengers.
Apropos of nothing, a lot of Irish names flying around this area. As the most westerly town in mainland Britain, is it a place with strong Irish connections?
Decent 41% turnout.

Hi Phil!

Dear Phil, I thought the only way to grab your attention was to post - best of luck in Drypool in bringing down the Lib Dem vote enough for Labour to snatch it (ha!). You only need 1,200 votes, I would guess, to have a chance of snatching it but, even with your great personality, commitment and access to pychtropic drugs, I cannot see UKIP taking that ward.
Anyway - love to everybody in the Healthcare Centre and keep your chin up.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Cornwall Unitary Election Results, 2013: Restormel

As with my overview of the (at the time) forthcoming elections last April, I decided it would be fun to follow (as far as possible) the old district and borough boundaries.
The last time that local council elections took place in the now defunct (as of 2009) Restormel Borough Council, these were the results:

Party                       Votes   Percent   Seats
Liberal Democrat       9663   31.5%    20
Conservative             9216   30.0%    10
Independent              9126   29.7%    13
Mebyon Kernow          1485    4.8%     2
Labour                          537    1.7%     0
Green Party                  371    1.2%     0
BNP                              298    1.0%     0

The Liberal Democrats stood candidates in 18 of the 19 wards in 2007 and slipped back a little compared to the last elections in 2003, losing two councillors and slipping in the vote share from 35.9% to 31.5%, ( they actually stood in 17 wards in 2003).
The Conservatives had only put up candidates in 9 wards in 2003, so the rise in their vote share from 19.2% was not unexpected when they stood in 18 wards this time. They only gained one seat overall but will have been pleased to overhaul the Independent share of the vote.
Independents had contested 14 wards in 2003, winning to seats unopposed in Fowey and Tywardreath, as did the Liberal Democrats), so gaining 30.6% of the vote was fairly impressive.Thirteen councillors were elected as Independent in 2003, and the number remined the same this time, although there was some seat-swapping between the different interests. Only 12 wards had cnadidates standing as Independents in 2007, so almost retaining the vote share (30.6% in 2003) was very impressive.
Mebyon Kernow had three candidates, with Dick Cole and Matthew Luke topping the poll in their wards, up from one (Mr Cole) in 2003, with the vote share just about the same (4.9% in 2003).
For Labour, not a great election, from eleven candidates and 9.4% in 2003 to only 3 candidates in two wards at these elections, taking a miniscule 1.7% of the votes. The best results was 18.6% in Mount Charles ward. Labour were very much a busted flush in these elections.
The Green Party had two candidates, polling best with 16.4% in St. Ewe ward.
The BNP only stood in Bethel ward, taking 17.4% of the vote there.
Unitary Council Elections, 2009:

Party                       Votes   Percent   Seats
Liberal Democrat      8469    31.2%    11
Conservative             8761   32.2%     6
Independent              6555    24.1%     5
Mebyon Kernow          1805     6.6%     1
Labour                          942     3.5%     0
Green Party                  262     1.0%     0
UKIP                             208     0.8%     0
BNP                              104     0.4%     0
EDP                                81     0.3%     0

What appeared to be a fairly good result for the Liberal Democrats, compared to their results in other parts of Cornwall,  but they they just held on in the St. Austell Bethel (18), St. Austell Gover (53 votes), Penwithick (78 votes), St. Mewan (38 votes), Mount Charles (18 votes), Newquay Central (54 votes), Newquay Pentire (96 votes), and Newquay Treloggan (47 votes) divisions, so things were not that rosy for them. They had candidates in all the divisions.
For the Conservatives, a good vote share but they were not far off in Mount Charles (a close third, 66 votes behind the winner), Newquay Central, Newquay Pentire, Newquay Treloggan, Newquay Treviglas (81 votes behind), St. Mewan, Penwithick, St. Austell Bethel and St. Austell Gover divisions, so they will be disappointed not to have won more seats. They did actually top the poll by eleven votes over the Liberal Democrats and had candidates in all the divisions.
Those standing under the Independent colours won five divisions (Newquay Treviglas, Roche, St. Columb, St. Dennis, and St. Stephen), and there were 22 candidates in 15 divisions, so 24.1% was fairly good. Independent candidates came fairly close in St. Austell Poltair (3rd place and 90 votes behind the winner), Newquay Treloggan, (3rd place and 64 votes behind), Mount Charles (18 votes), and polled fairly well elsewhere. For the robust Independent tradition in these parts, it was a disappointing set of results.
Mebyon Kernow fought 5 divisions, winning only in St. Enoder where Dick Cole was elected with 77.6% of the vote and a majority of 750. They only polled fairly decentlyin one other division, that of Penwithick where former district councillor Matthew Luke came third with 26.8% of the vote.
The Labour Party's nadir of 2009 was very much in evidence here with the party fighting 13 divisions and being crushed everywhere with the exception of St. Blaise division where they managed 172 votes (16.4% of the poll). They did not manage to get into three figures in terms of votes cast in any other division they fought, with the next best vote share being 8.5% in St. Austell Poltair. An unmitigated disaster and terrible blow to a party of government (as it then was).
The Green Party had two candidates in Mevagissey (9.9%) and Newquay Treviglas (9.4%).
UKIP had one candidate in St. Austell Bethel, taking 15.8% of the vote.
The BNP stood in Newquay Treloggan, taking 10.5% of the vote.
The English Democrats only fielded a candidate in Newquay Pentire, where they took 7.6% of the vote, ahead Labour's humiliating 2.8% and thirty votes.

Unitary Council Elections, 2013:

Party                      Votes   Percent   Seats
Liberal Democrat      4879    22.1%     9
Conservative             5742    26.0%     4
Independent              5550    25.2%     7
Mebyon Kernow-PC      2201     9.8%     2
UKIP                           2060     9.4%     1
Labour                        1564     7.1%     1
Green Party                    62     0.3%     0

A bit of a shocker here with the Liberal Democrats coming third in terms of vote share, with only 22.1% of the vote (down from 31.9% in 2009), actually slipping behind the total for Independent candidates by 671 votes. They did, however, manage to hold on to most of their seats, winning in 9 of the divisions (down from 11 last time), though there was some churn in the seats they won. Standing in 18 of the divisions, they had a mix of good results, lucky escapes and disasterous collapses in share of the vote. In many cases though, their good campaigning just pulled them through.
The Conservatives, who retained their 'top of the poll' position with only 26% of the votes cast (down from 31.9% in 2009), fell from 6 seats to 4, an awful result for them. They had the odd moment of joy, such as Benedicte Poula Gwyneth Bay successfully defending Lostwithiel with an increased share of the vote.
The Independents will be much happier, with Independent candidates holding pretty much the same vote share as in 2009 and going from 5 to 7 divisions - they gained Mount Charles and St. Austell Gover.
Mebyon Kernow- Party of Cornwall had a good election, gaining Penwithick and Boscoppa from the Liberal Democrats and holding St. Enoder, re-electing MK-PC leader Dick Cole with a thumping share of the vote.
UKIP can celebrate the election of their first councillor in this area with Mark Hicks being elected in Newquay Treviglas. They might have been happier as they were only 28 behind Labour's Michael Bunney in Mevagissey, in a fairly close second in Lostwithiel (88 votes behind), 32 votes behind (in 3rd place) in Newquay Tretherras. They appear to have targeted fairly well and were just short of pulling off a big shock and taking 3 or 4 seats.
For Labour, great joy in gaining Mevagissey from nowhere and 4.1% of the vote at the last Unitary elections. They continue to disappoint in not appearing to have the activist base to be able to put up decent campaigns in more divisions across the old borough. They fielded 10 candidates and will be pleased to have become the clear challengers to the Liberal Democrats in St. Blazey with 24.1% of the vote and will be quite satisfied to have posted fairly good vote shares in Newquay Treviglas (17.8%) and St. Austell, Poltair (18.4%). Labour would be winning these sort of seats in other parts of the country and they need to ask themselves whether times will ever again be as propitious for them to replace the Liberal Democrats as the voice of the struggling working class.
For the Green Party, only one candidate in Mevagissey who was completely squeezed out of the race.


Sitting councillor Jackie Bull moved to stand in St Austell Poltair, so anti-cuts campaigner, Simon Rix, picked up the Liberal Democrat banner in this much revised division. With 27% of local children living in poverty, his position reflects the people he hoped to represent. His task was made difficult by representing a party in national government who might be held responsible for the cuts. I predicted that the Liberal Democrats would hold on here, but with a much reduced vote share and majority, and so it proved with Mr Rix being elected with only 33.4% of the vote and a majority of 90 over the Conservative candidate, Rachel Beadle, who did well to maintain a healthy vote share of 23.9%
I guessed that the drop in the Lib Dem voted wouldn't favour the Tories in this area, and it didn't, with Independent candidate, Steve Hopper, taking third place (16.1%) and edging out MK-PC's Jerry Jeffries, who might have hoped to do better than fourth place and 14.7% of the vote.
Coming in last is Labour's regular candidate, David Doyle, who will be disappointed to have failed to build up the Labour vote higher than 12% in an area where they should really appeal. It is, however, a darn sight better than the dismal 5.8% achieved in the old division in 2009.

Fowey and Tywardreath

Phew - this was a close run election, as history in this area suggests, and I thought MK-PC's Fiona Carlyon might do well, but I didn't have any evidence from election results that saw her coming so close to taking the winners laurels.
Whilst Cllr David Hughes 'held' the seat (much revised after boundary changes), he only did so by 13 votes over Ms Carlyon. He took 37.8% to her 36.8%, quite stunning really and a sign of some unhappiness from many voters at the Liberal Democrat performance in government.
In the third place, retired naval man, Adrian Wildish received 25.4% of the vote, but he was very much out of this race in a place Tories would hope to win.
A decent 38% turnout.


I really thought that this division would slip back to its traditional Independent representation but, with an increased vote share (35.6%, up from 30.7% in 2009), the wonderfully named Conservative, Benedicte Poula Gwyneth Bay, successfully defended the seat for the Tories.
In second place came UKIP's Nigel Challis, whom I saw as a bit of a dark horse but I doubted he would be able to take the seat, but he didn't come far off so doing, with 28.5% of the vote - well up on 2009's 8.8%. He obviously appealed to the independently-minded voter in the division.
In a close third place came Independent candidate, Graham Jarrett, who received 26.9% of the vote.
Coming in last was the Liberal Democrat's Marian Oldor Candy whose 9.1% was marginally better than the party share last time (8.4%)
A 37% voter turnout.


Now this was a surprise, with Labour's Michael Bunney coming from a miserable last place and 4.1% of the vote for his party in 2009 to snatching the division with 29.7% this time. Mr Bunney just kept out UKIP's Michael Williams by 28 votes, in itself amazing as this had been a Conservative/Liberal Democrat marginal at the last Unitary elections with those parties accruing 85.9% of the vote between them; indeed, this has been a marginal between the parties for sometime.
They were truly pushed out at this election, with the Conservatives' James Mustoe losing his party's grip on the seat and coming third with 24% of the vote (44.5% in 2009) and, even more calamitously, with the Liberal Democrats, who I expected to gain this division, falling to fourth place and 14% of the vote (41.4% in 2009).
In last place came the Green Party's Katherine Moseley, who saw her party's share more than halved from 9.9% to 4.7%.
The Labour campaign here was obviously well run and targeted, as was the UKIP one, and shows that there need not be no-go areas for parties if they work hard. It also shakes up the complacency of whichever ever parties traditionally dominate.
A good 41% turnout in an interesting election, but still down on 2009.

Mount Charles

My prediction for this division was: "Too close to call, but the Lib Dems will lose it and Labour won't win it. Mr King as slight favourite". I am quite pleased with that as Mr King (Independent) did prove to be the winner after just missing out by 18 votes in 2009. He received 37% of the poll, slightly up on the 34.3% last time. The sitting councillor, Shirley Polmounter, elected as a Liberal Democrat but running as 'unspecified' this time, slipped to third with 18.1% of the vote.
Snatching second place was the Conservatives' Anne Double who, with 26.2%, held on to most of her party's poll share (29.7%).
In fourth place came Labour's Paul Roberts, who will probably be disappointed with taking 12.1% as, in an area like this, they should really be approaching 20%.
The real disaster though is for the local Liberal Democrat's, who came fifth with only 6.6% of the vote, Mount Charles having been a strong area for them in the past. Local problems have been a drag on them and they will need to address this.
In the end, the left-leaning candidacy ( "People before Profit and Practical Policies before Party Politics" was on his election website) of Mr King appealed to the voters of this area and there is a lesson for Labour here.

Newquay Central

I was reluctant to choose a winner here but plumped for Councillor Geoff Brown to hold on for the Liberal Democrats; after a very close result, my reluctance proved to be correct.
Mr Brown, having only taken the division by 54 votes in a six horse race in 2009 and with 28.8% of the vote, had a much healthier 52.3% in a two horse one, but only won with a 33 vote majority.
The defeated Independent (who had recently joined the Green Party, but was not really known as such) was Steven Slade, who certainly managed to feed into the anti-party feeling.
There was a depressingly low turnout of 18% and I question whether the decision of the Conservatives and Labour (and, for that matter, UKIP) to sit this election out here serves democracy, as many people seem to have stayed at home if they had no candidate.

Newquay Pentire

A simple victory for sitting Lib Dem, Councillor Joanna Kenny, who greatly increased the number of votes she received over 2009 from 389 to 516 on a much reduced turnout, going from 36.3% share of the vote to a 64.8% one. with only two runners in this race (5 in 2009), the losers were probably the electorate, but the Conservatives were the official also-rans with 35.2% of the vote (up from 27.4% but, due to the fall in turnout, they received 13 less actual votes).
With only minor boundary changes, the 26% turnout is quite depressing as 215 fewer people voted compared to 2009, a drop of around a fifth.

Newquay Treloggan

I could almost repeat the same mantra as for the above divisions, just changing the percentages and figures.
The 4 horse race in 2009 became a two horse one this time, with Councillor George Edwards having transferred to the Tretherras division, so Dave Sleeman retaining the seat for the Liberal Democrats over the returning Conservative challenger from 2009, Kevin Towill. The Liberal Democrat's 33.6% vote share in the old Treloggan division raised to 54%, whilst Mr Towill's 28.8% vote share is up to 46%, a 47 vote majority last time and now a 57 vote one.
A very low 22% turnout - for analysis, I refer you to my above remarks, a much lower turnout across Newquay as a whole; also, it would appear, as I surmised, that a lack of English Democratic Party candidate this time, meant that their voters stayed at home.

Newquay Tretherras

Due to the boundary changes, Councillor Patrick Lambshead for the Conservatives was challenged by Councillor George Edwards for the Liberal Democrats (see Treloggan above).
I thought this would be very close and predicted it would just(!) be a Conservative hold. Well, so it proved with the three horse race here (with UKIP's Doris Latham making up the field) being incredibly close with only 32 votes between a victorious Mr Lambshead and a very decent third for Ms Latham.
Mr Edwards was edged out by just 23 votes (35.6% to 32.8%), with Ms Latham on 31.7%,
A slightly better (although still reduced) turnout of 27% perhaps reflecting the more interesting electoral battle.

Newquay Treviglas

As if to make my point, with the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives joined by UKIP and Labour candidates, a much more interesting battle and a better turnout. An undefended division with the retirement of Independent councillor, Harry Heywood, the Conservatives should have been favourites here and I did predict that their candidate, Andy Hannan, would just gain it but thought the most likely beneficiary of any slip up would be the returning Liberal Democrat candidate, Sandy Carter. As I said in my overview last year, Mr Carter has an unfortunate habit of just missing out on election and thought that would be true this time, and so it was.
In the end, it was a brilliant result for the unexpected UKIP victor, Mark Hicks who, with 30.3% of the poll, beat Mr Hannan by 29 votes and Mr Carter by 48. Mr Hannan saw the Tory share slip slightly, compared to 2009, to 27% (from 28.5%), whilst The Lib Dem's slipped to 24.9% from 26%.
UKIP has no real history here and it was a stunning result with much of the vote of the former Independent appearing to switch straight across to Mr Hicks.
For Labour, Joan Bowden pulled off a very good result, taking 17.8% of the vote (just 110 votes behind Mr Hicks) and obviously showing signs of solid Labour Party targeting in this one division in Newquay. She may well have robbed Mr Carter of the seat, or it is more likely that voters who have felt disenfranchised in the past turned out this time.
The best turnout in Newquay of 28%, still depressingly low but maybe a message to the political parties to engage with the electorate.

Par and St Blazey Gate

History suggested this would be a Liberal Democrat victory, and so it proved with Douglas Scrafton winning through for them with 39.6% and a 76 majority over Conservative candidate, Richard Pears (31.1%) and Deli-owning Independent, Alison Watkins, another 16 votes behind (29.3%).
Perhaps closer than one would expect, probably due to the Independent candidate, but no big surprises here.
29% turnout.

Penwithick and Boscoppa

I predicted a Mebyon Kernow-Party of Cornwall gain here as I saw this as being a very good prospect for the returning MK-PC candidate, Matthew Luke, building on his very strong third place in 2009, and so it proved with him gaining the division from the defending Liberal Democrat candidate, Christopher Rowe.
Mr Rowe had only won in at the last elections with a 78 vote majority over the Conservatives and with 37.1% of the vote, so he must have known he was in some danger, not least because this was Mr Luke's third shot at it with a strong base. He managed to hold onto most of his vote share with 36.2% (from 37.1%), but that is still a slip back for the Liberal Democrats in a place where they used to poll much higher.
In the absence of any other challenger from the left (whilst Labour did poorly last time, they have a traditionally strong voter base here) and with unhappiness with the Liberal Democrats, Mr Luke came through the middle from third place last time (26.8%) to grab victory with 43.6% of the votes cast. He has a not too comfortable 61 majority but might now be difficult to shift.
The Conservatives came third here, pushed aside to take 20.2% (29.8% last time).
A turnout of 23.7%, down by a quarter.


For the third election, John Wood and Brian Higman faced each other in a county election, except that this time Mr Highman stood for Mebyon Kernow-Party of Cornwall.
It went as predicted in this somewhat redrawn division on 2009: Councillor Wood (then leader of the Independent group, now Chairman of the Council) retained the seat with almost the same vote share of 52.6% (53.2% in 2009). Former mayor of Restormel, Mr Higman had held the old County division (in the Liberal Democrat interest) until 2009 and will be disappointed that he was not able to return to Truro. He did take 39.5% of the vote, 6% better than when he stood as a Liberal Democrat, but was still 112 votes short.
Bringing up the rear was Conservative candidate Derek Walker, very much the also-ran with only 7.9% of the vote (13.4% in 2009).
A 27.8% turnout, well down on 2009.

St Austell Bay

A strange election here as the revised division had no defending councillor or party as the sitting Liberal Democrat councillor, John Oxenham, who had gained the seat in a byelection on a big swing from the Conservatives, did not defend the ward, nor did the party put up a candidate.
I predicted a Conservative (re)gain for their candidate, Tom French, and he did prevail but only after a very strong challenge from local campaigner and Independent candidate, Anne Langley. Mr French won with 46.3% of the vote to Ms Langley's 43.4%, a majority of only 36 votes. This was a big drop from the Conservative share of former councillor Richard Stewart, whose ill-health resignation had caused the byelection. He had taken 59.4% of the vote in the old division.
Ms Langley seems to have garnered votes from the Conservatives and the absent Liberal Democrat vote (33.5% in 2009), and almost pulled off a shock victory.
For Labour, Maggi Pitches could only hope to avoid a squeeze and to rebuild the once decent level of Labour support. Her 10.3% is better than 4.9% last time, but she should have hoped for more and it would seem that Ms Langley was a more attractive choice for the non-Tory vote.
A 34.1% turnout, which appears to be not too much lower than last time.

St Austell Bethel

I wasn't able to predict this one and the result shows why. Liberal Democrat candidate Malcolm Brown was elected, but with only 27% of the poll and a 12 vote majority over Independent candidate Graham Walker, the sitting councillor elected in 2009 as a Liberal Democrat. Mr Walker had resigned from the Liberal Democratic Party on 21st May 2012, citing deep disappointment with national politics. Mr Walker had won with an 18 vote majority (and 35.1% of the vote) at the last elections, so must have been gutted to be on the other side of a narrow majority.
Conservative Bob Davidson, the loser by 18 votes last time, was pushed further back this time with his party share falling from 33.7% to 19% this.
In fourth place came UKIP's Ian Proctor, third last time, who managed to increase his vote slightly from 15.8% to 16.9% but was surely hoping for more.
Labour's Brendan Parkinson will be pleased to have avoided a squeeze this time and to increase the Labour vote from 4.9% to 11.3%. The lack of a MK-PC candidate this time may have helped.
Not a great turnout of 27.5% but not as bad as some places of a similar demographic.

St Austell, Gover

I thought this would just be a gain by the 'unspecified' (Independent) candidate, Sandra Heyward, but she managed to poll better than I thought, taking 53.3% of the votes cast (44.6% last time), in her long-running electoral rivalry with defeated Tory councillor, Jenny Stewart. Last time, Ms Stewart won by 53 votes and took 49.2% of the votes, but fell back heavily this time to 32.5%.
In the last election, Ms Heyward had been a Liberal Democrat candidate but by standing as an non-party candidate she successfully played on the unpopularity of the government. It seems to have helped that the Liberal Democrats didn't put up a candidate this time.
For Labour, from a very poor 6.2% in 2009, they must have hoped that having no Liberal Democrat standing would bring them a healthy vote share, but Ann Phillips 14.1% is at least better than last time in a division where Labour have a weak recent electoral history.
A 26.1% turnout, well down on last time.

St Austell Poltair

As with the other St. Austell divisions, a very close run race in 2009, which probably shows why it was sensible for sitting Conservative councillor, Steve Double, now PPC for St Austell and Newquay constituency, not to defend the division - a loss wouldn't have been a good start.
As predicted, Bugle sitting councillor Jackie Bull won this seat for the Liberal Democrats and more handily than I thought she might, taking a decent 35.6% of the vote in a strong field, increasing the Lib Dem share from 29.1% in 2009. She pushed charity worker Adam Harris, of the Conservatives, into second place with a majority of 93, which counts as decent in this division. Mr Harris saw his party's vote drop by 10% to 25.4%.
In third place came former Liberal Democrat activist Derek Collins, now standing for Mebyob Kernow-Party of Cornwall since he fell out with the party over the national coalition. He achieved a very creditable 20.5% of the vote from a standing start for the party. He may well have gained many of the votes from the former Independent candidate who ran in 2009.
For Labour, the only candidate who stood in 2009, Poltair Residents' Association chair Andrea Lanxon will be disappointed to have failed to move up the pecking order but will be delighted to take the Labour share of the vote up to 18.4% from 8.5% last time.
The turnout of 26.5% was only down by about 5% compared to the last elections, perhaps a sign where a very competitive election can gain the electorate's interest. Still too low though.

St Blazey

In this division my prediction was: Liberal Democrat hold with reduced vote share, Labour to take second place (maybe; probably not). I should have been less doubtful about Labour's second place as sitting Rod Taylor was re-elected as the Liberal Democrat councillor, with a much reduced 40.1% of the vote (55.6% in 2009). His majority was down from 289 to over the Tories to 124 over Labour.
Labour's Stuart Wheeler will be pleased to have increased the Labour poll share to 24.1% (16.4%), as this is a seat in which Labour should really do better and where it's social policies should appeal: child poverty in this division was recently recorded as an appalling 25%, not quite the image that the home of the Eden Project would want to portray.
In third place came Independent candidate Liam Bellamy, with a very decent 22.3% of the vote, almost the same as the 23% an Independent managed to gain in 2005. It would seem much of his vote came from the Conservative Party and Mr Taylor, although he may well have appealed to people who normally don't vote.
The Conservatives had a very poor result, with Peter Sinclair seeing the vote more than halved from 28.1% to 13.6% and his party slipping from second to third place.
The turnout was again down by more than a quarter to 24%, but at least it was a fairly interesting election.
Certainly a division Labour should organise in more thoroughly as I believe it is a target for them. I do wonder how things might have gone with a UKIP candidate to pull in more votes.

St Columb Major

Whilst she only won with 32.7% of the vote last time, Councillor Harvey was never really likely to lose this division, not least in the absence of another Independent candidate. She was re-elected with 55.3% of the vote and a 382 majority over the Conservative candidate, John Bell. She seems comfortable here after her less than stellar victory last time.
For Mr Bell, he saw his party's share of the vote slip back slightly from 22.7% to 19.2%. For the Liberal Democrats, Alvin Augustus Martin slightly increased the vote share to 18.2% (from 17.6%).
Labour's Debbie Hopkins limped in last with 7.3%, which is at least better than the 3.6% last time; still pretty dreadful though. I suspect she'll do better as Labour's PPC for St. Austell and Newquay in 2015.
This is a division with a long history of safely electing Independents and, when Ms Harvey beat the other Independent in 2009 to claim victory, she appears to have returned it to its normal safe position.
Again, a big drop in turnout to 28.3%.

St Dennis and Nanpean

A battle of two Independents who had formerly been Liberal Democrats on the old Borough council, it was always likely that defending councillor, Fred Greenslade, would be easily re-elected. It proved to be very easy, with Mr Greenslade taking a hefty 72.4% of the vote (slightly up from 72.8%) in 2009 and a 364 majority.
Ms Wonnacott was roundly trounced and will doubtless be happily back running her dog-grooming business. She achieved only 21.5% of the poll.
In an unsurprisingly bad third place in this area came the Conservative candidate, Barbara Hannan, who received a sorry 6% of the vote, down from 11.9% in 2009.
The real story in this unchanged division, apart from the addition of Nanpean to the name, is the appalling turnout of 21%, a drop in actual votes of 267. This part of Cornwall has a real issue with engaging the voters.

St Enoder

Only one result was ever possible here and a thumping one: Mebyon Kernow-Party for Cornwall leader, Dick Cole, was re-elected with a crushing 86.9% of the vote over the brave, but ultimately hapless, Independent candidate, Elizabeth Hawken.
Mr Cole's 708-vote majority is to be envied and it is to his credit that, in the absence of other party candidates, he managed to keep the turnout at 27%, only down by a fifth compared to others. Inevitability of result isn't particularly conducive to getting the vote out.

St Mawgan and Colan

I expected the Conservative vote to drop here, but was sure that the defending Conservative Councillor, John Fitter, would be safely home. In a two horse race with MK-PC candidate, Rob Poole, it would seem that the Independent voter of 2009 (30.5%) stayed at home. His vote share rose to 76.1% from 53% although the number of votes he actually received dropped by 1 (588 from 589), a sign of the large drop in turnout. This is a story of differential turnout where Mr Fitter knows how to get his vote out.
Mr Poole seems to have captured the Liberal Democrat vote from 2009, with him taking 185 votes, up 1 from the Lib Dem vote of 184 last time. The drop in votes is exactly the same as the votes that the Independent candidate Gary Redman in 2009 received: 339. I love stories with a certain amount of symmetry but it is a shocking 30.5% cut in the number of votes from 2009. A 28.3% turnout compared to over 40% last time.

St Mewan

A very close run battle last time and a very close run one this time, I had this as too close to call but with the Lib Dem candiate, Janet Lockyer, slight favourites to retain it (former councillor, Baron (Robin) Teverson, of Tregony in the County of Cornwall now active in the Hose of Lords, stepped down this time).
In the end, it was won by the Independent candidate Malcolm Harris winning 36.6% of the votes cast and a majority of 44 over the Conservative, John Kneller (32.2%, down from 36% in 2009).
A disappointed Ms Lockyer was not far behind on 31.1%, a drop from 39%.
Mr Harris had campaigned on the issue of the scale and location of the proposed green-field shopping centre at Coyte Farm and, given a strong constituency of people minded to vote for a non-party candidate (25% last time), he campaigned very well. I thought it possible the success of his campaign might decide things and it did, in his favour. Congratulations to him.
Turnout: 32.7%, down by about a fifth on last time, and not a particularly good turnout in a fairly affluent area, for this part of Cornwall.

St Stephen-in-Brannel

A straight fight (no Conservative, Liberal Democrat or Labour candidates this time) between the Independent sitting councillor Des Curnow and UKIP's Keith Hickman.
Unsurprisingly, Mr Curnow was easily re-elected with 65.7% of the vote.
Mr Hickman might have hoped to do better, but I suspect that 34.3% is the top vote UKIP can expect and would only win in a more competitive and divided field.
A very disappointing 25.6% turnout, well down on 2009.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Cornwall Unitary Election results, 2013: North Cornwall

Last year I promised that, after the Unitary elections, I would return to review the Cornwall Council election results but, given a change of house (twice) and a change of work circumstances, I have not had the opportunity to do so. With things now being a little more settled, I will share some reflections.
The 2009 elections had been an unmititigated disaster for Labour, deeply disappointing for the Liberal Democrats, comforting for the Conservatives and the Independents; for Mebyon Kernow, they had been less than stellar, although they had shown progress whilst UKIP and the Greens had nothing but dashed hopes.
On the face of it, several parties can claim to be pleased with the results of 2013 but, as with all elections, the story is somewhat different when you look more closely. With Cornwall, things are never quite as simple as they first appear.
I will look at the result in each division to reflect upon what happened (and how wrong, or right, my predictions were). As with most of those who had made educated guesses about the results, whilst I predicted UKIP would do well, I did not see what was coming and that was the biggest surprise of the elections for me.

North Cornwall was a District Council, formed in 1974 which disappeared with the formation of the Cornwall Unitary Authority on 1st April, 2009. It covers the towns of Bude, Bodmin, Launceston, Wadebridge, Camelford and Padstow, with 62 parishes in all.

District Council Election results, 2007:

Party                       Votes    Percent    Seats
Liberal Democrat     9988    34.5%     14
Conservative           8988    31.1%      6
Independent            8347    28.9%    15
Mebyon Kernow      1131      3.9%      1
Labour                      270      0.9%      0
BNP                          202      0.7%      0

2007 was a good election for the Liberal Democrats, gaining 3 seats and slightly increasing its share of the vote on 2003, in a traditionally strong area for them. They had candidates in 18 of the 23 wards (mix of 1-, 2- and 3-member wards).
The Conservatives, despite only winning 6 seats, came second in turn of vote share with candiates in 20 of the 23 wards. They were up from 19.7% in 2003 and were just edged out in three of the seats.
The Inependents were the big losers on 2003, dropping from 43.7% and in a clear lead to third with 28.9%. They lost control of the council but still managed to remain the largest party (though with 4 councillors fewer).
Mebyon Kernow had only one candidate in 2003 with John Bolitho being elected in Bude; in 2007, with Johnn Bolitho not standing again, they lost Bude but gained a ward in Bodmin St. Mary's with Ernest Chapman being elected. Although they had two candidates this time, their vote share only rose to 3.9% from 2.7%.
Labour, in an area where they are historically weak, had no candidates in 2003, but managed to field three candidates in the Wadebridge and Launceston wards, managing only 3.4% and 6.4% repectively.
The BNP's Simon Bennett stood in Poughill and Stratton ward and received 202 votes (7.8%).
Unitary Council Election results, 2009:

Party                       Votes    Percent    Seats
Liberal Democrat    11448   38.8%      10
Conservative          10740    36.4%      8
Independent            6037    20.5%      3
Mebyon Kernow         534     1.8%      0
UKIP                           555     1.9%      0
BNP                             86     0.3%      0
Green Party                 82     0.3%      0

At a time that The Liberal Democrats were suffering in other parts of Cornwall, they suffered some disappointments in the old North Cornwall district area in the first Unitary Council elections. Winning 10 of the 21 divisions, they topped the poll with 38.8% of the vote, but they would have been disappointed to have failed to win in Altarnun (falling to third place), Bodmin East (losing by 33 votes), Lanivet (falling to quite a distant second place), Padstow (a surprisingly heavy defeat), Poundstock (losing by 45 votes),
For the Conservatives, excellent results in this electoral cycle, with them making strong advances at the expense of the Liberal Democrats and, in terms of votes, the Independents.
The Independent candidates fared less well, standing in fewer divisions than they would have in the old wards, they only managed to take 20.5% of the vote and 3 out of 21 of the seats, the area becoming much more party politicised as the electoral cycle was approaching a genreal election in 2010.
Mebyon Kernow fielded candidates in Bude South (formerly a strong area for them, they only took 7.8% of the vote), Poundstock (5.3%) and Padstow, where Ron Brown managed a decent 23.3% of the vote, apparently eating into the Liberal Democrat vote.
The BNP stood a candidate in Padstow, taking 5.5% of the vote.
The Green Party also fielded a candidate in Padstow and managed 5.3%
Labour, a sign of their general weakness in this area, did not have a candidate in any of the divisions; given their results elsewhere, this was probably very sensible.

Unitary Council Election results, 2013:

Party                       Votes    Percent     Seats
Liberal Democrat    10332    44.3%     15
Conservative            5518    23.7%      2
Independent            3615    15.5%      4
UKIP                        2394     10.3%      0
Mebyon Kernow-PC     521     2.2%     0
Labour                        735     3.2%     0
Green Party                185     0.8%     0

Unlike the the disappointment the Liberal Democrats faced across much of Cornwall at these most recent Unitary elections, they polled very well here and gained five divisions. With 44.3% of the vote, the Liberal Democrats achieved their highest vote share in this area in many years, the only disappointment being the big drop in turnout that meant that their vote went up by 5.5% but they garnered 1,116 less actual votes than in 2009. They gained (bearing in mind boundary changes) Bodmin St. Petroc, Camelford, Lanivet and Blisland, Padstow and Poundstock, all the divisions they would have hoped to hold in 2009 (see above). They also came very close in the controversial election in Wadebridge East (see below), losing by only 4 votes (they were to go on to just gain this in the subsequent byelection).
For the Conservatives, this was a terrible result, with the vote share dropping by over a third. They did not run candidates in Bodmin St. Mary's, Bodmin St. Petroc (where Conservative councillor Lance Kennedy quit and defended the division, unsuccessfully, as an Independent), Launceston South, Lanivet and Blisland (despite having won the seat in 2009), and St. Issey and St. Tudy. They generally suffered at the hands of UKIP (as well as others), most strikingly in recording a humiliating vote share in Bodmin St. Leonard of 5% (28.1% in 2009). They only bucked the trend in Altarnun, which they held with a slightly reduced share of the vote, and Wadebridge West, where Councillor Scott Mann pulled off a spectacular result. They were humiliated.
For the Independents/Unspecified, it was a mixed result with them gaining a councillor overall, but losing more of the vote share, down to 15.5% this time. They held Stokeclimsland, Wadebridge East, and St. Teath and St. Breward, all with long-standing councillors whose personal votes are what carry them on, only gaining St. Minver and St. Endellion with Andy Penny gaining from the Tories with a 16 vote majority. One wonders about the future for non-party candidates in this part of Cornwall.
For UKIP, not their best result in Cornwall, as they failed to dent the Liberal Democrat appeal.They only fought half the divisions, coming close only in Altarnun (80 votes behind), Lanivet and Blisland (129 votes behind).
Labour stood candidates in five divisions this time, doing best in Wadebridge East with 12.1% of the vote and worst in Launceston Central with 9.2%. The party really ought to do better given the social needs of the area but at least they had candidates this time, unlike 2009.
For Mebyon Kernow-Party of Cornwall, disppointment in that they failed to put up much of a challenge in the three divisions where they had a candidate, failing miserably in Bodmin St. Mary's where they once had a councillor (see below). They achieved around a sixth of the vote in the seats they contested.
The Green Party had one candidate in Lanivet and Blisland, achieving 15.5% of the vote.


This division has been normally represented, in its slightly varying guises by the Liberal Democrats, until it was gained in 2009 by the Conservatives with the Lib Dems falling to a surprise third place. Conservative Vivian Hall held onto the seat for The Conservatives with a slightly reduced vote share of 37% whilst the Liberal Democrats remained in third place (despite, or maybe because of, the candidature of the sitting Launceston South councillor, Sasha Gillard-Loft). In 2009, the Conservatives had just held off the challenge of Independent Brian Eno, but this time it was the UKIP challenger, John Knights, who proved the greatest threat. I predicted he would get a healthy vote share but didn't think he would threaten to take the seat - he wasn't far off though, taking 30% of the votes cast and failng only by 80 votes.
I had predicted, although I clearly said "with little confidence", that the Lib Dems would regain the seat, basing this on a bounce back after the pretty appalling result for the Lib Dems in 2009, although I believed Labour's entry into the campaign might hinder that. Labour's Geoff Hale will be happy with the 111 votes gained and 11% vote share, I guess the Lib Dems less so, although it wouldn't have given them the seat even if the votes had gone their way otherwise.
What happened? The Conservatives held on much better then one might have expected, given that the sitting councillor had stood down, and UKIP, with no electoral history to speak of, were the surprise package. It would seem that Mr Knights took votes that were once with the Independent candidate as well as a handful of Tory votes; who is to say what the result might have been if it had been known how close UKIP would come to taking the Division?

Bodmin St. Leonard

A safe, indeed impressive, Lib Dem hold here with Cllr Pat Rogerson garnering a excellent 62% of the vote. As I predicted at the time, UKIP were always likely to be a hindrance to the Conservatives, I had realised just how much of one - the Conservative vote share collapsed to 5% with their candidate, Mr Scoffham, reduced to a humiliating 4th place.
Whilst UKIP's Chris Wallis posed no threat to Cllr Rogerson, he took a creditable 24% of the vote and a clear second place. Labour's David Acton will be disappointed to have only taken 9% of the vote but has the comfort of knowing he did not place last. I thought that Councillor Rogerson might be a little unnecessarily worried by Labour's entrance into the race but it would appear that the strong vote share for the Independent in 2009 swung mostly behind her whilst the Conservatives can only go home and lick their wounds.
I had predicted a Lib Dem hold.

Bodmin St. Mary's

This is a seat that I thought might be a challenge for the Lib Dems and predicted it as being too close to call between them and Mebyon Kernow-Party of Cornwall (MK-PC). I had predicated this on the past success of MK-PC in the 2007 district council elections. Well, more fool me to try to make that kind of normal political assessment in a north Cornish town. Local connections matter here and, despite the apparently strong local connections of MK-PC's Roger Lashbrook, it was Cllr Kerridge who was comfortably re-elected. Whilst her vote share was down on 2009 when it was a two-horse race with the Conservatives, her 56.4% share of the vote is a great achievement.
In the end, it was UKIP's Peter Walter's who proved the main - if distant - challenger, soaking up the majority of the Tory vote (as the Conservatives's failed to field a candidate) to achieve 19.9%, with MK-PC in third with 16.5%.
Labour's Janet Hulme will be disappointed to have taken only 7.2% of the vote, but at least she flew the flag.
A 27.4% turnout, but not massively down on 2009.

Bodmin St. Petroc

An interesting election battle here with the sitting Conservative and former Cornwall Cabiner member, Lance Kennedy, fighting to hold his seat against former Cllr Steve Rogerson who had only lost the Division by 33 votes in 2009.
As predicted, Mr Rogerson was re-elected and he comfortably increased his party's vote share (48.4% to 56.1%); a very comfortable majority of 461 for Mr Rogerson.
Mr Kennedy quit the Conservative party two months before these elections in protest at the decision of the Council to vote for a zero percent rise in Council Tax. The Cabinet Member for community safety, public protection and waste management, he might have hoped to do better, in his new guise as an Independent, than coming third with only 15.6% (51.6% when elected).
MK-PC's John Gibb's will be pleased with his party's 125 vote share (12%).
Voter's don't like division and the fallouts at County Hall cannot have been helpful to Mr Kennedy. It would appear that much of his vote went straight across to Cllr Rogerson and one would hope that a lesson is learnt.
I expressed the hope in my commentary that an increased number of candidates might increase the turnout, and it appears that it may have done so. The division has been slightly altered from the old East one but it seems that the 29.6% turnout is slightly up on 2009. Still disappointing though.


Nothing to see here. As predicted, in Cornwall's only two member division, the Lib Dem's Cllr's David Parsons and Nigel Pearce were comfortably re-elected with, between them, 85.4% of the vote. The sole challenger, Conservative (former Independent) Louise Emo managed only 14.6%. Not a good advert for representative democracy, you'd have thought another candidate could have been found.
The only real thing of note is that the turnout was 50.4%, which may be down from last time but it is hard to judge after the boudary revisions. Very nice to see over 50% of the electorate voting.


Well, what can one say - my prediction was "too close to call, for now" and I never called it. As it proved, this was a very tight race and I believed, popular as he was, that sitting Conservative Cllr Keith Goodenough would find it hard to hold against Lib Dem challenger, Rob Rotchell. Cllr Goodenough has always been in tight races but to lose by 7 votes must really hurt - the 'if only my knocking up effort had been good enough' (bad pun intended), but such is democracy.
A disappointing turnout of 28.8%, a slightly larger division casting over 300 fewer votes.

Grenville and Stratton

As predicted, a safe Liberal Democrat hold in a strong division for them. Cllr Dolphin's 68.2% will give her much to shout about, so fulfilling an election pledge. The Conservative's Shorne Tilbey never really had a chance.
The old Flexbury and Poughill division was much more fun.
A 36.8% turnout.

Lanivet and Blisland

One of those seats where the defending party, the Conservatives, failed to put up a candidate to defend. I predicted a Liberal Democrat gain, and so it proved with the now Cllr Chris Batters taking a comfortable 47.5%, almost doubling the Lib Dem share from 2009.
In the absence of the Conservatives, UKIP's Tom Hobbs 36% was very healthy and just short of the Conservative vote in 2009. UKIP don't seem to have been too successful with other party's voters here. The Green's Steve Haynes had every reason to be happy with his 15.5% of the vote, having had to campaign with little help.
A 34.7% turnout, but quite a cut from 2009.

Launceston Central

This was never going to be anything but a very safe hold for the Liberal Democrats and so it proved with Cllr Folkes taking 70.8% of the vote, a 7% increase since 2009. His Conservative challenger, Poundstock Cllr Phil Tucker (not sure why he changed to here), saw the Tory vote share more than halved to 17.2%. Bringing up the rear in the third place was Labour's Kris Roberts, who will be delighted to have recorded a Labour vote of 12%.
What explains the vote? I expect that the Lib Dem vote rose partly due to Cllr Folkes having an incumbancy bounce, with Cllr Tucker representing an unpopular local coalition and changing division and losing most votes to the Lib Dems whilst Labour seem to have managed to bring out voters who may normally not vote, have moved some across from the Lib Dems in the general vote churn and even some from the Tories. The low 25.9% turnout is not good.

Launceston North and North Petherwin

As predicted, a safe Lib Dem hold with Cllr Adam Paynter suffering only a 5.5% drop in his vote share against 4 other candidates (as opposed to two in 2009). The Conservatives will undoubtedly be deeply disappointed to have been pushed into a clear third place by UKIP with Graham Ford taking 24.4% of the vote to Bill Sowerby's 13.8%, a shattering drop of over 29% from 2009. The two Independent candidates hardly registered with Max Hailey receiving 5.3% to the gloriously named Krystyna Zdan-Michajlowicz's 4.9%.
This kind of result is one that can offer only a worrying picture to the Conservatives as, even though there is the mid-term blues and the unpopular local administration to take into account, this is a shattering result losing so many votes to UKIP who have some small history in this Division.
A 39.6% turnout, down on 2009.

Launceston South

I thought this might be close, but predicted a Lib Dem hold. I was half right - it was a fairly safe hold in the end with Jade Farrington, their new candidate ( Cllr Gillard-loft and her problems having flown to Alturnan), achieving 45.5% of the vote, slightly up on 2009.
I thought it was possible that Independent candidate John Conway (the Conservative candidate in 2009) might run the Lib Dems close, but it was UKIP's James Wonnacott who managed to snatch second place with just over 24% of the vote - I had predicted they would ger a "fairly healthy vote" without winning, but I had thought that Ms Farrington would do somewhat worse and Mr Conway somewhat better.
Labour's Susan Alfar will perhaps be disappointed with 9.2% of the vote, but at least the party had a candidate, unlike the Conservatives. I predicted that "The real issue is how well UKIP will do." I was sort of right, and also wrong.
A 35.1% turnout.


I predicted a close finish in this two horse race between sitting Cllr Stephen Rushworth and Lib Dem challenger Richard Buscombe. The decision of MK-PC and the Greens to not field a candidate was obviously to maximise the chances against the Conservatives but I still believe that MK-PC had as good a chance here of taking the seat and, in a straight fight, I think they'd have beaten the Tories handily. As it happens, now Cllr Buscombe fared pretty well with a majority of 87 which I suggested I was leaning towards in my then post.
38.5% turnout, significantly down on the last elections.


I predicted that, on balance, the Lib Dem's candidate, Nicky Chopak, would gain this seat but it was very close with a majority of only 38 over Conservative Andrew Ades, replacing sitting councillor Phil Tucker who inexplicably moved to the Lib Dem stronghold of Launceston Central. I think he will regret this now as incumbency might well have saved him this seat (of course, he might have been personally unpopular in the area, who knows?). MK-PC's Paul Sousek will be happy to have trebled his party's vote share to 15.7% whilst Independent, former UKIP, candidate Rupert Powell must be filled with "what ifs?" after seeing his former party's advances elsewhere.
36.2% turnout, down by just under 20%.

St. Issey and St. Tudy

In 2009, Liberal Democrat Leader Cllr Jeremy Rowe, held his seat by only 76 votes in a straight fight against the Conservatives. On this occasion, on a lower number of votes cast, he won by 75 votes over the spirited Independent Emma Karenza Hambly who campaigned in oppostion to what she described as "inappropriate renewable energy projects" that she believes are "resulting in the desecration of Cornwall's most valuable asset...its landscape". Holding the Liberal Democrats particularly responsible she very nearly achieved a 'decapitation' success that few, myself included, saw coming. Her 46.7% vote share was impressive, obviously making clear a deep sense of unhappiness with the political class.
I predicted Cllr Rowe would hold his seat, I was very nearly wrong.
33.5% turnout, well down on 2009.

St. Minver and St. Endellion

I predicted that this would be a two-horse race between sitting Conservative Cllr Brian Gisbourne and Independent candidate Alan Penny, but I just gave it to Cllr Gisbourne thus showing why I don't bet on horse-races. Mr Penny just gained the seat by 16 votes (1.5%) over the defending councillor.
Liberal Democrat Ed Headley-Hughes, about whom I could discover nothing, garnered 17.2% of the vote and trailed in a distant third.
A decent 42.6% turnout, but down on 2009.

St. Teath and St. Breward

John Lugg was safely re-elected as an 'Unspecified' candidate, although his share of the vote was down from the 65.1% he received in the old St. Teath division to 51.5% on this occasion. Most of this will be down to the intervention of the Liberal Democrats (who didn't have a candidate in 2009), although I would have expected their standard-bearer, Eddie Jones, to have done somewhat better than 31.8%.
For the Conservatives, Henry Hine saw their share of the vote fall to 16.8% from the 34.9% in 2009.
A 38.1% turnout.


Whilst I saw this as an easy Independent hold, I expected that Councillor Neil Burden, as Deputy Leader of the then Council Administration and having had a minor 'mis-speak' concerning children with special needs (for which he unreservedly apologised), might have a bit of a shake-up, but he didn't. Comfortably holding onto the substantially redrawn Division with a hefty 62% of the vote, Cllr Burden had a massive (in UA election terms) majority of 538 over the wonderfully-named Antonia Mary Damaris Willis of UKIP, who claimed 20.8%. The Conservatives (9.5%) and Liberal Democrats (7.7%) trailed in a distant third and fourth.
Another 42.6% turnout. The boundary changes were significant but the number of voters exchanged were about the same, so we can surmise a drop in turnout of just under a fifth.


A bizarre story brewed here when it was discovered that the UKIP challenger, Susan Bowen, who had only joined the party about 6 weeks before the election, had recently been a member of the BNP, something specifically banned by UKIP - it was a sign of the foolishness of not vetting their candidates in the haste to get as many standing as possible. Ms Bowen stopped campaigning but, with her name still on the ballot paper, I speculated that she might still do quite well.
The re-elected councillor, Liberal Democrat councillor Glenton Brown, comfortably increasing his share of the vote since 2009 from 44.8% to 57.1%, will be happy with his 351 majority. Ms Bowen came in second with 26.9% (the Independent main challenger in 2009 not standing this time), perhaps surprisingly under the circumstances but she certainly represented an opportunty to express an 'anti-politics as normal' vote.
In the third place came the Conservative candidate, Paul Charlesworth, whose vote share fell sharply from 27.2% to 15.9%. He was perhaps the victim of those unhappy with Ms Bowen voting for Mr Brown to ensure she was not elected and also an increasingly euro-sceptic electorate voting for UKIP.
A turnout of 36.1%, heavily down on 2009 when it was around 50%.

Wadebridge East

The most controversial of all of the election battles took place in this division with sitting Independent Councillor Collin Brewer in the centre of a storm after telling a member of Disability Cornwall at a stall in County Hall that "disabled children cost the council too much money and should be put down". Finally resigning his seat on 1st March 2013, he decided to defend it again. He faced five challengers, including Sarah Maguire, the young mother who led the local campaign for his resignation, standing in the Independent interest. At the time, I said that the result would be too close to call and didn't call it but asked the question of Councillor Brewer's chances: "will his support stay solid or will the divided opposition allow him to lose a lot of support and still win?" The latter was the case and Cllr Brewer held his seat with 25.2% of the vote, only 4 votes more than Liberal Democrat Steve Knightley. Ironically, Ms Maguire's entrance into the race where she came 6th, garnering a respectable 146 votes (11%) probably saved Mr Brewer.
The results for the UKIP (15.6%), Labour (12.1%) and Conservative (11.3%) candidates were somewhat overlooked in the aftermath, but it was satisfactory for the first two and pretty disasterous for the Tories, who saw their vote share slashed by two thirds.
The national furore surrounding the result was quite astonishing and the embattled councillor resigned from the Authority for a final time after he was found to have breached Cornwall Council's Members' Code of Conduct following a second complaint after the re-elected Councillor had given a telephone interview to the Disabilty News Network. He resigned on 10th July 2013.
At the subsequent byelection, held on 5th September 2013, the runner-up from May, Liberal Democrat Stepehen Knightley gained the Division with 31.8% of the vote and by a tiny majority of 9 over Independent candidate, Tony Rush.
A 42.3% turnout, almost identical to the 2009 turnout, with the interest in the election being very high.

Wadebridge West

As predicted, an easy hold by defending Conservative Cllr Scott Mann, who took a comfortable 65.5% of the votes cast, a 5.6% increase over 2009 and giving him a very handsome majority of 522; this was surely helped by the lack of a UKIP candidate this time (in 2009, they managed just under 15% of the vote). Former postman Cllr Mann is the Conservative PPC for North Cornwall, so will see this as a good base for him. In a distant second on 24.3% of the vote was the Liberal Democrat's Elliot Osbourne, who managed to maintain the poll share, with it slipping by only 1% since 2009. In the Labour (and Co-operative) Party's interest, John Whitby will have found some satisfaction with 10.2% of the vote.
A 41.6% turnout, again almost identical to 2009, with the interest in the next door election probably having a knock-on effect in turnout here.