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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.