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.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Cornwall Council elections: Restormel

Restormal was a borough council of Cornwall which disappeared with the creation of the Cornwall Council unitary authority on 1st April, 2009. It offices were based in the town of St Austell and  the area it covered was the middle of Cornwall, the 'knee' of the peninsula. It was originally formed on 1st April, 1974, from the St. Austell Rural District, Newquay Urban District and St Austell with Fowey borough.
With the creation of the unitary authority, 4 new civil parishes were created: St Austell Town Council, St Austell Bay civil parish, Carlyon civil parish and Pentewan Valley civil parish.
A major concern during this election is the proposed building of an incinerator in St Dennis in the China Clay Area.

St Austell

The largest town in Cornwall with a population of 30,800 (2010 estimate). 10 miles south of Bodmin and 30 miles west of Devon. St Austell civil parish is entirely urban in character. The China Clay industry, once dominant as the St Austell employer, now employs only 2,000 people, but its annual output is higher than ever before. The St Austell Brewery, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2001, supplies cask ale to pubs in Cornwall and the rest of the UK, and its beers are marvellous, I have undertaken studies of the subject.

St Austell Bethel

This division was won by a tiny majority of 18 votes in 2009 by the Liberal Democrat's Graham Walker over the Conservative candidate, Bob Davidson. Both are back but this time Councillor Walker, also a town councillor, is standing as an Independent. He resigned from the party on 21st May, 2012, citing his immense disappointment in national politics. Town councillor Mr Davidson, a former district councillor for Bethel, will be hoping that this will help him to win this time.
For the Liberal Democrats, local constituency party chairman Malcolm Brown will be trying to return the seat to the party fold. A town councillor, Mr Brown won the Bethel by election on the 6th December, 2012. He took 41.5% of the vote over the Tory share of 27.5% and, whilst the majority was only 90, on a low turnout, that was acceptable, and was a gain from the Tories.
Another person with a lot to be happy about from that by election is Brendan Parkinson, the Labour & Co-op candidate in this division, who managed to achieve a Labour vote share of 21%, their best in this area for a long time. Whilst he shouldn't get too excited, that is a vast improvement on the 4.9% achieved in 2009 and, in actual votes cast, they more than doubled from a shocking 64 on a large turnout to 135 on a small one. St Austell is an area where Labour should hope to do well and if constituency party secretary Mr Parkinson can match his vote share then he will be delighted - the lack of a Mebyon Kernow-PC candidate may help him, or the Liberal Democrats. Mr Parkinson stood in the old St Austell North division in 2005 and, with the help of the General Election turnout, managed 18.6% of the vote. He must hope to do at least that. A sports enthusiast, Mr Parkinson was presented with a cheque for £1,000 by Cllr Walker in February of 2012 for St Austell Cricket Club, where he is chairman. I guess that is all the councillor will want to be making a gift of .The Independent didn't do well in that by election, but I doubt this will concern Cllr Walker too much.
UKIP's Ian Proctor, an Oxford Psychology and Philosophy graduate who is principal of Cornwall Language Services, the other candidate from 2009, who will be hoping that UKIP growth across the country will increase his vote enough to get him through a divided field; his 14.8% from last time should increase.
This is quite a tough one to call.Cllr Walker, Mr Davidson and Mr Brown all have strong chances to win here. Mr Davidson will probably be most effected by the UKIP vote and the battle for the Lib Dem vote between Cllr Walker and Mr Brown, as well as Labour's hope of taking votes from the Lib Dems and the play all will be making for those who voted MK-PC last time, makes this look like a fascinating seat. Cllr Walker won with 35.1% of the vote in 2009, I think somebody could win with less than that this time.

Prediction: No idea.

St Austell, Gover

In 2009, Conservative Jenny Stewart just managed to take this seat from the Liberal Democrat's Sandra Heyward by 53 votes and, this time, former Gover district councillor Heyward is hoping to go one step further. This political rivalry has history as Councillor Stewart originally gained her the Gover ward from Ms Heyward in the 2007 district elections with Ms Stewart being squeezed out of election by 48 votes (59 behind Cllr Stewart in what was a two-seat ward). Originally elected in 2003, Ms Stewart topped the poll but even then there were only 39 votes between first and third, so she is used to tight races, normally losing out. Originally an Independent, she has decided to stand as an Independent again but without there being a Liberal Democrat in the race. A town councillor and former mayor, she is a well-known figure and must hope that the unpopularity of the Conservatives will allow her to take the division.
Labour's candidate is Ann Phillips, who will be hoping to reverse the shocking collapse in the Labour vote in this division in recent years. In 2009, Labour could only to get 72 electors (6.2%) to vote for them, and they will be determined to reverse this decline and avoid another squeeze between the other two. It is hard to imagine that Labour wouldn't improve from the depths of unpopularity of 4 years ago, but the history of party weakness in this area goes back further.
The media-savvy Cllr Stewart (also a town councillor) will be happy if Labour can pick up protest votes, not least because it is unlikely that her vote share will remain as high as in 2009; the worry for her is that Ms Heyward will take the strong Lib Dem vote and, as an Independent, pick up any Tories wishing to make a 'non-party' protest. Getting the vote out will be the aim for all three candidates and Labour will be keen to avoid the "Labour can't win here" campaign doing for them.
It is a hard one to call but, even given the signs of Labour recovery and the likelihood of Ms Phillips picking up a healthy vote share for Labour from some of those who have voted Lib Dem for a long time, I think Ms Heyward could just take this seat, but it could well be a squeaker - again.

Prediction: Independent gain - just.

St Austell Poltair

Continuing the amazing story of St Austell 'squeakers', the Conservative Steve Double won this seat in 2009 by 68 votes and with 35.9% vote share, only 90 ahead of the third placed candidate.
Part of the reason for this was that the Liberal Democrat and Independent candidates were both sitting councillors in the old two-seat district ward, with the Liberal Democrat also being a sitting County Councillor. Councillor Double, town councillor and deputy mayor of St Austell, was obviously so surprised to win his seat that he decided to aim higher and has been selected as the prospective parliamentary candidate for the St Austell and Newquay constituency.
He has decided not to stand for re-election to the County Council, which might seem a mistake but, given the possible loss of the seat this time, it is probably canny and means he will be more in the area in the run-up to the 2015 general election than in County Hall in Truro.
Defending the seat for the Conservatives is Adam Harris, volunteer and chairman of St Austell Community Kitchen (STACK), a charity providing hot meals to the homeless. STACK has won awards for their work and it is good to see such work being recognised and rewarded.
Hoping to wrest the seat back for the Liberal Democrats is Cornwall Councillor Jackie Bull, who has left her much safer Bugle division to face a more difficult challenge, albeit one in which she should be the favourite. The last mayor of the old district council, Cllr Bull works 20 hours a week as a case worker for local MP, Stephen Gilbert. She also runs the charity, ECC/Imerys Pensioners' Holiday Group.
Labour and Co-op's Andrea Lanxon returns as the only candidate who stood in 2009, when she saw the Labour vote fall to 8.5% (91 votes), the best in the area. Ms Lanxon stood for the old district ward in 2003, taking a creditable 20.5% of the vote and she will hope to be able to repeat that kind of vote shre this time. Whilst I do not doubt that Labour's vote will improve, it may not be helped by the entrance to the race of Mebyon Kernow-PC candidate, Derek Collins. Bethel town councillor Mr Collins was a long-time member of the Liberal Democrats who resigned in protest at the party's national coalition with the Conservatives. I can find no recent history of MK voting in this area of St Austell and it remains to be seen how he will do, but I would guess that Cllr Bull will be less than delighted to have to face another challenger from the centre-left (and a former Lib Dem) who might attract anti-government protest votes.
It is hard to predict and nobody knows where the large Independent vote will go (if it turns out) this time. I would be surprised if Cllr Bull doesn't gain this seat but, given the challenge to her vote from Labour and MK-PC and the appeal of a popular and socially-concerned Tory candidate defending the seat, it is a really fascinating battle.

Prediction: Liberal Democrat gain (maybe)

St Austell Bay

This division lies southeast of the town of St Austell and stretches along the coast from Charlestown in the north to Black Head in the south. It includes the communities of Charlestown and is a village and port on the south coast of Cornwall, in the parish of St Austell Bay. It is situated approximately 2 miles south east of St Austell town centre - tall ships, lots of filming), Duporth (now a defunct holiday village), Porthpean and Trenarren (a hamlet northeast of Pentewan). This boundary changes here brought parts of the parish formerly in Megavissey division into this division to preserve a sense of unity in this new (2009) civil parish.
The (unaltered) division had a byelection in November, 2009, following the resignation, due to ill-health, of Councillor Richard Stewart. This resulted in a big turnaround with the gain of the seat by John Oxenham for the Liberal Democrats by only 15 votes from the Conservative candidate, Bob Davidson (now the candidate in St Austell, Bethel). This was achieved with a swing of 13.5% and a great result for the Liberal Democrats. The Labour candidate, the returning Maggi Pitches (I preferred the previous Margaret Mary. I am old-fashioned), was squeezed to 4.6% of the vote in a classic Liberal Democrat victory.
On the face of it then, it is surprising to discover that not only is Councillor Oxenham not standing again for this division, but there is no Lib Dem candidate.
Hoping to take advantage of this and retake the division for the Conservatives is their candidate, local financial adviser Tom French, a St Austell town councillor. He is being challenged by Independent candidate, Ann Langley, who has campaigned about the state of the building site on nearby Carlyon Bay and its effect on tourism in the area. She will be hoping to take advantage of the lack of a Liberal Democrat candidate this time and with Conservative unpopularity nationally, but the actions of the Independents in County Hall, in local coalition with the Tories, may hinder her.
For Labour, as I mentioned above, Maggi Pitches is back and will hope to be able to turn unhappiness with the governments, local and national, to her advantage. The lack of a Lib Dem candidate should, one would think, help Labour here, but Ms Pitches will be determined to establish herself as a strong candidate to prevent another "beat the Tory" squeeze. Labour have polled well here in the past and must hope to do so again.

Prediction: Conservative (re-)gain

Penwithick and Boscoppa

Penwithick or Penwithick Stents is a village 2.5 miles north of St Austell, in the civil parish of Treverbyn in the 'clay country' area of china clay quarrying. There are plans to build a new settlement Baal & West Carclaze south of the village as part of the St Austell and Clay Country Eco-town. This would include 1,800 to 2,500 homes. The plan was given outline approval in July 2009.
Boscoppa is a settlement northeast of St Austell. Originally Boscoppa was a separate village but is now a suburb of St Austell and is west of the recently-built A391 bypass road. The village lies in a former mining area.
Won by Liberal Democrat, Christopher Rowe in 2009 with a 78 majority over the Conservatives, and 110 over Mebyon Kernow's Matthew Luke, this is a highly marginal division. Councillor Rowe is back to defend and his main challenger is probably the returning Mebyon Kernow-Party of Cornwall candidate.
The Conservatives have nominated Jamie Hanlon but, with no Labour candidate this time and the unpopularity of the national coalition parties, I could see Mr Luke coming through the middle to take this.

Prediction: Mebyon-Kernow-Party of Cornwall gain

Fowey and Tywardreath 

This division includes Fowey, a small town, civil parish and cargo port at the mouth of the Fowey in south Cornwall  At the time of the 2001 census, it had a population of 2,273. Still busy with trawlers and yachts, tourism is also an important source of income. Also in this division is Tywardreath is a small hilltop village in southern Cornwall, 3 miles north west of Fowey, it has 7 masonic lodges, it is in the civil parish of Tywardreath and Par.
Some obvious boundary changes here with Fowey now being joined (as in district wards in the past) with Tywardreath. The Liberal Democrat Councillor David Hughes, elected for the old Tywardreath division, is 'defending' this seat but I am not sure exactly how it would have turned out in 2009. As a ward, it either elected councillors unopposed or split the vote almost equally between Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Independents. The former Fowey division elected Conservative Sally Bain with a 36 majority over an Independent candidate. On balance, it looks like a better bet that the Liberal Democrats who would have won this seat last time, but given that people vote for different candidates in different ways in these parts, it can't be certain.
In 2007, Cllr Hughes was elected to the old district 3-member ward, 31 votes behind Cllr Bain, who is not standing here this time. He sits on the Tywardreath and Par parish council.
Born in Tywardreath and schooled in Fowey, local man Adrian Wildish is standing for the Conservatives. Formerly serving in the Royal Navy (from age 16), he now works in Plymouth in Military Communications. Very involved locally, he serves on several committees in the area. His wife chairs Tywardreath and Par parish council.
Standing for Mebyon Kernow-Party of Cornwall, is Fiona Carlyon. She has recently demonstrated against the "Bedroom Tax" and actively challenges Councillor Hughes from the left of the political spectrum. There is no recent history I can find of MK-PC electoral activity in this area but, in the absence of a Labour candidate and the unpopularity of the national coalition government, Ms Carlyon may well take votes from Cllr Hughes. History points to a close fight here and it may well be the same this time.

Prediction: Liberal Democrat hold/gain.


Mevagissey is a village, fishing port and civil parish,  The village is situated approximately five miles south of St Austell. The village nestles in a small valley and faces east to Mevagissey Bay. The inner and outer harbours are busy with a mixture of pleasure vessels and working fishing boats, the remains of a once major industry. However, tourism has supplanted fishing as the dominant industry in recent years.)
Another of the remarkably close run results in the St Austell area was here in the old Mevagissey division, where Conservative Denise Mutton took the seat with a majority of 51 over the Liberal Democrats. Councillor Mutton is not defending this seat so it is an open competition. Always close, Cllr Mutton's majority last time is the highest she has ever achieved when she was the district councillor for the ward of Mevagissey.
Councillor Mutton's replacement for the Conservatives is James Mustoe, who will be hoping he does better than when he lost the St Austell town council by election in Bethel ward (see above). A former civil servant, he works as Office Manager for Sarah Newton, Conservative MP for Falmouth and Truro.
Hoping to take the seat for the Liberal Democrats is Dr Ella Westland, a parish councillor on St Goran parish council. She heads the Community Energy Group of Transition St. Goran working on a wind energy scheme that will be the first community-owned project.
For the Greens, Katherine Moseley, will be hoping to improve on their 10% share in 2009.
Labour had an awful result (as across Cornwall) in 2009, taking only 4% of the vote, so their candidate, Michael Bunney, will hope to return to a decent vote share, well into double figures I would have thought. From Gorran, he is a history teacher and Head of House at the historical (and now Specialist Sports College) King's School, Ottery, St Mary in Devon. He was also runner up for the National Teacher Award south west finals.
The big unknown is the share of the vote that UKIP's Michael Williams will achieve. Described by UKIP as "young and thrusting", Mr Williams was selected for the division in December of 2011, so it'll be interesting to see how hard he has worked since then and what it will achieve. If UKIP do well, it may well tip the balance in Dr Westland's favour, but she will not be too happy to see Labour and the Greens again battling for the centre-left vote, and probably with more success this year.

Prediction: Liberal Democrat gain

Mount Charles

Part of St Austell, this division was another close run thing with only 66 votes between first and third. The Liberal Democrat Shirley Polmounter had a majority of 18 over the Independent, Gary King, in 2009.
Both Councillor Polmounter and Mr King are standing again, but now Councillor Polmounter, who was previously a district councillor for Mount Charles, as both and Independent and then a Liberal Democrat, is standing as an Independent again.
For the Conservatives, town councillor Anne Double is running, the wife of Poltair Cornwall Councillor (and Conservative PPC for the St Austell and Newquay constituency) Steve Double, she gained her town council seat in the Mount Charles ward in a byelection with a comfortable victory over the Independent candidate in second place. Worryingly for the Liberal Democrats, it was the Labour candidate who snatched 3rd place, not even having run a candidate in 2009. The Liberal Democrats came fourth with 13.8% of the vote.
The situation that caused the byelection was not an easy one for the Liberal Democrats and probably explains much of their decline.
Director of local charity Scrapstore, Mr King, who just missed out in 2009, is standing as an Independent again. Whilst describing himself as a moderate, Mr King is clearly on the centre-left left of the political spectrum, stating in his profile: "People before Profit and Practical Policies before Party Politics."
He will be hoping that his opposition to both the national and county hall administrations will pay off this time. He was fairly soundly beaten by Mrs Double in the byelection but a bigger turnout, as well as establishing himself as the main candidate to beat the Tories would help him.
The Liberal Democrats are fielding Eileen Rix who will be hoping that the Liberal Democrat voters will stick with her and that the Independent voters will split between Cllr Polmounter and Mr Rix, to allow her through to win. This will be hindered by Labour's Paul Roberts, who will think his pushing the Lib Dems into fourth place in the town council byelection will allow him to push for a much improved Labour vote this time, especially with the seeming implosion of the local Liberal Democrats. His aim must be to get close to 20% of the vote.
For Cllr Polmounter, who resigned from the Liberal Democrats last month, this will be a tough campaign but she has shown her ability to win as an Independent in the past. Having said that, this is going to be a very tough fight between Mrs Double, Mr King and Cllr Polmounter and, with a reinvigorated Labour party, this seat could be won on a very low share of the vote.

Prediction: Too close to call, but the Lib Dems will lose it and Labour won't win it. Mr King as slight favourite.


Bugle itself is a village in central Cornwall. It is in the parish of Treverbyn and is situated about five miles north of St Austell on the A391 road. There are plans to build a new neighbourhood on the site of the Goonbarrow Refinery west of the village as part of the St Austell and Clay Country Eco-town. This would include 450-550 homes. With the boundary changes, Luxulyan parish was brought entirely into this division. The village lies four miles northeast of St Austell and six miles south of Bodmin The population of the parish was 1,371 in the 2001 census. A report published in February of this year showd rates of child deprivation in the (Luxuylan and) Bugle ward are the highest in mid and south east Cornwall with more than a quarter — 27 per cent — of children living in poverty.
The 2009 Bugle Division was won by the Liberal Democrat's candidate, Jackie Bull, now transferred to be candidate in the Poltair division of St Austell. A changed division, it was then a safe win for the Liberal Democrats with the Conservatives in second place with less than half of the Lib Dem vote, just ahead of Mebyon Kernow.
This time, the Liberal Democrat candidate is Simon Rix who campaigns against the Council's decision to implement Council Tax cuts effecting the poorest households, but will face accusations of being part of a party which supports the government which has enforced these types of cuts nationally.
For the Conservatives, Rachel Beadle will be carrying what will probably be a forlorn banner; their candidate in Roche division in 2009, where she finished a distant third, the make up of this area is not good for the Tories which, even in a good year for them in 2009, still had them a long way off the pace.
The challengers to Mr Rix are this time more likely to come from the other candidates. Standing for Mebyon Kernow-Party of Cornwall is Jerry Jeffries, a first time candidate who is teacher in the Cornish Language Partnership (Maga). MK have done well in this area in the past, with Matthew Luke having been elected as a district councillor in Treverbyn ward in 2007. Mr Jeffries will be disappointed not to eat into the Lib dem vote and come at least a good second, with over thirty percent of the vote, I think it'll be difficult for him though as he is not the only horse in the field here.
For Labour and Co-op, perennial candidate and town councillor David Doyle is standing again. It is in areas like this that Labour's commitment to social change and improving the lot of the poorest should have the highest resonance, but the Lib Dems have, as in most of Cornwall, side-lined Labour over the years. He will surely improve on Labour's disastrous 5.8% last time when the party was at its lowest, the question is whether he can get the vote back to the 18.5% he achieved in 2005 (when the county and General Elections were on the same day). An active member of the South West Co-operative party, Mr Doyle's political commitment to the area cannot be doubted but it has to be said that Labour must do well here.
Making up the field is Independent candidate, Steve Hopper, who will be trying to revive the independent vote base that previously had some strength in the area.
This should be a shoo-in for Mr Rix and the Liberal Democrats but I get the feeling that he will see a big cut in his vote share and majority and it will not be the Tories benefiting.

Prediction: Liberal Democrat hold

Par and St Blazey Gate

Par is a town and fishing port with a harbour on the south coast of Cornwall, pop: 1,400, 3 1/2 miles east of St Austell. Until 2007, china clay was still dried in, and shipped, from Par. There are plans to re-develop the docks as part of the St Austell and Clay Country Eco-town. This would include a new marina and 500-700 homes. St Blazey Gate is a small settlement is St Blazey civil parish, which grew up around a tollgate (hence the name).
Standing for the Liberal Democrats is St Blaise town councillor, Douglas Scrafton, who chairs the Par Bay Big Local group which was given £1 million over ten years to spend on local community projects. He has high local visibility and will be hoping to be able to harness that in his campaign.
For the Conservatives, Richard Pears, a local parish councillor, is hoping to represent the Division in County Hall.
Independent candidate, Alison Watkins was planning to stand in the St Austell, Bethel town council by election last December, but withdrew. She owns Nature Kitchen Spice Shop and Deli in the town.
She initiated St Austell's first annual Spring Fayre and is working on many other events.

I have little local knowledge of the campaign in this area but, given recent history, it should be a Liberal Democrat seat.

Prediction: Liberal Democrat hold.


Roche is a civil parish and village in mid-Cornwall. The village gets its name from a granite outcrop east of the village. The whle of the Parish is now included in the Division.

Easily gained by Independent John Wood from the Liberal Democrats in 2009, Councillor Wood returns to defend this division. A former district councillor, Mr Wood has a long history of representing this area. He leads the Independent Group at County Hall and is the Member Champion (whatever that is) for Eco-Towns. Former County Councillor Brian Higman (1999 - 2009) returns to try and regain this seat, but this time as a Mebyon Kernow-Party of Cornwall candidate, having parted company with the Liberal Democrats in 2010. Surprisingly (well, maybe not when you see how politics seems to work in Cornwall), the Liberal Democrats are not putting up a candidate this year. This should make for an interesting campaign, not least as it appears to be the first time that MK-PC has run a candidate here.
The Conservative candidate, Derek Walker, should just be happy to improve on the fairly dismal record his party has here.
With no other candidates, it should be a two-horse race and, given unhappiness with the Conservative/Independent coalition in County Hall, former district councillor and Mayor of Restormel borough (1994-1995) Mr Higman will be hoping to return to Truro. Councillor Wood will hope that the novelty of MK-PC standing might be a turn-off for many and that both his history of service and a squeeze on the Conservatives will allow him to hold on. It seems that the Lib Dems may have stood aside for Mr Higman as part of a 'decapitation' strategy and it might just pay off.

Prediction: Independent hold - but with a much reduced majority and with MK-PC second.

St Blazey

Based on the St Blaise Civil Parish, the town was once dominated by the local mining industries and their associated transport infrastructure. Historically copper and tin were mined in and around the parish, whilst more recently china clay has been the principal commodity mined. "The Par & St Blazey Consols" or "South Prideaux Wood" was a small tin mine just north of the town and Par Consols Mine lies to the south west
The Eden Project lies within this division and tourism is very important. Boundary changes bring in Tywardreath Highway, Kilhallon, Penpillick and Porcupine. A recent report found the level of child poverty in this division to be 25%.
The Liberal Democrat,  Roy Taylor, comfortably held this seat in 2009 with almost double the Conservatives share of the vote. A former district councillor, Councillor Taylor was first elected to the old County Council in 1985 for Bodmin until he, having moved to Par (where he and his wife run a B&B), was elected to the Restormal Council in 1996.
The Conservative candidate is Peter Sinclair whom I think was once the St Austell and Newquay Conservative Constituency Party Chairman. I think that he is unlikely to gain the seat but will be keen to hold on to a decent second place. Challenging him here will be Labour's Stuart Wheeler who will be hoping to to overhaul the Conservatives for a decent second place. In 2009, Labour managed a decent vote with 16.4% gained by Lord Voldemort, Tom Riddle (I know, too obvious). In 2005, Mr Riddle achieved over 25% of the vote and Labour would see this seat as one that they should be able to win, certainly in the long-term. They will need a lot of Liberal Democrat voters to break for Mr Wheeler if that is to be achieved but he certainly has a good chance to take advantage of the national Coalition's more unpopular benefit changes and Cllr Taylor may well feel uncomfortable about that. Mr Wheeler is Treasurer and Campaigns' Organiser for the local constituency Labour Party.
Liam Bellamy is running as an Independent candidate, he returned to St Austell four years ago after 20 years working overseas. Since then he has worked as a teacher and in the meat industry, experiencing the economic downturn first hand.
Liam coaches several rugby teams including boys and girls teams at St Austell RFC as well as being on its Executive Committee. I am not sure how well he will do, although an Independent candidate managed to take managed to take 23% of the vote in 2005. Who will he take his votes from?

Prediction: Liberal Democrat hold with reduced vote share, Labour to take second place (maybe; probably not).

St Columb Major 

A civil parish and town, often referred to locally as St Columb, it is situated approximately seven miles southwest of Wadebridge and six miles ) east of Newquay. The designation Major distinguishes it from the smaller settlement and parish of St Columb Minor on the coast. A population of around 4,000 in 2001. St Columb is situated in mid-Cornwall, about 5 miles inland from the north coast. The Pall Corporation (filtration and separation technology) employs 300 people in St Columb.
This was one of those seats won with less than a third of the vote with Independent Pat Harvey seeing off another Independent Paul Wills with an apparently comfortable majority of 129 - this was because of the vote spread. Councillor Harvey, the Chairman of Cornwall Council, was a district councillor for St Columb and joined the Unitary Authority in 2009.
The Conservatives have selected John Bell to challenge her and he will be hoping to close the 10% gap from the last elections although, with their being no other Independent candidate this year, it'll be open to question where those votes go.
The Liberal Democrats, who came fourth in 2009, have nominated local town councillor Alvin Augustus Martin (the middle name distinguishes him from the former West Ham player). The Liberal Democrats haven't really run candidates in major council elections in the area until last time and Mr Martin will hope to appeal to those who voted for the Independent, Mr Wills, last time. The Labour candidate on this occasion is Debbie Hopkins, who must hope to improve on only 3.6% of the vote last time.
I can't see Cllr Harvey losing her seat.

Prediction: Independent hold

St Dennis and Nanpean

St Dennis  is a civil parish and village  The village is situated between Newquay and St Austell.
St Dennis had a population of 2,696 in the 2001 census. A quarter of the male population was, at the time, employed in the extraction of china clay. Nanpean  is a village in the civil parish of St Stephen-in-Brannel, approximately four miles northwest of St Austell in the heart of 'clay country', the china clay quarrying area of mid-Cornwall. The division also includes Treviscoe, Little Treviscoe, Step-a-Side, Hill Head and a few other areas. The only change since 2009 is that Nanpean has been added to the title.
A big issue here concerns the proposed siting of an incinerator which is being vigorously opposed, not least by all the local Cornwall Councillors.
Defending the division is lifelong resident and County Councillor, Fred Greenslade, an Independent who originally sat as a borough councillor for the old Rock ward as a Liberal Democrat. Involved in the China Clay industry for a number of years.
Standing against him is former Liberal Democrat borough councillor, Kim Wonnacott, who represented the old St Stephen ward. This time, dog-groomer Ms Wonnacott has cast aside the Liberal Democrat appellation and is also standing as an Independent. A St Stephen-in-Brannel parish councillor, it is hard to say how likely it is that Ms Wonnacott will challenge Cllr Greenslade, whose near 72% share of the vote in 2009 was very impressive. The Liberal Democrats are not standing a candidate this time and she may gain votes from here but I don't see much hope for her.
The Conservatives have Barbara Hannan as their candidate but given that they only managed 12% of the vote in a good year, I can't see them being much of a threat.

Prediction: Independent Greenslade hold

St Enoder

The village of St Enoder is 5 miles southeast of Newquay.
It would be tempting just to put my prediction in here to save time. Mebyon Kernow-Party in Cornwall leader Councillor Dick Cole will not lose this ward. The Liberal Democrats and Conservatives have not even bothered to put up candidates this time so the only challenge comes from an Independent candidate, Elizabeth Hawken, who stood in the borough elections of 2003, coming third, and in the 2005 elections for the old County Council, coming fourth with another Independent winning. When Councillor Cole stands, he wins, and has built up his vote strongly over the years since he was  first elected to the borough council, achieving 77.6%. I congratulate Ms Hawken for standing as elections should be contested. It will be an achievement if she can get anywhere near thirty percent of the vote.

Prediction: Mebyon Kernow-Party of Cornwall hold (and how).

St Mawgan and Colan

St Mawgan is a village and civil parish 4 miles northeast of Newquay, Colan is a village and civil parish approximately three miles east of Newquay, it has a population of  1,176 (ish). It is a beautiful area where tourism is very important. The hamlets of Bosoughan, Chapel, Gwills, Kestle Mill, Lane, Mountjoy, Quintrell Downs, Trebarber and Trencreek are in the parish.
Conservative John Fitter comfortably won the seat (then named Colan and Mawgan) in 2009 with 53% of the vote, beating both an Independent and a Liberal Democrat. This time, Councillor Fitter is in a two horse race with Mebyon Kernow-Party of Cornwall candidate, Rob Poole. With his vote share likely to fall with the Conservatives unpopular nationally, Cllr Fitter could face a bit of a fight, although it seems a hard task for Mr Poole, starting from nowhere, to win. As it adjoins the St Enoder division of Cllr Cole (see above), it is possible that a lot of help will being seeping across the boundary for Mr Poole and we shall have to see how successful it will prove to be.

Prediction: Conservative hold (or a shock is in the offing)

St Mewan

St Mewan is a civil parish and village, approximately one mile west of St Austell. The village is a small settlement.  St Mewan parish includes the villages of Sticker, Trelowth, Trewoon, and most of Polgooth. it has a population estimated to be over 3,000.
St Mewan is one of the better-off areas of this part of Cornwall with only 7% of children said to be in poverty by a recent report (to many of us, that is still too high). As we have seen with many divisions in rthe St Austell area, this division was closley fought and won, narrowly, by Liberal Democrat Robin Teverson (Baron Teverson, of Tregony in the County of Cornwall). An active member of the House of Lords and frontbench spokesman for the Lib Dems, he is replaced as candidate this time Janet Lockyer. Only losing by 38 votes last time, the Conservatives will be targeting this seat with their candidate John Kneller, a local parish councillor.
There is an Independent hopeful here by the name of Malcolm Harris, who currently runs a successful local catering company. Part of his campaign is to ask questions about the scale and location of the proposed green-field shopping centre at Coyte Farm. Last time, an Independent candidate took 25% of the vote and this must give Mr Harris hope of pulling off a surprise.
Always a fairly close-run battle between the Lib Dems and Conservatives, which the Lib Dems normally win, it is possible that the success of the Independent campaign of Mr Harris that will decide things.

Prediction: Too close to call, Lib Dems slight favourite.


Tintagel itself is on the Atlantic Coast of Cornwall, with the civil parish spreading out from there. In 2001, the population of the parish was 1,820. The nearby Tintagel Castle is connected with the Arthurian myth and, small as the village is, it is one of the most visited places in Britain.
In 2009, the division was won quite comfortably by the Liberal Democrat, Glenton Brown. His closest challenger was Independent, Anthony Brewer, with the Conservatives trailing in third place. This time Councillor Brown is facing a Conservative candidate, Paul Charlesworth, and a UKIP candidate, Susan Bowen. Except, Susan Bowen has been completely disowned by the party as they have discovered she was, fairly recently, a member of the BNP, which is specifically banned by UKIP. She is not now campaigning although her name is still on the ballot paper. Ms Bowen only joined UKIP at the end of March and was allowed to become a candidate within a week or so - this is a weakness for a party wishing to capitalise on its popularity but not having the membership to do so.
This should encourage Mr Charlesworth but he lives quite a distance from the area and this might count against him.
All in all, Cllr Brown is probably safely home but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people vote UKIP on the basis of a protest, no matter the non-campaigning Ms Bowen's views (or, in some cases, because of them).

Prediction: Liberal Democrat hold

St Stephen-in-Brannel

St Stephen-in-Brannel civil parish and village in central Cornwall, it is four miles west of St Austell on the southern edge of Cornwall's china clay district. Uranium was also mined in this area.
Long-standing district and Cornwall Councillor Des Curnow is standing again and if facing only one challenger in the shape of Keith Hickman of UKIP, the chairman of the St Austell and Newquay constituency party. Whilst I know Cllr Curnow is popular, I am very surprised that none of the parties have chosen to stand candidates here. Whilst Labour did disastrously (3.4%) in 2009, it has had a strong vote in this area in the past and I wonder why the Conservatives would give UKIP a clear run. The answer may well lie in the kind of councillor Mr Curnow is, as he has shown his independence of the ruling coalition (of which he is a member) on several issues and, given that he was one of those who nominated Cllr Cole as the Mebyon Kernow candidate for the last general election, his views probably lie more to the left than the right. he is one of the 'China Clay' area Councillors campaigning against the proposed incinerator in St Dennis.
I am sure Mr Hickman will campaign hard, and has been candidate since November of 2011, but I cannot see Cllr Curnow losing.

Prediction: Independent hold.


A beautiful area, Lostwithiel includes the civil parish and it's village at the head of the River Fowey estuary. The 2001 census found it had a population of 2,739. It is the home of Restormel Castle.
In 2009, this seat was snatched by the Conservative (Peter) Gavin Shakerley who won the seat, with only 30.7% of the vote due to there being 5 other candidates. The majority of 121 tells a lie of comfort in terms of victory which means that Councillor Shakerley has decided enough is enough and is not defending this seat.
Standing in his place for the Conservatives is the wonderfully named Benedicte Poula Gwyneth Bay.
An Independent candidate, Graham Jarrett, is hoping to repeat the usual victory for Independents in this seat. It is possible that presence of two Independents in 2009 cost them the seat and the combined vote share was 37.7% (whilst I accept that they wouldn't have shared all votes, many would have transferred).
The Liberal Democrats have never done well enough to win here and I cannot see that changing, although Mrs Marian Oldor Candy (I love the names around here) will do her best.
The dark horse is Nigel Andrew Challis, running for UKIP. He may well appeal to the independently-minded and will not help Ms Bay's hopes, slim as they are, of holding the seat. Could he come through the middle and win? I very much doubt it and see this seat returning to its Independent status.

Prediction: Independent gain.


Newquay, is civil parish, seaside resort and fishing port on the North Atlantic coast of Cornwall approximately 20 miles west of Bodmin and 12 miles north of Truro. The town is bounded to the west by the River Gannel and its associated salt marsh, and to the east by the Porth Valley. Newquay has been expanding inland (south) since it was founded. In 2001, the census recorded a permanent population of 19,562. Big tourism industry.

Newquay Central

This was a remarkable result last time as the Liberal Democrat's Geoff Brown managed to to win whilst gaining only 28.8% of the vote but still managing to well-beat the second placed Conservative, Andy Hannan, by 54 votes. Three Independent candidates managed to accrue between them 43.8% of the vote and this is probably what saved Councillor Brown, who was a district councillor in this area before the Unitary authority was set up. At one time the Liberal Democrats were quite confident here and Cllr Brown will hope to show that again but he is now facing a single candidate, Steven Slade, who is standing as an Independent.
Mr Slade is making wide use of social media to get his message across and is, in effect, an Green candidate as he recently joined the party. This is not to suggest he won't be independent when elected. He has just joined the town council after he was elected without contest. He has a BSc Hons in Ecology and has run his own businesses since 1991, in wildlife garden design, renovations and the supply of pub quizzes(!).
Councillor Brown should have a much better campaign than Mr Slade but he will need to watch out for the temptation to vote against a political party.
Part of me believes that a good campaign by the Independent will easily win this seat, but the other part questions how much of a campaign team and strategy he has. So, with a certain amount of reluctance to make a choice, I give it to Councillor Brown.

Prediction: Liberal Democrat hold

Newquay Pentire

After a few minor boundary changes, Newquay Pentire is another two horse race, this time between the sitting Councillor, Joanna Kenny, and the Conservative candidate, Lyndon Spencer Harrison. At the last elections, Cllr Kenny, a former district councillor in the old Gannel ward, beat off strong challenges from the Conservatives and Independent district councillor, Denis Dent, who was also the sitting County Councillor. A ward where Independents have always done well, it'll be interesting to see where the vote goes as, if it breaks for the Conservative, Cllr Kenny will be in trouble as she only managed to take 36.3% of the vote last time. With no Labour (who did shockingly last time with 2.8% of the vote) or English Democrat (7.6%)candidates, it will be the campaign that decides whose vote is appealed to the most -  will the EDP vote go to the Tories, or not come out to vote?
Chairman of Newquay Chamber of Commerce, Newquay Association of Licensed Premises, Mr Harrison has a high profile locally and had a massive fallout with the Liberal Democrats which led to him resigning and forcing a by election. Mr Harrison lost to the Liberal Democrat with 405 votes to 591. Mr Harrison chairs Streetsafe, a project in which a portable building offers first aid facilities and a safe refuge for night-time revellers and local businesses.
In a wider race, Mr Harrison might well win, but I cannot see that he can do enough to defeat Councillor Kenny.

Prediction: Liberal Democrat hold

Newquay Treloggan

Another division won on a small plurality of 33.6% of the vote, Liberal Democrat Councillor George Edwards is not defending the seat this year, standing instead in Tretherras division. In his place is town councillor Dave Sleeman, who won a bitter byelection campaign against Conservative Lance Harrison (see above in Pentire). With neither the independent Norman Thompson (who picked up a very healthy 27.1% of the vote in 2009) nor the BNP (10.5%), the question is where their votes will go? In the case of the BNP voters, evidence suggests it won't go anywhere at all in this race and will stay at home.
The Conservative candidate is Kevin Towill, who stood at the last election, losing by 47 votes. He will surely hope to pick up votes from the Independents and this may be a close battle. Mr Towill is a town councillor and this year's Mayor of Newquay (at 33 years old, the youngest in the town's history).

Prediction: Liberal Democrat hold

Newquay Tretherras

This is a battle with two defenders in that Councillor George Edward (Lib Dem, Trellogan) is challenging Councillor Patrick Lambshead (Con, Tretherra). This reflects some of the boundary changes in the area. On the basis of the results last time, the actual councillor defending is Cllr Lambshead. It was not a good year for the Liberal Democrats and Cllr Edwards will be hoping to take advantage of some recovery, assisted by the appearance in the race of a UKIP candidate, Doris Latham.
A town council by election took place in the general area of this ward in August of 2011, which was won by the Conservative by 56 votes over the Lib Dem in a straight fight. It wasn't a particularly high turnout and perhaps tells us nothing beyond that history shows close races in this ward. Last time, in the old division, former mayor Cllr Lambshead was assisted by the presence of three Independent candidates who polled 41% of the vote; whilst Cllr Lambshead got more than that combined vote, it may have been unhappiness with the lack of a single independent that helped him. The Liberal Democrats did very badly last time (14.8%), but Cllr Edwards will doubtless do better. A Trustee of a charity to preserve the historic Trenance Cottages in Newquay, Cllr Edwards has a high profile. I think that UKIP may well pick up some of the traditional independent votes and also Conservative votes. A former RAF gymnast, Cllr Lambshead may need to show some of that skill to get over the winning line this time.

Prediction: Conservative hold - just!

Newquay Treviglas

Another victory by a small vote total, Independent candidate Harry Heywood took the winner's rosette with only 31.2% of the vote, a majority of 28 over the Conservatives and 55 votes over the Liberal Democrats. Councillor Heywood is not defending the seat this year. A borough councillor for many years, Councillor Heywood seems to have decided to call it a day. This division encompasses most of the old Rialton borough ward.
Fighting to take this seat is town councillor, and last year's mayor, Andy Hannan for the Conservatives; the probable favourite to begin with as much of Councillor Heywood's vote used to go to Conservative candidates in the old three-member ward.
Returning from the last election is the Liberal Democrat candidate, deputy mayor Sandy Carter, who came a close third last time. Mr Carter has an unfortunate habit of just missing out on election and I feel that he is going to be unlucky this time.
It might be thought the entrance of a UKIP candidate would help Mr Carter and hinder Mr Hannan; polls show this to be true but whether that is enough to offset the votes Mr Hannan will likely pick up from the exit of Cllr Heywood is another matter. The UKIP candidate is Mark Hicks, about whom I have struggled to discover anything.
Labour have their only candidate in the Newquay seats in Treviglas, Joan Bowden. I am pretty sure this is the same Lillian Joan Bowden who stood for Labour in Newquay Central. The people of Cornwall seem to mirror the Irish tradition (with which I am much more familiar) of going by their middle names. She managed just 41 votes and 5.7% of the vote in Central, but Labour didn't even have a candidate here last time. The main fund raiser for the St Austell and Newquay Labour Party, Ms Bowden shows a dedication to the cause. Labour will probably do well enough to feel some satisfaction this year but not likely to come close to victory.
With the Greens not standing this year, Mr Carter will also be hoping to pick up these votes but won't be too pleased with a Labour candidate in the race.
All things taken into account, I am just going to give it to Mr Hannan.

Prediction: Conservative gain -just.

Cornwall Council elections: Penwith

Penwith District Council was an authorithy which covered the "top of the foot" of the peninsula. Formed on April 1st 1974 from a merger of the boroughs of Penzance and St Ives, the urban district of St Just and the Rural District of West Penwith. It was dissolved with the creation of the Unitary Authority of Cornwall Council on 1st April, 2009.

Gulval and Heamor

Gulval and Heamor are villages incorporated into the town of Penzance, Heamor retains its position as a Civil Parish.
A crowded field in 2009 (7 candidates) has been reduced to just three this year with Councillor Mario Fonk, who safely took this seat with 54.9% of the vote just facing challenges from the returning Pam Yeates of the Conservatives and Rose Smith of UKIP.
As the  missing candidates are mainly of the cnetre and left, it is unlikely that their voters will turn out fot the Tories or UKIP (though a few might) so I cannot see beyond a hold for Cllr Fonk here. The interesting battle will be for second place.

Prediction: Lib Dem hold

Gwinear-Gwithian and St Erth

Containing the three civil parishes of the title, seven candidates are chancing their arm this time. The sitting councillor, Conservative Ray Tovey, sadly passed away from a brain tumour in Septemebr of last year. Having won by only 65 votes from Independent candidate Sheila Furneaux, it was perhaps not a surprise that she won the subsequent byelection just 4 months ago. More surprising is that she won it by only 4 votes from another Independent, Michael Roberts, in the absence of a Conservative candidate.
Councillor Furneaux has obviously decided that 4 months in County Hall is enough and had no confidence of holding the seat so is not standing this time.
Lionel Pascoe is standing for the Conservatives and would probably the favourite here. An Anthony Pascoe has won here before and, given the penchant for going by middle names rather than first ones in Cornwall, it may be the same man.
Mr Roberts will be confident of his chances at this election with Councillor Furneaux now retired from the field but with the Liberal Democrats not too far behind in the byelection, their candidate, Yvonne Bates will be aiming to re-establish the party as main challengers.
For UKIP, Peter Channon will want to see how the UKIP surge is working in this area and his presence will not be welcomes by Mr Pascoe.
Labour didn't do well (to say the least) in 2009 but will feel some confidence in the vote share they received at the by election (in a low poll), so Michael Smith will be looking to move up the pecking order here, although the vote share will matter more.
Theresa Byrne is standing for the Greens but they don't really have too much hope here.
Making up the field is St Erth parish councillorAngelo Spencer-Smith as a second Independent candidate. A Positioning and Differentiation Strategist (I just looked it up and I am now more confused by jargon than ever), Mr Spencer-Smith is a volunteer for ShelterBox, which provides emergency shelter and life-saving supplies for people affected by disasters.

Prediction: Conservative hold (Gain from by election).

Hayle North

Some boundary changes here but not too major. Councillor John Pollard is defending his seat from 2009 and, given his good majority, he would appear to be safe enough. The conservatives are not running a candidate which seems strange but, given that Mr Pollard is Portfolio Holder for Localism, Sustainability and Devolution in the County Hall coaliton, maybe they are stepping aside. Less unstandable is the absence of a Liberal Democrat in ward they have won in the past.
UKIP's Lynda Chidell, a dedicated bridge player will have a strategy to pick up Tory votes and other disgruntled votes. Cllr Pollard's webpage, which mixes old and new news, has a message of support from the UKIP candidate for Hayle South, he may want to change that.
Labour's Tony Phillips (who stood in the old Hayle South last time) will want to lift Labour from its 2009 nadir and, with no other party vying for the centre-left vote, he will  be looking to re-establish Labour as a force in this area.

Prediction: Independent hold

Hayle South

The field of seven last time in this division has been reduced to four this. Defending his seat is a town councillor and  former town mayor, John Coombe. Councillor Coombe easily won last time ahead of another Independent candidate, John Bennett, but only with a modest 36.5% of the vote.
The Tories are fielding no candidate and, given the disaster last time (last and 4.4%), neither are the Liberal Democrats.
Standing as a second Independent this year is town councillor and current deputy mayor, Graham Coad. A retired policeman of 33 years experience, Mr Coad will hope to claim the votes of Mr Bennett and take the votes of the unrepresented Tory voters.
UKIP's candidate is town councillor Clive Polkinghorne, a campaigner for the Harbour. He will have a a good base from last time when UKIP managed 14% in the old division. He will have some confidence here is the vote splits again and he picks up the Tory votes.
For Labour, town councillor Anne-Marie Vance is carrying the flag. A local campaigner, she will be looking to avoid last place and, given that she is the only obvious centre-left candidate, she may do quite well.

Prediction: Independent Coombe, but with some reservations.

Lelant and Carbis Bay

Part of St Ives council, Lelant and Carbis Bay Division was taken my Councillor Liz Penhaligon in 2009. A Conservative former district councillor, she had to face only an Independent (Graham Webster) and the Green Party last time.
Things are less clearcut this time as there are seven candidates in the race.
Not fielding a candidate in 2009, last time's Independent candidate, Graham Webster, is standing in the Labour Party's interest. Mr Webster has been a Labour candidate in the past and, somewhat like the situation at the other end of the county in Gunnislake and Calstock, it can be said that Labour 'sort of' ran in 2009. Stationer Mr Webster will have hope that Labour can do well here as in a byelection in 2001, the party managed to receive 287 votes in straight battle with the Greens (see below) and showed that it could do well against a Green candidate. Labour's candidate then, Terry Murray, is standing in St Ives East this time.
For the Greens, who were third last time, town councillor Maxine Armstrong, winner of the byelection with a very decent 372 votes, is hoping to repeat her success. It may be difficult as the turnout will be higher than the byelection, Tories may have voted for her to keep Labour out (and I suppose some might have done the same for Labour to keep the Greens out, but less likely).
For the Liberal Democrats, Howard Hollingsbee is hoping to re-establish his party as the main challenger but I feel he might find himself struggling in the crowded field on the left. Mr Hollingsbee's tweets suggest he is rather a disenchanted bunny with his party's leadership in Westminster.
For UKIP, Sandy Martin puts up a challenge on Cllr Penhaligon's right flank which may cause her some concern; if UKIP can get a vote in the high teens, with polling suggesting that the vote comes very heavily from Tory supporters, then the sitting councillor could be in some lumber.
For the Independent cause (whatever that happens to be), Richard Glanville is standing. I can find nothing about him but he may be an interesting spoiler.

Prediction: Conservative hold, I think.

Saint Ives

St Ives is a seaside town, civil parish and port; the town lies north of Penzance and west of Camborne on the coast of the Celtic Sea. In former times it was commercially dependent on fishing. The decline in fishing, however, caused a shift in commercial emphasis and the town is now primarily a popular holiday resort, notably achieving the award 'Best UK Seaside Town' from the British Travel Awards in both 2010 and 2011. In 2001, the population was recorded as 11,165.
Boundary changes look to have made both the wards very marginal, as opposed to one fairly safe and one not safe at all.

St Ives East

Councillor Joan Symons is defending this division which will be slightly less safe that last time when she beat the Green candidate by 200 votes. Originally a district councillor, Cllr Symons has a long pedigree of representing this area.
Her main challenger this time is the Green's town councillor Tim Andrewes, who came within 24 votes of taking the old St Ives North division at the last elections. The Greens seem to be in the ascendancy again in this area and he will doubtless by very disappointed if he fails to win this time with both the admistration in County Hall and the national government unpopular.
For the Liberal Democrats, Madie Parkinson-Smith has the uneviable task of avoiding a Green squeeze and returning the Lib Dems to a winning position. I feel she will struggle with this.
UKIP's Roy Britten will look to ride the UKIP wave to Truro,and has a base of over 11% to work on, but I see him being more of a spoiler here who will be deeply worrying Cllr Symons.
Labour's candidate is former town councillor Terry Murray who has to face the same danger of a squeeze faced by Ms Parkinson-Smith. It would be a surprise if he was not able to rebuild Labour's voter base to some degree, but the more successful he is, the less chance for Mr Andrewes.
Morag Robertson is running as an Independent; a campaigner on parking issue (some parking spaces in St Ives sell for tens of thousands of pounds), Ms Robertson founded Parking Action St Ives (PASTI - you see what she did there?). With parking in the area being expensive for everyone, she may well receive a decent vote.
If the Greens can't win this year, they never will

Prediction: Green gain

St Ives West

In the old St Ives North division, Councillor Joan Tanner squeaked in with a majority of only 24 votes over the Green candidate. She only received 27.6% of the vote to win and wins the award for least popular candidate to win a seat in Cornwall in 2009. Her division should, theoretically be slightly safer this time, but I wouldn't expect that to save Cllr Tanner, formerly a district councillor, originally elected as an Independent.
Hopeful of victory this time is town councillor and current mayor, Ron Tully. He came within 200 votes of winning the St Ives South division last time and will probably have a slightly smaller majority this time. It will be a real blow for him and the Green Party if they cannot win - the last two times he stood in the district and county elections, he managed 26.3% of the vote - he needs to break that ceiling if he is to win.
For the Liberal Democrats, Lester Scott is running but he will be somewhat non-plussed by the appearance in the race of former Liberal Democrat district councillor, Andrew Mitchell, who is running as an Independent. It will be tough for Mr Scott as he will face a push for votes from the Greens and Mr Mitchell and he will be happy to hold a decent vote share.
For UKIP, a commited activist William Guppy returns to the fray, aiming to receive enough votes from unhappy Tories and others concerned about 'Europe' to push his way to the top of a potentially very split pack.
Labour's Malcolm Hurst will simply be hoping to build up the Labour vote and not be squeezed as they so tightly were in 2009.
Cllr Tanner is seeing her vote base increasingly cut from under her and will need all the local recognition she has to hold on.

Prediction: Green gain (the Tories could struggle to be second)

Marazion and Perranuthnoe

Marazion is a civil parish and town ,situated on the shore of Mount's Bay, two miles east of Penzance and one mile east of Long Rock. Marazion is a thriving tourist resort with an active community of artists who produce and sell paintings and pottery in the town's numerous art galleries. the 2001 census recorded a population of 1,466.
Perranuthnoe  is a civil parish and a village,situated on the east side of Mount's Bay approximately one mile  east of Marazion and four miles east of Penzance. The parish includes the villages of Perranuthnoe, Goldsithney, Perran Downs and part of Rosudgeon.
In 2009, the Conservative candidate, Sue Nicholas, won the division with a rather modest 34.6% of the vote over an Independent candidate, Jane Howells. Having been in field of 5 candidates then, she is only facing two challengers this time, from UKIP and the Green Party. Once again, the Liberal Democrats are failing to field a candidate in a seat where they should have a strong vote base.
UKIP have nominated Glyn Owen who must be confident of increasing the UKIP vote from last time (12.9%) and, in a narrow field, challenging for the Independent and Tory voters.
The Greens have put up Peter Williams, who runs an organic B&B in St Ives. He will hope to corral the Lib Dem vote and appeal to Independents.

Prediction: Conservative hold

St Just-in-Penwith

St Just is a town and civil parish that lies along the B3306 road which connects St Ives to the A30 road. The parish encompasses the town of St Just and the nearby settlements of Trewellard, Pendeen and Kelynack; it is bounded by the parishes of Morvah to the north-east, Sancreed and Madron to the east, St Buryan and Sennen to the south and by the sea in the west. The town of St Just is the most westerly town in mainland Britain and is situated approximately 8 miles west of Penzance along the A3071. St Just parish had a population of 4,690 in the 2001 census.
In 2009, Independent Chris Goninan was elected with a comfortable majority of 283 over the Liberal Democrat candidate and 51.4% of the vote. Not standing this time, he leaves the field open to five new candidates.
Once a Liberal Democrat division, their candidate will hope that the disappointing results last time might be reversed and town councillor and current mayor, Sue James, will have some confidence here.
Aiming to replace Councillor Goninan as an Independent is town councillor Kevin McFadden and, given a history of voting Independent in local elections, he should be Ms James's main challenger.
The Conservatives only managed to take 10.5% of the vote last time but, with an open seat, they will hope to do well here and their candidate, David Lenaghan, has a job to do.
Labour has selected Kirsty Pritchard in an area that has not been promising for them and, having achieved 15% in 2005 (they didn't put up a candidate last time), will hope to be able to get close to that vote.
For UKIP, local artist Adrian Guy Smith is standing. A 'spiritual ruralist', his artwork is pretty stunning, whether that will help in the election is somewhat more doubtful.

Prediction: Liberal Democrat gain


Ludgvan is a civil parish and village 2 1/2 miles northeast of Penzance. The parish includes the villages of Ludgvan, Crowlas, Canon's Town and Long Rock. It is bounded by the parishes of Towednack and Lelant to the north, Madron and Penzance to the west, by St Erth, St Hilary and Marazion to the east and by the sea to the south. Morvah parish is also in the division.

Won in 2009 by Independent Councillor Irene Bailey, the seat is now an open one as she has stood down due to ill-health so the division has been vacant since last November.
Hoping to succeed Cllr Bailey is former district councillor who chaired the council, Roy Mann, who lost by 115 votes last time. Formerly an Independent county councillor, Mr Mann stood last time, as he does this, as a Conservative.
The Greens took third place last time and have selected Ian Flindall as their candidate who will hope, in the absence of another candidate form the left of the spectrum, to poll better than the 13.2% last time. With not Lib Dem candidate this time, he may well  achieve a decent vote.
Returning for UKIP is psychologist Robert Smith, a near neighbour of Mr Mann. He was UKIP's candidate for Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner coming a not disgraceful fifth with 8.3% of the vote. Mr Smith is the son-in-law of the late Labour Cabinet minister, Peter Shore, who was fervently anti-Common Market. His wife is standing in Newlyn and Mousehole and his mother-in-law is standing in Penzance Promenade.
I think he will be Mr Mann's main challenger and it should be interesting

Prediction: Conservative gain

St Buryan

The centre of this division, St Buryan is a civil parish and village, which is situated approximately five miles west of Penzance. St Buryan parish encompasses the villages of St. Buryan, Lamorna, and Crows-an-wra and shares boundaries with the parishes of Sancreed and St Just to the north, Sennen and St Levan to the west, with Paul to the east and by the sea in the south. There are 6 parishes in this division.
In 2009, Councillor Bill Maddern took this ward fairly comfortably over the Liberal Democrat candidate. A former district councillor, Cllr Maddern starts this race as the clear favourite who will have some concerns about his majority due to the presence of an Independent candidate.
On the face of it, the challenge from the Liberal Democrats is hampered by the good result that the Greens achieved last time when they received 20.2% of the vote and the Lib Dems' Frank Blewett will be hardly more pleased by the return of a Labour candidate. But he will hope that the Independent may help him by eating into Cllr Maddern's vote.
First time Independent candidate, Howard Bliss, runs the StBuryanVoter blog. Serving in the RAF as both a regular and reserve from 1975 to 2004, he and his wife run the Lower Treave Caravan and Camping Park. A critic of the local Liberal Demcrats for pushing through the 0% Council Tax rise, thus causing cuts to services, Mr Bliss is hoping to win over unhappy Lib Dems and Tories.
The Green Party's Peter Hardy can feel some confidence here as the Lib Dems are not popular nationally but he will have to put in a good campaign.
For Labour, regular candidate Juliet Eavis is standing. Labour have managed to have a decent vote in past elections but whether they are putting in much of a campaign here is the question, with more promising targets a few miles away in Penzance.
All in all, I can't see Cllr Maddern losing this.

Prediction: Conservative hold


Penzance is a town, civil parish and port, the most westerly major town in Cornwall and is approximately 75 miles west of Plymouth and 300 miles. Situated in the shelter of Mount's Bay, the town faces south-east onto the English Channel, is bordered to the west by the fishing port of Newlyn, to the north by the civil parish of Madron and to the east by the civil parish of Ludgvan. In 2001, the census repported a population of 21,168.
The economy of Penzance has, like those of many Cornish communities, suffered from the decline of the traditional industries of fishing, mining and agriculture. Penzance now has a mixed economy consisting of light industrial, tourism and retail businesses. However, like the rest of Cornwall, housing remains comparatively expensive, wages low and unemployment high. House prices have risen 274% in 10 years, the fastest rise in the UK.The fishing port of Newlyn, which falls within the parish boundaries, provides some employment in the area, but has also been greatly affected by the decline in the fishing industry over the last 30 years. In the 2004 index of deprivation Penzance is listed as having 3 wards within the top 10% for employment deprivation, Penzance East (125th most deprived in England) Penzance West (200th most deprived in England), and Penzance Central (712th most deprived in England). 18-31% of households in the parish are described as "poor households". The Penzance East Ward also has one the highest unemployment rates in Cornwall, stated as 15.4%.

Penzance Central

Penzance and the environs had some remarkably close election in 2009, with victories on small vote shares. Penzance Central is a classic example of this with Liberal Democrat, Tamsin Williams with only 30% of the vote, winning by 14 votes over the Conservatives on 28.9%. In September of last year, Councillor Williams quit the Liberal Democrats for Mebyon Kernow-Party of Cornwall. She has decided not to defend the division.
This will be a cracker of a campaign with six candidates standing and a really battle for victory.
For the Liberal Democrats, Penny Young is standing and she will  be not too pleased to be facing ex-Lib Dem town councillor, John Moreland, who is standing as an Independent candidate. I wonder if she is the mother of wonderful poet and satirist, Murray Lachlan Young, who is from Penzance (I think his mother is called Penny).
For the Conservatives, Michael Rabbitte is the candidate and he may regret stating in his election address that he has spent the last 28 years in London. He will be hoping that the Lib Dems slip here enough for him to win, but that would require no slippage from the Tories and that seems unlikely here right now.
UKIP are fielding Peter Mates and he will be looking for a big boost to the already good vote UKIP has here, the problem may be that UKIP has been a strong voice in the area for a long time with candidates (normally called Faulkner) getting good votes shares. It possibly means that there may be less of a swing to UKIP than in other parts of the country.
For Labour, long-time campaigner and candidate Cornelius Olivier returns again and this time, given the unpopularity of the national Coalition, Labour being back from its 2009 depths and Lib Dem no longer the party of protest, Mr Olivier knows he should win this time - if not now, then when? Labour are certainly campaigning hard here.
Muddying the waters is the MK-PC candidate and town councillor, Phil Rendle. Mr Rendle has stood for the party in Penzance before and will hope that the unhappiness with Truro and Westminster may help him to pull in a good vote and have a shot, in a divided field, to win the seat.

Prediction: Labour gain

Penzance East
A real blow to Labour here last time as their candidate, John Payne, was defeated by 25 votes at the hands of the Liberal Democrat victor, Ruth Lewarne. Another amazing vote share of only 30.4% winning a division.
Councillor Lewarne now faces five challengers, three from the centre-left and two from the right. A town councillor of many years, Cllr Lewarne will know her battleground well but her challenge is coming clearly from the Labour Party and she may well need to try and attract Tory votes to keep Labour out - it is a bit disingenous then to have people campaigning on the argument that only a vote for the Lib Dems can keep the Tories out (trust me, this has been happening), when the Tories start from fourth place last time. Voters aren't daft and don't like being treated as such - but I still admire the chutzpah.
For Labour, Tim Dwelly is the standard-bearer; a business man who promotes 'workhubs' (basically, providing offices wherever they are needed). An impressive campaigner, Mr Dwelly is facing a mini-storm of criticism on political blogs which suggests he must have people worried.
For UKIP, longstanding campaigner and regular candidate, Mick Faulkner is running again, he must feel like a man with whom political history has finally caught up. He must believe he has a chance but I just feel, as I pointed out above, that the UKIP vote has ridden fairly high here so will get less of a boost than in other places. I still think he will finish strongly though.
For the Conservative candidate, Angela Elliot, she must simply be hoping to hold up her party's vote as neither the make up of the division nor the dynamics of this campaign are good for her.
For Mebyon Kernow-PC, blogger Rob Simmons is standing, but I think it is not the campaign for this young  man and he will see any of his potential vote being targeted by the Lib Dems and Labour. The same goes for the Green candidate, Michelle Paine.

Prediction: Labour Gain

Penzance Promenade

Won with, for Penzance, a decent share of the vote of 37.8%, Independent Councillor Sue Pass did well here in 2009, but is not defending this division. Stepping in as an Independent is former Penwith Council Chef Executive, Jim McKenna. Since being made redundant, Mr McKenna has been involved in supporting the building of affordable homes for first-time buyers, helping Penzance Radio to extend its coverage, and donating £5000 a year, for twenty years, to groups or individuals hoping to help locals to help themselves. To support himself, he works as a consultant.
The Liberal Democrats have selected Daniel Garside, who will be pretty confident that he can be victorious in this local seat now Cllr Race has stepped aside, building on a 29.6% vote share from last time. A campaigner for a fair car-park deal for residents and business in the town, Mr Garside will have a strong team working for him.
Also hopeful of taking this seat David Miles of the Conservative Party. With 20.4% last time, he might  have a chance of coming up the outside to take the seat, but I would doubt it very much. I hope that the Conservatives are campaigning hard here (for their sake) as it is a place they need to be challenging for. This won't be helped by the UKIP campaign of Elizabeth Shore who may gain a lot of votes or it might be that UKIP is fairly old news in Penzance for the reasons I have expressed above. Mrs Shore is the widow of the late Labour Cabinet Minister Peter Shore, committed anti-Common Market man and leadership contender. She is the mother of Tacy Smith who is standing for UKIP in
For Labour, John Kirman is the sacrificial lamb because, even with what should be a certain vote growth after 2009, the party's focus is on the other two Penzance town seats.
If Mr McKenna has the campaigners, he could win this seat, but I suspect Mr Garside will win the street war.

Prediction: Liberal Democrat gain

Newlyn and Mousehole

For Penzance, a very good result for Councillor Roger Harding with a vote share of 49.6% but, in a split field, a majority of 581 votes. By any standards, very impressive but mostly delivered by the inability of any of the other 4 candidates to break free of the pack.
I don't believe that Cllr Harding will find the circumstances quite so inimicable on this occasion.
Mebyon Kernow came second last time, but are not fielding a candidate this time. UKIP's Tacy Smith is the one who would hope to benefit from unhappiness with the Conservative Party and will be looking to have a good boost here but see my above comments on this for the other Penzance divisions. She may well attract votes from the left as she is the daughter of the lale Labour Cabinet Minister, Peter Shore, who was a fervent opponent of the Common Market.
Caroline White is standing for the Liberal Democrats and will hope to at least achieve second place, although I think there is a fair chance that she might struggle with that. She will doubtless hope to pick up MK votes from last time.
For the Labour Party, a seasoned candidate in Nicholas Round is standing again; he will be targeting the MK votes but will also be hoping to take votes from the Lib Dems to give Labour a higher place this time.
Also running is the Green candidate, Heidi Worth, who I think well be squeezed out here.
Making up the field is Nigel Davis as an Independent candidate, about whom I know nothing.

Prediction: Conservative hold.

Cornwall Council elections: Carrick

Carrick was a district council in Cornwall, on the 'ankle' of the peninsula. Its council was based in Truro. The main centres of population, industry and commerce were the city of Truro and the towns of Falmouth and Penryn. The district was created on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the municipal boroughs of Truro, Falmouth and Penryn, and the Truro Rural District. It was abolished with creation of the Cornwall Unitary Authority on 1st April 2009.  

Chacewater, Kenwyn and Baldhu
Chacewater is a village and civil parish, approximately three miles east of Redruth. The hamlets of Carnhot, Cox Hill, Creegbrawse, Hale Mills, Jolly's Bottom, Salem, Saveock, Scorrier, Todpool, Twelveheads and Wheal Busy are in the parish. The population in the 2001 census was 1,517.
Kenwyn is a settlement and civil parish. a suburb of the city of Truro and is situated half-a-mile north of the city centre. It gives its name to one of three rivers that flow through the city.
Baldhu is a former mining village and it is situated above the Carnon Valley 3 miles west of Truro.

In the 2009 election, this seat was won by Conservative district councillor, John Dyer. The former county councillor was Frederick Dyer, who I think to be the same person. Former lecturer, and small farm owner, Councillor Dyer is vice-chairman of the Council Member Champion for Agriculture and County Farms.
As the Liberal Democrats had previously had district councillors in this area, I am surprised that they have no candidate here.
Standing as an Independent is former Conservative councillor, Ross Treseder, a building construction contractor. He will doubtless try to attract former supporters and those who are unhappy with the Conservatives at the moment.
Standing for the Labour Party is Peggy Wicks and she has a real job on her hands. There have been signs of Labour growth in local Truro byelections so should have some target in mind. As the only centre-left candidate, she should hope to greatly improve on the 5.2% of the Labour wasteland of 2009.
UKIP are running a candidate, Redruth-based Michael Wicks, who should serve to undermine the Tory vote a little but, with 68.1% of the vote last time, Cllr Dyer shouldn't really worry too much.

Prediction: Conservative hold

Ladock, St Clement and St Erme

Ladock is a village and civil parish, about six miles northeast of Truro. St Clement is a civil parish and village, southeast of Truro in the valley of the Tresillian River. There is a smaller village at Malpas in the south of the parish. The urban part of the parish of St Clement was incorporated into Truro in 1895.
St Erme is a civil parish and village.
In 2009, the Conservative Mike Eathorne-Gibbons won this division with a comfortable 254 majority over an Independent, and 255 over the third-placed Liberal Democrat, which tells you that it isn't as safe as it might seem. There is no Independent this time so Ian Jones for the Lib Dems will hope to close the gap om Councillor Eathorne-Gibbons and take this seat from him.
Labour's candidate Stuart Venison cannot really fail to improve on the awful 3.8% the party managed last time, but he will hope to eat into the Liberal Democrat vote as well as a sign of the party recovering in this area.
For the Greens, Jo Poland will also be hoping to challenge the Liberal Democrats and build a good vote base for future elections.
As with all of the candidates though, the real question is as to the destination of the Independent votes from 2009.

Prediction: Conservative hold


Falmouth is a town, civil parish and port on the River Fal on the south coast of Cornwall. It has a total resident population of 21,635 (2001 census).
Falmouth is famous for its harbour. Together with Carrick Roads, it forms the third deepest natural harbour in the world, and the deepest in Western Europe. It is also famous for being the start or finish point of various round-the-world record-breaking voyages, such as those of Sir Francis Chichester and Dame Ellen MacArthur. Falmouth Docks Police enforce the law in the docks.
While Falmouth's maritime activity has much declined from its heyday, the docks are still a major contributor to the town's economy. It is the largest port in Cornwall. Falmouth is still a cargo port and the bunkering of vessels and the transfer of cargoes also keep the port's facilities busy. The port is also becoming popular with cruise ship operators. Further up the sheltered reaches of the Fal there are several ships laid up, awaiting sailing orders and/or new owners/charterers.
With its Georgian town houses converted into guest houses and small hotels, often overlooking one of the beaches, Falmouth has proven a popular holiday destination and it is now primarily a tourist resort.
There have been several boundary revisions here.

Falmouth Arwenack

Geoffrey Evans was comfortably elected to the old Gyllyngvase division in 2009 with no real close challengers in a large field (six candidates); it might be less comfortable for him this time as he is only facing two challengers, one Liberal Democrat and one from Labour. Councillor Evans has been the mayor of Falmouth since 2009, having previously held the post from 2000-2002. He was a district councillor until the creation of the unitary authority.
For the Liberal Democrats, Catherine Thornhill is standing and will hope to reverse the poor election result from 2009. Lib Dems have won here many times in the past and she has reason to feel confident.
For Labour, Robin Johnson will be fighting to build up the Labour vote here and, with an unpopular national coalition government, will want to reduce the Lib Dem vote significantly. Labour hopes in Falmouth are concentrated elsewhere and getting a good vote should be his aim. An Independent took second place last time in the shape of renegade Tory, Ian Laws, and he probably cost the Lib Dems a lot of votes at the time, even though he would not be a particularly liberal figure.
Unless he really botches up this election, Cllr Evans is safe.

Prediction: Conservative hold.

Falmouth Boslowick

In the new Arwenack division, Independent Councillor Steve Eva pulled off the almost unbelievable victory with only 24.3% of the vote, 13 ahead of the Liberal Democrat, 31 ahead of the Conservative, 80 ahead of Mebyon Kernow and 116 ahead of Labour. A really tight race which shows that a large field can cause amazing results.
A former Liberal Democrat district councillor, Councillor Eva has stood as an Independent at other times as well. He is facing an equally tough battle this year, with former county and district councillor Roger Bonney picking up the Lib Dem banner. A former mayor, Mr Bonney has a top target seat that he shouldn't be able to miss out on.
Also displaying high hopes should be Conservative candidate, chalet and camping park owner Alan Jewell, but this year may not be conducive to a Conservative victory, with unpopularity both nationally and locally. A town councillor, he was elected in a by election in 2009 but times have changed since then.
For Labour, Nicholas Jemmett will be trying to show that voters really are returning to the Labour party and building up a big enough vote to threaten to grab the seat. It might be possible but seems a bit too far off the mark to be honest.
Hindering Mr Jewell is company director Mairi Hayworth, who will be looking to pick up votes from everywhere but might be more attractive to unhappy Tories. UKIP have a history here, picking up nearly 20% of the vote in the 2007 district elections. She might well be the one to watch this year. Cllr Eva will be feeling the heat and I suspect his pacing of the floor and spilling of coffee on election night will cause him to bring his skills as a carpet cleaner to bear.
Prediction: No idea - could be anybody.
Falmouth Penwerris

This was another amazing result in 2009 with Independent Grenville Chappel taking the division with only 28.4% of the vote and a 56 majority over second-placed Liberal Democrat and 82 over Labour's long-standing county and district councillor, Gerald Chin-Quee. The Conservatives weren't too far off the chase either.
This time, Councillor Chappel, a Project Co-ordinator at Beacon Community Regeneration, is facing a former Liberal Democrat district councillor, John Body, a local town councillor.
For Labour, Hanna Toms is in for Labour - from Truro, youth worker Ms Toms has shown herself to be a doughty campaigner, and managed the not inconsiderable feat of fighting two Town council byelections in Truro Boscawen and producing a Labour vote of 246 at both elections, the second time almost overtaking the Liberal Democrat in a place where Labour has been crushed for years. Ms Toms has been working this division for a while and it'll be interesting to see how she does in what is a solid Labour target.
For UKIP, Amanda Wyner will be testing as yet unchecked waters for the party locally and we will have to see what she does and whom it most effects, although, as I have pointed out in other places, it tends to be Tories who are most attracted.
Whilst not being from Falmouth may work against Ms Toms, this is a seat that Labour must surely win if there is any sign of recovery, let alone a good one.

Prediction: Labour gain

Falmouth Smithick

Technically, nobody is defending the new Smithick division so it should be an interesting election. . With Independent (formerly a Conservative district councillor) Councillor Mike Varney not standing this time, there are three candidates standing as various kinds of Independent, a Liberal Democrat, a Conservative and a Labour candidate.
The most high-profile figure is former Falmouth and Camborne MP, Candy Atherton who is really sticking her neck out here to go for a seat where Labour's vote was swamped last time. Labour have done okay in the past, without winning. She must hope that dissatisfaction with the Liberal Democrats in the national Coalition, along with no defending councillor, will give here a good shot at the seat.
For the Liberal Democrats, student Kenny Edwards must be using all the energy of his 19 years to fight this particular battle. My memory of campaigning at that age was of exhilaration and shock, so best of luck.
Of the Independents, Diana Merrett is a town councillor who courted some controversy when she was suspended from the town council for two months in November 2011 for serious breaches of the council's code of conduct relating to her continued contact with a suspended (and later dismissed) council officer. Her punishment wasn't too harsh and she is recognised as a hard-working councillor.
Retired architect Christopher Smith is also standing under the Independent standard; a very active community worker, Mr Smith might well pick quite a number of votes and he clearly has the Liberal Democrats in his sights for the zero-percent Council Tax rise, which he sees as short-sighted and damaging to local services.
Tony Canton is the last of the Independents but I have not been able to find out anything about him
For the Conservatives, Carnon Downs resident, and retired company director, Liz Ashcroft will be keen to improve on the decent vote last time and to eat into the independently-inclined votebase. With a divided field with Labour perhaps dragging down the Lib Dem votes, Ms Ashcroft may well have a chance.
A very party-political campaign could backfire here.

Prediction: Absolutely no idea.

Falmouth Trescobeas

In 2009, Independent Councillor David Saunby was comfortably elected with 41.7% of the vote in a divided field of 5 candidates. Since then, he has won a town council by election in October of 2012, where he won a crushing victory with a majority of 305 votes over his closest rival - this in a town council byelection! This time he is in a field of seven candidates, with Labour/Co-op, Liberal Democrat, Conservative, Green, UKIP and Independent former district councillor Vicky Eva taking him on.
The byelection was caused by the resignation from the town council of Vicky Eva, who was bested by Councillor Saunby at the last election. Mrs Eva, finance manager at Fit'N'Fun Kids nursery in Falmouth, is no political novice and will be aiming to take advantage of the competing parties to close the gap on Cllr Saunby. Wife of Cornwall Councillor Steve Eva (see above, Boslowick), I think, if she wants to, she may well give the incumbent a run for his money.
For the Liberal Democrats, Rhun Davies will hope to help the party back to winning ways in this part of Falmouth but he might find himself being squeezed between the two Independents.
The Conservatives have local man, Peter Williams, proprietor of Peter Williams Flooring and Ceilings Limited of Redruth. The Tories have not done much here for years and there is reason to expect that to change at this election. In the town by election, they slipped to third.
For Labour &Co-op, experienced Labour candidate, Brod Ross, is hoping to return Labour to its former strength in Trescobeas when it could take 40% of the vote in a straight fight with the Lib Dems - the problem is, this isn't a straight fight. In the 2010 town byeletion, Labour managed to take their vote from 2009's 7.8% to 18.2%, even receiving more votes than they did in the higher turnout of 2009. No Liberal Democrat stood in that by election, but Mebyon Kernow did. Post the national coalition, it might be a straw in the wind for Labour. Mr Ross is the husband of former Labour MP, Candy Atherton (standing in Smithick) and son of Betty Ross (Labour candidate in Mabe, Perranarworthal and St. Gluvias). Ms Atherton's mother, Pamela Atherton, is standing in Truro Redannick. A real family affair.
For the Greens, environmental scientist and part-time lecturer Euan McPhee is raising the banner but he is likely to be firmly overshadowed by the bigger characters in the race. A committed Methodist, he had been actively raising money for Merryn's Trust, to help one of the young people from his church to get a special wheelchair to enable her to return to study A-levels at Truro College after becoming paralysed following a rare blood disorder. A nice bloke - he won't win.
Finally, UKIP's Carole Douglas has the task of introducing UKIP to local politics in this division and, if the national polls are right, she should have some sort of success.

Prediction: Independent Saunby hold (but not by as much, and second place might be interesting)

Mount Hawke and Portreath
Mount Hawke is a village in Cornwall, approximately seven miles west-northwest of Truro, three miles northeast of Redruth, and two miles south of St Agnes.The village is in a former mining area in the administrative civil parish of St Agnes. The settlements bordering Mount Hawke are Banns (northwest) and Menagissey (south); Porthtowan is to the west.
Portreath is a civil parish, village and fishing port on the north coast of Cornwall, about three miles (5 km) northwest of Redruth.
The village extends along both sides of a stream valley and is centred around the harbour and beach. West of the harbour entrance and breakwater are two sandy beaches which are popular with holidaymakers and surfers. Whilst its 2001 census population was shown as 1,337, its present electorate is about 1,100.
In 2009, there were eight candidates in this division, won by Liberal Democrat, Joyce Duffin, with a vote share of 36.6% and a majority of 99 over the Conservative district councillor, Eugene Hope.
This time, there are only 3 candidates (praise the Lord) but none of them is Conservative which seems astonishing. It is of course possible that Mr Hope was the Tory party here but, nonetheless, it is a surprise.
Hoping to sweep up the unrepresented Tory votes is UKIP's Eileen Lewis who might do fairly well here but there is no guarantee that she will pick up all Tories, many of whom have no love for UKIP.
For Labour, Phillip Knight will hope to gain the votes of those who would have voted for the Liberal and Mebyon Kernow candidates last time, as well as gain votes from unhappy voters who plumped for the Lib Dems in the past. It is not going to be a winning campaign for him but, given that Labour did so badly last time (4%), the only way is up. He will be happy to be well into double figures.

Prediction: Liberal Democrat hold


Penryn is a civil parish and town, on the Penryn River about 1 mile northwest of Falmouth. The population was 6,227 in the 2001 census. Although latterly overshadowed by nearby Falmouth, Penryn was once an important harbour in its own right throughout the medieval period exporting granite and tin.
Penryn East and Mylor
Mylor is a civil parish,  approximately five miles north of Falmouth. Mylor Bridge is the largest village in the parish. Mylor is a maritime parish and is bounded by water on three sides: Restronguet Creek to the north, Carrick Roads to the east and Falmouth Harbour to the south. To the west it is bounded by St Gluvias and Perranarworthal parishes.
In 2009, Conservative candidate Tony Martin was elected with just under 40% of the vote, 174 ahead of  Independent candidate, and fellow district councillor, Judith Whiteley. Ms Whiteley is back for a rematch but this time she is the Liberal Democrat candidate.
Ms Whitely will doubtless hope that her personal profile, joined to the 249 votes the Lib Dems received last time, will win her back the seat - voters don't always work that way.
For Mebyon Kernow-Party of Cornwall, David Garwood will be hoping to improve on the 9.6% from last time; I would suggest that more punchy leaflets than the essay form he has put out might best grab attention.
Miriam Venner carries the flag for Labour; the Curriculum Area Manager for Media and Performing Arts at Camborne College, Ms Venner will be hoping to increase Labour's 5.9% share of the vote to something more respectable, whilst avoiding a Tory-Lib Dem squeeze. Labour used to have a decent amount of support in Penryn and in Mylor.
Independent John Symons will be targeting all those voters who feel let down by parties or who feel, as has been the history in this division, that an Independent candidate better serves at local level.
UKIP are in this race as well with Paula Clements. Cllr Martin will not be best pleased but in such a busy race, it will be a battle for either of the front-runners to pull away.

Prediction: Liberal Democrat gain (with no real confidence)
Penryn West
A very close run election in 2009 with Independent, Mary May, taking just 31.8% of the vote and beating the Liberal Democrat Cait Hutchings by just 18 votes. Both town councillors, the ladies have returned for a rematch.
Hoping to prove that Labour are back in the political game in this area is Jim Lloyd-Davies, a former BT engineer, who will been hoping that dissatisfaction with the Con-Ind coalition in County Hall and the Con-Lib Dem coalition in Westminster will attract traditional Labour voters back and prevent a repeat of the 5.9% of the vote Labour received in 2009.
There is no Conservative candidate this time, so the right-wing flank is being represented by Martin Orders of UKIP, about whom I know nothing.
The question really is what will happen to the Conservative vote (15.6%) and other Independent vote (16.5%) from last time? It has been a strong Lib Dem area in the past so I will lean towards Mrs Hutchings.

Prediction: Liberal Democrat gain
Probus, Tregony and Grampound

Probus is a civil parish and village, famous for having the tallest church tower in Cornwall. Tregony is a civil parish and village lying on the River Fal. Grampound is a village six miles west of St Austell. Grampound with Creed is the civil parish of which the village of Grampound and the village of Creed are the main settlements. Since 2009, the Cuby civil parish has been added to the division whilst St Michael Penkivel has transferred to the Roseland division.
In 2009, Independent Bob Egerton won the Probus division with 33.3% of the vote, securing a majority of 63 over the Conservatives. Councillor Egerton sits as a Standalone Independent, not part of the Independent Group in coalition at County Hall. He is the Member Champion for Information Management and Transparency (no, me neither).
The big story of the last election was the absolute collapse of the Liberal Democrat vote with the former district councillor, Fred Greenslade, seeing his vote share fall to 14.6%. This used to be a fairly safe Lib Dem seat, so the fact they are not standing now is indicative of them no longer seeing it as worth targeting, with better prospects elsewhere.
This time, the Conservatives field Sean Marshall, who will hope that the fact that UKIP candidate, Steve Kendall, seems to live a long way away from the division will make it less likely that he will gain support. UKIP's presence won't help though.
For Labour, party stalwart Norman Roach surely can't fail to raise the vote above the 2.2% of 2009. Whilst Cllr Egerton will hope to gain from the lack of a Liberal Democrat or Mebyon Kernow-PC candidate and as the only Independent candidate on this occasion (there was another in 2009, taking 16.1% of the vote), Labour should also hope to make some progress as the only left-of-centre choice.

Prediction: (Standalone) Independent hold
Newlyn and Goonhavern

Goonhavern is a village in north Cornwall, about two miles east of Perranporth. In 2001, it had a population 1,060.
In 2009, this division was easily won by Conservative, Jinny Clark, but she is not defending the seat this time and is replaced by Lisa Shuttlewood, a former nurse, hotelier and now lingerie shop owner in Newquay. Ms Shuttlewood is a Newquay town councillor, having won her seat in a byelection in August of 2011.
For the Liberal Democrats, Newquay town councillor John Rainbow will hope to reclaim the area for the party. The Lib Dems were 227 votes behind last time and only 26 votes ahead of an Independent in third place. Whilst there is no Independent this time, the presence of Mebyon Kernow-Party for Cornwall candidate, Rod Toms, will be an added challenge. The Liberal Party had a candidate last time but their North Cornwall presence has been reduced to the one candidate in Four Lanes division.
Dr Toms, a parish councillor, is campaigning hard and is hopeful of a breakthrough here although it has been a while since an MK-PC candidate has stood for a large council election.
For Labour, Meg Tremayne will be looking to lift the vote from the basement 4.2% of last time.
A tough seat to predict with a drop in the Tory vote likely to be matched by a divided opposition.

Prediction: Conservative hold

Feock and Playing Place

Feock is a coastal civil parish and village, about 5 miles south of Truro at the head of Carrick Roads on the River Fal. To the south, the parish is bordered by Restronguet Creek and to the east by Carrick Roads and the River Fal. To the north it is bordered by Kea parish and to the west by Perranarworthal parish. The 2001 census recorded the population as 3,505. Playing Place is a village southwest of Truro.
Kea  is a civil parish and village in a former mining area south of Truro. Kea village is situated just over one mile southwest of Truro. The 2001 census recorded the population as 1,516.
In 2009, present Cornwall Council leader, Jim Currie, was elected. A long time district and county councillor, Mr Currie resigned as a cabinet member in protest at the position on privatisation of council services held by the then Conservative Group and Council leader, Alec Robertson. Councillor Currie was elected leader after a council vote of no confidence in Cllr Robertson. It has not been a happy time for Cllr Currie, with defections from his party, including Cabinet members, and having to face a budget debacle when several renegade members of his group rebelled and voted with the liberal Democrats for a 0% rise in the council tax. He sacked Cabinet member Stephen Rushworth after that vote. It is no surprise that he has decided to step down. Local voters might be annoyed with the way they perceive that Cllr Currie has been treated and that might cost them.
In his place, the Conservatives have chosen Steve Chamberlain, who stood in Truro Moresk last time, to defend Cllr Currie's fairly slim majority of 109 from last time. The  main challenger then was an Independent, Tomas Hill. He is replaced in the Independent cause by town councillor Bob Richards. Mr Richards will hope that he can pick up the Independent vote and the vote of those unhappy with the local and national governments.
The Liberal Democrats did badly here last time in a seat they would previously win. They came third with 17.5% of the vote. Their candidate, Christine Ryall, will need to campaign hard.
Not as hard as Labour candidate Jayne Kirkham; Labour's share of the vote was only 3.1% in 2009 and the party will need to avoid being squeezed even further. Given the unpopularity of the national government, it is unlikely and there should be some bounce for them here.

Prediction: Hard to predict.

St Agnes

St Agnes is a civil parish and a large village on the north coast of Cornwall about five miles north of Redruth and ten miles southwest of Newquay. The population of the parish is recorded as 7,257, whilst that of the village was 2,230.
Historically, St Agnes and the surrounding area relied on fishing, farming and mining for copper and tin. There were also iron foundries and an iron works, stamps and crazing mills, a smelter, blowing houses and clay extraction. By the 1930s mining and related industries had nearly ceased and by the 1950s the area had very little industrial commerce. Instead, the area became a bedroom community for workers in the surrounding towns and cities like Newquay and Truro, a desired retirement community and a favored holiday spot. The mining history is part of the draw for tourists, like the Blue Hills Tin Streams where tourists can see tin work demonstration. St Agnes village is relatively self-sufficient with local shops and business enterprises that support the village itself and the surrounding farming country.
A good old-fashioned three-way party battle, in 2009 St Agnes division was handily won by Liberal Democrat Les Donnithorne. This time, the Lib Dem candidate is Peter Mitchell who should have little trouble holding the seat, unless Labour manages to raise its vote share enough to bring it into play for the Conservatives.
Hoping for this is the Conservative candidate, town councillor Dawn Brown. She stood here in 2009 but, even in a good year for the Tories and a poor one for the Lib Dems in 2009, she was still 316 votes behind. Councillor Donnithorne had been around for a long time so she must hope that his standing down will open a door for her.
For Labour, Robert Harrison's intention must be to try to regain the decent vote the party used to be able to achieve in this area.

Predition: Liberal Democrat hold

Threemilestone and Gloweth

Threemilestone is a small village in the civil parish of Kenwyn, three miles west of Truro, Gloweth is a housing estate west of Treliske on the outskirts of Truro.
When I come to reflect upon my choice to give an overview of Cornwall, it is this kind of candidate make-up that will cause me to shudder - There are seven candidates, 4 of them Independents, all waiting to make a fool of any prediction I might care to make.
Actually, maybe not so terrible a choice as one of the Independents is the sitting Councillor, Chris Pascoe, elected as a Liberal Democrat in 2009. Councillor Pascoe quit the Liberal Democrats in protest against the actions of the national party and the introduction of the “pasty tax”. The Lib Dem group leader had taken him off the strategic planning committee after controversial plans for 1,500 homes on a site near Mr Pascoe’s home were approved by one vote and it is suggested that this is the reason for his resignation. Cllr Pascoe rejects this, saying he had been mulling leaving the party for a while.
For the Liberal Democrats, Moyra Nolan (whose husband is the Lib Dem councillor and candidate in Truro Redannick) will be aiming to keep the division in the Lib Dem colours and will hope signs of Lib Dem decline in local Truro byelections don't undermine her chances. A Blood Service worker, she will have to hope that she can squeeze every vote Labour can hope for. The famous bar charts are already in evidence, totally ignoring the Independents.
The Conservatives were second here in 2009 and their candidate, town councillor Adam Desmonde, will be fairly confident of coming through this pack, not least since he won the the 2012 byelection in Truro Boscawen ward, where the Lib Dem vote was seriously reduced, with much of it going across to the Labour Party. If this pattern repeats here, it could be good for the Tories, although there have been a drop in the support for the Tories in the polls since then, along with the series of splits and defections in the party in County Hall. I am not sure running on a headline of "Four Years of Delivery" is a sensible one though.
For Labour, the sacrificial lamb is Philip Fenton, co-founder of the Falmouth and Exeter University (FXU)
Labour Students Society and, as he admits, deeply involved in revision. Whilst Labour might have had a hope of a decent vote with a good campaign here, they have better chances elsewhere and Mr Fenton is undoubtedly just giving locals a chance to vote Labour. I think Labour's vote will increase from the dismal 4.5% of 2009, but I am not sure by how much.
Independent candidate Tim Deeble is a lifelong resident of Threemilestone and local builder and served as a parish councillor. His leaflet shows the candidate trick of standing next to things, whether he has learnt the trick of winning is another question.
NHS worker John Humar is another Independent, a union activist and charity worker, he will be sharing the risk of disappearing in the crowd here.
The final candidate is Ken Hart, chairman of Threemilestone Angling Club (I think it is the same man). I know little else.
The Lib Dem trick of pretending Cllr Pascoe doesn't exist here is a risky one and I think this division could go any of three ways.
Prediction: Lib Dem hold (or Conservative gain)


Perranporth  is a small seaside resort town on the north coast of Cornwall, 6 miles southwest of Newquay and 7 miles northwest of Truro. Perranporth and its 3 miles long beach face the Atlantic Ocean. In the 2001 census, it had a population of 3,066 and is the largest settlement in the civil parish of Perranzabuloe (pop 5,382 (2001 census). it is home to no less than 16 masonic bodies.
In 2009, Independent Councillor Michael Callan won this division very easily with more than double the vote of the second-placed Conservative. I cannot see the new Conservative candidate, Lisa Marshall, causing him too much concern this time either.
The Liberal Democrats are not fielding a candidate and for those who wish to vote for a party of the centre-left, they have the option of the Mebyon Kernow-Party of Cornwall candidate, Paul Dunbar, or Labour's Simon Coley. MK-PC have done fairly well here in the past so will have some ambition to pick up up a good number of votes. For Labour's Simon Coley, the distant sounds of "Things....can only get better" will lift the spirits in the face of the awful 2.8% from 2009.
Challenging for the Independent vote is Mark Langdon. I know nothing about him.
Local sub-postmaster and gallery owner Cllr Callan should be safe enough this time, it is the order below him that is of interest in this election.

Prediction: Independent hold


St Just in Roseland is a civil parish and village on the Roseland peninsula The village is situated six miles south of Truro and two miles north of St Mawes.
This  division was easily won by Independent, Julian German, in 2009, taking 65.2% of the votes cast.
Councillor German, formerly the Cabinet Mamber for Climate, is a promoter of the Cornish language, which he speaks.
Standing against him this year is former district council leader, Fred Greenslade, who was a councillor for 40 years until 2009. He was once a Liberal Democrat but is now standing as a Conservative. At the last election, the Conservatives received 24.5% of the vote and Mr Greenslade will hope his high profile and experience will play in his favour.
There is nobody from the Liberal Democrats this time so Labour candidate, Callum MacLeod, can hope to give the party a good relaunch in this division, which they haven't fought in for a number of years.
UKIP are fielding Elizabeth Coleman and, as with the Labour Party, it will be interesting to see how they go on in this new area for them.

Prediction: Independent hold


Truro is a city and civil parish. The city is the centre for administration, leisure and retail in Cornwall, with a population recorded in the 2001 census of 17,431. Truro urban statistical area, which includes parts of surrounding parishes, has a 2001 census population of 20,920. By 2010 the city's population had increased to 19,134 and its surrounding urban area to 23,000 as based on the results of the population of Cornwall in 2010. It is the only city in the county, and the most southern city in Mainland Great Britain. Truro initially grew as an important centre of trade from its port and then as a stannary town for the mining industry. The city is well known for its cathedral (completed in 1910), cobbled streets, open spaces and Georgian architecture. Places of interest include the Royal Cornwall Museum, the Hall for Cornwall, Cornwall's Courts of Justice and Cornwall Council.
Since the days of the late, great Liberal MP, Devid Penhaligon, Truro has been a bastion for the Liberal Democrats with the old traditional Labour voting area swinging strongly to them. With the retirement of the Mr Penhaligon's successor, Matthew Taylor, in 2010, the Truro and Falmouth constituence fell the the Conservatives by 435 votes. The worry for the Liberal Democrats is that Labour has shown signs of rebuilding a base in Truro in two byelections in the city's Boscawen ward, very much at the expense of the Liberal Democrats. This election is important for the Liberal Democrats to gauge how they now stand with such an unpopular coalition in Westminster. Mr Penhaligon died in a road accident in 1987 and politics is much sadder for it. His cousin, actress Susan Penhaligon, recently quit the Lib Dems over the government's Benefit changes, it'll be interesting to see if that plays out at all in people's voting intentions.
There have been a series of boundary changes here and the names of the divisions may not correspond exactly with the 2009 divisions of the same name.
Truro Boscawen

As if to prove my last point, this division is being defended by Independent Councillor Bert Biscoe who presently represents the Moresk division. Councillor Biscoe was elected to the old county council in 1997,. He is the Cabinet member for Transportation, Highways and Environment and campaigns for an improved rail network in Cornwall.
For the Liberal Democrats, city councillor Maurice Vella is running; an independent architecture and planning professional, Mr Vella has strong views on planning issues in the City of Truro. A former district councillor when Moresk was a two seat-ward, he will have a battle on his hands to unseat Cllr Biscoe as the Lib Dems do not tend to top the poll here.
For the Conservatives, local restaurant  manager, Noel Krishnan is hoping to be the first black Conservative elected to Cornwall Council. I feel that the the Conservatives are likely to be caught between the two former district councillors here.
I am surprised that there is no candidate from Mebyon Kernow-Party of Cornwall, given that they polled a decent 153 votes in the town council byelection the Moresk Ward.
Labour are represented by Susan Street who will be pleased that MK-PC aren't standing as there is a good chance to build up the Labour position here, not least that in coming third in the 2010 byelection, they still managed to more than double their actual number or votes cast in the old division in 2009, even though the turnout was less than 17%. Labour is showing strong signs of recovery in Truro and this should be a decent enough result for them if they can avoid being squeezed.
For the Green Party, this year's mayor, Lindsay Southcombe is hoping to put in a good showing to make this election even  more interesting.

Prediction: Independent hold

Truro Redannick

Defending this seat is the present councillor for the old Boscawen division, former mayor Rob Nolan. Councillor Nolan had a real battle on his hands in 2009, winning with a majority of 66 votes over the Conservative candidate, Lorrie Eathorne-Gibbons.
City councillor and former mayor, Ms Eathorne Gibbons is back this year hoping that the two byelection victories that the Conservatives have achieved in the city council's Boscawen ward will be repeated here. In the 2012 byelection, the Conservatives achieved 48% of the vote whilst the Liberal Democrats vote fell to just over 27%. Whilst the turnout was just over 20%, it was a very encouraging result for the Tories and worrying for the Liberal Democrats, not least because of the Labour vote. Ms Eathorne-Gibbons is used to being on the wrong side of close results, she failed to take a seat by 21 votes on the old district council.
For Labour, Pamela Atherton is hoping to repeat, or better, the two byelection results; bizarrely, Labour's Hanna Toms received 246 votes at both elections and the Lib Dems failed to squeeze the vote at the second one, being only 27 votes ahead of Labour. Labour received over 24.6% of the vote and if Ms Atherton repeats this, bearing in mind that Labour only managed 288 votes in the whole of the city, plus Threemilestone, in 2009, it will be a very good result indeed. Ms Atherton is the mother of former Falmouth and Camborne MP, Candy Atherton, standing in Falmouth Smithick.
Returning for the Green Party is Howard Newlove, who managed 10.6% of the vote last time and will be hoping not to be squeezed in the battle for the top spot.
For Mebyon Kernow-Party of Cornwall, Lance Dyer, who held the party's vote in the first of the Boscawen byelections, will be hoping that he can do the same, or better, this time. Given that Labour leap-frogged him then, I suspect he will be happy not to suffer a squeeze from one of the other parties.
Having said everything, Cllr Nolan is a very well-known and well-liked figure in the city and will be looking to hold on to a personal vote. Personal votes matter in Truro, so it could make a difference. All in all though, Labour seems unlikely to see its vote be completely squeezed back to 2009's 4.5% and I think the good councillor will be worried about them closing the gap. He must hope the protest vote was exercised at the byelections. If Labour were to gain a seat in Truro, this would probably be the one, but I wouldn't be predicting that at all. For the Conservatives, the shenanigans in County Hall can't help and the unpopularity of the Westminster government will not be welcome, for either of the two coalition parties.

Prediction: Erm....

Truro Tregolls

This division is equivalent to the one held won by the Liberal Democrat, Doris Ansari, in 2009. This time, former Cornwall County Council leader, Councillor Ansari is not standing and Ros Cox is taking her place for the party. Defeated in 2009 by Cllr Bert Biscoe in the old Moresk division, former district councillor, and present city councillor, Cox will hope to be in County Hall come 3rd May. Conservative candidate Judy Cresswell will be pushing to close the gap but will be hampered by the entrance of a UKIP candidate into the race.
UKIP's Paul Minihan is unlikely to be more of a spoiler here and it may well put the seat beyond Ms Cresswell, even if she hopes that Labour or the Greens can take enough votes off the Lib Dems to bring the seat into play for the Tories.
In third place last time was Mebyon Kernow with its candidate, Loic Rich, taking 21.5% of the vote. Since then, actor, musician, and screenwriter Mr Rich has been on a bit of a political odyssey, resigning from the party to join the Conservatives and now standing as an Independent. I suspect he won't be able to hold onto the votes he received last time as an MK candidate, not least as the Greens and Labour will be battling for the centre-left vote.
For the Greens, who got 7.9% of the vote last time, Godfrey Allen is standing and will hope to take advantage of the unpopularity of the Liberal Democrats  nationally to reap votes, but he cannot hope to win here.
Labour have Margaret George, secretary of Truro and Falmouth Amnesty International, hoping to get the party back to the high teens of percentage vote share at least.
To hold this division, Ms Cox needs to keep her party's vote in the mid-thirties of percentage (39% last time), and she will be okay.

Prediction: Liberal Democrat hold.

Truro Trehaverne
In 2009, the Trehaverne division was won by Fiona Ferguson with 33% of the vote and by only 6 votes over Independent, Sarah Trevail. Only 34 votes behind her, on 30.2% of the vote, was Liberal Democrat candidate Tom Stubbs. Councillor Fergusuon was the Conservative Goup leader on the council who dramatically resigned from the Cabinet over the issue of "lie detector tests" on those people claiming single person's council tax discount.
This is going to be a really interesting election as Councillor Ferguson is defending herself against a different Independent this time, former 2010 Labour parliamentary candidate for Truro and Falmouth (she also stood for the party in Truro and St Austell in 2005), Dr Charlotte MacKenzie. It is sad for both Dr MacKenzie and the Labour Party that they have fallen out, but she has continued to sit on the Truro City Council and to campaign on local issues. It will be interesting to see how she does.
For the Liberal Democrats, city councillor Peter Congdon will hope to pick up the few votes needed from last time to snatch the seat and will hope that he doesn't lose votes to Labour, the Greens or Dr MacKenzie.
The Green candidate is Steve Angove  but I think he will struggle to do too well here in a very close race.
For Labour, Richard Lees should hope to see a good vote increase although he will be somewhat uneasy about the presence of former leading Labour light, Dr MacKenzie, being amongst his opposition.
Messing things up a bit more is UKIP's Michael Inglefield, a local B&B owner. He will make life harder for all candidates, but most especially Cllr Ferguson.
The big questions are: who gets the Independent vote from last time and will the Liberal Democrat vote grow of fall?

Prediction: No idea