The Communion of Saints

The Communion of Saints
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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.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Cornwall Unitary Election Results, 2013: Kerrier

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

Party                  Votes    Percent    Seats
Independent           8140    30.6%    22
Liberal Democrat    5377    20.2%    11
Conservative           5219    19.6%     5
Mebyon Kernow       2509     9.4%     3
Labour                     2489     9.4%     2
UKIP                         1656     6.2%     0
Liberal Party             1183     4.5%     1

Not much of a change on 2003's results for anybody but Labour, who lost 3 seats, only contested 8 of the wards and fell behind Mebyon Kernow. In an area which should be the stongest for them in Cornwall, they polled badly.

In 2009, the Unitary Council replaced the County and District/Borough Councils and the results for what would have been the old district were:

Party                  Votes    Percent    Seats
Independent        11150    37.2%    10
Conservative         8073    27.0%    10
Liberal Democrat   5493    18.3%     1
Labour                  1984     6.6%     0
Mebyon Kernow    1938     6.5%     1
Liberal Party           700     2.3%     0
UKIP                        493     1.6%     0
Green Party            117     0.4%     0

A big change from 2007 with the Liberal Democrats share of the vote apparently only slipping back a little but being reduced to on 1 seat out of 22, as opposed to 11 out of 44 on the old District council. The reason for the apparently small vote change is that they only had candidates for 24 of the 44 seats in 12 of the twenty wards in 2007, but 21 out of 22 in 2009. Their share of the vote can be better judged by the slip from over 29.1% in the Camborne wards in 2007 to just over 24% in the 2009 Camborne Divisions.
It was a very bad election for the Liberal Democrats in 2009.
It was an excellent one for the Conservatives whose increase in vote share is partly due to having 21 candidates in the 22 divisions as opposed to 21 out of 44 candidates and only standing in 11 of the twenty wards in 2007 but also to the fact that they managed to hold or increase their vote across the area. In Camborne, 4 out of the 5 Divisions (counting Troon and Beacon) against very split opposition.
The Independents continued to do very well across the old district, wirth candidates (sometimes more than one) in 20 out of 22 Divisions in 2009, having candidates in 18 out of 20 of the old wards in 2007 (only one in Camborne though). Their vote share was considerably improved even thought they faced party candidates in every Division this time.
For Labour, it was an unmitigated disaster, failing to win a single election in its traditionally strongest area of Cornwall. They had 17 candidates out of 22 divisions, having only fielded 8 candidates in 6 wards in 2007. Despite this, the Labour vote fell by almost a third. In Camborne, Labour came bottom, or next to bottom, in every division.
Mebyon Kernow had fielded only 8 candidates in the 2007 council elections in 5 wards. In the 2009 Unitary elections they put up candidates in 8 divisions. They slipped back quite considerably in terms of vote share, but managed to see a candidate elected in Camborne South (Stuart Cullimore) with only 28.4% of the votes cast and a 20 vote majority over the Tories.
The Liberal Party had 6 candidates in 5 wards in 2007, including the victorious Paul Holmes in Illogan North. They fought 6 divisions in 2009, falling back considerably in their normally strong Illogan base, with Mr Holmes losing out to the Conservative's Terry Wilkins.
For UKIP, from fielding 14 candidates in 7 wards in 2007, they only fielded candidates in 2 divisions in 2009, polling fairly decently in both.
The Greens only ran a candidate in 2009 in St Day and Lanner.

Coming to the 2013 Unitary Elections.

Party                   Votes    Percent    Seats
Independent         6609    26.0%      8
Conservative        6252    24.6%      7
UKIP                     5530    21.8%      4
Labour                 3389    13.3%      2
Mebyon Kernow   1889     7.4%      1
Liberal Democrat    867     3.4%     0
Green Party            725     2.9%     0
Liberal Party           143     0.6%     0

The real story of these elections in the old Kerrier district is the remarkable progress of UKIP who fielded 21 candidates in 22 divisions, managing to win in four and coming very close in several others. In Camborne, they took the Pendarves and Treswithian divisions by majorities of 21 and 12 votes, just missing out on Trelothan by 7 votes and Trelowarren by 18 votes. In low turnout elections, those wantng to vote UKIP were very motivated and nealy pulled off a remarkable near-clean sweep in Camborne (they were also-rans in Roskear, but still polled fairly well).
Whilst in other parts of Cornwall where there have been more disappointing results where UKIP have been firmly established, UKIP , with some history in Camborne, did remarkably and completely wrong footed the main parties.
In the absence on the Lib Dems as a traditional party of protest, Labour may have hoped to be the main beneficiaries, but UKIP has reached across to many people who felt disenfranchised or angry and they did well across the area, gaining Mabe, Perranarworthal and St. Gluvias division and Four Lanes division. They just missed out in Redruth North by 36 votes, were a fairly close third in Illogan and generally acquited themselves beyond, I suspect, even their own expectations.
As it traditional, Independent candidates continue to pull in the most votes in the area but, with Indepedent candidates only contesting half the divisions at this election, and votes turning to party candidates more and more, the vote share was well down from 2009 and the Independents no long hold close to half the seats.
The Conservatives had a mixed election, seeing their vote share fall back by 2.6% and only holding 7 divisions (as opposed to 10 in 2009), any disappointment will be tempered by how much worse it could have been. They will be worried by the UKIP advance, but so will the other parties as UKIP seems to had a big chunk out of everybody's potential voter base. They fielded 18 candidates (21 last time), which will explain much of the drop in their vote share. In terms of vote, they pretty much stood still, in terms of seats, they slipped back.
Labour should feel extremely disappointed with these election results; whilst they were coming back from the disaster of 2009, they really should have done better in terms of both votes gained and seats won. It will be very disappointing for them that Jude Robinson, the lone Labour UA councillor after a remarkable byelection win in the old Camborne North Division, failed to win in the new Roskear division, but she did manage to poll extremely well after the depths of 2009, but otherwise, they should have done better in Camborne (byelections had suggested they might), Redruth and Carn Brae and Illogan areas. They pulled off a great victory in Pool and Tehidy and almost grabbed an unexpected victory in Redruth South, but Labour's one victory in Camborne, with less than 20% of the vote (their poorest vote in Camborne), is not exactly a ringing endorsement or a good sign for the General Election. They can comfort themselves with the knowledge that the doubled their vote share whilst fielding the same number (17) of candidates as in 2009, but they have to hope that the UKIP surge is spent.
The real diaster was for the Liberal Democrats, who only fought six divisions which, given one would have assumed a bounceback after the bad results in 2009, was surprising. What was more surprising was how badly the those few candidates did:

Camborne Treslothan: 6.8%, 6th place
Illogan: 13.7%, 4th place
Helston North: 5.1%, 4th place
Helston South: 19.8%, 2nd place
Porthleven and Helston West: 3.2%, 4th place
Mabe, Perranarworthal and St. Gluvias: 22.9%, 3rd place

I had fully expected the Liberal Democrats to have good chances in Camborne Treslothan, Illogan, 'Porthleven and Helston West', and 'Mabe, Perranarworthal and St. Gluvias'. Any targeting done in fewer Divisions seems to have failed and one can only imagine the state of the local activist base in places like Camborne where the party was recently in a fairly strong position.
Mebyon Kernow-Party of Cornwall (the English appellation a conscious reference to the Plaid Cymru-Party of Wales nomenclature) will be happy to have seen the redoubtable Dr Loveday Jenkins easily elected in Crowan and Wendron after her earlier gaining of the Wnedron division in a byelection. They will be more disappointed with the loss of an elected councillor in Camborne where Treswithian was a notional MK-PC seat and Trelothan was a hope for them. With 8 candidates (same as 2009), they slightly improved their vote share and nearly pulled off a suprise victory in Illogan.
The Green ran four candidates this time and polled surprisingly well in St. Keverne and Meneage, taking over 30% of the vote - their 2.9% of the poll is mostly the result of that result.
The Liberal Party only ran one candidate this time, former councillor Paul Holmes in Four Lanes, where he trailed in fourth.

Below are more detailed reflections on each division and the election results.

Breage, Germoe and Sithney

From a very close run election and evenly divided field in 2009 when there were 4 candidates, this one a two-horse race between defending Conservative Councillor John Keeling and UKIP's Michael Mahon, who came in last in 2009.
Elected as an Independent in 2009, Councillor Keeling joined the Conservatives and will be happy to have achieved 55.1% of the vote having only managed to take 31.4% and a 36 majority in 2009.
His majority of 104 here doesn't tell the whole story as UKIP polled very well here, almost trebling their vote share in the former Division in 2009. With another candidate standing, we might now have a UKIP councillor in this Division.
A 29.8% voter turnout, greatly down on 2009 and probably a reflection of unhappiness with the electoral choice as Independents usually poll well here. A relatively high number of spoiled ballots (57, 3.4% of the vote) seems to indicate some truth in this speculation.

Camborne Pendarves

Camborne proved to be happy hunting territory for UKIP and Harry Blakely pulled off a stunning victory, coming from nowhere to snatch this seat from the Conservatives, whose defending councillor David Biggs had stepped down and were now represented by David Atherfold.
Mr Blakely's 21 majority over Mr Atherfold was one of the great successes for UKIP in the old Kerrier area. I had predicted a Tory hold, or a Labour gain(!) but Labour's Trevor Chalker failed to emulate successes in local byelection's for Labour and trailed in 4th with 18.7% of the vote. UKIP pulled in a lot of support from working class voters in Camborne and, with a very divided field, managed to come through the middle.
MK-PC's John Gilllingham had a healthy vote share of 19.7% but this was one of the seats they thought they had a good chance of winning. For the Conservatives to lose by 2% must have been very galling but, with just under 30% of the vote, they did well.
The absence of a Liberal Democrat candidate is both surprising and, as with the rest of the Cmaborne Divisions, perhaps indicative of how far they have fallen from their once powerful position in Camborne.
An okay turnout for Camborne, but 32.2% is not exactly stellar.

Camborne Roskear

This was a very hard fought election and Labour received one of its highest vote shares in Cornwall, taking 35.8% of the vote. Defending the Division after her surprise byelection victory in mid-term, I really thought that Jude Robinson would prevail and go from being on her own to being part of a confortably sized Labour Group at County Hall. However, The Conservative victor, Paul White, had already proved himself a successful campaigner and he managed to take the seat by 40 votes with 39.1% - technically a Tory hold, Mr White's victory is impressive.
As consolation, Labour added 25.1% to their vote share, which would have given them the seat in any other Camborne division (and many other places besides).
UKIP's Tess Hulland pulled in a respectable 19.5% to take third place.
For John Rowe of MK-PC, a big drop in his poll from 2009 and bringing up the rear with just 6% of the vote, suffering from a squeeze by the two main parties.
Again, no Liberal Democrat candidate after coming second in 2009.
35.1% turnout, the best in Camborne with a very tough election battle increasing voter interest.

Camborne Trelowarren

I put this as too close to call, and that turned out to be spot on with defendiing Conservative councillor, John Stoneman, holding the seat by 18 votes from UKIP's Roger Laity and 46 from Labour's Adam Crickett. Whilst close, it was better then the 3 vote majority he achieved in the old Camborne Central division in 2009.
With no Liberal Democrat candidate (who just missed out in 2009), Labour must have hoped that they might take the seat and whilst they will be happy with the big increase in their vote share, they will have been very disappointed to not pick up former Lib Dem voters and to have lost out to UKIP in second place.
MK-PC saw a big drop in their vote share but they at least didn't come last as the Green candidate, David Everett, managed only 4.2%.
So split was the vote that Cllr Stoneman managed to hold on with only 30.3%, 3.1% less than when he just scraped in in 2009.
Only a 23.9% voter turnout.

Camborne Treslothan

Well, this was a pearler or a result. I struggled to decide who would win this seat, maybe MK-PC's Alan Sanders, or Labour's Robert Webber, but plumped for the only Liberal Democrat standing in Camborne, Anna Pascoe, on the mistaken belief that she would have the ground game. What I didn't doubt was that the defending Conservative councillor, Morwenna Williams, would lose her seat - she slipped to 5th place with her vote share in the old Troon and Beacon division in 2009 more than halved to 15.1%.
This election result shows this division to be the most fissiparous in Cornwall, Labour's Robert Webber winning with a only 19.8% of the vote, only 7 votes ahead of UKIP's Roy Appleton with Independent Nicholas heather in third place only another 20 votes behind. Mr Webber pulled off a town council byelection victory in this area and his team must be mightily relieved to have had that campaign as it is probably what enabled them to win through this time.
Deeply disappointed must have been MK-PC's Alan Sanders who surely should have been the favourite to win here with a solid vote to build on and only 41 votes off victory in 2009. I said it'd be a singular disaster if he didn't win and, with only 15.1% of the vote, I stand by that.
There were only 42 votes between fifth place and victory, with only Anna Pascoe (6.8%)in 6th, and the Green's Jacqueline Merrick (6.4%) in 7th, not coming close.
Mr Webber must still be thanking his lucky stars.
A disappointing 28.1% turnout.

Camborne Treswithian

Challenging Treslothan in the fissiparous stakes is this division, when a photo finish between the four candidates saw just 28 votes separating the victor from last place.
In my prediction, I said I honestly didn't know who would win. I certainly didn't think that UKIP's Viv Lewis would and there was no history to suggest otherwise. For Labour, stalwart Steve Richards came in a very creditable second place, raising the Labour vote from the old Camborne South division from 6% to 25.2%, the Conservatives' Jeff Collins will be disappointed to have come so close and lose with 24.8% and only 20 votes behind but they held on to their vote very well.
It would appear that the Lib Dem vote from 2009 mostly flowed to Labour and MK-PC candidate Mike Champion must be bitterly disappointed to have failed to hold the one seat in Camborne that Mebyon Kernow had held in 2009 with retired councillor Stuart Cullimore. This is an occasion when Mr Cullimore might have been able to pull across enough personal votes to hold it. Nonetheless, Mr Champion managed to hold onto most of the vote share with 23.4% of the poll.
UKIP proved to be a remarkable dark horse in most of Camborne and slipped through the middle here. Cllr Lewis has a tiny 12 vote majority here but that is enough for 4 years in County Hall.
A 28.6% voter turnout.

Carharrack, Gwennap and St Day

Never a seat likely to change hands, sitting councillor and Cabinet Mamber Mark Kaczmarek was alwys certain to keep hold of this redrawn division; that he did so with 62.4% of the vote is a credit to him and his 558 majority over UKIP's David Parker is a great achievement. His prominent role in the previous administration does not seem to have caused him any drop in popularity.
The only question was who would come second and UKIP should be satisfied with 18.5% of the poll from a standing start. With a smaller field than Cllr Kaczmarek faced in 2009 (including no Conservative or Liberal Democrat standing), both the Green's Geoff Garbett (10.3%) and Labour's Rosanna Phillips (8.8%) have reason to feel some satisfaction in their vote shares increasing.

Constantine, Mawnan and Budock

There was never any chance of an upset here with Conservative councillor Neil Hatton defending an near 1,000 majority over the (now absent) Lib Dems in 2009. The only real interest was whether the marvellously named Lomond Moonyean Handley of UKIP could eat into Cllr. Hatton's near 72% of the vote to create a decent second place and if Labour's Susan Webber could take advantage of the Liberal Democrat absence to significantly increase the 7.1% vote share in the Constantine Division in 2009.
Ms Lomond Moonyean Handley (sorry, an name this magnificent needs to be used in full at all times) received 29.1% of the vote and has every reason to feel happy about that with the Tory share down to a very decent 57.3% and a 442 vote cushion.
In the absence of a Liberal Democrat candidate, Susan Webber might have hoped to do better than 13.6% but will not be too unhappy.
32.9% turnout.

Crowan and Wendron

Unsurprisingly, MK-PC's Dr Loveday Jenkin firmly held onto her byelection gain in this Division, greatly increasing her vote-share to 54.9% and with a very comfy 461 majority. Conservative Linda taylor, who had slightly increased the Conservative vote from 2009 in the byelection, managed to do so again and, whilst in a distant second place, should not be too unhappy with 21.2% but, in the absence of a UKIP candidate this time, might have hoped to do better.
Won by the late Independent Councillor Mike Clayton on a low vote share of 31.7% in 2009, the Independent mantle was taken up this time by David Knight, but after the byelection victory of Dr Jenkin, it was always going to be a tough call and he only managed 3rd place and 16.6% of the poll.
Labour's Jackie Harding will be disppointed to have only managed a 7.3% vote share but at least she achieved my other target for her - treble figures (100) votes.
A good result for Mebyon Kernow-Party of Cornwall's former leader and she should be safe here for as long as she wishes.
32.3% turnout.

Four Lanes

Oh well, if you are going to get something wrong, get it very wrong - I had suprised a Liberal Party supporter by predicting a Paul Holmes victory. I should have changed my prediction on that basis as he trailed in a very poor fourth with only 17% of the vote. I did not believe that the defending Conservative, Cllr. Peter Sheppard (elected for Carn Brae North), could hold onto this reorganised division and this proved right and he scraped second place with 20.6%.
The real surprise was that UKIP's Derek Elliott slipped through the middle to take the seat with 28.5%. As I noted at the time, Mr Elliott is not particularly local and I thought he would struggle against better organised local figures, but a very divided field let him through with a 66 vote majority. UKIP seems to have taken votes from all parties and, in the absence of a Liberal Democrat challenger this time, obviously, in the overall churn, picked up many votes from them too. The low turnout (24%) is not a good sign, mind.
For Labour, just edged into third place by 4 votes, it was an acceptable result and it was not a seat I really saw Labour taking, but 20.1% of the vote will be disappointing for their candidate, Matthew Brown.
MK-PC's Chris Lawrence was never likely to win here, despite the party once having a district council seat in this area, though he might have hoped to do better than 5th and 13.7% of the vote.
In the parts of Cornwall where they have had a fairly strong history (Penzance, east Cornwall), UKIP seems to have done worse than expected than in those Divisions where they have not really run before, such as around the Camborne and Redruth area.
A poor 24.5% turnout, with not a spoiled ballot paper, so at least every vote counted.


Conservative Terry Wilkins would have been relieved to win in 2009 with 32.8% of the vote, he'll be even more surprised to have held on by 28.8% of the vote. Helped by a split field in 2009, he must have thought he couldn't be so lucky twice.
I had predicted that it would be a close three-horse race, but just thought the MK-PC's Stephen Richardson would squeak it with the support he had received from former Lib Dem stalwart (and former county, district and town councillor) Terry Rowe. He did receive a creditable 25.2% and was only 41 votes behind, but this is another disappointment to MK-PC's high hopes at this election.
I hadn't thought that the third horse would be UKIP's Don Armstrong who came a strong third with 22.5% of the votes cast and just 82 votes away from the top spot. He has undoubtedly picked up a lot of normally 'left of centre' voters.
For the Liberal Democrats and their candidate Davd Ekynsmith, this can be nothing but a very deep disappointment in one of the few wards they were contesting in this area. On the face of it, they have increased their vote in the old Illogan division in 2009 from 9.9% to 13.7%, but must have hoped that the absence of Liberal Party stalwart, Paul Holmes (standing in Four Lanes) would have boosted their vote share. It is worth pointing out that between them, Mr Holmes, Independent (former Lib Dem) David Ford and the Lib Dem's Amanda Mannion managed 60.6% of the vote in 2009. Things are not good for the Lib Dems in this part of Cornwall.
For Labour, equal disappointment in that Linda Moore could only manage to scrape in last with 9.9% of the vote, undoubtedly squeezed out by MK-PC.
a 30.4% turnout.

Pool and Tehidy

Now, this was an open-race in that the Liberal Democrat's defending councillor, Kim Willoughby, decided not to defend the seat - indeed, the Lib Dems didn't even put up a candidate this time round. The old Carn Brae South division was amazing in that it revealed Cornish political fissiparousness at its most remarkable. The seat was won with only 27.8% of the vote, 26 votes ahead of Independent candidate Diana Cousins and 78 votes ahead of the Conservative Pam Rowett.
In 2009, trailing in fifth behind a Liberal candidate, came Labour's Linda Moore (moved to Illogan this time).
Despite this, in a field reduced to just Labour, Conservative and UKIP, I predicted that Labour's Malcolm Moyle, a former district councillor and mayor, would take the seat, and he did so with 41.4% of the vote (from 12.6% in 2009), gaining most of the former Lib Dem and Liberal support. The Conservatives' Clive Bramley just took second place from UKIP's Christine Bleakley by two votes.
One of Labour's best results in Cornwall.
A 25.9% voter turnout.

Helston North

The seat of the former, and ousted, Conservative leader of the Council, Alec Robertson, was likely to be a tough call for him. Whilst I predicted he would hold his seat, I also said that if he fell much below 40% that he could be in trouble, and so it proved.
For Mr Robertson, it must have been a bitter blow to lose, especially as his vote only slipped by 4.6%. His downfall was due to Independent candidate Phil Martin, a distant second in 2009, managing to suck up the majority of the Lib Dem vote from 2009 (along with other votes) to take the Division with a swing of 12.8%. This is third time lucky for the redoubtable Mr Martin so congratulations.
For the Lib Dem's Molly Scrase, it was nothing short of a disaster, with her party's vote share slumping to 5.1% in an area where they held the county council seat in 2005 (with 46.3% of the vote).
UKIP's Leonie Gough was out of this race but managed to register a decent 13.8% of the vote.
A 35.6% turnout, similar to the old division in 2009.

Helston South

A fairly easy hold here for Independent councillor Judith Haycock, although her share of the vote (39.3%) was less than it was in the old Helston Central division. She'll be happy enough with a 212 majority, but this is slightly flattering in that she had a very divided opposition. Her main challenger proved to be Liberal Democrat John Martin with 19.8% of the vote, just edging out UKIP's Scott Blandford (19.3%) by 5 votes.
For the Conservatives, Tanya Dyer managed a disappointing 13% whilst, trailing in fifth place, with his wonderfully ambitious plans for the town, was Independent candidate James Buchanan with 8.6%.
A disappointing 27.7% turnout.

Porthleven and Helston West

Well, I place this among my absolute howlers of predictions, reminding those of us who are fascinated by politics that Cornish politics loves to ridicule.
Whilst I predicted a hold for Councillor Andrew Wallis, I suggested that the Lib Dem candidate, Richard Goedegebuur, would be close behind. Well - talk about stamping on one's expectations.
In my defence, Cllr Wallis only achieved 31.5% of the vote in the old Portleven and Helston South division (whose demographics are not too different from the present division), beating the Liberal Democrat candidate by only 17 votes. Also, who was to know just how disasterous things would be for the Liberal Democrats in this part of Cornwall where one had expected a bounceback since 2009.
Anyway, enough of the mea culpas, Mr Wallis took a stunning 65% of the vote and has a majority of 517 over the Conservatives lively candidate, Liz Lane. She managed to hold onto most of the Tory vote with 17.4%.
UKIP's Stephen Gough just bettered his wife Leonie's share of the vote in Helston North with 14.4% of the poll and third place.
For the Liberal Democrats - as with Helston North, a bloody disaster with a humiliating 3.2% of the vote and only 35 out of 1,086 valid votes cast. This in an area they are used to getting over 30% of the vote.
For completion, this was a swing from Liberal Democrat to Independent of 31.55% of the vote.
A 32.1% turnout.

Lanner and Stithians

A new Diivision, this was always going to be interesting, not least because the 'defending' councillor, Neil Plummer, had left the Independent Group to sit as an MK-PC councillor but then stood as an Independent again. I surmised that this was because being an Independent would be more likely to bring success and I did predict that he would win, but there was a question mark as some might question his 'independence' As it turned out, he was just edged out by 41 votes by another Independent candidate, John Thomas, at one time a Liberal Democrat councillor, but having stood as an Independent in recent years. He achieved 33.3% of the vote.
Mr Plummer took a 30.1% poll share whilst, in third place, another Independent candidate, James Biscoe, managed to claim 14.7%
For UKIP, model railway enthusiast Bob Mims's candidacy failed to gain much traction (I know, I'm sorry) and he came in 5th with 10.6%.
Labour's Laura Eyre, as predicted, didn't have much hope in an area not good for the party in recent years and will be very disappointed to have only achieved 6.4% of the votes cast.
At least she didn't trail in last, this honour falling to Independent candidate, Peter Tisdale, with 5%.
A 34.3% turnout.

Mabe, Perranarworthal and St. Gluvias

A split vote in 2009 in the old Mabe division saw Conservative Chris Ridgers take this seat with only 29.9% of the vote, and a similarly split vote this time gave a stunning victory to the UKIP candidate, Michal Keogh, who gained the seat with only 28.6% of the vote and a breathtakingly small majority of 3 votes over over the aforementioned Mr Ridgers.
Mr Ridgers must have seen his main threat as coming from former county councillor and political elections expert, John Ault, whom I predicted would take back the Division for the LiberalDemocrats.
Mr Ridgers did remarkably well to hold onto most of his vote and take 28.4% and must be shattered to have lost by so little a margin, but I had predicted that a good vote for UKIP would be poison for the Tories, I just hadn't realised it would mean victory for them.
For Mr Ault, I would guess a most unexpected defeat when the campaign began but he must have seen the way the political winds were going. Unlike many of his party colleagues in this area, he did at least manage to hold onto a decent share of his party's vote (22.9%).
The Independent candidate, Christopher Jackson, did not manage to unite anti-political party feeling in the area as that fell to UKIP, but he managed to take 11% of the vote.
For Labour, party veteran Betty Ross will be happy to have avoided a greater squeeze and increased the Labour share to 8.9%.
As I suggested above, UKIP seem to have taken much of the strong traditional Independent vote in the area, as well taking votes from the Liberal Democrats, Conservatives and, I assume, some normally non-voting people.
A quite unexpected result.
A decent 39.9% voter turnout, but sharply down on the turnout in the old division.

Mullion and Grade-Ruan

This seat was defended by the formerly Conservative (until March of 2013) and now Independent councillor and Cornwall Cabinet Member, Carolyn Rule. It was always likely to be held by her although now a 'technical' gain from the Conservatives, and so it proved. Taking 48% and a majority of 236 votes, Councillor Rule will be quite satisfied with the way that things turned out.
In the absence of a Liberal Democrat candidate (main challengers in 2009), UKIP's David Icke-liking Nina Sutherland took up the mantle of main opposition, coming in a very decent second place with 28.3% of the vote.
In a slightly forlorn third place, the Conservatives' Alfred Mesropians, a local hotelier, managed 23.7% of the vote.
The Liberal Democrats not fielding a candidate suprised me, as it did others, but giving some of the results they achieved in this area, I suppose they knew what was coming.
A 36.2% turnout, again sharply down on 2009.

Redruth Central

A solid result here for Councillor Mike Eddowes who, as predicted, held his seat. Taking 40.3% of the vote, up nearly 10% since 2009, Mr Eddowes will be pleased but it was with a shockingly low poll of only 21%, down by 30% from 2009. He actually has less votes than he had in 2009.
Coming surpringly close in second plce was UKIP's Wally Duncan, with 34.6% and 36 votes behind. With no history here, it is a very good result for UKIP and shows that they have picked up support from across the spectrum.
Coming in a decent third, but surely with an element of disappointment, is Labour's Raymond Webber, who, although he was never going to win this seat, might have hoped to be somewhat close. With 25.1%, it is a lot better than the 9.8% in 2009, but Labour really should do better in this sort of seat. I accept they will have concentrated elswhere in Redruth.

Redruth North

This really must be a deeply disappointing result for Labour. This is the Division that gave the party its highest vote in Cornwall in 2009 and it was long time former district and county councillor, Robert Stephen Barnes who was trying to regain the seat.
This seat was formerly a banker for Labour and not to be able to regain it will cause a certain amount of introspection, one would hope.
Councillor Lisa Dolly, one of the Standalone Independents and someone who has stood here unsuccessfully in the past, increased her vote share from 37.6% last time to 41.2% this and, although Mr Barnes managed to increase the Labour vote share to 34% (from 28.6% last time), a less than 1% swing to Labour is not good. Whilst it may be argued that the lack of a Conservative candidate harmed Labour's chances, as most of their vote probably went the way of UKIP, that is rather beside the point.
As Ms Dolly is a former Lib Dem district Councillor, maybe she gained from the lack of a party candidate this time.
UKIP's Ann Wood will be happy to have put the party on the map here with 24.8%.
Another very depressing voter turnout of only 23.1% here, but up on 2009.

Redruth South

With long term district and county councillor Graham Hicks stepping down, it was interesting to see how this Division would turn out. I predicted a possible game changer and it very nearly was. Independent candidate Ian Thomas managed to hold on to the Independent seat with 41.4%, a big drop from the former councillors 60.8% but he obviously had a massive personal vote of the vote. Mr Thomas managed to hold on by 31 votes over Labour's Will Tremayne.
I bet Labour wishes it had concentrated its attentions in Redruth on this Division as it saw a dramatic improvement in its vote, going from an appalling 4.6% and 55 votes in 2009 to 37.7% and 311 votes in 2013. In Will Tremayne, they obviously had a very popular and canny candidate.
The only other candidate this time was UKIP's Ray Wyse whose 20.9% of the vote from a standing start was pretty decent. Whilst it is daft to make sweeping statements, it would appear he took most of the Conservative vote (no candidate this time) as Labour seems to have swept up most of the Lib Dem and some Independent votes from last time.
The turnout here was again disappointing but, at 27.1%, considerably better than the other Redruth divisions. Down by over 30% on 2009.

St Keverne and Meneage

Having gained the St Keverne Division in a byelection in 2012 (following the sudden death of Independent councillor, Pamela Lyne), Conservative Walter Sanger (who came third as an Independent candidate in 2009 - do try to keep up), was certain to hold on. The surprise is how well the Green Party's Dominic Bradreth did, coming in only 129 votes behind on 32.2% of the vote.
Cllr. Sanger had achieved 52.8% of the vote in the byelection, with the Lib Dem's Nicholas Driver in second place. In the absence of a Lib Dem, I had speculated that Mr Brandreth could do well, and so it proved - somewhat better, I suspect, than the Liberal Democrats would have managed, given their votes in this area at this election.
For UKIP, Brian Bailey managed to significantly increase the UKIP vote from the byelection from 13.4% to 22.8%, and this would seem to explain much of the drop in Cllr. Sanger's vote share to 40.5%.
For Labour's Ann Round, a pretty dreadful result of only 4.4%, down from the byelection share of 4.9% but up from the awful 1.7% of 2009.
A 38.4% turnout, down by nearly a fifth on 2009.

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