12 June 2009

This is a summary of MK’s record in recent local and EU elections:

2005 COUNTY: 9421 votes, no seats, 3 percent of the vote
2007 DISTRICT: 8919 votes, 7 seats, 4 percent of the vote
2009 UNITARY: 7290 votes, 3 seats, 4 percent of the vote
2009 EU 11 534 votes, no seats, 7 percent of the vote

The % number is the percentage of the total vote; for the EU election this is the total vote in Cornwall.

Unitary election
In local elections MK has made no progress. Its 2009 unitary council vote is less though it put up more candidates than in the earlier years. In terms of votes per MK candidate the figures are county 523, district 372, unitary 221 which suggest that it overstretched itself this year. MK had seven elected councillors out of 331 county and district ones before the 4 June election and after the election it has three elected out of 123 unitary councillors; pro rata it has stood still. MK is primarily a party which seeks a devolved Cornwall, which focuses on the local rather than the transnational. Cornwall and its government is MK’s speciality and here it has not advanced. Even in its most propitious seats, the seats it contested, voters in Cornwall largely rejected MK as their choice for governing the county and MK got an absolute majority of the votes in only two of the 123 seats. It is reasonable to assume that in rejecting MK the people of Cornwall are rejecting its version of concern for Cornwall, its nationalism, and choosing other versions of concern. MK does not speak for Cornwall.

EU election
The turnout in Cornwall was similar in both the unitary and the EU elections. What we are looking at is a shift, a reassignment, from Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Independent unitary voters to different parties in the EU election. In the EU elections MK received more votes than in the unitary election; so did the BNP, English Democrat, Green, Labour, and UKIP parties. UKIP polled six times as many EU votes in Cornwall as it did unitary votes, presumably because its focus is on the EU rather than local government. Arithmetically, MK received fewer ‘extra’ EU votes than either UKIP, or the Greens, or the BNP.

MK also received EU votes outside Cornwall — 63 in Tewkesbury and four hundred in Wiltshire, for example. I think most of these were general protest votes rather than outposts of Cornish nationalism.

Now here, you see, it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that.

I think we can be clear about the unitary vote: people chose the candidate or the party they preferred to see running Cornwall and that was overwhelmingly not MK.

The EU vote is more problematic. The increased UKIP and decreased Libdem EU votes seem clear as those two parties are seen to have distinctive views on the European Union. The rise in the EU votes of the other parties cannot be easily separated from the fact that votes were available for reassignment as it were and perhaps the extra EU votes are best seen as representing secondary not core support.

In short, Cornwall rejected MK very clearly and MK did not advance on its previous position. It will be interesting to see how MK does in next year’s parliamentary election when they contest all six seats in Cornwall. Historically, it does very poorly in these elections.


Now here, you see…Lewis CARROLL Through the looking glass, chapter 2 (the Red Queen to Alice)

See also the post Cornwall election results 2009