It is pleasing that the unloved EU Commission has refused to advance a reactionary petition. This basically called for legislation to ban EU funding for embryonic stem cell research and for organisations that as part of their assistance to women in developing countries facilitate abortions. The EU Commission response is here.

The petition gathered about 1.7 million signatures (nearly half from Italy and Poland) and would have imposed conservative Christian beliefs on EU funding in these spheres of work. It arose from a provision that if a million people from seven EU countries sign a petition the Commission must consider it; a little like the petition provisions for the UK parliament and Cornwall Council. I think all petitions probably carry problems: the difficulty some people have in distinguishing between being listened to and being agreed with and the reasonable expectations that formal petitioners that reach a quota have. Yes, I’m pleased the Commission in effect rejected the petition but I think the EU has got itself into a democratic spot with its citizens’ initiative petitioning and can understand the frustration of the petitioners.

The debate (video) in the EU parliament threw up the familiar irreconcilable differences on the questions. At what point can we talk of a human being: at conception or later? At what point should we take the rights of the unborn into account along with those of the woman: from conception, later, never as the woman’s rights should always prevail? There’s a further question too. Should subsequent practical laws based on the answers to these questions be imposed on other people – a ban on abortions or embryonic stem cell research for example – or should we let everyone come to their own answer and action, the state setting reasonable rules for practices? I’m on the liberal side in these arguments.

Final update.
Nominations have closed for the the six seats in the southwest in the 22 May 2014 elections for the European parliament. These are the candidates standing, with current MEPs noted. The candidates are in the order that their party has decided.

An Independence from Europe

Adrian ROMILLY, Cliff JONES, Arnold BRINDLE, Wayne Peter TOMLINSON, Andrew WEBSTER, Giuseppe DE SANTIS

Ashley Peter FOX (MEP), Julie McCulloch GIRLING (MEP), James CRACKNELL, Georgina Susan BUTLER, Sophie SWIRE, Melissa MAYNARD

English Democrats

Green Party
Molly Scott CATO, Emily Rachel McIVOR, Ricky KNIGHT, Audaye Khalid ELESEDY, Judy MACIEJOWSKA, Mark CHIVERS

Clare Miranda MOODY, Glyn FORD, Ann Margaret REEDER, Hadleigh Vaughan ROBERTS, Jude ROBINSON, Junab ALI

Liberal Democrat
Graham Robert WATSON (MEP), Kay BARNARD, Brian George Felton MATHEW, Andrew Paul WIGLEY, Jay Oliver RISBRIDGER, Lyana Patricia ARMSTRONG-EMERY

William DARTMOUTH (MEP), Julia REID, Gawain Howard Wilkinson TOWLER, Tony McINTYRE, Robert Lee SMITH, Keith Montgomery CRAWFORD

Two candidates live in Cornwall: Jude Robinson (Labour) and Robert Lee Smith (UKIP).

The election is 22 May 2014 and the results will be announced after 10 pm on 25 May 2014 (after the Italian voting is over).

The regional EU site with parties and candidates is here.

2009 European election results statistics for the Cornwall part of the southwest

POST UPDATED 23 April 2014

Yesterday the House of Commons voted on a motion to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU in effect within a couple of years or so. Polls suggest most people in Britain want a referendum though they are are less clear about what the result would likely be. All three main parties (Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat) were officially opposed to a referendum now.

In the Commons vote all three Libdem MPs from Cornwall voted against the motion for a referendum.

None of the three Conservative MPs for Cornwall voted against the referendum motion. Sheryll Murray voted for a referendum, George Eustice abstained (as he said he would, see Hansard 24 October 2011, column 122-123), and no vote is recorded for Sarah Newton.

I have merged the posts on the EU and unitary election results for Cornwall


The EU electorate in Cornwall was about 409 000 and the turnout in these elections was about 41 percent. There were six seats to be filled from the southwest.

These are the number of EU seats won in the southwest region, the number of candidates in the southwest region, the proportion of the total votes cast in Cornwall (including rejected votes), and votes cast in Cornwall (not votes in the southwest region as a whole):

Conservatives 3 southwest UK seats, 27.6 percent of the Cornwall EU vote, 6 candidates in the southwest, 46 589 votes in Cornwall

UKIP 2 southwest UK seats, 23.6 percent, 6 candidates, 39 954 votes in Cornwall

Liberal Democrats 1 southwest UK seat, 17.4 percent, 6 candidates, 29 436 votes in Cornwall

Greens 7.9 percent, six candidates, 13 361 votes in Cornwall

Mebyon Kernow 6.8 percent, 6 candidates, 11 534 votes in Cornwall

Labour 5.0 percent, 6 candidates, 8483 votes in Cornwall

BNP 3.0 percent, 6 candidates, 5118 votes in Cornwall in Cornwall

English Democrats 1.1 percent, 6 candidates, 1781 votes

Others (eight groups plus one independent) 6.5 percent, 11 071 votes in Cornwall

In the thirty three seats MK contested in the unitary elections it got a mean average of 16 percent of the votes cast in the ward; on the Isles of Scilly MK got 39 votes, 4 percent of the total EU vote.

The EU candidates who stood are listed in this post of 21 May 2009 which also links to a list of the unitary candidates.


For the 4 June 2009 unitary council election the full results for each seat are here.

The Cornwall unitary electorate is about 412 000 and the turnout was 41 percent. There are 123 seats on the new council which replaces the county council and six district councils. The unitary Cornwall Council results are:

Conservatives 50 seats won on the unitary council, 34 percent of the total unitary vote, 123 candidates stood, 57 115 votes in total

Liberal Democrats 38 seats, 29 percent, 119 candidates, 48 187 votes

Independents* 32 seats, 24 percent, 112 candidates, 39 807 votes

Mebyon Kernow (MK) 3 seats, 4 percent, 33 candidates, 7290 votes

These parties did not win any seats:

UKIP 4 percent, 28 candidates, 6350 votes

Labour 3 percent, 60 candidates, 5698 votes

Greens 2 percent, 16 candidates, 3139 votes

Liberals 0.6 percent, 9 candidates, 945 votes

BNP 0.2 percent, 4 candidates, 363 votes

English Democrats 0.05 percent, 1 candidate, 81 votes

* I have included in the Independents both candidates who described themselves as Independent on the ballot paper and the candidates who did not put any political description on the ballot paper.

The number of seats a party contests influences it share of the total vote and thus if a party contests only a few seats its share of the total vote of all seats is perhaps misleading. However, I think parties by and large contest seats which they think are most favourable to them and for which they have candidates; this is an indication of the strength and health of the party in Cornwall. The proportion of votes a smaller party wins in the seats it chooses to contest cannot be extrapolated to uncontested seats; such an extrapolation is arithmetically invalid and politically not sensible, and in any case would be an average of proportions that much vary among those seats.

Labour sinks

For Labour the Cornwall unitary elections were a catastrophe. It won less than a fifth of the votes it got in the last county elections and its mean average vote per seat was ninety five compared with 693 in the last county elections. It contested sixty unitary seats and in seven-tenths of those it polled fewer than a hundred votes. These figures suggest it spread itself far too thinly for its present intrinsic strength and it would have fared better if it had focussed hard on its few possibly winnable seats. Labour will not recover easily in Cornwall from this disastrous result.

Mebyon Kernow stands still

In the Cornwall unitary elections Mebyon Kernow (MK) has not advanced on the immediate past though the number of MK candidates has increased absolutely and proportionately.

MK had no county councillors and seven elected district councillors out of a grand total of 331 (249 district, 82 county) before these elections: it now has a pro rata three on the unitary council. It won 7290 votes in these unitary elections; in the last county council elections it won 9421 votes and in the last district council elections 8919 votes (not all district seats were up for election in Cornwall as in one of the districts, Penwith, only a third were so the MK district votes can be reasonably likened to the county votes). The mean average votes in each seat MK contested are: county 523, district 372, unitary 221: these figures suggest that MK has, like Labour, overstretched itself this year.

The MK leader, Dick Cole, polled 927 votes, 78 percent of the total vote, in his unitary ward, a very impressive result.

Also see the post How has MK done in the 2009 elections?


Cornwall unitary council elections

The names and party of candidates for each seat in the unitary council elections in Cornwall on 4 June 2009 are on the Cornwall council website here.

There are 123 unitary seats and there are maps of them here.

There was one withdrawal marked on the original list on the Cornwall Council website and there have been three withdrawals of candidates from the original published nominations by 12 May, the last date for withdrawal. The figures in the next paragraph take account of these four withdrawals.

The candidates standing are: British National Party (BNP) 4, Conservative 123, English Democrat 1, Green 16, Independent 106, Labour 60, Liberal Democrat 119, Liberal Party 9, Mebyon Kernow (MK) 33, and UK Independence Party (UKIP) 28.

EU elections

These are the candidates for the parties for the southwest for the European parliament elections 4 June 2009 as listed by the UK Office of the European Parliament. There are seventy two UK members of the EU parliament, six to be elected for the southwest (in the last election in 2004 there were seven). I have listed the candidates in the order in which their party has put them (which decides who gets elected on that party’s share of the vote). There are eighty nine candidates in the south west representing seventeen parties/groups/labels.

British National Party (BNP): Jeremy Wotherspoon, Barry Bennett, Adrian Romilly, Sean Twitchin, Lawrence West, Peryn Parsons

Christian Party, Proclaiming Christ’s Lordship: William Capstick, Katherine Mills, Diana Ofori, Larna Martin, Peter Vickers, Adenike Williams

Conservative: Giles Chichester, Julie Girling, Ashley Fox, Michael Dolley, Donald Collier, Syeda Zehra Zaidi

English Democrats: Michael Turner, Sara Box, Keith Riley, Stephen Wright, Raymond Carr, Lee Pickering

Fair Pay, Fair Trade Party: David Michael, Judy Foster

Greens: Ricky Knight, Roger Creagh-Osborne, David Taylor, Sarah Scott-Cato,
Chloe Somers, Richard Lawson

Labour: Glyn Ford, Isabel Owen, Keir Dhillon, Dorothea Hodge, Dafydd Williams, Libby Lisgo

Liberal Democrats: Graham Watson, Kay Barnard, Justine McGuinness, Humphrey Temperley, Paul Massey, Jonathan Stagnetto

Independent: Katie Hopkins

Jury Team: Sally Smith, Martin Paley, Michael Clayton, Brian Underwood, Roger Whitfield, William Barnett

Mebyon Kernow (MK): Dick Cole, Conan Jenkin, Loveday Jenkin, Simon Reed, Glenn Renshaw, Joanie Willett

No2EU, Yes To Democracy : Alexander Gordon, Roger Davey, Rachael Lynch, Nicholas Quirk, John Chambers, Paul Dyer

Pensioners Party: Jonathan Cockburn, Barry Hodgson, Derek Wharton, Roger Edwards, Stuart Baker, Barry Egerton

Pro Democracy, Libertas: Robin Matthews, Peter Morgan-Barnes, Chloe Gwynne,
Christopher Charnock, Nicholas Sherman, Nicholas Coke

Socialist Labour Party: Robert James Hawkins, Brian Corbett, Alison Entwistle,
David Marchesi, Robert Oliver Hawkins, James Bannister

United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP): Trevor Colman, William Dartmouth, Gawain Towler, Julia Reid, Alan Wood, Stephanie McWilliam

WAI D: Nicola Guagliardo, Joy Skey

(I have put the forenames by which candidates appear on election leflets that I have recieved; the others are as listed by the EU site below.)

The EU parliament website for the elections in the UK is here.

That website is the definitive list for the candidates for all UK seats and gives the previous election results. MEPS are elected by a regional list system of proportional voting with seats allocated according to the share of the total votes cast for a party. In the southwest the 2004 results for the parties, to nearest whole percentage of the votes cast, were: Conservative 32, UKIP 23, Liberal Democrats 18, Labour 14, Greens 7, BNP 3, Countryside 2, Respect 1. Only the first four parties had any MEPs elected in the southwest in 2004.

Related posts

Cornwall parliamentary candidates

EDIT: file reference in the first paragraph changed as the original file is no longer on the council website.