Brexit splits the anti-Tory vote and Cornwall stays true blue

Posted By on 13th December 2019

By Graham Smith

The Conservative Party has held five of the six Parliamentary constituencies in Cornwall, with a set of results very similar to the last general election.  The sixth result, St Ives, is still being counted after poor weather delayed the transfer of ballot boxes on the Isles of Scilly.

The big difference between 2017 and today is that Cornwall’s Tory MPs are now part of a Boris Johnson government with a clear working majority, and a mandate to “Get Brexit Done."

Sheryll Murray, Scott Mann, Steve Double and George Eustice will all be returning to Westminster.  Mrs Murray, Mr Mann and Mr Eustice have all seen significant increases in their majorities.  Cherilyn Mackrory will be joining them as the new Conservative MP for Truro & Falmouth.

It will be this afternoon before we know the St Ives result.  Counting has been suspended until 2.30pm because some ballot boxes are still on the off-islands of the Isles of Scilly.

A detailed analysis may take a few days, but the initial impressions shared across all the political parties is that while the pro-Brexit vote coalesced around the Conservative Party, the anti-Brexit vote divided the opposition in those seats where the Tories might have been vulnerable.

The first Cornish seat to declare was Truro & Falmouth, the only Cornish constituency which voted to remain in the European Union in 2016.  Both Conservative and Labour increased their share of the vote, but the Tory majority increased slightly to 4,561 thanks in part to nearly 9,000 voters who backed the Liberal Democrats and Greens.

Every other Cornish constituency voted in favour of Brexit in 2016 and this was reflected in the other election results.  The Conservatives were particularly pleased with their result in Camborne & Redruth, where they increased significantly both their majority and their share of the vote.

For both Labour and the Liberal Democrats, the result is a catastrophe.  The Labour Party now faces a long period of introspection while it reconsiders its approach to "cultural conservatism" in the North – aware that by the time it next has the opportunity to fight an election, the Brexit question will no longer be around to be answered.

Many Labour activists were last night angry that their party had not taken a clear position on Brexit.

The Liberal Democrats, who have not won a Parliamentary seat in Cornwall since 2010, remained in third place in four Cornish constituencies.  It will now be 2024 before they get a chance to improve.   Lib Dem activists said last night that their party’s best known policy – to Revoke Article 50 and stay in the European Union – had been very unpopular with Cornish voters.

The Green Party again failed to break through and Mebyon Kernow’s sole candidate, party leader Dick Cole, again failed to save his deposit in St Austell and Newquay.

CAMBORNE, REDRUTH & HAYLE

George Eustice, Conservative    26,764   (53%)

Paul Farmer, Labour       18,064  (36%)

Florence MacDonald, Liberal Democrat     3,504  (7%)

Karen La Borde, Green Party   1,359  (3%)

Paul Holmes, Liberal Party   676

Majority 8,700

Turnout 71.7%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Truro & Falmouth was the first Cornish constituency to declare last night

NORTH CORNWALL

Scott Mann, Conservative  30,671  (59%)

Danny Chambers, Liberal Democrat   15,919  (31%)

Joy Bassett, Labour   4,516  (9%)

Elmars Liepins, Liberal Party  572

Turnout 74.2%

ST IVES

Derek Thomas, Conservative   25,365

Andrew George, Liberal Democrat   21,085

Alana Bates, Labour   3,553

Ian Flindall, Green Party  964

Robert Smith, Liberal Party   314

John Harris, The Common People   132

 

TRURO & FALMOUTH

Cherilyn Mackrory, Conservative  27,237  (46%)

Jennifer Forbes, Labour   22,676   (38%)

Ruth Gripper, Liberal Democrat   7,150  (12%)

Tom Scott, Green Party      1,714  (3%)

Paul Nicholson, Liberal Party     413

Majority 4,561

Turnout 77.2%

SOUTH EAST CORNWALL

Sheryll Murray, Conservative  31,807  (59%)

Gareth Derrick, Labour   10,836    (20%)

Colin Martin, Liberal Democrat   8,650   (16%)

Martha Green, Green Party  1,493   (3%)

Jay Latham, Liberal Party   869

Turnout 75%

 

ST AUSTELL & NEWQUAY

Steve Double, Conservative   31,273  (56%)

Felicity Owen, Labour   14,747  (26%)

Tim Styles, Liberal Democrat  5,861  (10%)

Dick Cole, Mebyon Kernow  1,660  (3%)

Collin Harker, Green Party   1,609  (3%)

Richard Byrne, Liberal Party   626

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