Monday, 1 June 2009

If it's Monday then it must be Workington

FLIMBY is a village on the coast between Maryport and Workington and is part of the Maryport West Electoral Division.

Yesterday, on a brilliantly sunny Sunday morning, Maryport West candidate Carl Edgar and I counted seventeen BNP posters in windows there, before we sped off up the coastal road to Maryport.

Carl lives in Flimby, and he knows that he has supporters there, but even he admits to being surprised at the number of homes that are prepared to show their political allegiance.

That's a good story to start the blog with this morning, but it is not the best from yesterday's campaigning.

The first stop for Carl and I was the relatively new estate around the Maryport Marina, called Ritson Wharf. The people who live here would have, in the past, only been considered as New Labour or Tory voters, and when we leafleted it a couple of years ago we weren't well received.

I remember one lady holding the leaflet between her thumb and index finger and as far away from her as possible as though it was something that smelled quite revolting and saying "take this away".

It was different this morning. We only saw a few people out in their gardens but two of those said they were voting BNP this time.

One lady taking morning tea on her patio took a candidate card off Carl and said that she would be voting for him. She was looking around when she said this as though she didn't want to be overheard. Then I came across a gentleman spraying his drive with weedkiller.

"You've got our vote," he said when I gave him the card, "and there's probably plenty more votes for you around here," he added.

So just like on Saturday on the Beeches estate, the BNP appears to be increasing its support in the former New Labour/Tory strongholds of Maryport.

So now on to my guestimation as to how Carl will do on Thursday.

He's up against Bill Cameron who has been around since the year 'dot' but whose popularity with the voters is definitely on the wane and that happened long before the expenses scandal. I think Carl will do us proud in our first election on this patch.

Cumbria County Council

Maryport West

Bill Cameron (Labour) 40%
Carl Edgar (British National Party) 22%

John Rivers (Liberal Democrat) 21%

John Peel (Independent) 17%

Today, I'm off to Workington to help Stephen Stoddart in his St John's ward. It will be interesting to see if the support here can match the enthusiastic responses from the public we received over the weekend in Maryport.

And finally what would a political party seeking popular support want most of all at the beginning of the final week before polling day?

Why to have the most unpopular Prime Minister in British history telling people not to vote for you . . .

Your wish is my command, so here it is - Gordon Brown urges voters not to back BNP

1 comment:

maurice oatley said...

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for your recent email. We have been extremely busy dealing with emails on this subject and apologise for any delay in responding.

Please find our response below. If this does not answer your initial query fully, please email your outstanding queries to us and they will be forwarded to the correct officer to deal with.

Copeland Council is using corrugated ballot boxes which are both robust and secure. The suggestion in some quarters that the boxes are “easily opened” and “of poor quality” is inaccurate and misleading.

They are manufactured by recognised electoral suppliers and are a product designed specifically as ballot boxes. We understand this particular model has been used in previous local and parliamentary elections with no issues.

Ballot boxes used to contain postal votes are sealed at the end of each day and securely stored. Additionally, candidates and agents who wish to do so can also add their own seals.

The use of these boxes has been supported by the Regional Returning Officer for the North West who said: “A wide range of different types of ballot boxes are in use across the country. There is no evidence to suggest that the use of this particular type of ballot box gives rise to any cause for concern.”


From: Maurice Oatley []
Sent: 29 May 2009 16:24
To: Info
Subject: Re: Elections


As someone who takes a keen interest in the democratic possess, I'm curious as to why in these politically correct times something as insecure as cardboard boxes are to be used in these most important upcoming elections.

When I assume a secure alternative is readily available, thereby eliminating possible accusations of fraud.

I eagerly await your response.


Maurice Oatley.