Highland Votes on Euro 2009

This week’s Caithness Courier gives a breakdown of the votes cast in the Highland Council Region as part of the Scottish Region in the European Elections 2009.  Although 4,130 people voted in Caithness, no break-down is given for the county.  Out of 52,924 votes cast (turn-out 30.2%) these are in descending order:

  • Liberal Democrats, 14,550 (27.5%);
  • SNP, 14,393 (27.2%);
  • Conservatives, 6,728 (12.7%);
  • Labour Party, 5,325 (10.1%);
  • Scottish Green Party, 3,806 (7.2%);
  • UK Independence Party, 3,458 (6.5%);
  • Christian Party “Proclaiming Christ’s Lordship”, 1,485 (2.8%);
  • British National Party, 979 (1.8%);
  • Socialist Labour Party, 596 (1.1%);
  • Duncan Robertson (independent), 414 (0.8%);
  • No2EU: Yes to Democracy, 361 (0.7%);
  • Scottish Socialist Party, 336 (0.6%);
  • Jury Team, 275 (0.5%);
  • Rejected votes, 218 (0.4%).

Rejected votes almost included my mother’s, who initially thought it was STV as used in the Scottish Parliament elections and received only confused looks from the polling officer.  Note also that the SSP received only 336 (no sign of Solidarity), one third of the BNP vote: good one, Tommy Sheridan.  I am struggling to see why 979 voters in a region more or less completely unaffected by the social angst which the BNP is preying on chose to vote for this party.  Maybe they were appealed to by a semi-criminal racist party by convicted drug-dealers or violent and sexual offenders with a core of unreconstrucred Nazis and Odinists.

Even when contrasted with the Scottish Region wide, never mind the national vote, the difference in political allegience can be seen. There is rough parity for the parties other than Labour and the LibDems, with the latter there appearing to gain its additional popularity at the expense of the former. I do not think this is due to disenchantment with Labour, as the three Westminster constituencies (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross; Ross, Skye and Lochaber; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey) all return LibDem candidates (John Thurso; Charles Kennedy; Danny Alexander), and have done for decades. Holyrood constituencies (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross; Ross, Skye and Inverness West; Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber) members are two LibDem and one SNP (Jamies Stone; Farquhar Munro; Fergus Ewing). Additional members for Holyrood cross boundaries with other Council regions.

Efrafa Warren’s preferred candidate for Westminster, John Thurso, is the grandson of Archibald Sinclair who was a leader of the British Liberal Party, and MP for the Westminster constituency of Caithness and Sutherland (as it was) and Secretary State for Air during WWII. He lost to a Conservative candidate in 1945, and was enobled. All went Liberal again in 1964 with the election of the now Baron Mackie of Benside (who is still kicking around).  He was unseated in 1966 by a Labour candidate, the now Baron Maclennan of Rogart, who defected to the SDP in 1981, which he headed followed by and SLP and, finmally, the LibDems.

What is more, Thurso is genuinely popular as an individual; despite attempts by serial candidate and all-round comic relief, Gordon Campbell, to claim otherwise.

This is not Labour country.

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