Monday, April 16, 2012

Election thoughts

Slowly May 3rd is creeping up on us and the moment of truth for the eight candidates standing for the four available spaces in the Nairnshire ward of Highland Council draws near. This observer comes from reading the Nairnshire Telegraph and notes that there is a picture of Oor Graham with Danny Alexander and some other mannie allegedly of note in the Scottish Liberal Democrats. If Graham makes it into the final four will it be thanks to Danny or in spite of him?

Elsewhere in the local paper Ritchie Cunningham has a letter with a predictable attack on the SNP. Ritchie certainly is out to get the anti-SNP vote but is that the massive constituency in Nairn that he might think it to be?
Elsewhere, the candidates are out and about and delivering their leaflets and knocking on doors. Colin MacAulay has encountered a Labour supporter in Achareidh: “Met one sad but loyal Labour character - poor soul,” he says on his facebook page. Could Labour be that thin on the ground in Nairn or will Ashley Broadbent find enough voters to make him a contender when the votes are counted?

Interestingly if you look at the results for 2007 (Electorate = 9,009  Turn out = 58.08%   Valid votes = 5,142) the candidates that came 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th when the first preferences were counted were also the winners when all was done and dusted after the rest of the preferences had been added and candidates eliminated. In the first preference count that was Liz with 1576, Sandy with 855, Laurie on 669 and Graham with 535. Maybe there can be changes as the other preferences are added on the swings and roundabouts of this particular proportional representation game but, judging from the 2007 result, it is obviously very important to stack up as many first preferences as possible

This observer imagines that Liz will score quite a lot of votes from people that don’t normally vote SNP and many of these voters will be motivated by the way she was treated when Laurie, Graham and Sandy sacked her from the Provost’s post. Those not up to speed with that affair can find wall to wall Google content here. The SNP are hoping to have two candidates elected by splitting the town along geographically lines and instructing their hardcore vote to vote Liz 1 Colin 2 or Colin 1 Liz 2 depending on where they live. The nationalist vote on the basis of other elections is massive in Nairn and will probably be well disciplined enough to follow instructions. Other non-political supporters of Liz however may be more promiscuous with their second vote.

One thing is sure however, if Liz comes top of the poll and this observer will make that one prediction for this election, then there will be calls from the public for her to be made Provost again regardless of the political make up that takes the reins of power in Glenurquhart Road. Liz was the welcoming face of Nairn in the new millennium and she never got the full term of office that the voters of Nairnshire wanted her to have. There will be calls for that to be put right if/when she tops the poll.

And what of Sandy’s 885 votes last time round? Where will they go, will they be spread evenly over all the other candidates or end up mainly on an Independent ticket? Will it be Michael, Laurie of Ritchie that take a slot as an Independent or could it be that we will return more than one Independent? This observer would think that Michael Green might be capable of ousting Laurie from the list but we’ll have to wait and see when the votes are counted. There are quite a few factors making this election quite interesting and hopefully we will see a bigger turn out than the 58% that voted in 2007. 

Just one final thought. Has anyone seen the Tory leaflet yet? It's the only one the Gurn has not been able to source so far and we'd dearly love to have a full set. 

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