Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Ward 19 Nairn - Eve of poll analysis

Results of the Gurn unscientific fun poll - 581 votes were cast. 

Liz MacDonald                 133         22.89%
Ashley Broadbent              94          16.8%
Michael Green                   85          14.63%
Ritchie Cunningham            80          13.77%
Colin MacAulay                 68          11.7%
Graham Marsden               60          10.33%
Rossie MacRae                  33          5.68%
Laurie Fraser                      28          4.82%

Good morning Gurnshire and welcome to our eve of poll analysis. We have made two predictions based on the information in the unscientific Gurn fun poll which closed earlier this morning. Liz will top the poll and

the Scottish Conservatives and Unionists will be bottom. We stick to the second prediction despite a late mini-surge for the Tory candidate yesterday which leaves Laurie at the bottom of our fun poll
In between the top and the bottom the situation is remarkably fascinating and will be even more so as the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and other preferences get shared out on Friday by the electronic counting machines. Colin MacAulay should have a massive 2nd vote, the SNP voters in Nairn have been with the party for a long time and remained faithful across several elections. In this constituency Fergus received 51% of the vote at the Holyrood election and this observer would suggest that, once the 1st place votes of Liz and Colin are added up, the tally will be close to that. The SNP have a remarkable organisation capable of getting that vote out too and this will swing into action again for this election.

Colin will be working hard all the way to the finishing line however because not everyone that will be voting for Liz will be an SNP supporter. Her appeal goes way beyond the party lines. On Sunday I was talking to a solid unionist who reiterated his belief that the UK should not be broken up. He will be voting for Liz  because of the way she was treated when she was sacked as Provost by Laurie, Sandy and Graham. This gentleman, red white and blue to the core, was sanguine enough to realise that Liz was the people’s choice for Provost and he was disgusted with the way that she was treated. He will be going to the ballot box to attempt to put something right. I imagine his second vote will not be going to the SNP. For him, the sacking of Liz was an affront to Nairnshire and will be his prime political consideration when he faces the ballot box tomorrow.

Like the SNP,Michael Green seems to have an infrastructure behind him too and his supporters are offering lifts to the polls. Michael could be the independent that takes the vacant spot this time round. He has made much of his “local” credentials and this will take him to parts perhaps the other candidates cannot reach. Personally, I think he’ll be there when the dust settles and four of them are left standing, but it will be tight in there for the three runner-up prizes and every vote matters this time round. Hopefully, Nairnshire will turn out in large numbers tomorrow and show their support for the democratic process and those that have bothered to stand.

Ritchie Cunningham has raised his profile somewhat during this campaign and his name will not have escaped readers of the Nairnshire Telegraph as he and Colin MacAulay engaged in an robust correspondence over the past few weeks. Political letters to the Nairnshire have their faithful readers but anther body of opinion can be equally turned off by them and rush briskly by to the next page. Whether it increases a candidate’s vote or not, it is good for democracy for the issues to be dissected in this way and perhaps we need more of this rather than less. Ritchie has pitched nakedly for the Unionist vote. The question is, whether it is there in Nairnshire in the massive numbers he might expect it to be and will the Unionists be content to vote on for the other (more low key Unionist candidates), that is to say the LibDem and Labour Candidates? And ironically, in his drive to attract such votes, is he in fact damaging the party that has for so long been the most strongly associated with preserving the UK – the Tories? Ritchie is the high profile Unionist candidate that some Tories might have wished for. Again, the counting machines will reveal all on Friday.

Ashley Broadbent had a low profile on the local political scene up until this election. He’s fought a campaign like a serious contender would but is there enough support in Nairnshire for him to make it into the final four? Again it is hard to say, if the LibDem vote falls away again in Nairn could some of it go his way? How will second and third preferences stack up against his pile of votes? At the back of all this though what does the modern Labour party stand for in Scotland? Do many hard core socialists even consider it to be a left-wing party any more? Will local hearts and minds warm to Ashley or will people remember Tony Blair taking us to war with Iraq and the hundreds of thousands of corpses that piled up during and after that conflict? Those that stand for a political party sometimes have to take that karma that goes with that party’s previous actions.

Laurie is bottom of our unscientific poll but he probably enjoys a lot of support among those members of the population that who do not use the Internet. By that I would mean the like of some of those older members of the community that frequent events like the charity ceilidhs at the Legion and who receive him with genuine warmth. He has performed the duties of the office of Provost diligently but, unfortunately, everyone knows how he got that role. It is a terrible shame really because if Liz had been allowed to serve her full term then Laurie may have been the natural choice for next time round. Laurie has been a councillor for a long time though. Could he really be on his way out? As the Geordie mannie on Big Brother states: “You decide.”

Oor Graham stands accused by some of simply being a LibDem and guilty by implication of his party’s role in giving us all a Tory government in Westminster. I’ve come across people extremely upset that they voted for Danny Alexander and got David Cameron instead. To many, Graham’s second crime is to have been involved in sacking Liz. It hasn’t been forgotten but there are positive points to be considered on his account. He is considered a hard working councillor by some, whatever you think of the fruit of his endeavours. His experience at the local CAB has given him an insight into some of the awful problems facing people in our community. He has stayed faithful to his party colours while others have deserted. Remember Ritchie, at the hustings, admitted to once being a member of the LibDems. So could this be the end of Graham’s career or will it be a case of the devil you know rather than the one you don’t? What happens to Graham is another interesting element to the eventual result of the local electorate’s choices. Fascinating, fateful, Friday is coming.

Last, but by all means least, is the Tory wifie. It would have been nice to have seen a leaflet or a webpage or to have received some other information. We did ask the Tory office in Inverness. If you are a Scottish Conservative and Unionist voter and nothing else hits the spot for you however, then you know where to put your cross tomorrow.

All will be revealed over the next few days. Have fun Gurnites. Vote early and vote often!

PS: For an alternative view on our local elections Gurnites might want to read Green Dad’s (now resident in Edinburgh) wee snapshot of things in Nairnshire. Green Dad might have been our Green candidate it seems but such is life. 


Oh deer! said...

Is someone taking the pisch?

Grun reeder said...

Thanks for taking the time for writing such a scientific analysis of a very unscientific poll.

Political pundits are always writing fiction and are often proved wrong by the end result, but somehow I might have spotted the Tory position in the poll before starting.

Liz at the top is the only near certainty; thanks as always to the Grun for the thoroughly entertaining blog entry

Anonymous said...

You do not have to use all your preferences you can simply just vote for one person if you wish to.

Screaming Lord Sutch Supporters Club Nairn said...

Dont forget Gurnites to vote for The Monster Raving Loony Club tommorrow a vote not wasted.