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News Archive > General > Game of Votes

Game of Votes

By Natasha Swift 7th June 2017

Game of Votes
GAME OF VOTES: Who will take victory in battle for seat

IN THE ongoing game for control the election candidates have shown they will not be going down without a fight, with each side delivering damaging blows to their opponents in one of the most bitter battles seen in recent times.

But the conflict among competing claimants for succession to the St Austell and Newquay seat will finally come to an end tomorrow when residents take to the polls to vote for the worthy opponent who they want to see claim victory and become their MP.

In less than 24 hours, people will decide who they want to run the country for the next four years.

A “massacre” was how the wipe out of the Liberal Democrats in Cornwall was described in 2015 after the Conservatives won all six seats in the county including St Austell and Newquay.

The Conservative’s Steve Double took the constituency from the grip of the Liberal Democrat’s Stephen Gilbert with a majority of more than 8,000.

Mr Double won with 20,250 votes compared to 12,077 for Mr Gilbert, who saw the seat drop by 18.8 per cent.

And he is hoping to make it twice in a row as Mr Double and former MP Mr Gilbert go head to head for a second time.

At the time of going to print the Conservatives were once again the firm favourite with bookies ranking Mr Double with odds of 1/12 to win. Mr Gilbert was holding onto second place with odds as far out as 10/1 followed by Mr Neil, whose odds have come in from 16/1 to 12/1 - closing in on Mr Gilbert.

If elected, Mr Gilbert said he would work tirelessly for his home, adding: “If I am elected I will fight tooth and nail for investment in our hospitals, more money for our schools, to protect our older people and for investment in our infrastructure.  

“People know me. They know that I will work tirelessly for our area because it is my home, they know that I have a record of delivery and they know that a vote for me is the only way to beat Steve Double.”

While hoping to reclaim the seat, Mr Double told the Voice he wanted to continue the work he had done while MP and would speak up for Cornwall in the Brexit negotiations.

He said: “In the two short years I have been our MP I have set about delivering the things we need. I have secured Government backing for the new A391 link road to the A30, a £100million Cornish Business Investment Fund and three new Primary Schools.

“I have also worked to deliver a new mental health unit for young people, £24m additional funding for Social Care and £1m extra for A&E. And I have worked tirelessly to make sure Newquay is the frontrunner to be the UK’s first Spaceport bringing 1,000 new well-paid jobs to this area.

“I have tackled head on the issues you have raised with me. I have spoken up for our constituency in Parliament 114 times, well above average for an MP, and challenged the Government on issues such as antisocial behaviour, the unfair term time holiday rules and rip off private parking firms.

“With 62 per cent of our constituency voting to leave the EU, I believe we need an MP who is committed to deliver a positive Brexit and to speak up for Cornwall in the negotiations, making the most of the opportunities ahead.

“There is a clear choice between Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn to be Prime Minister and lead our country into the EU negotiations. A vote for anyone other than me will risk Jeremy Corbyn entering No.10 propped up by Nicola Sturgeon.

“It has only been two years and I believe that I have made a good start, but I want to continue the work I have begun. I want to be part of Theresa May’s team, working at the heart of Government, with real influence to continue to deliver the things our constituency urgently needs. So I am asking for your vote on Thursday.”

Mr Neil told the Voice he was standing as he believed Labour offered an alternative that was for the many not just the few.

He said: “My own experiences in life have been many and varied and have made me ready to stand up for and fight for the people of St Austell and Newquay. I’ve lived in many areas of the country before moving to the South West 14 years ago.

“This Thursday voters have the choice between more of the same with Theresa May and the Conservative package of austerity and cuts, or a break with the past by voting for me.

“In the past we’ve had ‘austerity light’ with the coalition and full austerity with the Conservatives. Both have failed. Labour offers a real alternative under Jeremy Corbyn and the only way to get Jeremy Corbyn as PM is to vote for me in St Austell and Newquay.

“Keeping the public safe can’t be done on the cheap and Mrs May’s government is totally discredited by her previous refusal to listen to the Police Federation when they warned her of the risk she took by cutting 20,000 police officers.

“As your MP I pledge to fight to bring back every penny we will lose in EU funding rather than see it go to London.

“I pledge to vote to ensure that the Brexit vote is respected. I pledge to set up an enquiry into NHS dentistry in Cornwall to find solutions to the lack of NHS provision in our area and I pledge to fight for the rail link between Cornwall and the rest of the country to be upgraded.

“Labour is in prime position to win here this time thanks to the transformation of the party by Jeremy Corbyn. Hold your nerve, vote Labour on June 8, reap the rewards. There's simply no viable alternative.”

Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm tomorrow.

By Natasha Swift 7th June 2017

Martin Pitchwell 9th June 2017 12:16
What a great picture!
Shame that Mr Double held on to the thrown, better luck next time guys.
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