Once upon a time North Cornwall was a marginal constituency. But no more. It was significant that, when in Cornwall last week taking tea with grateful NHS staff, Boris Johnson spent his time at St Ives rather than in the north.
Up north, Scott Mann wanders around looking increasingly confident, the deafening crescendo of pleas from voters to ‘get brexit done’ ringing in his ears. Scott is relentlessly pushing the Tory line of blithely disseminating disinformation, adopting the Goebbels strategy of the dodgier the moonshine the better. To say the least, there appears to be no little disjunction between what Scott promises to do in the future and what he’s actually done in the past. For instance, he says that ‘all nations have the right to independence and self-determination’ (does that include the Cornish nation, Scott?) yet
He says one of his main aims is ‘protecting the environment’ but
Like his mates in the neighbouring constituencies Scott’s voting record has actually been pretty close to that of the DUP.
Nonetheless, the polls are currently suggesting a large majority here for the Tories. That’s even if the Lib Dem candidate, Danny the Vet, were able to corral all opposition votes under his banner. Which he won’t. Danny Chambers is pushing his local credentials and farming background for all it’s worth, promising to ‘tackle climate change and prioritise funding for healthcare and eduction [sic]’, unlike the current MP.
He has two major problems however, one short term and the other long. In the short-term the discovery of some of his embarrassing stereotyping tweets that were last classed as jokes in the 1950s was not the best start to his campaign. In the long run North Cornwall is fast following its neighbour South East Cornwall and being transformed into Surrey-by-the-sea. Farming backgrounds and Gladstone’s memory are as unknown and irrelevant as Methodist chapels to the new population crowding into the mass housing being built for them at Bude, Lanson, Camelford, Wadebridge and Bodmin.
Danny has two other little problems that make victory extremely unlikely. One is that 60% of voters in North Cornwall voted leave in 2016; the other is the presence of Joy Bassett for Labour. Even if all the 9% of voters who are currently predicted to vote for the socialist nirvana switch to Lib Dem, there’s still an awfully large 12% needed in order to close the gap to the Tories. It’s all over bar the counting.
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