It's an interesting contest for Mebyon Kernow, we did not stand in the division in the last elections and we have obviously have a lot of work to do to explain to voters who we are and what we stand for. To be brutally honest with this in mind and the fact that this is John's first time running in an election I really wasn't that hopeful that we would do that well. However after canvassing with John on the doorstep in places like Gwithian, Upton Towans, Carnhell Green, Connor Downs and Reawla I have been struck at how well we are regarded. Perhaps I have listened to our critics too much, with the accusations that we lack widespread support. Because actually on the doorstep talking to voters, the opposite was true people were aware of who we are and the work of our councilors and they were very keen to learn more about our policies. A lot of people are looking for a fresh alternative in politics to put their patch and Cornwall itself first. Not everyone by a long chalk, but certainly a very encouraging reaction as was the number of people who said they would vote MK. I think this is a lot to do with the raised profile of the party and the increasing voice we have in large part to due to our 6 Cornwall Councillors. Loveday Jenkin's emphatic electoral victory in the adjacent division of Wendron last year chief among them.
I wish John Gillingham the best of luck at the polls on thursday, I think he has every chance of winning and he should be proud of the campaign he has run. If you live in the are and you're interested in voting for John - please do :) - or want to learn more about what he stands for and how he stack up against the other candidates in the by election. There's a transcript of the election debate between all the candidates held last thursday in Gwinear here.