General Election 2017: Nine things we learned this week


It’s been another fascinating week on the campaign trail with the three major parties all revealing what they would do if the ballot box goes their way.

Manifestos have been unveiled, promises have been made and people have been sceptical about whether promises will be kept.

Here’s Cornwall Live’s weekly run down of some of the more quirky things we have learned from the last week in politics.

1. Labour could have a chance in Cornwall.

No need to wipe your eyes, that’s what we said. Labour could have a chance in Cornwall. The party has long been considered spent political force in the county having not won a seat since 2001. Although to be fair that was when now Cornwall councillor Candy Atherton successful defended her Falmouth and Camborne seat, doubling the majority.

In a possibly unforeseen turn of events, a Cornwall Live poll of thousands of voters across Cornwall has revealed that Labour are enjoying something of a renaissance and in what is now the Truro and Falmouth seat would appear to have more support than the sitting Tory MP. It is very early doors yet though and the huge number of undecideds are capable of swinging it back to blue.

2. Women could swing it

The same Cornwall Live poll shows that women are far more undecided in their voting intentions than men. At this stage of the game in 2015, around 13% of women had not decided where to cross that box, but last week the figure stood at 39%.

3. Both Labour and the Conservative Party seem to have gone reet northern.

Two years ago, Cornwall was hip deep in party leaders and senior ministers who just couldn’t seem to keep away from the prospect of a decent pasty and a cream tea.

Read more: See the visits political party leaders have made to Cornwall over the years

While we have had Prime Minister Theresa May down in West Cornwall and a sprinkling of ministers, there’s no getting away from the fact the big parties seem to be love bombing Yorkshire these days. Jeremy Corby and Theresa May in the county within days of each other with Yorkshire seen as a key battleground.

4. The Libs Dems don’t have a Battle Bus, they have a Fun Bus

It used to ferry around Crystal Palace FC, but is now the executive coach transporting the Lib Dem leader around the country and his whistlestop tour of key constituencies.

But while Labour and the Tory Party have their fearsome sounding Battle Buses, packed to the brim with young and zealous party activists, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has a more cuddly mode of transport dubbed by some wags the Fun Bus.

Perhaps it is the mini-kitchen or mood enhancing lighting, or maybe it is the that Mr Farron has his own horseshoe-shaped sofa at the back where journalists are invited for “Tim Time” chats.

5. The Prime Minister sets a low bar for complements.

While out on the campaign trail in Wales, Prime Minister Theresa May was accosted by a number of people who grilled her over issues like housing and provision for mental health patients.

An amount of solace was gleaned from one passer-by who yelled “you’re the best of a bad bunch”, a quip the PM said she would take as “flattering”.

6. Ditching the beard could mean less of a close shave at the polls

It’s an election issue which only affects the gents, but some of the more hirsute candidates might want to think of reacquainting themselves with a razor.

A poll by a male grooming product manufacturer reminded us that there hasn’t been a bearded Prime Minister since 1902 – possibly bad news for Jeremy Corbyn.

But the five candidates in Cornwall with beards might also reflect on the fact that the poll suggested people – and women in particular – don’t associate facial hair with trustworthiness.

7. Time is running out!

Registration which will entitle you to vote ends at midnight on Monday.

If you haven’t registered, click here

Do it now or lose your right to vote and have a moan about the next Government.

8. You can wear a T-shirt featuring famous lefty Che Geuvara to the polling station, but only if he isn’t a candidate

The list of do’s and don’ts at polling stations has become a bit more foggy of late with the advent of social media. The Electoral Commission has been forced to hand down rulings on what is and is not acceptable. Fundamentally, anyone going to a polling station must maintain the principle of an anonymous ballot.

Therefore, you can take a selfie, but identifying the number of your ballot paper or anyone else in a booth could mean a £5,000 fine or jail.

Equally, wearing overtly political garb, such a rosette, is banned as it seen as an attempt to influence.

Wearing a T-shirt of someone like, say, Marxist revolutionary Che Geuvara, is acceptable but only if he isn’t standing, which shouldn’t be an issue as he died in 1967.

9. If you can count, the General Election could be a money spinner

You could have £145 or £190 worth of crisp bank notes pressed into your hand come the end of county on polling day.

Recruitment is open for people take work as a poll station clerk or a counting clerk, which pays the two above amounts respectively.

If you are not a member of a political party, on the electoral role and can count, this could be the one day job for you!

Read next: all the news from around Cornwall

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