So, if you have forgotten amongst all the general election talk, tomorrow is another polling day.
Tomorrow is when we get to choose who runs Cornwall Council for the next four years.
The polling stations are open from 7am – 10pm.
But then what happens? Well, it’s not like the general election and no one will be staying up all night, not in Cornwall at least.
The counting is done on Friday at two centres – The Showground at Wadebridge for the East and North Cornwall wards; and for the Mid and West Cornwall seats your votes will be verified and counted at Carn Brea Leisure Centre.
Volunteers and paid staff will be at the two venues from 10am to collect the ballot boxes and verify the votes before the actual counting starts. The first results won’t come in til after midday, even 2pm.
CornishStuff will there at the counts, with info from both venues and we will be reporting all the action, gossip and most importantly, the results live through our twitter and facebook feeds. It’s @cornishstuff on either.
So, come Friday evening we should have a good idea of the numbers and councillors that will make up the new 123 member Cornwall Council.
As there are 123 seats on the council, a party needs minimum 62 seats to win control of the council, however any administration would want say 10 more than that to be able to govern with stability and confidence.
The seats on the cabinet of Cornwall and committee membership are allocated by percentage representation, and agreement between parties.
Over the weekend there will be informal party get togethers and depending on the results, informal conversations between parties about the make up of the new administration.
On Monday and Tuesday the councillors get sworn in and the ‘official’ talks can begin. If one party has the number of councillors to take ‘overall control’ then the next bit will be quick and straightforward.
If, however like last time (and this time’s most likely outcome) no party has enough to take overall control then deals have to be struck between the groups, and some shuffling of cards and a bit of horse trading goes on until an agreement can be reached.
Most of the trading will be about party representation on the 10 seat cabinet and the other important departments or PACs as they are called at County Hall.
The result of the last council election 2013 looked like this:
|UK Independence Party||6||15%|
This result ended in a Lib Dem / Independent Group coalition council, with each having 5 seats each on the cabinet. At the time other parties inc MK were offered places, as a ‘one and all’ administration, with seats on the cabinet, but turned them down.
Next, when a deal has been struck, the whole full council meets and votes on the make up of the administration and indeed votes on the actual leader (and then annually after that!)
Last time, the new administration coalesced around Independent John Pollard as Leader and this was agreed by all.
However since 2013, 12 of the councillors (inc all but one of the UKIP councillors) have resigned for one reason or another and the by-elections have slightly changed the make up of the cabinet. As the Lib Dems have won 5 straight by elections of late they earned the right to one more seat on the cabinet and so lately it was made up of 6 Lib Dems and 4 Independents but John Pollard remained leader.
It would take an incredible swing to take one party into power by themselves.
That would only be possible for the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats, (and at a real outside push the Independent group) as they are the only parties fielding enough candidates to make up the numbers. Only the Lib Dems have managed to put a candidate up in every one of the 123 wards, with the Conservatives almost there on 119.
Labour have dropped slightly, down to 59 candidates from the 66 last time round, Mebyon Kernow field 19 candidates, The Green Party have a similar amount.
The big fall is from UKIP – in 2013 they fielded a whopping 76 candidates but this time only 22 are standing. The argument having been supposedly won, their votes will have to go elsewhere.
The most likely result will be one that sees us back to a similar position to where we are now – a Lib Dem / Independent coalition but with Lib Dems gaining an extra seat or even two on the cabinet.
If the Conservatives do well they may well be able to usurp the Lib Dems as coalition partners to the Independent group.
A Lib/Lab pact is highly unlikely considering the tribal differences between the two parties at a national and local level. If the Greens do well and take 10 seats they may have enough to form a coalition with the Lib Dems.
We’ll have to wait and see… over to you… but don’t expect anything to be sorted til about this time next week.
Follow all the results and subsequent shenanigans here on CornishStuff!
If you haven’t already done so, especially if you still don’t know who to vote for , please read Lizzie Pridmore’s excellent post where you will find all the info you will need
See you on the other side!