Saturday, 31 May 2014

SNP win Euro Election in North Ayrshire

The Scottish National Party won last week’s European Election in North Ayrshire, and across Scotland.

Cunninghame South MSP Margaret Burgess was delighted her party had again topped the poll locally, which follows SNP victories in the two North Ayrshire constituencies at the Scottish Parliament Election of 2011. Mrs Burgess said, “It’s a very good result for the SNP, and nationally we increased our vote by 68,496 since the last European Election in 2009. It’s great that the SNP continues to be the most popular party in Scotland, and that voters continue to support us after we have been in government for seven years.”

The local MSP, who is also the Scottish Government Minister for Housing and Welfare, flagged-up the different electoral outcomes in Scotland and England, saying, “UKIP won the election in England, but here they could only finish fourth despite the wall-to-wall media coverage beamed into Scotland. With these different outcomes – and the Tory-led UK Government dancing to UKIP’s tune by promising an ‘in/out’ referendum on European Union membership - it is clearer than ever that the only one way to protect Scotland's place in Europe, with all that that entails for jobs and investment, is to vote ‘YES’ to independence n September.”

When the North Ayrshire votes had been counted at St Matthew’s Academy in Saltcoats last Sunday, local Labour MP Katy Clark highlighted an increased vote for her party from 2009, but expressed her disappointment that the overall turnout had been just over 30%.

Ms Clark said, “It is also very disappointing that UKIP won a seat in Scotland for the first time and we must take their threat seriously. At a time when many are struggling with the cost of living, UKIP creates easy scapegoats rather than challenging those with a vested interest in keeping wages low and prices high.

“The UKIP myths about immigration need to be challenged: for example, over the past twelve-months we have seen constant scaremongering over the numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians likely to migrate to the United Kingdom following the lifting of employment restrictions in January. We now know that the number working here has actually fallen by 4,000. I also know many local people who have taken advantage of the free movement of labour rules in Europe to work and live in other European countries and that opportunity is something many people value.”

Of the low turnout for the European Election, Katy Clark said, “The real winner last week was apathy. If people don’t ‘do’ politics then they get it done ‘to’ them. If you don’t vote, you amplify the influence of those who do.”

The full North Ayrshire result was:

1, SNP – 10,736
2. Labour – 9,558
3. Tory – 5,627
4. UKIP – 3,720
5. Greens – 1,770
6. Lib Dems – 885
7, Britain First – 391
8. BNP – 299
9. NO2EU - 180

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