Leaders Update: Sleep, Drink Rum and have fun with it

David Elston's picture

I’m sure every other party right now is saying “...and we must charge on and build on these results!” despite almost all of them either losing vote share or seats so let’s go over the facts.

Pirates were one of the few parties to make gains. Our over all vote share went up and the number of votes pulled in increased even more dramatically, more than doubling, widening our exposure from 1130 to 2321 since the last election.

The snap General Election was always known to be an election that favoured the big parties. Labour's and the Tories' campaign constantly pushed you into a pigeon hole of voting for one or the other.

But we’ve proven that a party that truly understands digital and has the will to be dynamic, to follow the manifesto of it’s membership, we can mobilise quickly. We have seen ten Pirate candidates where many parties either didn’t stand at all or fielded substantially fewer candidates. This allowed us to increase from six to ten over the last election.

Pirate pioneers Des Hjerlings in New Forest West (483 – 1%), Jason Halsey in Bournemouth West (418 – 0.9%) and Liam Matthews in Norwich North (340 – 0.7%) – scored incredibly high with difficult to achieve results for a minor party in a regular election, let alone a snap election that favours the big brands.

In some old favourites we retained 192 with Neil Blackburn in Manchester Central and 94 in Sheffield Central with Robert Moran. These seats have been key to showing our consistency, we’ve always had a positive reception here and hope more will come forward to #BeThePirate and join our crew! Neil ran a very visual and continual campaign and Rob helped us reach into areas we had not quite connected with previously.

In our most difficult seats, Mark Chapman didn’t blink and remained committed to Vauxhall, holding on to 172 votes and I in the Vale of Glamorgan increased my votes from 106 to 127 from my last run in a GE. Other parties took a substantially higher loss or made smaller gains. This goes a long way towards showing Pirates can fight for new votes but also, defend a core amount of votes too - an essential skill in UK politics.

In further new ground, Morgan Hill in Eddisbury (179), Jason Winstanley in Gower (149), Jeb Hedges in Cardiff South & Penarth (170) all pulled in very positive results they should be proud of. Eddisbury is entirely new ground that got a lot of very positive press attention and the Wales branch will certainly benefit from such high polls.

My first thanks is inevitably cliché, so you’ll have to forgive me… but my partner, family and friends made it possible for me to make it through two elections this year, and I don’t wish to understate how grateful I am.

I offer my thanks to our candidates for their bravery in putting themselves forward and pushing the campaign for our communities and our membership. If your campaigns were anything like mine, your family and friends deserve my thanks too.

My last piece of advice on this election, is there are plenty of battles yet to fight, so sleep, have fun, and drink some rum. Our joint campaign for civil liberties and our digital world needs a Pirate voice in these uncertain times. The Tories have exposed their position on our human rights and as of yet, Labour have yet to challenge them on keeping our civil liberties intact. Get some much deserved rest for the journey that lies ahead of us.

Thank you all

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