Preview: 09 Aug 2018

Just one by-election on 9th August 2018:

Newquay Treviglas

Cornwall council; caused by the death of Liberal Democrat councillor Paul Summers at the age of 62. A former teacher, Summers had served since winning a by-election in July 2016.

It’s August, so it must be time for a trip to Cornwall. We are in the town of Newquay, home for this long weekend to the Boardmasters Festival. Boardmasters is sescribed as “five epic days of music, surf, and laid-back lifestyle all set to the stunning backdrop of the Cornish coastline”. The musical lineup looks impressive enough, with acts including Catfish and the Bottlemen, the Chemical Brothers, George Ezra, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Lily Allen and Idris Elba among many more.

Unfortunately Boardmasters has sold out, but there are plenty of other things to do in Newquay if you don’t have a ticket. The local newspaper recently described the place as the UK’s “stag night capital”, a claim which will raise a few eyebrows in Blackpool but is probably appropriate for the birthplace of the man who wrote Lord of the Flies. Newquay has been a tourist town for over a century thanks to its sandy beaches which look out onto the Atlantic Ocean, and as the name “Boardmasters” might suggest it is the capital of the UK’s surfing industry. There is also some aerospace work providing jobs in Newquay out of season: the town is home to Cornwall’s main airport, which is on a growth spurt at the moment. Last Saturday there were 23 scheduled departures from Newquay, including to international destinations such as Berlin and Faro. Who knows, you may be able to get even further from Newquay Airport in the near future: the Virgin group have their eye on it as a spaceport.

As with many seaside resorts it was the Victorians who made Newquay, and before the mid-nineteenth century the main settlement in the area was the village of St Columb Minor, whose fifteenth-century church indicates a much older history than the town it’s now a suburb of. St Columb Minor is the major part of Newquay Treviglas division; the name Treviglas is also that of the local secondary school, which educated the singer-songwriter James Morrison.

Treviglas division was created in 2009 for the first election to the modern Cornwall council. Its first contest was won by Harry Heywood, an independent candidate who had previously represented the area on Restormel district council. Heywood retired in 2013 and his seat went to UKIP on a low vote share. The UKIP councillor, Mark Hicks, resigned in 2016 for personal reasons and UKIP didn’t defend the by-election, which was rather convincingly gained by the Liberal Democrats’ Paul Summers. Summers was re-elected very easily last year for what would have been a full term, defeating the Conservatives 68-32 in a straight fight.

For this second Newquay Treviglas by-election in three years, the defending Liberal Democrat candidate is someone who certainly appreciates the tourist industry that keeps the place afloat. Steven Daniell is setting up his own travel business while also working as a chef, and has a proven electoral track record: he won this ward back in February in a by-election to Newquay town council. The Conservatives have reselected Mark Formosa who stood here last year; Formosa is a former Newquay town councillor and Restormel borough councillor, and was also twice a failed Conservative parliamentary candidate: he fought the North Cornwall seat in 2005 and Taunton Deane in the 2010 general election. Completing the ballot paper is Labour’s Brod Ross, a Falmouth resident and widower of the former Cornish Labour MP Candy Atherton.

Parliamentary constituency: St Austell and Newquay
ONS Travel to Work Area: St Austell and Newquay
Postcode district: TR7

Steven Daniell (LD)
Mark Formosa (C)
Brod Ross (Lab)

May 2017 result LD 753 C 351
July 2016 by-election LD 486 C 210 Lab 87 Ind 58
May 2013 result UKIP 266 C 237 LD 218 Lab 156