21st February 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Isles Lib Dems’ effort fails to save Euro MEP

24 comments, , by , in Headlines, News

The Liberal Democrats claimed by far the highest number of Shetland votes in Thursday’s European elections, gaining roughly twice the number of nearest rivals the SNP.

However, the isles’ effort was unable to save the Euro seat of Lib Dem George Lyon, who was likely to be replaced at Brussels by UKIP’s David Coburn.

Returning officer Jan-Robert Riise at the European Election count.

Returning officer Jan-Robert Riise at the European Election count. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The turnout in Shetland was 29.6 per cent, a noteworthy improvement on the 24.8 per cent in 2009. Of the 17,496 people eligible, 5,175 cast a legitimate vote with 16 spoiled papers.

The isles result was declared at Lerwick Town Hall just after 10pm last night. The overall Scottish result, with the country represented in Brussels by six MEPS, is expected to be announced at noon today.

The Lib Dems won 1,755 Shetland votes (33.9 per cent), a slight increase on five years ago, with the SNP gaining 897 (17.3 per cent), a slight drop.

The major surprise was the performances of both the Labour and Conservative parties, polling 590 votes (11.4 per cent) and 543 votes (10.4 per cent) respectively.

The two established parties finished in fifth and sixth places, beaten by both the Scottish Green Party (638 votes and 12.3 per cent) and the UK Independence Party (616 votes and 11.9 per cent).

The other three parties standing, Britian First, the British National Party and NO2EU, polled just 55, 40 and 25 votes respectively.

Depute returning officer Anne Cogle empties a box of ballot papers ready for counting. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Depute returning officer Anne Cogle empties a box of ballot papers ready for counting. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The small audience in Lerwick Town Hall was called to order at 10pm sharp, with the clock bells chiming above.

Returning officer Jan-Robert Riise first invited the four agents present – Beatrice Wishart (Lib Dem), Graham Johnston (Labour), Maurice Mullay (Conservative) and Charlie Gallagher (SNP) – to step forward before announcing the result.

Lib Dem spokesman Theo Smith said afterwards he was very pleased with the local result, but unsure whether it would be enough to help Scottish candidate George Lyon keep his seat.

Mr Smith said: “I’m really delighted to see the Liberal Democrats’ vote has held up in Shetland. I always thought it would but it’s possibly exceeded my expectations.

“I’m extremely delighted for George Lyon and just hope that it can be replicated down through the country.

“George Lyon is a very, very good MEP, interested in the rural areas, and I just hope he gets back again.”

About Jim Tait

Jim Tait is news editor at The Shetland Times.

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  1. Brian Smith

    Shetland’s slide to the right in the past few years reflects what is going on nationally and internationally, but needs study.

    • Ali Inkster

      yuns de longest contribution yet Brian, du better hae a mandatory rest period noo ta big desel up ageen.

  2. Neil Anderson

    UKIP got the seat, great news !

    • Harry Dent

      I wonder if he’ll be like the outgoing Yorkshire UKIP man who hardly attended any debates in the parliament, or like the new one, who’s said this morning he won’t attend at all?

  3. ian tinkler

    Lets hope we learn not to be so apathetic, we literally get what we deserve. Salmond and Farage, the opposite sides of a nasty “nationalist” coin.

    • Carl Pickard

      And what of British Nationalists Mr Tinkler?

      For example Michael Gove yesterday, banning “Of Mice & Men” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” from school reading lists in England. Can you imagine the SNP doing likewise because the want 70-80% of literature studied to be Scottish? Inconceivable.

      For whatever reason British nationalism – incredibly, even in the form of UKIP – isn’t sneered at the same way as Scottish nationalism.

  4. ian tinkler

    What is your point Carl? Scotland is somehow superior to England because it does not ban “Of Mice & Men” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” from school reading lists. How very petty of you. For information I loathe all nationalism, Scottish, British what is the difference, just raw tribalism by another name. SNP, UKIP, Scottish Independence, United Kingdom Independence, as I said, two sides of a very nasty little coin. How very Sad and ironic, the Scots’ in Scotland have just elected a UKIP MEP!! (PS. I am of mixed parentage, does that make me a mongrel?)

    • Carl Pickard

      I’m glad to hear it Ian. So you are pro-EU and pro-immigration?

    • Robert Sim

      You mean you loathe most of human society from the ancient world to the 21st century? Nation-states have existed throughout human history and patriotism – or nationalism – is a normal part of human social experience, as evidenced in innumerable great artistic works, for example.

      Where things go wrong is where one nation-state wants to conquer and control others. But that has a different name: imperialism.

  5. David Spence

    Well Carl, when it comes to education and this of literature, I would rather have a book written by a british, if not scottish, author than this of an american, in which to study or reflect on with regard to literary works used for educational purposes. Quite rightly, these books, written by foreigners……sorry, yanks, should be taken out of the national curriculum and author’s unique to the UK or Scotland selected instead.

    I must confess, I am a little worried and concerned about the UKIP doing so well in the European Election’s considering Mr Farrage is a more extreme version of the vile Tories, and how he gives the impression of a nationalist, xenophobic buffoon where, I feel, if we do leave the EU, he will, like the vile Tories, be in a position to rule and do as he pleases without being answerable to anybody, namely the EU under the European Human Rights Act. Many people may criticize the EHRA, but I would dread to think what this country would be like without it?????

    • Malcolm Henry Johnson

      David, you never fail to amaze me. You start off by arguing that teachers should be banned from using any book written by a foreigner and then go on to criticise nationalism and xenophobia. You really do believe in taking the scatter gun approach to political philosophy.

    • Ali Inkster

      Without the European Human Rights Act there would be an awful lot less terrorists running round for a start, old hook hands would of been deported along with his pals years ago, The 7/7 tube an bus bombings may never of taken place, an Cherie Blair would have a few less £millions in the bank. Any and all of these options are preferable to what we have now.

  6. john irvine

    At the last general election when the Lib Dems signed a pact with the Conservatives the writing was on the wall, they blew it big time and will never in the future be able to have an influence on British politics.

    Maybe if they had made a coalition with Labour it might have been different but now its too late, any vote for Liberal in the future will be a vote wasted.

  7. Harry Dent

    The study of English literature should, in my view, encompass all literature written in the English language, including its many dialects and historic variations. That should include studying local writers, but not to the exclusion of international authors.

    We study literature for all sorts of reasons, but bolstering national pride or trashing another nation shouldn’t be amongst them.

    If we were to go down the road of only studying our own literature, Scots students would never study Shakespeare or Dickens, English students would never study Burns or Lewis Grassic Gibson, neither would study Melville or Twain, and all would be worse off for it.

    The attack on the English curriculum has come from the dreadful Michael Gove, but it could quite easily have come from Nigel Farage who hates hearing non-English accents, let alone reading non-English texts.

    UKIP under Farage represents a severely authoritarian threat to our liberty which should not be under-estimated. So far we’ve only seen the tip of this particular iceberg.

    • Ali Inkster

      Farage is married to a German so he hears a foreign accent every day, such a pity you only soak up what murdochs media tell you instead of a few facts.

  8. David Spence

    How very true John, they, the LibDems, know how to go out with a bang……so to speak. A prime example of ‘ not what to do in a political career ‘ lol

    God forbid if the Libdems (if they are still around by then) should go into bed with UKIP, I think that would most certainly put a stake into the heart of the party lol Mind you, lets hope that UKIP do not get to that level of power where a) they rule the roost or b) contemplate a coalition with another party.

    I do believe they are in the same league as the Tories with regard to the Scottish Parliament, in that they have 1 single representative…………..1 too many in my books lol

  9. David Spence

    ‘ you never fail to amaze me. You start off by arguing that teachers should be banned from using any book written by a foreigner ‘

    lol Malcolm, I was being slightly sarcastic in my response to what literature teachers should be using to teach with ……….but on a more serious point, I do not see why teachers cannot use books written by scottish or british authors to demonstrate literature and its meaning……..within and between the lines. I am sure, as you might agree, there is just as equally good examples of literature within the boundaries of our own country or the UK in which to use for educational purposes? I wasn’t specifically saying every foreign book should be banned…….it was, as said sarcastically, yank…..sorry, american in the context of the subject.

  10. Brian Smith

    This is what the Lib-Dems and Tories have done to Britain:

    Theo Smith and the other 1754 Shetland Lib-Dem voters might explain why they like it so much. But they won’t.

    • Ali Inkster

      Are you unable to express your own views Brian? because that link is your longest post by far.

  11. Ian Tinkler

    Carl Pickard, in answer to ” Ian. So you are pro-EU and pro-immigration?” I am strongly for Unity of all humanity, that does not mean I carte blanche agree with of all the attempts and mechanisms to forge those unities by politicians. However the EU is a vast improvement of what went before it. WW1 and WW2 were the result of the preceding collection of sovereign nation states. On balance I there for do support the EU, however there are grounds to improve it, not demolish it. I most definitely agree with immigration and the opening of borders to all friendly states and cultures.. Britain has benefited hugely due to its diversity of cultures. (Evan Farage has a German wife, and as many Scots live overseas as in Scotland.) If anyone advocates banning immigration and sending “them” home, would they expect all UK and Scottish ex pats to be expelled from wherever they are and be sent back (Large proportion of the USA, Canada and Australia, Falklands ect!) That would be fun would it not?

    • Ali Inkster

      I would expect to be deported (or worse) from whatever country I was in other than my own if I broke their laws. I would not expect that country to feed clothe and house me, nor would I expect free everything, maybe that’s just me as I don’t expect this country to do that for me either (which is just as well). Instead of hysterical rantings of they want to send them all back try actually listening to what they say instead of what the murdoch media say they say.

    • Carl Pickard

      A new experience – I (almost) agree with Ian Tinkler.

  12. ian tinkler

    Robert Sim, in answer to ” you loathe most of human society from the ancient world to the 21st century” I certainly do loath the primitive mentality which is so blind and stupid to realise most of human suffering is simply because Nation States and nationalists are collectively too selfish to look beyond their own self interest and belief in racial superiority.. Nationalism is a prime example of that and Salmond and his NATS a great example. Our oil, we are better, fairer, alone we would be wealthier, ect,ect and all that self righteous rubbish (posh boys from Eton ect.) . Also nationalism goes a bit beyond great artistic works, a few examples : The Holocaust (Nazism), Omagh bombing (Real IRA, INLA), Bloody Sunday. Ethnic cleansing (Serbia). Tribal massacres ( Africa Rwandan Genocide) Cambodian genocide (day1), these are a few examples of hundreds of incidents.. These killings have little to do with imperialism, more about tribalism and a self belief in racial superiority. (master race, chosen people, home of the free, land of the brave, Scotland the brave, land of hope and glory! The simple fact is we are all the same species with exactly the same ancestry and emotions.

    • Robert Sim

      “The simple fact is we are all the same species with exactly the same ancestry and emotions.” Very true, Ian. In fact, your words remind me of these words from a famous historical document: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”. The document is of course the American Declaration of Independence.


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