19th October 2019
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EU election – Lib Dems top isles poll ahead of SNP

The breakdown of how Shetlanders voted in the European Parliament elections has been declared with the Liberal Democrats getting the most support.

The SNP came second with the Brexit Party taking third place.

Lib Dems secured the backing of 2001 voters while the SNP came in with 1,751 votes, an increase of 8.6 per cent. The newly-formed Brexit Party took 1,330 votes (19.7 per cent).

Scottish Greens got enough backing to come in fourth place with 756 votes ahead of the Conservatives with 342 and Labour with 305.

Votes were cast on Thursday and the count began in Lerwick Town Hall at 7pm on Sunday. The result was announced by Jan Riise shortly after 11pm.

The votes cast in the isles will be collated with other areas across Scotland to work out the six MEPs returned to represent the Scottish region. That result will not be known until Monday when the Western Isles votes are counted.

The results from Shetland are:

Change UK – 82

Conservative and Unionist –342

Labour – 305

Liberal Democrats – 2001

Scottish Greens – 756

SNP – 1751

The Brexit Party – 1330

Ukip – 151

Gordon Edgar – 23

Ken Parke – 9

Turnout was 39.6 per cent with voters at Uyeasound in Unst recording the highest voter engagement of 55.1 per cent (54 of 98 registered voters).

The polling station turnout was 29.5 per cent, while 69.5 per cent of those who chose a postal vote took part in the ballot.

Across Scotland (not including the Western Isles) there was an increased turnout of 39.9 per cent compared to 32.6 per cent in 2014.

The turnout for the whole UK stands at 35.8 per cent, up by 1.9 per cent on 2014 with the biggest increase in turnout reportedly in remain supporting areas.

• Full coverage of the election result will be included in Friday’s Shetland Times.

About Adam Civico

The Shetland Times editor since October 2012. Born and bred in South Yorkshire, before moving to Shetland I was assistant editor at the Barnsley Chronicle, where my journalism career began. When not editing The Shetland Times I can be found walking or (occasionally) running, enjoying good food, or trying to find the latest Sheffield Wednesday result. Contact me with your news and views about Shetland – a.civico@shetlandtimes.co.uk, on Twitter @adamcivico or telephone 01595 746715.

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36 comments

  1. Ian McCormack

    Good job brexit party. Not shocked that lib dems won it. Just glad it wasn’t SNP that won.

    Reply
    • Graham Fleming

      Good vote for the Greens,beating Labour Tories and change U.K, combined here.Shetland like the rest of Scotland soundly rejecting the brexit nonsense,Lib dems resurgence has helped beat the brexit separatists in the popular vote in U.K, with the combined vote for,remain well ahead of the leaver losers.Its time for the will of the people and the binning of Brexit -its what the majority wants!

      Reply
      • Mr ian Tinkler

        Maths Graham, do not forget the majority of Tories are for Brexit, so count again! Popular UK vote was for leave only Brexit Party Ukip campaigned for no deal. Tories and Labour/Corbyn were campaigning leave also! That is way above the remain vote.

  2. Stuart Hannay

    Congratulations to the Liberal Democrats. The vote shows, I feel, a clear majority of people in the Shetland Islands are not anti-EU. As an SNP voter, I feel that both the Liberal Democrats and the SNP now have to demonstrate how remaining in the EU can be beneficial to the the Scottish fishing and agriculture – a very difficult task.

    Reply
  3. Peter Hamilton

    Strong anti-Brexit result in Shetland. The European Parliament has not fallen into the hands of the far right. In Britain the total Remain vote was larger than the total Leave vote 40:35.

    Fishermen will always need a market for their landings and remote farmers and crofters know Europe tries to look after them even though nationally agribusiness seeks to pocket too much subsidy.

    Overall a victory for hope not hate. Lest we forget what international solidarity and cooperation sounds like:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-47980044/european-parliament-given-surprise-musical-performance

    Reply
    • Rosa Steppanova

      Love it. What a wonderful man and what a great work – one of Europe’s greatest composers and one of Europe’s greatest poets – a sublime combination. Here’s to Europe and Europeans:

      Deine Zauber binden wieder
      Was die Mode streng geteilt
      Alle Menschen werden Brüder
      Wo dein zanfter Flügel weilt

      This has always been my favourite stanza, but I’ve yet to find a satisfactory English translation – one that conveys the humanity as well as the poetry. Would you happen to have one Peter?

      Reply
    • paul Barlow

      as ian says your discount the exit tories and labour. and best for remain itsa draw at worse its a good win for leave.

      Reply
  4. Mr ian Tinkler

    The facts Peter, not the spin, “The Brexit Party will now be the joint biggest party in the European Parliament”.
    In Britain, the total Remain vote was larger than the total Leave vote 40:35. you claim that is not true. O dear me, Peter, you have absolutely forgotten both the Tories and the Labour voters. What you have counted was the Leave without a deal of any type vote 35 and your figure of 40 includes voters who may care nothing about the EU but are considering a host of other reasons for casting their vote.

    Reply
  5. John Tulloch

    LOL The London Liberals’ view of democracy:

    “Dear plebs, we’re honouring you by asking your advice on which of two options – Leave or Remain – you want us to adopt (Hint: If you pick the wrong one, we won’t adopt it).” 🙂

    Reply
    • Malcolm Henry Johnson

      Alternative description of London Liberals:

      They made it 100% clear that they want to withdraw Article 50 and remain in the EU. They expressed this view in language that was so clear that not a single person could misunderstand them. Millions of London plebs agreed with them and voted Liberal, so they won the election.

      If you saw anything different John, I suspect your moving picture wireless needs re-tuning.

      Reply
      • Brian Smith

        Would you say the same about the SNP in Scotland, Malcolm?

      • Brian Smith

        Still thinking about it, Malc?

      • Malcolm Henry Johnson

        Not at all Brian. There’s nothing to think about. I replied to you immediately but I forgot to gentrify my working-class language, so it wasn’t published.

        The Lib Dems in London and the SNP in Scotland had a very similar policy on Article 50 and EU membership. The SNP had clearly planned their strategy well in advance and provided clear guidance to their supporters who knew exactly what they were voting for.

      • Brian Smith

        Why did that make you swear?

      • Malcolm Henry Johnson

        Stop fishing Brian. I would never swear at you. I merely referred to the Brexitiers in language that was a trifle unrefined.

      • John Tulloch

        @MHJ, Like you, I replied immediately and my comment was withheld, although, not if I may say, due to foul language.

        You clearly misunderstood my point, which related to democracy.

        Clarity is a desirable quality of communication, in itself, neutral. As opposed to democracy, which is a fundamental principle by which we live and are governed.

      • Malcolm Henry Johnson

        John.

        Firstly, I neither swore nor used “foul” language. I just failed to prissy it up to the required standard. I didn’t say anything you wouldn’t hear in a nursery playground.

        Secondly. I did understand what you said but you clearly didn’t understand it yourself. In your example, a party was standing in what was essentially a single-issue election and stated its policy with clarity and precision. Given these very specific factors, under what circumstances would this party be elected by voters who did not support the policy? In order to justify your “honouring, then ignoring the plebs” insult, you created a false scenario. (Hint: If they had picked the wrong one, they would have voted for a different party.)

        Incidentally. It shouldn’t make any difference but when I replied to your comment, I had no party axe to grind.

      • John Tulloch

        No, Malcolm, it is you, not I, who fail to understand.

        My point referred to the LibDems conduct during and after the EU referendum – “People’s Vote” – of 23 June 2016. The recent EU election is merely the latest episode.

        The Remain-supporting UK government sent a £9 million, taxpayer funded leaflet to every UK home, recommending Remain and stating – in big, bold type – that this was a “once in a generation” event, adding, “The government will implement whatever you decide.”

        No party dissented. Indeed, Nick Clegg repeated it forcefully in a nationwide tv debate (see Youtube).

        The next day, LibDems leader Tim Farron furiously rejected the outcome (see Youtube).

        Since then, the LibDems, and others, have campaigned ferociously to reverse the result.

        They have traipsed around Brussels, encouraging EU negotiators while undermining our own, effectively, “colluding with a foreign power” to wreck Brexit. And all the while demanding a second referendum in which the people would be frightened into voting Remain by the unpalatable EU offer that they helped to ensure.

        I am unable to recognise that as in any way democratic.

      • Malcolm Henry Johnson

        John,

        The fact that a party agrees to hold a referendum or participate in an election does not mean it has to change its stance after the results are announced.

        The Liberals adopted a pro-European stance in the 1975 advisory referendum as did the Lib Dems in the 2016 advisory referendum. (Our constitution doesn’t allow for any other type.) They also presented pro-European policies in all the national and European elections between those dates and up to the present. Their MPs and MEPs have been consistently elected by pro-European voters who expect them to stick to their pro-European election manifestoes.

        There are countless different types of constitutional democracies around the World and they are all slightly different. If you watch events in the House of Commons, you will notice that there are neat rows of benches provided opposite the government’s benches. They have been there for hundreds of years and they are there for a very special reason. They exist because, in our form of constitutional democracy, the losing side is allowed (and indeed, expected) to continue developing and promoting the positions set out in its own manifestoes.

        The losing parties do this in direct opposition to the policies of the government who were elected by the majority. That is why the losing parties are called “The Opposition” and their existence is not something that contradicts democracy but is, in fact, an essential part of it.

        You can’t expect the opposition parties to take a vow of silence just because someone put a leaflet through your letterbox in 2016.

      • Ali Inkster

        “The fact that a party agrees to hold a referendum or participate in an election does not mean it has to change its stance after the results are announced. ”

        But the least they should do is respect the result, not demand it is overturned.

    • John Tulloch

      Ok., Malcolm, I seem to be having difficulty making it through the editorial filter so I’ll have to agree to disagree.

      Neither have I “a party axe to grind.”

      Reply
  6. Peter Hamilton

    Liebe Rosa, you’ve fairly thrown down the gauntlet there!

    I agree, each translation has issues, but happily help is at hand within Shetland culture.

    Schiller was surely making a typically Enlightenment-era appeal for people everywhere to enjoy brotherhood or solidarity, irrespective of the irrational divisions imposed on us, saying that joy in this reunites us. He knew it was chance that saw us on one side or another of any nationalist driven war, and wanted to emphasise the need for healing and togetherness.

    It’s a concept of course that also is captured by Robert Burns ten years after Schiller in: For a’ that and a’ that, or Trotz alledem und alledem, as it also became in 1848. The final lines guaranteed translation into many other language too:

    It’s coming yet for a’ that,
    That Man to Man, the world o’er,
    Shall brithers be for a’ that

    Schiller would also have recognised the romantic sensibilities which informed Shetland’s Up-Helly Aa, or unserer feuer-trunken Faschingsdeinstag, ob du wilst. I think these lines from the closing verse of The Galley Song capture Schiller’s intention perfectly:

    Bonds of Brotherhood inherit,
    O’er strife the curtain draw

    Happy to see Europe inspiring Shetland still!

    Reply
    • Ali Inkster

      “Schiller was surely making a typically Enlightenment-era appeal for people everywhere to enjoy brotherhood or solidarity, irrespective of the irrational divisions imposed on us”

      Unless of course they’re English eh Peter. You want to separate scotland from the rest of the UK yet come out with the PC BS above. just who are you trying to kid?

      Reply
    • Rosa Steppanova

      Well I never Peter – Rabbie AND Haldane plagiarising Friedrich? On a more serious note, those continental European cultural influences (Fasching/Karneval and Viking cult) are undoubtedly templates for UHA and unique to Shetland. I’m certainly not aware of anything of the kind taking place anywhere in England, but there is – surprisingly – something rather English about the European anthem. I have recently learned that it was commissioned and subsequently purchased by the London Philharmonic Society. It’s no longer German property but those damn Krauts seem to take no notice of this fact. Alas, my thoughts are with the English during these tumultuous times and I can’t help wondering – should the worst come to the worst – what those poor sods down there are going to sing instead? I suppose it’ll have to be Rule Britannia while they eat their chlorinated chicken and gaze longingly across the Channel. I thought this little message of hope might cheer them up: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/28/remainers-eu-elections-second-brexit-referendum

      Reply
      • John M Scott

        I wondered when the anti- English racist rhetoric would raise its ugly head on here. Rule Britannia was actually written by Thomas Arne; a Roman Catholic who was proud to be British. He’d get short shrift on the so called Liberal Shetland Islands.

  7. ian tinkler

    The first 4 notes of Beethoven’s Fifth. Lest we forget how Europe became free.

    Reply
  8. Bruce smith

    Well I don’t no about the far right are left 😳 Shetland and Orkney vote liberals
    Because napoleon tired to to starve the UK with his blockade and this is when Arthur Anderson formed P &O and stared trading with the rest of the world ? Not France
    The yellow in the flag is Spain red is Portuguese. And Arthur Anderson brought liberal into Shetland and then Orkney to brake the hold off the powerful lairds
    The story is longer . Orkney& Shetland will always vote liberal .
    And there is a big world out there we don’t need Europe

    Reply
    • Joseph Niven

      p&o founded 1837, napoleon long dead by then. liberals to replace lairds? look at tavish family history

      Reply
      • ian tinkler

        The original company originates from 1822, with the formation of the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company, Napolean not long dead 1821. Napoleonic Wars were certainly consequential in the rationale behind the companies formation. Particularly the Peninsular war.

  9. Peter Hamilton

    It wasn’t of course ever a one way street. Garve, a contemporary of Schiller and Goethe, did a great to broadcast the gains of the Scottish Enlightenment by translating and accrediting the works of Smith, Hume, Ferguson, Hutcheson, Reid and others, to the extent that Goethe himself, though perhaps before his heyday, said there was nowhere in Europe that could hold a candle to what was happening in Scotland.

    It would be unreasonable to suggest Burns did not become familiar with the thoughts of Kant, Rousseau, Locke, and other European philosophers, directly or indirectly, in the salons of Edinburgh.

    It would similarly be a nonsense to suggest that Haldane had no exposure to all this. His inspiration cannot be divorced from the earlier flourishing of inspirational ideas of brotherhood and equal worth that happily live on yet.

    Shetland, after the Napoleonic era, seems to have been quite a radical place to a degree, as the later broken-promise legal challenges possibly demonstrate. There was also a legal challenge related to a whale grounding in Sandwick which seemed fairly radical in intent. The underpinning ideas don’t appear to respect the random lines drawn on maps that seem to dominate some people’s thinking.

    Reply
    • Ali Inkster

      Do you mean the imaginary line drawn from Berwick to Carlilse do you? As far as your concerned that line is real and a definite demarcation that should be enforced.
      Some lines are more equal than others eh Peter?

      Reply
  10. Peter Hamilton

    The modern Labour movement of course grew out of the earlier Liberals, with many older ideas and values broadly held in common.

    Our respected former isles MP, Jim Wallace (Lib Dem) recently contributed to an informative debate in the Lords which shone light on the divisive issue of the SNPs aspirations. Brexit: Stability of the Union. https://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2019-01-17a.331.3

    Opening the debate, crossbencher, Lord Lisvane saw a problem where Scotland and Northern Ireland, as two of four parts of the United Kingdom, backed Remain, yet could be dragged out of Europe against their will. He identified “a sort of imperial condescension from the centre—from Westminster and Whitehall” and sought “a devolution settlement properly owned by its participants” that would “include something perhaps missing from the present arrangements: the R word—respect.”

    Most Scots voted to continue their solidarity with Europe, whilst a significant (and possibly shrinking) minority of English and Welsh voters would apparently risk sacrificing their older union with Scotland in order to Leave.

    Schiller (and possibly Haldane) advocated seeking broadminded and warmhearted company. Should the UK falter, will it be those who sought to continue to enjoy the benefits of the wider degree of solidarity who are really to blame?

    Reply
    • Ian Tinkler

      I am so sorry, Peter Hamilton, Schiller died two hundred years ago. Have you someone a little more contemporary to bore us with? Tony Benn had some creative thoughts about Europe, as did Jack Jones. They were real socialists and Democrats, not pretentious windbags. Now carry on spouting, Liebe Rosa, will be most impressed.

      Reply
  11. Rosa Steppanova

    One of my English friends has accused me of being frivolously optimistic. He says once the unholy trinity (Fascist-Farage, Dimwit-Johnson and Pussy-Grabber-Trump) have finished with England nobody will be able to afford chlorinated chicken, let alone feel like singing. He believes if Brexit goes ahead, “England will drift off into a nightmare – a sort of parochial rehash of the “blitz spirit” with a blitz of its own making whilst the NHS and every decent, real, value-giving creation of this country is being sold off. Scotland is and will be the modern neighbour, outward looking, in the EU, and giving the whole populace a chance.” His first-hand accounts of gut-wrenching depravation – https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/nov/16/key-points-un-envoy-philip-alston-report-poverty-britain-uk https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/14/un-austerity-destroying-lives-philip-alston-poverty-uk – made me realise how cushioned from the worst excesses of Tory/Lib-Dem austerity we are in Scotland: free prescriptions, no bedroom tax and – of vital important to many state benefit recipients – universal credit payment choices, to name but three. This of course, was reflected in Shetland’s EU election result. My friend is planning on early retirement and swift relocation to pro-Europe Shetland.

    Reply
  12. Peter Hamilton

    In January 2018 the same respected Lord Lisvane told a telling tale of taking his three rather proper aunties out for a treat. They decided on the cinema so the cinema it is. On arrival neither of the two choices on offer are at all suitable. Must they sit through one or the other of the violent offerings, or should they be allowed to reconsider now they have the actual choices in front of them? They had previously agreed to go to the cinema after all. His point being that now we have got closer to understanding the two types of Brexit actually on offer it would be wise to double check we are still up for it. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-politics-parliaments-42882107/taking-your-nervous-aunts-to-reservoir-dogs

    In that same spirit, and reflecting on Northern Ireland’s and Scotland’s situation, I found myself wondering how someone might feel if their favourite pub, which offers a decent selection of bar meals, was to be burned down by their dour in-laws who run the bog standard cafe next door, all in order to secure wider access to the market.

    Reply
  13. Peter Hamilton

    Mon cher frère Ian might try drawing inspiration from his holiness Pope Francis. “Indifference breeds prejudices and fosters anger and resentment,” the pontiff said yesterday. “How many times do we judge rashly, with words that sting, with attitudes that sow hatred and division!” https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48490942

    These words were in the context of his apologising to the Roma people for Catholic discrimination. They sit in contrast to Farage’s racist and divisive comments regarding Romanians that some people willingly overlook. By no means are all Romanians Roma, but that’s not how Farage’s dog-whistle politics work.

    Another possible source, pour Ian, is the Major of London, Sadiq Khan, who pointed out this weekend: “Viktor Orbán in Hungary, Matteo Salvini in Italy, Marine Le Pen in France and Nigel Farage here in the UK are using the same divisive tropes of the fascists of the 20th century to garner support.” Khan noted too that Donald Trump communicates like a 20th fascist, citing, among other harms, his: “deliberate use of xenophobia, racism and “otherness” as an electoral tactic.” https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jun/01/donald-trump-state-visit-red-carpet-unbritish

    Bien sûr Ian will find it reassuring to see those leaders who appeal through fascists means are now being called out for doing so, ñ’est ce pa?

    Reply

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