Second home voters
Cornwall councillor Jeremy Rowe is planning to ask a question at next week's meeting of the full council about second home voters.
Jeremy's concern is that in two Cornish Parliamentary constituencies, where the winning margin was very small, people whose main home is outside of Cornwall might have influenced the outcome. Full marks to Jeremy for raising this issue - although, er, didn't all of Cornwall's winning candidates end up on the government benches anyway?
Nevertheless, great minds clearly think alike: last week I submitted a Freedom of Information application in respect of the recent Penwerris ward town council by-election in Falmouth, where postal votes accounted for nearly half of the total. I chose this example because the turnout was low and comparison with the register of council tax discounted properties (second homes) is relatively straightforward.
Under current rules, well organised political parties can easily build up a "postal bank" of absent voters, particularly for local council elections. I have asked what percentage of the Penwerris ward postal votes were cast from second home addresses. Cornwall Council has promised to reply to me by 5th July.