40,000!  Thank you! You and I are making all sorts of people sit up and take notice.

We are about 40% of the way through the time and 40% of the way to the target of 100,000 signatures.  Does that make you feel optimistic or pessimistic about getting to 100,000?

Well, as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t do either – but it does make me more determined than ever to give it my best shot!

Ahead of us we have 15 and a half weeks to get the next 59,800 signatures. In those 15+ weeks we will see an RSPB mid-season statement on Hen Harrier numbers (tomorrow), a social media thunderclap asking people to sign the e-petition (8 June), the beginning of spending of money on promoting the campaign (thank you all – we have got this far for free!), the production and distribution of posters about the campaign, the production and distribution of leaflets to drop through letter boxes and hand out at events, Hen Harrier Day events, the opening of the grouse shooting season on the Inglorious 12th, the Bird Fair, and, of course, any examples of misbehaviour on grouse moors which come to light. And other stuff which you’ll have to wait to find out about.

There are 15 days until 20 June and then we’ll be half way through the campaign. there’s a long, long way to go yet.

Here are three little analyses of progress to date for those of you who, like me, like seeing the numbers.

1. Northern Ireland

NIBanGS3Northern Ireland is different and often ignored. I’m not even sure whether I should be calling it Northern Ireland or the Six Counties because each has a political connotation. I only go to NI once every few years, I hardly every write about it in this blog and there are hardly any grouse moors in NI.  So NI is a place where it would be perfectly reasonable to expect that support for the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting might be low – and in some ways it is. But at this stage (not yet half way) NI has provided 395 signatures for the e-petition whereas in mid-January when we were close to the end of the previous e-petition NI had provided 242 signatures.  In half the time, NI has produced 50% more signatures – and it hasn’t received any special attention at all!  This is a very encouraging sign that the word is spreading organically.  (see constituency data at foot of this post)

2. High scoring constituencies

At the end of the last e-petition there were 34 constituencies with at least 100 signatures: now, (not half way yet) there are well over 50 such constituencies. And it’s worth just looking at those 34 constituencies: they provided c4,300 signatures in 6 months for the last e-petition and have produced c4,300 (a few more) already for this one. There is no sign that we have got anywhere near the bottom of the support in those places that have been most enthusiastic to support the e-petition as signatures keep accruing to these constituencies at a rapid rate.

And, of course, they tend to be rural constituencies which are either SNP (as almost everything is in Scotland!) or Conservative.  And many of the rural constituencies are in grouse-shooting areas.

3. Low scoring constituencies

I think, though I might be wrong, that the 20 English constituencies (actually 21) with the fewest signatures are currently these (I just looked at England to save time!) colour-coded by political party:

  1. Edmonton 8 signatures
  2. Leicester East 11 signatures
  3. Brent North 14 signatures
  4. Birmingham Perry Bar 15 signatures
  5. Wolverhampton South East 17 signatures
  6. Blackley and Broughton 18 signatures
  7. Harrow East 19 signatures
  8. Birmingham Hodge Hill 19 signatures
  9. Hayes and Harlington 20 signatures
  10. Dudley North 20 signatures
  11. Birmingham Ladywood 21 signatures
  12. Battersea 21 signatures
  13. Dudley South 21 signatures
  14. West Bromwich East 21 signatures
  15. Barking 21 signatures
  16. Warley 22 signatures
  17. Coventry North East 22 signatures
  18. West Ham 22 signatures
  19. Easington 22 signatures
  20. East Ham 23 signatures
  21. Scunthorpe 23 signatures

You’ll notice that all of these are urban seats and almost all of them are Labour seats.  One of the reasons for posting this type of analysis is to see whether you very bright readers can point me in the direction of some magic bullets to unlock thousands of votes in these and similar constituencies because if you can we’ll be laughing. Any thoughts?


Maybe some food for thought there – certainly for me.

Thank you to all who have helped so far.

Thank you to Chris Packham, Bill Oddie and the League Against Cruel Sports and their CEO Eduardo de Goncalves for their support too.

Thank you to Alan Cranston for ‘manning’ the Ban Driven Grouse Shooting Facebook page.

Thank you to Raptor Persecution UK  for persistently plugging the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting on their blog (and in addition to that, the great content they provide).



Appendix 1:

Northern Ireland signatures by constituency for the last e-petition (first number) and for this one (second):

Belfast South SDLP 24, 39

North Down  Independent  23, 33

East Antrim DUP 21, 25

North Antrim DUP 19, 20

Strangford DUP 19, 34

East Londonderry DUP 15, 25

South Antrim UUP 15, 22

Belfast North DUP 15, 29

Belfast East DUP 14, 35

Lagan Valley DUP 13, 23

Mid Ulster SF 13, 8

South Down SDLP 12, 28

Upper Bann DUP 11, 18

Foyle SDLP 8, 17

Belfast West SF 6, 12

Fermanagh and South Tyrone UUP 5, 11

Newry and Armagh SF  5, 6

West Tyrone SF  4, 10




Appendix 2:

The 34 top-scoring constituencies in the previous e-petition and their number of signatures then (first number) and so far now (second number):

Calder Valley 457, 249

High Peak 158, 164

Isle of Wight 155, 145

Brighton Pavilion 148, 152

Bristol West 147, 144

North Norfolk 142, 156

Penrith and the Borders  142, 133

Stroud 133, 113

Cambridge 132, 117

Sheffield Central 129, 145

Westmorland and Lonsdale 127, 128

Skipton and Ripon 127, 150

Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey 125, 164

Norwich South 123, 123

South Cambs 122, 120

Torridge and West Devon 119, 127

Derbyshire Dales 115, 143

Truro and Falmouth 115, 101

South Norfolk 114, 129

Thirsk and Malton 111, 119

Ross, Skye, Lochaber 110, 195

West Dorset 109, 112

Southeast Cambs 106, 94

Northeast Bedfordshire 105, 104

Exeter 105, 107

Central Devon 104, 128

Richmond (Yorks) 103, 106

Lancaster and Fleetwood 101, 106

Harrogate and Knaresborough 101, 85

Suffolk Coastal 101, 125

Argyll and Bute 100, 140

Edinburgh North and Leith 100, 119

Keighley 100, 82

Totnes 100, 124


8 Replies to “40,000”

  1. Mark, you normally provide a link to the e-petition making it easy for people to sign. Think you should also provide a link to encourage donations. If only 10% of signers were to donate a £1 it would make your life a lot easier.
    I know it can be a bit embarrassing asking for dosh but if it saves a few HHs…..!

    Further thought, is their anyway of getting people to sign up on the spot at the Birdfair?
    No matter how well intentioned people are at the time, once they’ve left, life gets in the way and the petition would have run its course.
    Fine to give out leaflets and explain that there is not much time left, but much better to get a signiture there and then.
    And no, I’ve no idea how to do it, but I bet one of your techie mates would.

  2. I think key to reaching urban areas is that we have to go out to them. Have you seen the recent Bill Oddie LACS video where he showed people on the street images of snared animals. Lush are brilliant for there hen harrier day bath bombs that helped raise all that money for satellite tags but when they collected postcards for the queen and help raise awareness of the petition it helped to reach and educate a new audience. If we could get Lush on board that would be great as their shops are well spread across the country – perhaps LACS would be able to assist with this. Perhaps Lush would also be willing to sponsor the leaflets.

    Combined with setting stalls out in Lush or elsewhere we could organise ban driven grouse shooting protests. I would aim to get a protest in each of the television news areas – perhaps timed during when the media has less news to report. If I was to dream it would be for a attention grabbing spectacle. My vision would be to get 300 (or 600) of those raptor kites on poles which are used as bird scares and spray them to look like hen harriers and then take our missing hen harrier ghosts down from the moors into our towns and cities.

  3. If only we could get the RSPB to back the petition with it’s more than one million members, they would really have to sit up and take notice then. Come on RSPB, come off the fence and do the right thing.

  4. Just a few pale islands of somnolence or apathy in a rapidly reddening sea.
    Many have reached the 100’s and Hove is Hovering but who will take the plunge and get Bath to 100?

    1. Northern Diver – very good!

      Richmond PArk, London is on 99 too – a red island in a pale London sea.

  5. I wonder which constituency has the highest increase in ‘voters’ between the 2 petitions. I live in Argyll and i’m proud to say that has to be a contender with a 40% increase.

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