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
Northern 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:
- Edmonton 8 signatures
- Leicester East 11 signatures
- Brent North 14 signatures
- Birmingham Perry Bar 15 signatures
- Wolverhampton South East 17 signatures
- Blackley and Broughton 18 signatures
- Harrow East 19 signatures
- Birmingham Hodge Hill 19 signatures
- Hayes and Harlington 20 signatures
- Dudley North 20 signatures
- Birmingham Ladywood 21 signatures
- Battersea 21 signatures
- Dudley South 21 signatures
- West Bromwich East 21 signatures
- Barking 21 signatures
- Warley 22 signatures
- Coventry North East 22 signatures
- West Ham 22 signatures
- Easington 22 signatures
- East Ham 23 signatures
- 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.
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
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[registration_form]