The Pirate Party UK stood three candidates across five elections in this week's local elections and the results were announced yesterday. The party hit a new all-time high, averaging 3.77% for higher councils and 9.65% for lower councils.
Pirate Party UK Acting Leader and Lead Candidate, David Elston, said:
"Our vote share is going in the right direction. 7.6% for St Athan is a result we can all be proud of, and our other two candidates, Des and Jeb, ran very successful campaigns and were rewarded with excellent results for their first outing into local politics. In the past, Pirates have been hitting vote shares of around 0.2% in a number of local elections. I'm really glad to see how we inspired people to vote different and how we achieved well above that figure this time across areas with a variety of competition.
"In lower council seats, we managed to reach 17.43% of the vote share, and a total of fewer than 50 votes behind Labour. While the loss of a community council seat that we previously gained through co-option is disappointing, it was obviously a bold and brave move to take on a party the size of Labour, and still come out so close to winning.
"Some time ago, I wrote to our friends in The Netherlands, sending them our admiration and telling them to stay bold and stay brave as the fight for civil liberties is a long one, and saying that they should not be disheartened by a victory narrowly missed. I'm not about to make a hypocrite of myself and give up now - we're charging on to the General Election, where we will be taking the fight to Parliament itself."
Pirate Party UK Castleland Candidate Jebediah Hedges said:
"In a first-past-the-post election where the chance of winning is slight for a small new party, you have to make sure you make use of the platform in every way possible. We've been dropping leaflets online and through letterboxes and even on the night of the count itself we were keen to engage with other candidates to see where we share ideals and talk out our differences. You're never going to convince the opposition to change their mind unless you're willing to have that conversation. I'm really happy with 1.54% in such a high competition swing seat."
Pirate Party UK New Milton Candidate Des Hjerling said:
"It's onward and upward from here. 2.2% in my local election is a tremendously good start for us and now we're going to build on that for the deliberately badly timed snap General Election we've been forced into. We'll take what we've learnt and expand the relationships made and campaigns won to take on anything Westminster throws at us."
The Pirate Party UK currently has eight candidates standing in the General Election but is actively raising funds to be able to increase that number. For details of how to contribute visit https://www.pirateparty.org.uk/lets-build-ship-together
About Pirate Party UK
The Pirate Party in the UK is a fledgling political party. It has fielded a few candidates in European and National elections, but like most small parties it is significantly constrained by the UK electoral system. Despite this, the Pirate Party has started to poll along side major parties and is looking to build support from the grassroots. The party will be standing candidates in the June 2017 General Election.