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Monthly Update

Bo’ness SNP monthly update – May 2021

Welcome to Bo’ness SNP’s monthly update for May 2021.

Following a sensational election victory for our candidate Michelle Thomson and the extremely busy campaign that preceded it, you’ll understand why we’ve been slightly quieter this month, compared to last.

So let’s start by welcoming a new member this month. A warm welcome to Raymond who has transferred from another SNP branch to Bo’ness branch.

The first week of May 2021 was an extremely busy one – as a branch, we completed a comprehensive ‘get out the vote’ exercise of speaking to and leafletting supporters in the week before poll.

To ensure we were COVID compliant, sticking with the guidance regarding campaigning, this took a bit longer than usual. So through a mix of traditional door knocking and leafletting throughout the week prior to and on polling day, we ensured we reached everyone we wanted to. Well done to everyone involved, and to everyone we spoke to, thank you for your time. There are too many pictures from the week before to do this effort justice, so please look at some of the below.

Then when polling day came, we made sure we had an active presence at polling stations to welcome voters and ensure due scrutiny of the democratic process. While it was a shame that the other parties didn’t have the same presence at the polling stations, the election went forward in Bo’ness in an extremely positive manner and we commend everyone who took part.

Of course, the story of the day was that the number of the people who did take part was extremely large – the greatest turnout of any Scottish election thus far. 63% turnout in Falkirk East – the highest the constituency has ever had in a Scottish election. It became clear that this would be the case early on in polling day, and Bo’ness branch SNP hope this continues in future.

Then there was the count. This made clear the size of Michelle’s majority. 18,417 – the highest number of votes counted for any candidate in a Scottish Parliament election in Falkirk East ever. You can read more about this in detail here.

You can also watch Michelle’s excellent speech at the count below.

“We are delighted that Michelle Thomson has been elected as MSP for Falkirk East, with an overwhelming backing of the people of Bo’ness.  Michelle ran a very positive and energetic campaign which looks to have captured the attention of the constituents of Falkirk East.  Michelle will be an asset at Holyrood and a strong voice for Falkirk East.  She was ably backed by the hardworking Bo’ness SNP campaign Team, led by our Branch Organiser, David Mitchell. I’d like to also put on record our thanks to outgoing MSP, Angus MacDonald, who served Falkirk East with distinction during his two terms at Holyrood.”

— Bo’ness Branch SNP Convener, Alan Gilbert

It was great to see Michelle entering Parliament for the first time a few days later.

Since this stunning election result though, the Bo’ness branch has been busy preparing for next years Council elections. We’ve recently created a linktree account. This allows you to share all of our links with your friends and family in the one place. We’ve embedded this into our social media channels as well. You can find this here.

Further to this, we are aware that Falkirk District SNP is looking to further develop their following ahead of the Council elections in 2022. If you haven’t already, please consider following them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.

That’s all for this month – we look forward to the further lifting of lockdown, and hopefully in person events beginning to go ahead in the near future. We’ve learnt a lot from this years election – and we are looking to learn from and build upon what worked for next year.

Categories
Branch News

Bo’ness branch SNP congratulates Michelle Thomson on election win

Bo’ness branch SNP has congratulated SNP candidate Michelle Thomson on her substantial win in Falkirk East constituency. 

Michelle won the highest number of votes recorded of any candidate in Falkirk East since the constituency was created in 1999. Michelle received the votes of 18,417 electors in Falkirk East in Thursdays election, with Labour candidate Allyson Black coming second with 10,832 votes. The previous record for any candidate was outgoing MSP Angus MacDonald’s win in 2016, which garnered the support of 16,720 voters across Falkirk East.

The party ran an extremely active campaign in Bo’ness, with a heavy initial focus on social media based campaigning, bolstered by a new website and engaging with many first time younger voters through Instagram and Snapchat, and later adding to this with more traditional methods of campaigning such as leafletting and canvassing, inline with COVID restrictions.

The ongoing COVID rules also meant a return to other classic methods of campaigning, with banners, window posters, car stickers and car loudspeaker systems being made use of across the town to promote the SNP’s message. 

In the lead up to polling day, and on the day itself, an extensive get out the vote operation was organised by Bo’ness branch in order to ensure as many of its supporters as possible got out to vote. Further to this, the branch also organised polling agents to stand outside polling stations on the day itself, in order to greet voters and ensure that due scrutiny of the democratic process was carried out. 

Bo’ness SNP members that were at the count commented that the SNP support in boxes from Bo’ness polling stations was extremely high.

“We are delighted that Michelle Thomson has been elected as MSP for Falkirk East with an overwhelming backing of the people of Bo’ness.  Michelle ran a very positive and energetic campaign which looks to have captured the attention of the constituents of Falkirk East.  Michelle will be an asset at Holyrood and a strong voice for Falkirk East.  She was ably backed by the hardworking Bo’ness SNP campaign Team, led by our Branch Organiser, David Mitchell.I’d like to also put on record our thanks to outgoing MSP, Angus MacDonald, who served Falkirk East with distinction during his two terms at Holyrood.”

Bo’ness SNP Convener Alan Gilbert
Categories
Monthly Update

Bo’ness SNP monthly update – April 2021 – Campaign special!

Welcome to our monthly update for April 2021 – by far our busiest month this year!

Firstly, welcome to our new members Imogen and Sandra! We are always glad to have more members in Bo’ness branch.

As mentioned in last months update, the campaign has really gotten underway across Bo’ness with leaflets, canvassing, car stickers, posters and banners going up across the town. So please enjoy this overview of all of the campaigning that has gone on in Bo’ness over April!

Lastly, this excellent picture of Michelle Thomson in-front of the Bridgeness tower has gained a great deal of traction on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the work of our volunteers and organisers. By now, we will have reached every house in Bo’ness either with local mailed leaflets or hand delivered ones at least once, with the vast majority of households receiving multiple leaflets from us. We have engaged with the local press and are looking forward to Michelle’s candidate statement appearing in the Bo’ness Journal ahead of polling day. What limited canvassing we have done (due to COVID restrictions) has been extremely successful and suggests a strong SNP result in Bo’ness. So thank you to everyone who has helped with this immense effort over the past month, and assisted with the fundraising and organising that has made it all happen.

THE DIGITAL CAMPAIGN

While the work on the ground continues, the digital campaign – absolutely critical in this election – continues to be supported by Bo’ness SNP. This has been done by our members offering endorsements for Michelle, as well as a series of special graphics.

This is our last monthly update ahead of polling day and we aren’t complacent.

That’s why we are asking you to do your bit by speaking to your undecided friends, and convincing them to vote SNP. If they are local to Bo’ness, this article shows just how hard we have been working locally and points to a whole wealth of information to help guide their voting intention. Speak to your SNP friends and family and make sure that they vote SNP on the 6th of May.

We have little over a week to ensure that we elect Michelle Thomson as our MSP, and get an SNP majority in Holyrood. The best way to do this is by casting Both Votes for the SNP. The below video explains why.

Categories
Monthly Update

Bo’ness SNP monthly update – March 2021

Welcome to our monthly update for March 2021. 

This has been an extremely eventful and successful month for Bo’ness SNP, as our campaign to get Michelle Thomson elected as our MSP gets fully underway.

March 2021 began on a high for the branch as we welcomed almost 30 new members! So to Liam, Karen, David, Alan, William T, Charlene, Lee, Kevin, Margaret, John, Tzar, Ross, Stephen, Elaine, Paul, Derek M, Pamela, Derek L, William M, Janette, Charelle, Robert, Christopher, Lesley Anne, Pamela, Kelly and Laura – thank you and welcome to the branch!

The deadline to register to vote (19th of April) and to apply for a postal vote (6th of April) is fast approaching. You may have seen Bo’ness SNP’s work on this earlier in the year, in articles in the local paper, on our website, and in our series of videos.

We have continued this into March, launching our new register to vote tool on our website, and another series of videos such as the one below designed by longtime SNP member Jack Marshall, with more still to come.

As March progressed, we were glad to see Bo’ness featured in Michelle Thomson’s ’80 days in Falkirk East’ campaign video series, which sets out Michelle’s plans in countdown to polling day. We covered this in a separate article, and this was picked up by the local press.

If you haven’t already, you can view these videos below.

Bo’ness Day 1
Bo’ness Day 2

For the first time in a long time, the branch has been able to leaflet by hand. Bo’ness SNP have began doing this in a manner which is COVID safe, taking as much precaution as is possible. We are grateful to the Scottish Government for the very clear guidance on what can and can’t be permitted in campaigning at the present time.

Here is what the leaflet looks like

Another great success was Michelle’s adoption evening, which took place via Zoom on Friday the 26th. This event was a huge success, with around 50 virtual attendee’s, and many Bo’ness SNP members among them. This served as a great morale boost as we enter an unusual campaign. A recording of the event will be available soon.

Between ticket sales for the event, raffle tickets, and auction prizes, over £1,000 was raised for Michelle’s campaign. All of this money stays local to Falkirk East.

If you’d like to donate to Michelle’s campaign, her campaign crowdfunder is still open for donations here.

While the election campaign continues, the day job goes on.

Locally, the SNP administration in Falkirk Council confirmed that they would not charge for Brown bin uplifts, unlike other councils. This is welcome news.

Nationally, the current SNP Scottish Government continued to deliver until Parliament dissolved – announcements such as the 4% pay rise for Scottish NHS workers, or the fact that Scotland’s rail-services would soon come into Scotland’s hands, were welcomed by many.

As the election campaign begins to heat up, we have also heard some announcements of what the SNP will do if re-elected. Modernising education by providing all school pupils with an electronic device – this would be a positive change to help sort the inequities that exist outside of the classroom that COVID has laid bare. Doubling the new Scottish Child Payment. Building 100,00 new homes. Delivering a second independence referendum. These are welcome announcements which electing Michelle Thomson as our local MSP will help deliver.

We are looking forward to next month. Over April, we hope to see substantial lifting of the current lockdown restrictions. We will also see the launch of the SNP’s manifesto, and more leaflets delivered across Bo’ness, as well as beginning to put banners, posters and window stickers on display across the town as we heard towards polling day.

See you next month.

Categories
Campaign news

Michelle Thomson, SNP candidate for Falkirk East, shines a light on Bo’ness in latest series of videos.

Our candidate for the upcoming Scottish election, Michelle Thomson, has recently been drawing attention to Bo’ness as part of her ‘around Falkirk East in 80 days’ video campaign series.

The highly innovative video series, “around Falkirk East in 80 days” see Michelle ‘travelling’ around the constituency with the help of stunning aerial video footage, focussing on the local area and local issues, and what Michelle would do to support the area if elected.

The latest videos have focussed on Bo’ness. They draw attention to our unique history, the Bo’ness fair day, and the challenges and opportunities facing the town in the future.

We were particularly glad to see mention of Bo’ness SNP’s history.

You can see the first video here :

You can view the second video here :

As we’ve mentioned in a previous post, Michelle has featured Blackness in an earlier video.

We look forward to seeing what the rest of this series holds as the election campaign heats up – and what Michelle will do for Bo’ness if elected!

Categories
Monthly Update

Bo’ness SNP monthly update – February 2021

Welcome to our monthly update for February 2021.

We are living in extremely trying times. If you feel that you would benefit from assistance from one of your elected SNP representatives, please visit the “representatives” page on this website, which contains contact details for Bo’ness’ MP and MSP, and our local SNP councillor, Ann Ritchie.

To start off with, we’d like to welcome our two new members this month – Leslie and Beverley. We always appreciate new members, and we like to regularly keep in touch via email. If you’d like to contact us, you can do so at our ‘contact’ page.

This month, our campaign to get Michelle Thomson elected as our local MSP has gotten underway.

We launched our campaign to get as many of our supporters to get register to vote, and register for a postal vote, as possible. The below video is available on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels, and has reached a combined audience of over a thousand people. We have spoken to all of our members, and regularly shared information on our social media and email channels.

We also enjoyed some coverage in the local newspaper for this, which you can read for yourself by clicking here.

We will be doing further videos and graphics going forward as part of our push for registration in this election. Many SNP supporters and members will also be receiving a letter from SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon on this topic over the coming week as well.

As stated last month, we have been trying to get innovative with how we share our message with voters this time. That’s why we’ve sent a survey looking for ideas to all of our members. For everyone who has filled this in – thank you. There are some truly great ideas in there, and we will be actioning on them.

In terms of innovation, our candidate Michelle Thomson has recently started her online campaign, which has been including livestreams on Facebook. The most recent one, a Q&A with sitting MSP Angus Macdonald, has been seen by almost 7,000 people at the time of publication.

Bo’ness is mentioned on many occasions in this video – so we’ll clip them down into short videos for you to watch later.

Another example of what we have been doing recently is Michelle’s “around Falkirk East in 80 days”. The purpose of this is to allow Michelle to share with us her opinions on what is going on in the area, and outline how she will support the local area if elected. One of these videos has looked at Blackness for example, as you can watch below.

In short, the campaign is now underway. While we are off to a good start online, over the next month we will be moving into more ways to reach voters, including print media among other methods of engagement.

It is now confirmed that Michelle Thomson will be holding her adoption evening on the 26th of March, with details to follow. Michelle will also be launching her campaign crowdfunder over the next month too. The Bo’ness SNP is looking forward to supporting Michelle with this and promoting all that she is doing ahead of the election on 6th May.

Categories
Branch News

BO’NESS SNP URGES SUPPORTERS TO REGISTER FOR A POSTAL VOTE

The Bo’ness branch of the SNP has recently launched its campaign to promote registering to vote and registering for a postal vote amongst SNP and independence supporters ahead of the Scottish election on the 6th of May. The campaign has been endorsed by the SNP candidate for East Falkirk, Michelle Thomson.

The branch has stated that the most important reasons for registering for a postal vote is to keep yourself safe from COVID-19, and to make sure that your vote counts, as postal voters are more likely to cast their ballot than those who vote conventionally. If you forget to post your ballot back in time, you can hand it in to your normal polling station on polling day.

Further to this, when you register for a postal vote, you can opt for it to be recurring – so this helps to build strong SNP and Yes turnouts for the future as well. This is why it’s important to encourage your SNP supporting friends and family to register for a postal vote – particularly when you are not entirely sure they always vote!

You can register to vote by clicking this link, and find the form for applying for a postal vote here.

If you have issues printing the form, please get in touch with Bo’ness branch, and we will get one out to you. 

This campaign will be extremely digitally focussed and COVID compliant, with campaign videos, graphics and endorsements from notable people in the community going out on the local branches social media channels. To see these as they come out, you can like and follow Bo’ness SNP’s various social media channels, available here, with more information below.

Categories
Campaign news

SNP candidate for Falkirk East to host Q&A with current MSP

At 3:30pm this coming Sunday, (21st) SNP candidate for Falkirk East Michelle Thomson is scheduled to host a question and answer session with the current SNP MSP for the area, Angus MacDonald.

In a statement on Facebook, Michelle has invited people from across the constituency, which includes Bo’ness, Grangemouth, Tryst and the Braes among others, to comment on the below Facebook post with a question. If you are not a Facebook user, please use the ‘contact’ page on Bo’ness SNP’s website, and we will get your question to Michelle.

The event will discuss SNP achievements locally and nationally, local hopes for the future and what Michelle and Angus can do to support them.

With 80 days until the Scottish election to go, the SNP’s core message this time is simple – Scotland’s Future is Scotland’s Choice.

Further details to follow, you can join Michelle and Angus on any of the following pages at 3:30pm on Sunday 21st.

Michelle Thomson https://www.facebook.com/MichelleThomsonSNP
Angus MacDonald MSP https://www.facebook.com/AngusMacdonaldSNP
John McNally MP https://www.facebook.com/JohnMcNallySNP
Martyn Day MP https://www.facebook.com/MartynDaySNP
Independence Live https://www.facebook.com/IndyLiveStream

Categories
Monthly Update

Bo’ness SNP monthly update – January 2021

Welcome to our monthly update for January 2021. We hope that you are optimistic about the coming year.

As mentioned in our previous post, it goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has effected us all. If you feel you would benefit from assistance from one of your elected SNP representatives, please visit the “representatives” page on this website, which contains contact details for Bo’ness’ MP and MSP, and our local SNP councillor.

Firstly, we’d like to thank our two new members this month for joining us – Meghan and Michelle. We always appreciate new members, and we like to regularly keep in touch via email.

This month, there has been a lot of behind the scenes build up for the election campaign in May – the first of which I will mention at the end of this article.

Our initial activity this month was the launch of the History page on our new website. This page was very popular with local History groups in Bo’ness – with over 150 locals viewing the page from Facebook in one day. Our website has attracted over 500 individual visitors since the new year – the most we’ve had in one month so far. Our site now has a regular daily viewership.

We are grateful to have gotten coverage in the local paper, and an excellent spread in ‘The National’ newspaper for this timeline, pictured below.

As well as this local and national newspaper coverage, our work was picked up on by high-profile SNP politicians such as Alyn Smith MP, and our excellent candidate for the Scottish Parliament election, Michelle Thomson.

You can read the Bo’ness Journals story, and The National newspapers story in full by clicking the respective hyperlinks.

Breaking in the year with this popular story has set us in good stead for what will be a very digital election campaign.

As part of this campaign, we will soon be launching a campaign to motivate SNP supporters in Bo’ness to register for a postal vote.

We are living in extremely uncertain times – our situation is changing regularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we do know that the Scottish Parliament election will be held on May the 6th.

We are asking our supporters to register for a postal vote to ensure you don’t miss your once-every-five-years chance to make your voice heard. If you register for a postal vote, you will receive your ballot around two weeks before polling day, and you can then fill it in as you like. If you are not able to post it back in time, you are able to hand it in to your local polling station on polling day. This is simply the securest way to vote.

Beyond this, registering for a postal vote and asking your friends to register for a postal vote (particularly those who are SNP/YES voters but don’t always vote!) is one of the best ways you can build momentum for strong SNP/YES turnouts in future elections. This is because you can opt to receive a postal ballot in future elections too.

You’ll be hearing more from us over the coming month about registering for a postal vote, which you can do by clicking this link.

In the meantime, we’ll leave you with a short video message from our candidate at this election, Michelle Thomson, on the importance of registering for a postal vote, and how to do so. The video is followed by quotes from Bo’ness SNP members about the importance of postal voting.

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History

Bo’ness SNP launches new History timeline

On Saturday (2nd January) Bo’ness Branch SNP launched its new online timeline, which covers the history of Scottish Nationalism in the town, from 1944 until present.


Going far beyond the history of the SNP itself, the timeline looks at the wide variety of groups located in Bo’ness which helped bring about the Scottish Parliament – the Scottish Covenant of the 1950’s, the ‘Bo’ness Rebels’ Ceilidhs and Songbooks of the 1950’s and 60’s, and the impact that historic events such as the return of the Stone of Scone had in Bo’ness.


It is shown in this multimedia timeline that many key figures in the Scottish Literary revival, such as Hugh MacDiarmid, Hamish Henderson and Norman MacCaig regularly attended events in Bo’ness, with their portraits hanging on the wall of the now demolished Lea-rig bar.


The timeline also provides footage and photos of commemorated Bo’ness Councillors such as John and Harry Constable.


The timeline was aided by the help of many locals who were happy to share information via local History groups on Facebook, research in old newspapers, work in archives, and reading of other works which have looked to Bo’ness as a key site in the folk revival in Scotland. The timeline also benefitted hugely from appeals for information being shared in local and national newspapers.


Commenting, Bo’ness Branch Vice-convener David Mitchell, who designed the page said :

“I am delighted to share with people this new, informative page on our website. While the page obviously does have a political focus, this history stretches far beyond just the SNP, and into Scottish Nationalism in the broadest sense. 


There is in here so much to learn about local history – the lea-rig bar for example is a regular mention, as is the strong history of SNP councillors in Bo’ness, which is well commemorated locally, with a street in the town being named after Councillors John and Harry Constable.


The help we have received in doing this has been wonderful – people of all political persuasions have come together to aid this research, and we have in some cases helped others learn a bit more about their own family history, and about their town. 


This is in many ways a good local reflection on national changes in Scotland over the past century. Those who have read James Robertson’s “And the Land Lay Still” will find in this timeline a real-world re-telling of the changes Scotland has seen since the Second World War.


It would be fascinating to hear similar histories of other political traditions in the town”