Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Strange Priorities of the Electoral Commission

If you were the chairman of the Electoral Commission, where do you think you would be spending local election night? Birmingham, perhaps, where there has been a history of postal vote problems? Bradford? Or perhaps Coventry. Well, if you are Sam Younger you obviously don't feel any of these places merit your presence. Instead, Mr Younger will be spending the evening at ... wait for it ... Witney, which just happens to be in David Cameron's constituency. When I rang the Electoral Commission to ask why, they were unable to give a reason. I put it to them that it was strange for their most prominent person to be at a count where four of the councillors up for election are being returned unopposed. Comment came there none. I then rang West Oxfordshire Council and asked if they were using new technology or were doing anything out of the ordinary to merit his presence. Absolutely not, they said. Stranger and stranger, said Alice.

14 comments:

Paddy Briggs said...

Iain

Sorry to be off subject but can we expect to hear your views on the defection of the ghastly Mr. Spink to UKIP?

There seem to be plenty of UKIP fellow travellers active on your blog so no doubt they will be happy to declare their support for the UKIP mob's recruit.

Alex said...

If he has an evening to spare in Witney, perhaps he could give some more thought to how long a "few weeks" might be (as in "We are considering the available evidence and expect to reach a decision on whether to apply for such an order in the next few weeks"? [Statement on Fifth Avenue 27.10.06])

Iain Dale said...

You can indeed expect my views later on today on this.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

I think what Alice said was, 'Curiouser and Curiouser.'

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

OT with apologies. I have just looked at the BBC News website, politics page.

Lead story in BIG PRINT: Insignificant ex-Tory backbencher, whom no-one has ever heard of, defects to UKIP.

Below that, in small print: Forty Labour MPs defy PM. Criminal underestimate of Olympic costs.

The BBC is incorrigible.

Desperate Dan said...

Given the Electoral Commission's enthusiasm for election fraud, I hope someone will be assigned to keep a very close eye on Mr Younger whose intentions can only be malign.
How have the government and the BBC got the gall to criticise voting fraud in the Zimbabwe elections when they have gone out of their way to introduce, sanction and ignore voting fraud in the UK where none existed before?

Anonymous said...

I'm not entirely sure that you are being clear here, Iain. The 'reading between the lines' drift is that something untoward may be going on here ? But I'm not really sure how a 'chairman' is expected to have hands on work to do in checking for ballot rigging - surely his job is to check that staff are available and deployed to do that for him ?

Maybe you think he should have an oversight role ? But he cannot be in 3 places in once. Or maybe you think he has the role of oversight in the older British meaning of the word..

You are going to have to fill in the blanks here, Mr Dale - I can't join the dots on this one to any great degree..

stuart said...

One might interpret it as him trying to cosy up to the man who may well be in the next PM. This could be seen as +ve for the Conservatives.

kinglear said...

Well if you have consistently favoured the party presently in power, and it's now rather a certainty that the other lot will get in, perhaps it makes sense to suck up to the next Prime Minister

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is because, as reported by the Daily Telegraph, the Conservative's constituency association in Witney had been accepting illegal donations and he wanted to keep an eye on them.

Anonymous said...

Trumpeter Lanfried said...
OT with apologies. I have just looked at the BBC News website, politics page.

Lead story in BIG PRINT: Insignificant ex-Tory backbencher, whom no-one has ever heard of, defects to UKIP.

Below that, in small print: Forty Labour MPs defy PM. Criminal underestimate of Olympic costs.

The BBC is incorrigible.


The priorities are about right on for once. The defection of a Tory MP to UKIP is a unique event whereas the revolt of 40 Labour MPs is a routine occurrence.

Rob Fenwick said...

I don't think there's much of a story here. Sam was in Lewisham for the local elections count a couple of years ago - I remember because he was the only person we could turn to to get the RO to tell anyone what was going on all night. I guess he tries to go around the country.

Ordovicius said...

Maybe the food's better in Witney (wherever that is)

simon said...

Yep- the food ain't bad in some of the pubs! The 'Good Pub Guide' leads the way; followed by the Witney Gazzette's pub guide!