Yesterday, I the Electoral Commission reported that only 325 constituencies have so far said for definite that their counts will be held on election night. 275 constituencies have yet to decide, or rather the local authority returning officers have yet to decide.
You can see the full list HERE.
In Norfolk, only two out of the nine constituencies are committed to counting on the night - Norwich South and North Norfolk. Bearing in mind the geographical size of North Norfolk, you'd have to say that if they can do it, why can't all other constituencies? Great Yarmouth is giving the lilly-livered response that they will only count on the night if there are no local elections. Funny how they managed to count during the night in 2005, when, like North Norfolk, they counted the county council elections the next day.
There really is a simple solution to this. The government should introduce a one line bill ordering all general election counts to take place immediately after the polls have closed. It would get cross party support in both Houses and deal with the issue once and for all. This is an issue of national importance. It is vital that the sovereignty of the ballot is protected. The longer a count is delayed, the more opportunity there is for mischief.
Local authority chief executives, who double as returning officers get paid a handsome bonus for conducting elections. I seem to remember it is in the region of £10,000. They should get off their fat arses and sort this, before it is sorted for them.