Saturday, 9 May 2015

Central Bedfordshire Council Elections 2015 - A Review

Well Done

I'd like to thank my opponents for a fair election campaign to win a seat on Central Bedfordshire Council to represent Parkside. Congratulations to Antonia Petra Ryan for her win (All the same I'd like to know what she's ever done for Parkside?)

Jimmy Carroll Independent 131
Adam Fahn Conservative Party 384
Stephen John North UK Independence Party (UKIP) 387
Antonia Petra Ryan Labour Party 510 Elected
Alan David Winter Independent 486 

All CBC results: http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/elections/election-results/2015/ward.aspx


THE COUNT

Management of the count at Chicksands was extremely poor. It's bad enough that I regularly see landscape staff parked up in vehicles around my estate who are apparently on a 45 minute tea-break, but to have this extended to staff being paid to sit at tables doing absolutely nothing for ages while there were ballot boxes to be opened was farcical. 

The Town & Parish Council elections were due to be counted Friday, but it never happened, being postponed until 10am Saturday.

The CBC count was abandoned at 10.30pm on Friday with Arlesey, Potton, Sandy and Stotfold results postponed due to discrepancies in their ballot papers.

Pull up your socks, CBC.


THE CAMPAIGN

I know not all candidates went out canvassing door to door;  I'm sure it helped me to almost win. It was very warming to have many people come up to me after they had voted, to say "You got my vote. You're the only one who knocked, and seems to know the issues on this estate."

Some Central Bedfordshire Council wards are just too big to do all that canvassing in, though, and I understand that. I think it would be miles fairer if there was one councillor per CBC ward. At least a single candidate then has a reasonable chance of getting around a good chunk of the electorate. 

The Undecideds were many on my canvass returns, and a lot of Maybes, too. The pull of Tories and Labour in the traditional two party system of a General Election accounts for them benefiting from a lot of that polarization.


If any statisticians wants to pour over my canvass figures, perhaps to see where the Undecideds and Maybes went to, I enclose them here.




Ballot Papers

Of course, it didn't help that here in Houghton Regis, in Tithe Farm and Parkside wards, there were two candidates having the "Independent" tag, when I would have much preferred to have been allowed another description, (maybe "Editor Houghton Regis News Desk" ?) as per the Town Council elections. How much of a big deal would it be to permit that?


"Aardvark"

I know the argument, too, that says that some people just pick the first one nearest the top of a ballot paper that seems to match their voting intention. As the ballot papers are printed in surname alphabetical order this disadvantages those with surnames at the end of the alphabet. To be fairer, the ballot papers could be printed in batches, randomized in different list orders. I guess, if they don't ever change the present system, I really will have to change my surname to "Aardvark" !


For those Not Really Bothered

At a polling station people should be asked, are you bothered about local elections? If they say no, don't give them a voting slip! After all, if local elections are the only thing being voted on, the turn-outs are much lower than if there is a General Election on at the same time.
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