Friday, June 11, 2010

Election Review

The London Assembly is to carry out a review of the recent elections in London.

Turnout was high in the Capital for a day which combined the general election with votes for London's local authorities. Results were mixed and most parties - except the BNP - had something to celebrate. However it appeared that not every borough was prepared for the large voter demand, especially at the end of the day.

There were stories around London of voters lining up to form queues and some of these people were too late to cast their ballot.

There are also some cases of alleged voting fraud, with police called in to investigate the accuracy of the electoral register in some wards.

The Assembly review will focus on the administration of the process rather than the politics. Details will be worked out by the business management committee but we intend to ensure that London is fully prepared for a high turnout in 2012, when Boris Johnson will face a challenge from Labour's candidate against a backdrop of potential protest voting against a Liberal Conservative government wrestling with difficult choices.

I proposed the review at the Assembly Meeting on Wednesday morning and I was delighted that it received unanimous cross party support.


judith said...

In the many years that I was either a 'teller' at polling stations or organised the telling, I discovered that those in charge of each station vary considerably in the way they interpret the rules.

Some were pleasant and helpful to all and sundry, some were spiteful jobsworths.

Council chief execs need to justify their salary by overhauling local procedures and ensuring uniformity and efficiency.

Redbridge didn't foresee the necessity to have separate boxes for Local Govt and Westminster ballots!

Anonymous said...

What's your analysis on why there was a swing to Labour control, right across north London, Roger?
(Well, except Barnet.)

Roger Evans said...

Labour undoubtedly did better in the London local elections than they did elsewhere. The reasons will be chewed over by more experienced commentators on both sides but I think two factors were at play:

First, the general election on the same day caused a higher turnout which benefited Labour. To a lesser extent it also benefited the Conservatives with the smaller parties - greens, lib dems and especially BNP - losing out.

Second, we were defending an unusually strong performance from 2006, and I expected some wards - e.g. Heaton in Havering - to revert to Labour.

The boroughs that held out in North London - Barnet, Hammersmith & Fulham, Havering - had pursued strong Conservative policies over four years. Despite the criticism this approach generated, it also created some clear blue water which helped us to stay in power.