Friday, May 03, 2019

Copeland Mayor election results

Mike Starkie, the independent incumbent, was declared re-elected in the early hours of this morning after winning 57.4% of the first preference vote in the first round.

Turnout was 33.5% which was down on four years ago.

Votes cast were as follows:

Starkie (Independent)        10,008 (75.4%)
Jones-Bulman (Labour)      4,544 (26.0%)
McGrath (Conservative)     2,895 (16.6%)

There were 339 spoilt ballot papers of which I would say about half were from voters who intended to spoil their ballot paper (the fact that they had written things like "spoilt ballot paper" or "not voting for anyone until you deliver Brexit" was a fairly strong clue.)

However, the other half had done things like only put one cross and put it in the right-hand "second preference vote" column, which according to the guidance given to returning officers means they have to treat it as a spoilt vote.

There was no second round this time because the incumbent mayor got over half of the first preference votes on the first round. If there had been a second round there would again have been very large numbers of spoilt votes - we are talking thousands of votes - apparently because we have not adequately explained to people how the first and second preference system of voting works.

More to do on this next time

But congratulations to all who took part in the election, to Mike Starkie on his re-election, to Ged McGrath for fighting a strong and positive campaign. Thanks also to all who voted Conservative.

The elections for Borough and Town/Parish councils will be counted later this morning.

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