The briefing presentation is available here.

Report
West Lothian Council
By-Election – 26 March 2015
Armadale & Blackridge Ward
Candidates Briefing
12 February 2015
Covering
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Who’s who
Timetable
Qualifications
Disqualifications
Nominations
Agents
Postal votes
• Day of poll
• Single Transferable
Vote
• Counting of votes
• Campaign
spending
• Contacts
Who’s Who
• The Returning Officer is the person responsible for running
the election. The Returning Officer is Graham Hope .
• The Electoral Registration Officer is responsible for
maintaining the register of electors and absent voters’ lists.
The Electoral Registration Officer is Joan Hewton, Lothian’s
ERO.
• Election Team
• Electoral Commission has a responsibility for issuing
guidance to candidates and agents – available at http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/candidateor-agent/local-council-elections-in-scotland
Timetable
Event
Working days before poll
(deadline if not midnight)
Date (Poll Day 26 March)
First day to publish notice of election Not earlier than 35 days
Not earlier than Thursday 5 February
2015
Last day to publish notice of election Not later than 28 days
Not later than Monday 16 February
2015
Until 4pm each working day until the
deadline for the delivery of
nomination papers
Delivery of nomination papers
From the day after the publication of
the notice of election
Deadline for the delivery of
nomination papers
23 days (4pm)
4pm on Monday 23 February 2015
Deadline for withdrawals of
nomination
Deadline for the notification of
appointment of election agents
23 days (4pm)
4pm on Monday 23 February 2015
23 days (4pm)
4pm on Monday 23 February 2015
Publication of notice of poll
As soon as practicable after the
deadline for withdrawals
As soon as practicable after 4pm on
Monday 23 February 2015
First time nomination papers are
open to public inspection
During office hours from 24 hours
after the deadline for delivery of
nomination papers
From 4pm on Tuesday 24 February
2015 (during office hours)
Registration deadline
12 days
Midnight on Tuesday 10 March 2015
Timetable
Event
Deadline for new postal vote
applications and for changes to
existing postal or proxy votes
Deadline for new applications to vote
by proxy (not postal proxy), except for
medical emergencies
Deadline for notification of
appointment of polling and counting
agents
First date that electors can apply for
replacements for lost postal votes
Last time nomination papers are open
for public inspection
POLLING DAY
Last time for re-issue of spoilt and lost
postal votes
Deadline for emergency proxy
applications
Last time to alter the register due to
clerical error or court appeal
Last day to submit election spending
returns
Working days before poll
(deadline if not midnight)
11 days (5pm)
Date (Poll Day 26 March)
6 days (5pm)
5pm on Wednesday 18 March 2015
5 days
Thursday 19 March 2015
4 days
Friday 20 March 2015
1 day
0 (5pm)
End of office hours on Wednesday 25
March 2015
7am to 10pm on Thursday 26 March
2015
5pm on Thursday 26 March 2015
0 (5pm)
5pm on Thursday 26 March 2015
0 (9pm)
9pm on Thursday 26 March 2015
35 calendar days after the result is
declared
Friday 1 May 2015 (if result declared
on Friday 27 March 2015)
0 (7am to 10pm)
5pm on Wednesday 11 March 2015
Can you stand?
• Candidates must satisfy criteria on day they are nominated:
– At least 18 years of age, and
– British, qualifying Commonwealth (with indefinite leave
to remain), EU member state citizen
• Also at least one of the following:
– Registered local government elector for local authority
area
– Occupied as owner or tenant any land or premises in the
local authority area during the whole 12 months
preceding nomination
– Principal or only place of work (including unpaid) during
last 12 months in local authority area
– Lived in local authority area for the previous 12 months.
Disqualifications
• A person cannot be a candidate if they:
– received a severance payment under the Local Governance
–
–
–
–
–
(Scotland) Act 2004
hold a politically restricted post
have had their estate sequestrated by a court in Scotland, been
adjudged bankrupt by a court elsewhere, or are the subject of a
bankruptcy restrictions order
have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 3 months or
more (inc. suspended sentence) without option of a fine,
during the 5 years before day of nomination or election
have been disqualified by a decision of the Accounts
Commission or the Standards Commission
are serving a disqualification due to being found guilty of a
corrupt or illegal practice by an election court
Nominations
• Please submit as early as possible – make an appointment
• Nomination forms must be submitted by all candidates by
4pm – 23 February 2015
• Party candidates will also need to submit:
– a certificate authorising the use of a party name/
registered description on the ballot paper
– a written request to use one of the party’s emblems on
the ballot paper (optional)
by 4pm – 23 February 2015
•
Check and double check
Nomination Form
• Electoral Commission guidance
• Include your full name & home address
• Optional: commonly used name box(es) if commonly
known by a name other than full name and wish to use it
instead
• Description field – 3 options
• Qualification(s) – complete all that apply
• Sign it
• Witness to provide name, address and signature
Election Agent
• Responsible for the proper management of your election
campaign; particularly its financial management.
• Notification of appointment must reach the Returning
Officer by 4pm – 23 February 2015.
• Form is included in nomination pack.
• Office of election agent must be in West Lothian, or in
either of Livingston or Linlithgow & East Falkirk
constituencies
• You will become your own agent by default if none is
appointed.
Other Agents
• Other agents can be appointed to attend postal vote
openings, polling stations and the count on your behalf:
– The RO requires notice in writing of any people appointed
as polling and counting agents by 19 March.
– The appointment of postal voting agents attending a
particular opening session must be made before the start
of the session. The RO will give at least 48 hours’ notice.
– Forms are available for notifying the RO.
Campaigning
• Use imprints on all your campaign material, including
websites.
• Comply with planning rules relating to advertising
hoardings and large banners.
• Make sure you comply with council policy
• Do not produce material that looks like a poll card.
• Do not pay people to display your adverts (unless they
display adverts as part of their normal business).
Electoral Register & AV List
• Access by candidates – once you officially become a
candidate:
– earliest, on 16 February [last date for publication of
notice of election] if you, or others declared yourself a
candidate; or
– once you or others have declared yourself a candidate
after this date or date you submit your nomination
papers, whichever is earliest
• Make written request to the ERO – forms are included in
your nomination pack.
• Only use data for electoral purposes including to help you
campaign
Polling Places
• No change to polling places
• 11 polling stations - in the nomination pack
Postal Voting
• Impact of Individual Elector Registration
• Direct voters to ERO if they want to apply for a postal vote
• Familiarise yourself with the Electoral Commission’s Code
of Conduct for Campaigners
• Openings from Monday 23rd
• Appointment of postal vote agents
• Secrecy requirement
Polling Day
• Polling stations open from 7am to 10pm
• Election Office open 6.15am to 10.30pm for queries or
problems relating to the administration of the election
– any queries relating to election spending issues, contact
the Electoral Commission (contact details shown later)
– Electoral registration queries direct to the Electoral
Registration Office
• Campaigning, tellers and rosettes & badges
• Postal votes – can be handed into polling stations within the
ward or delivered to the elections office until 10pm.
Single Transferable Vote
• Voters will rank candidates in their order of preference
using numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc).
• Voters can rank as many or as few candidates as they wish.
• The same number cannot be used twice and there should
not be a break in the sequence.
• Manual count
The Count
• Next day (9am) in Space 3 at Howden Park Centre
• Candidates, election agents, counting agents and one
guest per candidate are entitled to attend
• Limit to number of counting agents: two per candidate
The Count Procedure
• Verification – counting ballot papers cast and turnout
• The quota – threshold winning candidate should reach
• Counting of votes for each candidate
• Exclusion of candidates – where no one reaches quota
• Transfer(s) of excluded candidates’ votes
The Quota
• Candidate is elected if they reach the quota.
• Quota calculated by:
total number of valid votes
------------------------------------------------------ + 1
(number of members to be elected + 1)
• Fractions are ignored. e.g.
5,021 valid votes, 1 to elect
quota = (5,021 / (1+1)) = 2510.5
ignore remainder +1 = 2511
Exclusion of Candidates
If no candidate reaches the quota
• The candidate with the lowest number of votes is excluded
• The ballot papers from the excluded candidate are allocated
to the next available preference
• Transfer value for each ballot paper from excluded
candidates will always be 1, as no parts of the votes cast for
that candidate will have yet been used to elect a candidate.
Process
Count the first preferences for each candidate
and adjudicate doubtful ballots
Has any candidate
reached the Quota
Candidate
is elected
Yes
No
Eliminate candidate
with lowest vote
and redistribute to
next available
preferences
Local Government By-Election
Ward 6 – Elgin City North
Thursday 11 December 2014
Total Electorate
9,263
Total Votes Cast
1938
Percentage Poll
21%
Rejected as Void
20
Total Valid Votes
1918
960
Quota
Stage
Stage 1
Exclusion of
Candidate
Party
First Pref.
Total Electorate
Sandy COOPER
Ind Percentage
472
Poll
Morvern FORREST
Green
Craig GRAHAM
Stage 2
Stage 3
Stage 4
Stage 5
FORREST
URQUHART
GRIFFITHS
GRAHAM
Ballots
Total
Transf.
9,263
1121% 483
Ballots
Transf.
Total
Total Votes Cast
16 as Void
499
Rejected
Total Valid Votes
Ballots
Transf.
1938
2096
1918
960
77
-77
Lab
287
18
305
11
316
52
Alex GRIFFITHS
Con
273
7
280
19
299
-299
Kirsty Ella REID
SNP
728
20
748
16
764
9
Ramsay URQUHART
UKIP
81
3
84
-84
TOTAL
Ballots
Transf.
Total
595
98
693
368
-368
773
77
850
18
40
182
375
20
20
20
20
20
1938
1938
1938
1938
1938
Non-transferable
Rejected
Quota
Total
Recounts
• Candidates or their election agents can request a recount
• But RO can refuse if he considers it unreasonable
• Closeness of result will not be regarded as justifying a
recount
• Candidates and agents are asked to observe each stage
closely and raise any concerns stage by stage
Candidates Spending
• Electoral Commission guidance
• Defined as certain expenditure ‘used for the purposes of
the candidate’s election’ after the date they become a
candidate
• Responsibility of election agent
• Spending limits - £705 + 6 pence per elector in ward on
register in force on 16 February
– reduced for joint candidates
• Must get and keep receipts (over £20)
Candidates Spending Returns
• Returns due 35 days after result of election
• Returns made public by Returning Officer
• Failure to submit a campaign spending return is an offence
• Successful candidate who fails to submit returns in time
may not sit or vote in the council until return made
Contacts
• Elections Office
– [email protected]
– 01506 282035
• Electoral Registration Office –
– 0131 344 2500
– [email protected]
• Electoral Commission
– Scotland Office - 0131 225 0200
– [email protected]
Any Questions
?

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