Friday, June 24, 2005

Election Olds


The Staffordshire South election has finally come to an end, after it was delayed for a month because of the death of the LibDems' original candidate.

Unsurprisingly, the Tories held the seat comfortably, with Labour's share of the vote collapsing by 16.63% (almost halving it, in fact). Despte this, Labour still finished second.

The victor, Sir Patrick Cormack, has said he will ask the Electoral Commission to look into the rules governing the death of a candidate. This makes sense. Although the delay is only a month, it seems ridiculous that the voters can't vote at the same time (and therefore on the same basis) as everyone else. On this occasion it doesn't affect the overall result in terms of who's in government - but what if we'd had a hung parliament?

Quite what the solution is, though, is anyone's guess. Have the vote anyway, and hope the dead candidate doesn't win? Wasn't there a case like this in a Senate race in the US recently, when a dead Senator was re-elected? If the deceased wins, do you immediately hold a by-election? Daft, innit?


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