Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Pickles backs campaign to save election night

Conservative Party Chairman Eric Pickles has given his support to an online campaign to save the traditional election night ballot count.

As news spread that a number of councils are considering postponing the counting of ballots until the day after the General Election, an online campaign was set up yesterday to lobby for the traditional election night.

Led by Jonathan Isaby of, and backed by activists from other parties, the campaign group on Facebook has been gathering momentum today.

Pickles has given the campaign his full support. In a letter to the Secretary of State for Justice, Jack Straw, he has called for guidance to be issued to local authorities encouraging them to maintain the traditional practice of counting on election night:

"At a time when interest and trust in politics is at such a low ebb, it would be a retrograde step to suck all the interest out of the most important and vibrant part of our democratic process. One only has to look to June’s European Parliamentary Count to see how the whole process had all the impact of a soggy sparkler on Bonfire Night."

In an attempt to build a cross-party consensuse he has also written to his counterparts in the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats, urging them to back the campaign.

Click here to join the "Save General Election Night" Facebook group

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