Yesterday was the election count for MEPs – I was a “counting agent” for the Greens at Worcester’s Guildhall. This merely involved watching the count, at fairly close quarters, to check that there were no irregularities, though from a Green point of view it’s also useful to get and idea of how the vote split up by ward.
In at 1500h, for a 1530 start, which was “checking and validation”. Votes are counted into bundles of ten, face down, then collected into bundles of a hundred. Once all ballot boxes for that ward are counted, this is cross checked with the number of ballot papers issued, to make sure none have gone missing or whatever. There was then a break for refreshments – provided free, as we’re not allowed off the premises during proceedings. I’d met up with Daniel Thompson, who had asked if we could slip out the back for a smoke, which isn’t normally allowed, but he got permission. Result!
Then the actual count. It was fairly clear from the size of the piles, nd my rough count of the bundles of hundred, that in the wards I was watching there was a big Brexit vote, but large Green and LibDem votes. We were – to my surprise – allowed to go at around 1930, once the counting was complete and agreed, under threat of dire penalties if we breathed a word about what we’d seen or heard until 2200h – the time the last polling station in Europe closes.
I got home, had a bit to eat, and so on. BBC1 election results programme was as usual dominated by dickheads! However, I stayed up til around 0200h.
Worcester’s overall results, which are fed into the overall count for West Midlands, shown below. Greens a fairly close third to the LibDems – a very creditable result. And we now have a Green MEP (Ellie Chowns) for the West Midlands. Across the UK, Green MEPs have more than doubled, from 3 to 7. A good night.