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Why do the Sunderland seats count so quickly?

19 replies

NoahAndTheWhale · 06/05/2010 12:31

Was looking at this showing estimated declaration times and was wondering why (and how) the Sunderland seats are counted so quickly. I know they have battles to see who can be first.

I suppose that more urban seats are likely to be counted more quickly as less distance between the different polling stations but was wondering why Sunderland in particular

OP posts:
TheDevilWearsPrimark · 06/05/2010 12:32

I read about this earlier here

suitejudyblue · 06/05/2010 12:37

Many moons age I used to live near Sunderland and afaik its just become a tradition and something they always aim to do. I don't think there is anything special about the area, its just a target that's grown up over time.

BexJ78 · 06/05/2010 12:40

There was a feature on the news the other day and I think they are quite savvy in the way they approach the count . they have bank clerks doing the counting as they are much faster counters and they also have a human chain passing the ballot boxes into the counting hall to speed things up.

NoahAndTheWhale · 06/05/2010 12:43

They do take it very seriously don't they? I suppose once you get the reputation for being quick, you want to keep it

OP posts:
growell · 06/05/2010 13:09

To be fair it does not take long to count, it's about 90% Labour so nobody would ever ask for a recount or anything like that.

omnimandles · 06/05/2010 13:10

I was hoping for some Willy Wonka type squirrels. Bank clerks are not nearly as much fun.

longfingernailspaintedblue · 06/05/2010 13:15

One day they are going to have to do a recount.

Not of the result itself (Sunderland is deep red territory) but because one of the minor party candidates - BNP or Green - is just below the threshold for keeping their deposit.

It will be a shame to lose their record of being first, but ultimately, it's pretty meaningless.

flowerybeanbag · 06/05/2010 13:18

At least watching them hurtling around Sunderland and giving themselves paper cuts provides some diversion for us all while we're waiting for results to come in.

Apparently they've got special thin paper this year as well.

foxytocin · 06/05/2010 13:18

at risk of outing myself here, yr 11's and sixth formers from my workplace are runners. a great way to engage young people I think.

It is true that the Labour vote is part of it but they have honed a system to speed it up and keep looking for ways of making it faster and still efficient.

William Hague was campaigning in Sunderland Central last week. The Tories seem to think that they stand a chance here so the counting may be scrutinised this time. We'll see before midnight tonight.

suitejudyblue · 06/05/2010 13:25

And of course it begs the question of why don't all constituencies follow their example so we can get to bed earlier on election night

TheDevilWearsPrimark · 06/05/2010 13:34

I think electronic voting is the way forward surely?

Though for now would be riddled with problems.

That or... We all get enormous pointy fingers delivered to our houses in the various colours and have to stand in the street at a prescribed time and wave as a helicopter takes a picture, then they can look at it and see which one looks most likely, a la ready steady cook.

TheDevilWearsPrimark · 06/05/2010 13:36

(must remember not to brain spill onto the keyboard)

potplant · 06/05/2010 13:37

Are they allowed to start counting before 10pm then?

TheDevilWearsPrimark · 06/05/2010 13:45

They can't, as all the votes in a constituency have to be taken to the central counting office. I presume this is because the security there is better?

ShrinkingViolet · 06/05/2010 13:51

voting is done centrally so that it can be overseen by the Presiding Officer.

potplant · 06/05/2010 16:42

You've got to wonder how they manage to do it all in an hour. Wonder what their error rate is?

Nymphadora · 07/05/2010 05:55

LOL at the ready steady cook idea

ASecretLemonadeDrinkerDAVE · 07/05/2010 05:59

Did you see it, it was brilliant! Running around like mad in their tracksuits

Nymphadora · 07/05/2010 08:25

It looked great!

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