Joe Hendren

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Local body election decided by drawing pencils

In the recent UK local body elections the Wheathampstead ward created a dillema. For the seat based in St Albans, Hertfordshire, both the Tories and the Liberal Democrats each had 1,132 votes, after three recounts.

According to the BBC, the seat was won by the party who picked the longest pencil.

After 'drawing pencils' the Tories lost the seat to the Liberal Democrats. I could make the obvious joke about the Tories lacking lead in their pencil, but I won't :)

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At 10:23 AM, Blogger Geoff Hayward said...

I remember from Jeffery Archer's 'First Amongst Equals', a similar situation happened, and the candidates could pick from a range of solutions, including the 'short straw' and flipping a coin. In the story, the candidates flip a coin, a sovereign issued under George III...The protaganist picked tails (George lost America, he wasn't going to let him lose the election)

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Joe Hendren said...

Hehe - thanks for that Geoff.

Given First Among Equals is fiction I assume the quote is not from a real life event.

Of course, Archer is well known for his inability to distingush between fact and fiction!

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Aucklander At Large said...

A VUWSA by-election was settled by the flip of a coin a few years back...

At 4:18 AM, Anonymous Plumber-St. Albans said...

Is that really what happens? So if the general election ends up being ending in a tie the next prie minister has to either flip a coin or pick a pencil ? well thanks for posting i've never never heard of this before!


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