Candidates draw straws, ballots cast in cars… 1 night in Britain’s local elections

Candidates draw straws, ballots cast in cars… 1 night in Britain’s local elections
The Conservative Party lost its majority in the northern English council of Northumberland County to the Liberal Democrats in an election that was so close it was decided by the drawing of straws.

The exceptional event took place when the South Blyth ward seat was still tied after two recounts.

The whole episode was filmed by a BBC reporter, who posted it on Twitter shortly after. The footage shows the moment the ecstatic Lib Dem hopeful Lesley Rickerby pulls the longer straw, before jumping for joy.

The council was still a sore loss for Labour, which has controlled the local authority for most of the last 30 years.

Car polling 

And it wasn’t just in Northumberland that things got weird during Thursday’s local and mayoral elections. In Scotland, a Ford Galaxy car was refashioned as a polling station when the building that was supposed to be used was locked.

After being unable to enter the Royal British Legion branch in Buckie, Moray, presiding officer Simone Evans quickly improvised a new polling station out of her car.

Polling station notices were hung on the windows of the Ford Galaxy with a ballot box on the front passenger seat, while locals sat at the back quietly casting their votes.

Two people who showed up early voted from inside the car before staff appeared to open up the building.

“She did exactly what all our elections staff are trained to do in the event of not being able to gain access to a polling place for whatever reason,” Moray's deputy returning officer Moira Patrick said.

“It is part of their training, but as far as I can recall this is only the second time it has ever had to be put into practice.”