Voting Underway In Local Elections

ballot boxThere is likely to be a large turnout for the Council elections today on St Mary’s and St Martin’s.

And it may eclipse the record of 65% of locals casting votes in the 1985 election after the number of St Mary’s seats were trimmed from 16 to 13.

There will be no vote on Tresco or St Agnes though, as the two candidates for both of those islands’ ring-fenced seats will be returned unopposed.

On Bryher just one candidate, Marian Bennett, has put herself forward. Bryher has two seats, so one will remain vacant. That leaves the possibility for a by-election on the island. Two residents will have to write to the Council to formally request it though.

Three candidates are contesting the two St Martin’s seats and St Mary’s has 18 locals chasing 13 seats.

Whenever there’s heightened interest in local politics, more islanders seem to stand. This time, there’s been interest following Council controversies including the Chief Officers’ pay rises, waste management and concerns surrounding the suspension and resignation of the former school head teacher Bryce Wilby.

The largest ballot paper in recent memory followed the controversial airport runway extension plans, opposed by the group RARE, where 24 candidates stood in the early 1990s.

Town Hall staff say there have been fewer postal votes requested than Council staff had expected. Sue Pritchard, the Council’s Elections Officer, feels that locals will turn out to vote instead.

The polling stations at the Old Wesleyan Chapel and the St Martin’s Reading Room are open until 10pm and you can vote for as many of the candidates as you wish up to the maximum number of seats available.

The 1,385 eligible voters on St Mary’s will be able to pick up to 13 candidates, but don’t have to chose that many. The 108 people on St Martin’s can vote for up to 2 candidates on that island.

Five Council staff will work across the polling stations today. Two local non-council workers applied for the work but the Council say they couldn’t use them on this occasion although they may be used in the future.

The votes will be counted tomorrow from 10am and the result is expected after 1pm.



7 Responses to Voting Underway In Local Elections

  1. Nobby Nobbs May 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I wish there was a negative vote,
    So you get your 13 votes but you could use them to vote for or against candidates.
    Because frankly there a couple of candidates that really should not be standing

  2. Jeff Eastick May 3, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Re Jon Mac , do you really expect anyone on Tresco to put their names forward when most residents are employed by Tresco Estate ?

  3. Jon Mackenzie May 3, 2013 at 12:40 am

    What’s the point of an election where candidates stand unopposed? The Isles of Scilly are part of the UK, not North Korea. This surely has to change?

  4. yet another islander May 2, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    But the globes are under glass Nobby so you can’t turn ’em

  5. Pete May 2, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Spare a thought for the poor Bryher people

  6. Linda Badcock May 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Trust there will be 99.% turn out, there is always one is there not.
    On a lighter note, did anyone else notice the 2 fantastic globes in the Polling Room. Surely they should be on permanent display for all to enjoy. Suggest the museum, they are in glass cases so no harm would come to them.

  7. Nobby Nobbs May 2, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    viva la revolution