Posted by Chris:
There has been much comment on the blogsophere in response to the Daily Telegraph article about the possibility of a quarter of Councils abandoning the traditional election night count in favour of counting votes on the Friday morning.
Mark Pack was one of the first to come up with a list of good reasons why we should stick to counting votes as soon as the polls close, whilst Guido Fawkes has been inundated with comments opposing his suggestion that electronic voting would have the whole thing over in a minute or two.
The huge increase in postal voting, with returns now allowed right up to the close of poll, and the need for stringent security checks, is the main reason why some Councils' are opting for Friday morning counts.
My view on the issue is a rather selfish one:
I have been involved in a count straight after every election but one since October 1974. If it is only an additional 25% that is counted on the Friday morning I am hoping that Redcar constituency is one, so that I can sit and watch the whole of election night on TV for a change. Okay there is often a telly in the counting hall and you get to hear about some of the results but you feel guilty if you are not concentrating on the counting.
Redcar and Cleveland's four recent Council by-election counts have all been held on the Friday morning and it has been great.
Everyone worked right up to the close of poll and no-one left two hours early to "get ready for the count." I was able to concentrate on the counting, fresh from a night's sleep.
We did win three of them and moved up from fifth place to second in the other, so I might have had a different view if we had not done so well. And the General Election will be different as I would still be up until about 4 am but I am sure I will be less stressed out.