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Election Petitions

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 22 March 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many election petitions have been heard in courts in England and Wales since 2000; what the outcome was of each case in which no proceedings remain active; which election each concerned; and what the nature was of each petition. (128881)

The following table sets out the election petitions that have been heard in England and Wales since 2000:

Date

Location

Grounds

Result

Parliamentary

10 August 2001

Romford

Offences contrary to s 113(i)and(2)(b)ofRPA1983(no details given)

Lapsed

31 May 2005

Greenwich and Woolwich

Unfair treatment of petitioner by the deputy returning officer. Other candidates invalidly completed nomination forms and rules of the Electoral Commission broken by other candidates.

Petition struck out on 8 August 2005

31 May 2005

Sparkbrook and Small Heath, Birmingham

Authorities failed to comply with ECHR article 3 of first protocol to create and operate a system of postal voting. False statements made to obtain postal votes contrary to s12(3) of the RPA 1983, using undue influence and fraudulent devices to impede or pervert free exercise of franchise by an elector contrary to s115(2)(b), fraudulently putting into any ballot box a paper other than authorised by law to do, contrary to s65(l)(d) of RPA 1983 and attempts to commit offences under s65(1)(d) contrary to s65(1)(a) of RPA 1983.

Petition dismissed on 28 October 2005

European

14 June 2004

Eastern England

Various

Struck out 30 July 2004

Local government

20 April 2000

South East ward of Knighton Town council in Powys

Votes incorrectly counted(some not counted).

Special case 11 December 2000. Petition allowed. Election valid. First respondent not elected. Petitioner elected.

20 May 2000

Parish of Bracknell ward of Bracknell Town council

Votes incorrectly counted.

Special case 25 July 2000 Petition allowed. Election valid. First respondent not elected. Petitioner elected.

25 May 2000

Sparkhill ward of Birmingham city council

Personation, error, treating, bribery, undue influence, overspending election expenses.

25 July 2000 Application to strike out on grounds of late service of petition. Dismissed.

25 May 2000

Nicholls ward, Birmingham city council

Voters abroad shown as having voted.

Lapsed.

27 June 2001

South Ribble north-west electoral division of Lancashire county council

Ballot papers for another electoral division handed out to some voters in error.

Special case 5 October 2001 Petition allowed. Election void. First respondent not duly elected.

27 June 2001

Ellogen north electoral division, Redruth, Cornwall

Two votes included wrongly.

Special case 18 December 2001 Petition allowed. Election void. First respondent not duly elected.

22 May 2002

Sands End ward of London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

Ballot papers rejected for want of official mark affected result.

Special case 31 July 2002 Petition allowed. Election void. Second respondent not duly elected.

23 May 2002

Aston ward, city of Birmingham

Successful candidate made false statements about petitions for purpose of affecting the result and/or alleged irregularities regarding opening of postal votes.

4 October 2002 petition struck out against second respondent. 11 October 2002 petition struck out against first respondent.

23 May 2002

Little Horton ward of Bradford metropolitan borough council

Error in counting votes.

29 November 2002 petition dismissed

23 May 2002

Cheetham ward, city of Manchester

Requests for proxy votes ignored. Personation, delay in taking ballot box to council, comments by first respondent during campaign.

11 October 2002 petition struck out.

23 May 2002

Peckham ward, London borough of Southwark

Marked register missing, Ballot box late arriving at court, count started before candidates arrived, voters removed from register, confusion over postal votes.

29 November 2002 petition dismissed with consent of first petitioner on behalf of co-petitioners.

21 May 2003

Belle Vale and Hasbury ward, metropolitan borough of Dudley

Failure by R/O to ensure issued ballot papers were delivered in accordance with Part V of Rep of People Regulations 2001.

19 December 2003 petition dismissed.

21 May 2003

St. Helens borough council in the Parish of Sereley Green

Votes miscounted.

Special case 17 October 2003. Election void, Joan Davies not duly elected.

21 May 2003

College ward of Wansbeck district council

Votes miscounted, block of votes wrongly allocated to candidates

Special case 17 October 2003. Election void, first respondent not duly elected, petitioner duly elected.

21 May 2003

Broughton and Appleby ward, North Lincolnshire district council

Ballot papers in respect of postal voter wrongly counted—did not bear signature and authentication of voter.

4. November 2003 petition granted, election void, Ivan Glover not duly elected.

23 May 2003

Hartley parish council

False statements against petitioner issued by respondent calculated to affect petitioners prospects of being re-elected.

Lapsed.

28 May 2003

Lightwater ward, borough of Surrey-Heath

Election circulation delivered by Royal Mail to constituents in contravention of RPA Act

31 July 2003 permission to withdraw granted.

28 May 2003

Windlesham parish council,. Lightwater ward

Election circulation delivered by Royal Mail to constituents in contravention of RPA 1983.

31 July 2003 permission to withdraw granted.

29 June 2003

Park ward, Calderdale metropolitan borough

All postal ballot pilot failed. Breach of duty. Improper and unfair conduct.

22 March 2005 petition struck out.

23 June 2004

Aston ward, Birmingham city council

Various concerning postal voting.

4 April 2005 petition allowed, election void

29 June 2004

Bordesley Green, Birmingham city council

Disputing postal ballot papers—tampering and personation.

4 April 2005 petition allowed, election void.

30 June 2004

Derringham ward, Kingston upon Hull

Various—postal ballot papers.

24 November .2004 election void.

6 July 2004

Flintshire

Candidate disqualified from standing for election.

20 December 2004 petition dismissed

17 August 2005

Aston, Birmingham

Disputing postal ballot papers and tampering and impersonation

Struck out on 23 February 2006

11 May 2006

Kingstanding, Birmingham city council

Votes incorrectly counted

Petition allowed on 26 July 2006. First respondent not duly elected.

23 May 2006

Dudden Hill, London borough of Brent

Candidate disqualified from standing for election.

Petition allowed on 15 March 2007.

23 May 2006

St. Katherine and Wapping, London borough of Tower Hamlets

Violation of the requirement in Rule 7(3) of the Local Election (Principle Areas) Rules 1986 to examine nomination papers as soon as practical.

Petition dismissed on 10 October 2006.

24 May 2006

Eastbury ward, London borough of Barking and Dagenham

Votes incorrectly counted.

Petition allowed on 31 July 2006. Respondent not duly elected. Petitioner duly elected.

25 May 2006

Queen's Park, London borough of Brent

Votes incorrectly counted.

Lapsed.

25 May 2006

Foleshill, Coventry borough council

That the election be declared void on the grounds impersonation.

Petition struck out on 31 July 2006.

25 May 2006

Bethnal Green South, London borough of Tower Hamlets

Disputing postal votes alleging tampering and impersonation.

Petition dismissed on 29 January 2007.

25 May 2006

St. Dunstan’s and Stepney Green, London borough of Tower Hamlets

Disputing postal votes alleging tampering and impersonation.

Petition dismissed on 10 October 2006

25 May 2006

Mile End Globe Town, London borough of Tower Hamlets

Disputing postal votes alleging tampering and impersonation.

Petition dismissed on 29 January 2007