Perse students tally the votes at EU election count
A group of A level politics students participated in the recent EU election count at the headquarters for the East Midlands in Kettering on Sunday 25 May. Twelve students were assigned the role of deputy supervisors which involved managing groups of ten counters, distributing and collecting ballot papers and ensuring accuracy in the verification and count procedure. The students also had to identify and classify spoiled ballots that would later be shown to the candidates.
At the beginning of the evening there were 24, 100 votes for the Kettering locality and at the end of the evening all the votes had been accounted for, ensuring a 100% accuracy rate. With party candidates observing and scrutinising the process, the students were under pressure to fulfil their role faultlessly. After the local count had been completed David Cook, the Returning Officer, gave the students a tour of the regional hub where election results from 40 different centres in the East Midlands were submitted for his team to verify.
The count provided a unique insight into the mechanics of an election count held under a closed regional list system using the D’Hondt formula, a form of proportional representation. In the East Midlands five MEPS are elected. UKIP won 32.9 per cent of the vote, ahead of the Conservatives, who finished second on 26 per cent. Both parties will send two MEPs to Brussels. Labour came third with 24.9 per cent, meaning the party had one MEP elected.The Green Party finished fourth, pushing the Liberal Democrats into fifth.
With the 2015 General Election fast approaching Perse students could be involved in the process that sees the announcement of a new government.