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Plymouth City Council has admitted that it failed to declare more than 6,500 votes in the tally for the Sutton and Devonport seat at Thursday's general election.
The missing votes came from the Efford and Lipson ward, one of eight areas that make up the constituency. This afternoon the council's acting returning officer Tracey Lee published the correct figures. The overall result of the election remains the same, with the successful candidate, Labour's Luke Pollard, gaining an extra 805 votes.
Final figures for Sutton & Devonport
Danny Bamping, Independent: 237 (difference 24)
Henrietta Bewley, Liberal Democrat: 1,244 (difference 138)
Oliver Colvile, Conservative Party: 20,476 (difference 2,670)
Richard Ellison, UK Independence Party (UKIP) 1,364 (difference 216)
Luke Pollard, Labour and Co-operative Party: 27,283 (difference 3,475)
Daniel Sheaff, The Green Party: 604 (difference 64)
Total number of votes: 51,208 (difference 6,587)
The number of ballot papers rejected was 83 (no difference).
“We have full confidence that all votes at the General Election count were counted correctly but unfortunately we have now found that the figure for the final number of votes declared for the Plymouth Sutton and Devonport constituency was not correct. This does not affect the result of the election.
“We have now reviewed all data and paperwork from the election and understand why this happened. We count the votes for each constituency in ‘mini count’ areas which are council wards. The votes in these areas are shared with candidates and agents at each stage of the process to ensure complete transparency.
"These figures were correct but an error in a spreadsheet meant that the 6,587 votes from one of these areas, Efford and Lipson, were not included in the final declaration sheet for the Plymouth Sutton and Devonport constituency.
“We are very sorry that this error has happened. We are making all paperwork and data available to the Electoral Commission and to candidates and agents to inspect.”
The election watchdog is set to investigate problems surrounding voting in Plymouth. In addition to examining claims that hundreds of postal voting packs went missing before Thursday's election, it will now also look at claims by new Labour MP Luke Pollard that thousands of votes were left out of the final tally.
Expecting Sutton & Devonport majority to be revised by @plymouthcc today. They forgot to include votes from Efford in final total (1/2)
Revised should be Labour: 27,283, Tory: 20,476 so new majority 6,807. Yet another example of election incompetence by Tory @plymouthcc (2/2)
“The Commission is aware of reports of electoral administrative problems in Plymouth and is in contact with the electoral officers who are responsible for delivering the election in these areas. We will be reporting on the administration of the polls after the election and will carefully consider these reports as part of that process.”
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