For any who missed the update to yesterday's post –
Update Thursday 1 November
I have spoken to the Northants PARO team and note their Press Release following Lee Barron’s ‘withdrawal’.
The main points are:-
- Barron cannot withdraw – it’s too late.
- Barron’s name will be on the Ballot Paper
- The returning officer and staff will not be advising electors what to do – so no notices in Polling Stations saying that he wants to withdraw or is disqualified.
- The Election Count will go on unaffected.
- The PARO isn’t saying what will happen if Barron gets the most votes.
I tried to get a statement to say whether he is viewed as withdrawn or as disqualified. They only say that he cannot withdraw at this stage.
This has a bizarre impact on the election.
Labour activists will not be campaigning, but Labour supporters will still get postal ballots and polling cards. When they turn up at the polling station or otherwise cast their votes, whether they know about Barron’s situation will depend on whether they follow local news or gossip. They will cast their votes.
If Barron wins the vote (now unlikely) it seems he is disqualified from taking office. Does the office move to whoever comes second, or does there need to be a fresh election?
If Barron comes second on the first ballot (still possible) he could benefit from second preferences which could help him win, but in so doing he will exclude the candidate who has come third, who is the candidate who ‘should’ be the real second, and have a chance in the run-off.
If he comes less than second his votes will move to whoever they have put as their Supplementary Votes. But you only get one Supplementary Vote – so effectively this situation deprives Labour voters of their second preference.
A real mess – how did we get to this place? It’s nearly 3 months since I last raised the matter of whether anyone would check criminal convictions before nominations were accepted.
Yet another update
The BBC report the Home Office view in this report:-
“The Home Office said if a disqualified candidate won there would have to be a by-election.
The post would become vacant straight away and an acting PCC would be appointed by the Police and Crime Panel until the by-election was held, which would be within 35 days.”