All eyes were on South Gloucestershire during election night on May 6 and the council certainly didn’t fail to deliver!
In fact, the three counts at Kingswood, Filton and Bradley Stoke and Thornbury and Yate, ran so smoothly, leader of South Gloucestershire Council, Cllr John Calway has praised all the staff and volunteers involved.
Cllr Calway said: “I was delighted to see South Gloucestershire declare all three counts in the district just over three hours after the polling stations closed, which was down to the tremendous hard work and professionalism of the staff and volunteers involved. Their efforts ensured we were one of the quickest in the country.”
Kingswood was identified from the outset as a ‘seat to watch’, with a swing indicative of the national picture. A long night was predicted, however, not only was a result declared shortly before 1am, but the hordes of local, regional and national media were there to witness the first seat in the country swing from Labour to Conservative.
While stories were flooding in of residents left stranded outside polling stations, counts stretching to 4am and possible recounts, all of the counts in South Gloucestershire were declared by 1.15am – a fantastic achievement to announce all the results just over three hours after the polling stations had closed.
Stuart Hook, the council’s Returning Officer, said “The accuracy of the election process is always paramount. We were not racing to be in the first group of seats to be declared however, we were confident that by putting in place the right management structures at each count, the process would be delivered efficiently and with absolute accuracy. I am delighted with the way the whole election ran so smoothly in South Gloucestershire.”
The council, which has run successfully as a ‘hung’ administration for the last seven years is now gearing up for local elections next May when it can put all its good practice to use once again.
General election facts and figures:
- The council appointed nearly 1,000 volunteers, including many council staff, to help out with this year’s general election
- Kingswood was the first Conservative gain from Labour to be announced in the country
- Over 150 polling stations in our region were open on 6 May
- 144,433 – the number of votes counted in our region
- 37,000 – the number of postal votes
- 72% – average turnout in our region
Related link: General Election 2010 results in South Gloucestershire
Source: South Gloucestershire Council