It has been confirmed that the count for the Mayor of London and London Assembly elections being held on May 6 will be spread over two days.
The London election results have tended to be tortuous events, even in normal times, with no through-the-night counts, but with the vote-telling beginning in office hours on the Friday after polling day.
This year the elections, postponed from 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, will take even longer.
A statement issued today said, “The extra time is to ensure the safety of everyone in attendance at the count centres and to adhere to social distancing requirements.”
Mary Harpley, the Returning Officer for Greater London, said, “Covid-19 has moved the goalposts. Everyone has had to consider different ways of doing things and elections are no exception. Indeed, these elections have already been postponed for 12 months.
“With social distancing restrictions, we are therefore splitting the count over two days.
“We rely on hundreds of people from every London borough to deliver these elections and we must provide a secure environment in which to work, as they enable the democratic process. In fact, the full range of people involved in these elections, including observers, candidates, agents and venue staff must be considered in our safety plans.
“We will tell Londoners who their new Mayor and London Assembly Members are as quickly as possible – but votes need to be counted safely and accurately.”
The Croydon and Sutton count will be held at Olympia and take place on Saturday, May 8.
Declarations will only be made once all votes have been counted and verified. Constituency declarations are to be made at the count centres, while the declaration of the Mayoral and London-wide Assembly Member results will be made at City Hall.
The constituencies to be counted on Friday are:
- Bexley & Bromley at Excel
- Brent & Harrow at Alexandra Palace
- Ealing & Hillingdon at Olympia
- Havering & Redbridge at Excel
- Lambeth & Southwark at Excel
- North East at Alexandra Palace
- West Central at Olympia
The constituencies to be counted on Saturday are:
- Barnet & Camden at Alexandra Palace
- City & East at Excel
- Croydon & Sutton at Olympia
- Enfield & Haringey at Alexandra Palace
- Greenwich & Lewisham at Excel
- Merton & Wandsworth at Olympia
- South West at Olympia
The count begins at 9am on Friday May 7 and continues on Saturday May at 8am.
The last date to register to vote in the London Mayoral and London Assembly elections is April 19. You can register to vote in a number of ways, including online. For Croydon residents, voter registration information can be found by clicking here.
In terms of “voting differently” because of coronavirus, many people are opting to use the postal ballot system this year. Details of how to register for a postal vote can be found by clicking here.
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