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LIVE: Elections coverage in South Somerset

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We'll be keeping this feed updated through Thursday 6th May (voting day) and Friday 7th May when results from elections taking place in South Somerset will be announced.

Scroll down for the live feed.

Here is South Somerset, there were only a small number of elections taking place. These included:

  • If you live in the following parishes (Chard Town - Holyrood Ward, Crewkerne Town, Haslebury Plucknett, Kingsbury Episcopi, Somerton Town, South Petherton, Wincanton Town), you may be voting to fill vacant Parish Councillor roles in your town and parish council.
  • The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), who oversees your local police force and ensures they are prioritising what matters to you
  • Neighbourhood Plan referendums in Queen Camel and Martock

Want to know more about the elections taking place in South Somerset? We've got it all covered in our handy Everything you need to know about the elections on Thursday 6th May in South Somerset news article. 

Live Feed

5.00pm - The Avon & Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner election result will be published later this evening at http://www.avonpccelection.org.uk/election-count-2021

4:50pm - We are going to 'Stage 2' which means a recounting 'second choice'. It should be a much speedier process this time. Don't forget, we don't declare overall winner in South Somerset, we feed our result into a wider result across the whole  of Avon & Somerset. 

3:14pm - That's all the Parish & Town Council By-elections and Neighbourhood Plan Referendums counted. We now wait to see if second choice' Police & Crime Commissioner votes need to be counted. 

We'll go quiet on this feed for a bit because there is nothing else to report, but when we hear some news on potential outcomes or next steps, we'll be sure to keep you informed. 

3:11pm - RESULT: Kingsbury Episcopi Parish Council By-election

  • Harris Mac - 124
  • Jones Simon - 233

ELECTED: Simon Jones

  • Total number of votes: 369
  • Total rejected votes: 12

3:04pm - So we are almost there with the Town & Parish By-elections. Just Kingsbury Episcopi to go.

With the PCC election, 'first choice' votes have been all counted here now (finished about 15mins ago) and we now have to sit and wait for a current result from across the whole of Avon & Somerset to see whether 'second choice' votes need to be counted as well.

3:01pm - RESULT: South Petherton Parish Council By-election

  • Carp Stephen Barry – The Conservative Party Candidate - 303
  • Storey Kara Frances - 934

ELECTED: Kara Storey

  • Total number of votes: 1,241
  • Total rejected votes: 4

2:43pm - RESULT: Chard Town (Holyrood Ward)

  • Brown Claire Ann - Liberal Democrats - 296
  • Eggins Timothy Michael - Green Party - 193
  • Payne Connor Anthony - The Conservative Party Candidate - 276

ELECTED: Claire Brown - Liberal Democrats

  • Total number of votes: 772
  • Total rejected papers: 7
  • Turnout: 32.6%

2:23pm - RESULT: Wincanton Town Council By-election

  • Anderson Neil John - 732
  • Atherton May Samantha - 913
  • Cole Claudia May Lucy - 606
  • Ellard Howard Thurston - 789
  • Hix Emma Louise - 714
  • Jeans Liam - 377
  • Old Dawn Louise - 614
  • Posnett Richard Charles - 380
  • Smith Doug - 593
  • Wardrop Jez - 540

ELECTED: Neil Anderton, Samantha Atherton, Claudia Cole, Howard Ellard, Emma Hix, Dawn Old

  • Total votes cast: 6,272
  • Total votes rejected: 14

2:00pm - A lull in action. Essentially, staff are still counting PCC 'first choice' votes' and with the Town & Parish Council elections, the team are just about to start counting on that. There's a bit of a paperwork process to go through before starting which involves sticking votes on large bits of paper so they can tally up candidate votes. That takes a fair bit of time, but they'll soon tally the votes and as soon as we can announce winners, we will.

1:13pm - Those counting staff doing the Town and Parish Council elections are getting ready to start counting Wincanton Town Council next. There was a choice of ten candidates with six being elected, so lots of counting on this one.

Here's a link to the list of candidates who stood.

12:36pm - RESULT: Crewkerne Town Council By-election

  • Ashton Steve - Conservative Party - 737
  • Bond Teresa Anne - Conservative Party Candidate - 834
  • Morris Judith - Liberal Democrats - 739
  • Samuel Alice - Liberal Democrats - 1083
  • Stuffins Paul - 267

ELECTED - Teresa Anne Bond (Conservative Party) & Alice Samuel (Liberal Democrats.

  • Total votes cast: 3,666
  • Total votes rejected: 6
  • Turnout: 33.1%

12:01pm - Here are the official declarations of results of the Martock and Queen Camel Neighbourhood Plan Area referendums:

Martock

Queen Camel

11:55am - We found him... introducing Alfie the Westlands cat. Alfie is a well known face at the venue, regularly attending events. You've heard of #DogsAtPollingStations, but here in South Somerset we have #CatsAtCounts.

11:45am - So that's the Neighbourhood Plan referendum results done for Martock and Queen Camel. Just the several Parish / Town Council election results and the Avon & Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner results to come in throughout the rest of the day.

11:42am - We have another result.

Queen Camel Neighbourhood Plan Area Referendum:

Total number of votes: 224

Number in favour of "Yes" - 202

Number in favour of "No" - 22

The number of ballot papers rejected: 0

11:35am - We have our first result.

Martock Neighbourhood Plan Area Referendum:

Total number of votes: 997

Number in favour of "Yes" - 870

Number in favour of "No" - 119

The number of ballot papers rejected: 8

11:25am - We are expecting a long delay later on with the Avon & Somerset Police and Crimes Commissioner count. Why? Because other areas such as Bristol will need to catch up on counting votes for collation of all results from the different councils. 

11:10am - We do have the different elections to count today, so on top of the PCC election, we also have those town and parish council elections to fill vacant councillors roles and also two neighbourhood referendums. All but the PCC count are taking part in a different area of Westlands Entertainment Venue.

11:01am - How counting for the Police and Crimes Commissioner election works...

Staff count the 'first choice' votes first. Once we have a result for that, we feed it into the organising Council in Bath. Once all results are in from across the Avon & Somerset area, IF nobody has received over 50% of the total votes, 'second choice' votes are then counted.

11:00am - Let the counting commence!

10:53 - With the Police and Crimes Commissioner election, we are not voting for the PCC of South Somerset. Our result feeds into a wider set of results across the whole of Avon & Somerset. Full results can be viewed here http://www.avonpccelection.org.uk/election-count-2021.  

10:25am - We'll be making announcements of the results to each election as and when they are given by the Local Returning Officer.

09:53am - Good morning everyone. We are back live from Westlands Enertainment Venue this morning where some elections took place yesterday in South Somerset. Westlands is home of the count venue and today (after verification last night), counting of the votes will be taking place. No staff yet at the venue as counting starts from 11am.

01:35am - That brings an end to our coverage this evening / morning. We'll be back tomorrow morning at 9:30am. Thanks for following!

01:32am - TURNOUT in the Avon & Somerset Police & Crime Commissioner (South Somerset area) - 25.38%. That equates to 33,330 votes cast.

01:05 - And I've turned my head and those boxes have gone. It's now a waiting game for the counters to finish verifying / counting the papers and then for the turnout number to be announced once the finance specialists have done their job on the elections special spreadsheet.

01:01am - Five more ballot boxes plus those currently on the eight count tables left to go.

00:48am - For those familiar with Alfie the Westlands cat, we are desperately trying to track him down. He's in the venue but seems to be a bit camera shy and keep disappearing every time we go to find him. Hopefully he makes an appearance tomorrow so we can snap a photo.

00:30am - We don't think we are too far away from finishing verification, which might suggest a low turnout figure. When we get that turnout number, we'll make sure we let you know that. Revised suggested time for finishing is 1:30am. The pile of boxes we previously photographed as rapidly disappeared. 

00:10am - Thanks for following our live feed. A reminder about what's happening and when...

It's verification of the votes this evening. That commenced at 10pm when the polling stations shut. From 10am on Friday (wow, that's today!!) counting of the votes then starts and as each parish / town / referendum / PCC is counted and finished, declaration of results will take place.

Westlands count venue

11:50pm - We've had a sudden influx of ballot boxes from polling stations. As you can see, all come in with security tags on them so we know they have not been tampered with.

Stack of ballot boxes

11:40pm - Here are a couple of the #DogsAtPollingStations photos that were sent in to us earlier today. If you want yours included on this feed, don't forget to send it to us at communications@southsomerset.gov.uk

Dog at polling Station

Dog at Polling Station

Dog at Polling Station

11:30pm - You want #DogsAtPollingStation photos I hear you cry? Ok, ok... we'll post some before midnight.

11:15pm - Who else is in the room? As well as everyone we listed below, we also have the Local Returning Officer who has overall responsibility for the running of the election. This is the current Chief Executive of South Somerset District Council. We have an Elections Specialist as well who assists with the running. 

Also in the room are pre-registered representatives from political parties who observe the count and verification taking place. 

Tucked up away in the rafters of the counting hall is me, a Communications Specialist bringing you all the live updates and keeping South Somerset residents informed about decisions made by you.

11:05pm - Ever wondered how it works on the floor at an election count?

We'll briefly explain...

'Runners' bring boxes from vehicles into the room. They're marked as 'in' to make sure the box is counted for. The box is then stacked ready for counting / verification. A 'table assistant' collects a box and distributes to 'count staff' who do as it says on the tin, count. In the ballot box will be a sheet of paper which says how many votes have been cast at the polling station that day. At the front of the room are staff who tally all the votes together which gives an overall turnout figure for the election, i.e. the number of people who vote. We can then work out a turnout percentage against the number of people whoo are on the electoral register.

That's a very simple guide to how it works and there's a bit more technical work involved as well. 

10:53pm - We said that stack of ballot boxes would grow and we meant it...

Stack of Ballot Boxes

10:45pm - As staff verify ballot boxes, a reminder that polling stations in South Somerset have now closed. They closed at 10pm. In South Somerset, there were the following elections taking place:

  • To fill vacant Parish Councillor roles in the following parishes: Chard Town - Holyrood Ward, Crewkerne Town, Haselbury Plucknett, Kingsbury Episcopi, Somerton Town, South Petherton, Wincanton Town
  • The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), who oversees your local police force and ensures they are prioritising what matters to you
  • Neighbourhood Plan referendums in Queen Camel and Martock

Staff are now verifying the ballot boxes ahead of counting votes tomorrow from 10am. Rough estimate is that verification will finish around 2-3am.

Westlands count venue

10:30pm - As ballot boxes arrive from polling stations, they are stacked ready for verification. This is only a small stack at the moment and as boxes start to arrive from further across South Somerset, we'll see a rather large mountain start to appear! But no doubt, the fabulous team will get through them quickly.

Stack of ballot boxes

10:22pm - Thanks to all those who have worked at polling stations today and helped to make venues COVID-safe for all voters. As a District Council, we worked hard in advance of the elections to make sure we could ensure all preparations were made and that we were confident polling stations were safe for voters. It's now the turn of the counting staff to get to work, under strict COVID-safe rules. The venue is well ventilated this evening (on the chilly side!), staff are wearing masks, there's a one-way system in place, screen between counters and reduced numbers in the venue working. Hand sanitiser is at the ready and social distancing being undertaken as much as possible.

10:12pm - The first ballot box from polling stations has arrived. It's always interesting to see where the first one comes from and this time, it's The Old Barn Club in Yeovil

First ballot box to arrive at count venue

10:05pm - Staff are now counting / verifying papers.

Westlands count venue

10:00pm - And that's it, polling stations are now closed! Staff of South Somerset District Council will now commence verifying the ballot papers, starting with postal votes that have been coming in.

9:52pm -Staff are starting to take their seats ready to start verify the ballot papers

Count staff at Westlands

9:35pm - So a recap, tonight is just verification of votes cast today. That means that the votes are counted and it's made sure that that number tallies with the number the polling station staff have marked off as voted on their register of electors. Tomorrow from 10am, we recommence and counting starts where votes are tallied for each person. Then, winners will be declared.

9:23pm - Staff are starting to arrive ready for verification of votes at 10pm. Lots of social distancing nattering going on ahead of 10pm as for many of the staff, they have been working from home since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and not able to see each other. 

9:10pm - There's 50 more minutes left for you to get to your polling station and vote if you are registered to vote. If you want to know what elections are taking place in South Somerset, you can view everything you need to know about the elections on Thursday 6th May in South Somerset.

9:05pm - Welcome to our live feed this evening. Today Westlands Entertainment Venue plays host to the verification of ballot papers for the Avon & Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner, some local Parish or Town Councillor roles and Neighbourhood Plan referendums in Queen Camel and Martock. Verifcation will commence at 10pm, but for now, we are all set to welcome the staff who will be counting into the night. As you can see, the venue is set up in a COVID-safe manor.

Westlands in Yeovil

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