Uncontested Seats

11 Apr 2017

A month before polling day, nearly 100 candidates in Wales have already won

Voting is an essential part of democratic life - from Mayoral contests to Westminster elections. Yet in an alarming number of places next month, voters in Wales will be denied a vote. That’s not because there aren’t elections happening – there are. It’s because in 92 local council seats, there’s only one candidate standing: which means there’s no ballot box. Those 92 candidates have won before […]
1 May 2015

Election Cancelled

There has been a shocking increase in the number of uncontested seats in some English councils up for election this May. The Eden District Council in Cumbria has already declared 21 of its 38 available seats, meaning that a clear majority of the council (55%) has been returned before the election has even taken place. This is up from 50% of seats in 2011. Similarly, in South Northamptonshire in […]
21 May 2014

The new rotten boroughs?

How would you like to live in a one party state? You may wonder why anyone would ask given that this is the UK, not North Korea. After all, we can all vote tomorrow if we choose to ( or nearly all, at least ). But rather worryingly, this question is more relevant than it might seem. According to Electoral Reform Society projections, in tomorrow’s local elections it’s likely that another 16 local […]
16 May 2014

38,000 denied a vote

Tens of thousands of people across England are being denied a vote in next week's local elections, owing to the undemocratic phenomenon of uncontested seats. In this year’s elections there are seven wards which are ‘uncontested’, ie which are only being contested by one political party. These uncontested wards are: Otmoor , Cherwell District Council (Conservative, Oxfordshire) Walton South , […]
3 Apr 2012

The best of the worst of 2011’s local elections

Yesterday Ed Miliband fired the starter’s pistol on this year’s local election season . On May 3 rd we’ll see the results. The sad thing is we already know what we can expect. It happens every year - voters with little to no control over who speaks for them in their own town halls. Yesterday we heard from Vernon Bogdanor on the problems at the heart of local democracy in the UK. As a part of a […]