Preston City Council elections: results delay explained

Counting of the votes in the Preston City Council elections is under way - more than seven hours after the process of verifying the ballots began.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 5:07 pm
Updated Friday, 7th May 2021, 5:42 pm

The authority says that the two-stage process - which is being carried out at the Guild Hall - was hampered by the number of different elections held yesterday. The votes for as many as four polls have had to be sorted - the city council, some parish councils, Lancashire County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The work has also been slowed by the need to maintain a Covid-secure environment.

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LIVE: Preston City Council elections 2021 - results as they happen

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Candidates have been milling around since the morning

The results of each election are being staggered across a number of days - with the city council due to come first today.

Adrian Phillips, chief executive of Preston City Council reassured expectant candidates and residents that that would still be the case.

“This election brought with it unprecedented challenges and complexities – with up to four separate ballot papers in some wards, enhanced protocols and reduced staffing to ensure a Covid safe environment.

"Before the count itself can begin, the verification of all ballots for all local elections must take place. Staff have been working flat out since the verification process started, but with less people able to safely participate in this there have been unavoidable delays.

"Once this stage is complete, the count will begin immediately. Results for the Preston City Council election will be available today, with the Lancashire County Council ballots counted tomorrow and Police and Crime Commissioner results on Monday.

"We appreciate everyone’s patience with this,” Mr. Phillips said.

The city council and Police and Crime Commissioner polls were postponed last year because of the pandemic, creating a backlog of elections in 2021. Usually, the county council vote is held in a year when no other major polls are taking place.