Preston local elections: bulb explosion proves highlight so far at lengthy Covid-safe count

An exploding light bulb in Preston’s Guild Hall briefly interrupted the process of verifying the votes in the city council elections.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 2:39 pm

The venue has been largely unused since it went into administration nearly two years ago, but has provided a suitably socially-distanced space for sorting and counting the ballots in Covid-secure fashion.

Verification is on course to have taken more than five hours before the tellers turn their attention to tallying up the numbers that will determine the make-up of the authority for the next year.

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Some of the vote counters briefly got a shock from above when a bulb exploded during the vote verification process (image: Neil Cross)

The city council tweeted that the longer-than-usual process was due to the fact that the votes for three separate elections were being verified - and as a result a requirement to have fewer staff on-site than in normal times.

Amidst an absence of results and with the venue not as full as it usually is with candidates milling around and assessing the height of piles of ballot papers, the most notable moment of the proceedings so far was generated by a light fitting letting loose.

“”It flashed a couple of times and then banged and sent glass fluttering down onto the poor [vote] counters for the Fishwick and Frenchwood ward,” said Lib Dem councillor Neil Darby, who added that nobody was hurt.

“Everybody did wonder what on earth it was initially. It is the most exciting thing to have happened yet.”