OK, I thought I’d come back to the election for London mayor now that the results have been announced, take note Zimbabwe, it really doesn’t take a month to count the ballot papers, not unless you’re filling them in as you go ;)
The first thing that struck me when I checked the BBC website was the statistics, I’m no mathematician but after crunching some numbers I couldn’t make sense of what they were saying… When I added up all the 1st preference votes I got 2,415,958 and could clearly see that Boris’s total of 1,043,761 was not 42.48% it was 43.20%, likewise Ken’s share was not 36.38% but 36.99% Hmmm… I started to wonder if perhaps Bob Mugabe had been involved in the count after all!
So, ever the sleuth, I tried some detective work as either numbers were wrong or my calculator was fucked I mean heaven forbid the BBC should get it wrong?!
My sleuthing took me over to LondonElects.org.uk Well, I figured where else would you look but the ‘official’ site?? And there it all started to make sense… What the BBC hadn’t detailed was the actual number of votes cast, which included those spoilt papers I mentioned in my earlier post.
As you can see, it transpires that 54,066 votes were not counted, even if they had all been for Ken he still wouldn’t have won but it would have been nice if the BBC had explained how the percentages they show on their site were made up. I wonder how many people, like me, reached for their calculator to double check what was shown and thought, “What’s going on here then?” then again, I wonder how many people didn’t give a fuck? “It’s on the BBC, it must be right!” they’ll have said to themselves.
What was interesting was the amount of people registered to vote, way down on the 2006 census totals, a shade under 5.5 million bothered to register their vote and of that only under half made it as far as posting or trotting down to their election booth to deliver their vote.
It’s also interesting to note that the total number of votes not counted, if they had been for one ‘new’ candidate, would have got that person 6th place. That’s a chunk of votes, 2.20% of the vote in fact and only 1,236 votes less than the last 4 candidates combined. At least they voted, even if they didn’t all figure out what they were supposed to do! That said, it was hard enough trying to pick a 1st choice without then having to choose another as your 2nd… here’s hoping 2012 brings us some decent candidates.
Whilst I’m having a bitch about UK politics I should just mention this whole business of the removal of the 10% ‘lower’ tax band. It amazes me that it has only been in the last 5 or 6 weeks that this has been discussed and dissected in the media and touted as the event that ruined Labour’s chances of doing well in the local elections. Suddenly on the 1 April, when it kicked in, everyone and their dog had an opinion on it, usually a bad one. Now excuse me, where were all these activists last year when the removal of the tax band was announced in the Chancellors speech? We’ve known about it for months so why did it take so long for anyone to figure out it would make some people worse off financially?? As usual, if there hadn’t been elections taking place, no one would have cared but suddenly everyone wants to be a fucking hero, ‘standing up for the little men (and women and children)’ I’m actually amazed the politicians took their noses out of the trough long enough to notice what was going on, or perhaps it was the thought of being kicked off the gravy train that spurred them into action, even if you could sense the insincerity a mile off.
Well, that’s me, all politicked out… time to put the kettle on and have myself a ‘nice’ cup of tea, care to join me?