Thursday 23 November 2017

This is the bonkers moment a council election was decided by drawing straws

Clutching at straws. Literally.

By Jessica Pitocchi

Of all the battles fought in these local elections, none were as close as in South Blyth in Northumberland.

After two recounts and a 10-hour wait, there was a tie for the final seat between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

The returning officer had no other choice but to decide the election with the classic drawing of straws – and luck was on the side of the Lib Dems.

But the winning candidate Lesley Rickerby described the experience as “very traumatic”.

“It’s unbelievable that when you consider we have a democratic service, that we end up having to draw straws,” she said.

People on Twitter are feeling pretty shook up that it’s actually a thing that happened.

The final seat going to the Lib Dems means that the Tories missed out on gaining control of Northumberland County Council.

They won 33 seats, but the combination of Labour, Lib Dems and independents denied them a controlling majority. Labour ended up with 24, the Lib Dems three and independents seven.

Press Association

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