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May Elections expected be postponed - CONFIRMED

March 13, 2020 3:00 PM
Originally published by East Suffolk Liberal Democrats

UK local elections should be delayed says Electoral Commission

Police & Crime Commissioner only poll in East Suffolk.

LATEST: Police & Crime Commissioner elections postponed until May 2021 -

Acting Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said the move to delay the polls was the "right decision".

But he added it was "not clear" why the government had opted for a year-long delay, rather than postpone until the autumn as the Electoral Commission recommended.

Local elections in the UK that were due to take place on May 7th should be postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak, the Electoral Commission said on Thursday Cross on ballot

Elections are set to be postponed because of coronavirus after the Electoral Commission asked the Government to delay. Local polls were set to be held across England on Thursday, May 7 - but now face being postponed to the Autumn. In Suffolk, Ipswich Borough are the only authority holding annual elections this May. Voters across the county would however expect to be going to the polls for a new Police & Crime Commissioner.

The last time such a postponement happened was in 2001 when the general election was delayed by a month because of the foot and mouth disease outbreak. As the number of confirmed cases in the UK approaches 800, the UK Government is taking a different approach to the coronavirus outbreak to most of its European neighbours and not closing schools and colleges and cancelling sporting events, sporting bodies are now taking unilateral action and cancelling sporting events in the UK and across the world. The Scottish Government has already put a ban on large scale gatherings from next Monday to reduce the demands on emergency service personnel covering sporting and other events. Personnel working in local electoral services departments will not be immune from the virus and elections are labour intensive occasions and need an early decision by the Government. Parties contesting elections will also want an early decision before campaigning begins in earnest. The final decision is for the government, but it would be embarrassing for ministers to ignore the Commission's advice.

The Electoral Commission said in a tweet: "We've written to the UK Government to recommend that the May polls be postponed until the autumn as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This is due to growing risks to the delivery of the polls & to mitigate the impact on voters, campaigners & electoral administrators."

According to Reuters - In a letter to the government the commission said, "We ... call on the government to take steps to provide early clarity to all those with an interest in the electoral process, and on the available information and position we recommend the government now delay the 7 May polls until the autumn,"


Mirror online

Reuters London