Farage Accuses Labour of "Intimidatory" Tactics Complains to Electoral Commission Over Battle for Wythenshawe

UKIP’s battle to challenge Labour in Wythenshawe and Sale East is turning nasty. Farage has written to Jenny Watson, chair of the Electoral Commission, complaining that the current system of postal voting is biased in favour of UKIP’s opponents. He argues:

“I do not think democracy is being well served and fear that the voting process is now actually undermining the ability of constituents to hear and weigh-up the alternatives being offered in a considered fashion.

The problem is most acute when it comes to parliamentary by-elections. Our recent experience is that where the Labour Party is responsible for moving the writ, it has taken to condensing a campaign into the shortest legally-permitted time frame.

This means postal votes arrive in households within a few days of candidates being selected – often well before the mid-point in a campaign. In our experience people, for their own convenience, fill out and send off their postal votes swiftly…

So in practice in by-elections up to half the total turnout may have already voted by the halfway point in a campaign.

That cannot be healthy for democracy. Clearly it is also a development that biases the outcome in favour of the incumbent rather than parties, such as my own, that seek to place fresh alternatives before the electorate.”

He is also unhappy about electoral fraud and “intimidatory” tactics used by Labour doorsteppers.

“Very recently concerns have also been expressed to me about the work of an organisation called the Trade Union and Labour Party Liaison Organisation which has allegedly been transferring the addresses of postal vote applicants that trade unions have processed directly onto the Labour Party computer system.

I am also hugely concerned about the growing practice whereby canvassers representing the Labour Party arrive on doorsteps a very short time after the delivery of postal votes, offering to collect them. Such actions in my view can only be construed as mildly intimidatory, especially where the voters concerned are from vulnerable groups.”

One week to go…




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Dominic Cummings tells Damian Collins:

“You talk of ‘contempt of Parliament’. You seem unaware that most of the country feels contempt for Parliament and this contempt is growing.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
Anti-Brexit ‘Renew’ Flops Anti-Brexit ‘Renew’ Flops
Robbins Hits Back at Brussels Robbins Hits Back at Brussels
Kremlin Pranksters Fail With Boris Kremlin Pranksters Fail With Boris
Corbynista Back Room Shakeup Corbynista Back Room Shakeup
Labour Live Causing Seizures Labour Live Causing Seizures
7 Cummings Truth Bullets For Brexiter Tory MPs 7 Cummings Truth Bullets For Brexiter Tory MPs
Gallery Guido’s PMQs Sketch Gallery Guido’s PMQs Sketch
Watch: Jon Craig Duped By Daily Mash Watch: Jon Craig Duped By Daily Mash
Boris Tells May: Get On With It Boris Tells May: Get On With It
German Firms Back Brexit Britain German Firms Back Brexit Britain
Zarb Referred to Disputes Panel Zarb Referred to Disputes Panel
Kate Osamor Plagiarised Maiden Speech Kate Osamor Plagiarised Maiden Speech
Ken: Seumas Wrote My Tweets and Never Told Me to Stop Talking About Hitler Ken: Seumas Wrote My Tweets and Never Told Me to Stop Talking About Hitler
Young Voters Now Prefer May to Corbyn Young Voters Now Prefer May to Corbyn
Ruth and Gove Blast “Dour” Tories Ruth and Gove Blast “Dour” Tories
Ken Resigns from Labour Ken Resigns from Labour
New Tory Treasurer is Director of 7 Companies With Overdue Accounts New Tory Treasurer is Director of 7 Companies With Overdue Accounts
All-Remain Peston Show “Kerfuffle” All-Remain Peston Show “Kerfuffle”
Top Tory’s Firm Implicated in Russian Dirty Money Report Top Tory’s Firm Implicated in Russian Dirty Money Report