Greater London Authority (GLA) Elections May 6th
The GLA Elections for the Mayor and Assembly Members were delayed for a year, and will now take place this May. EU Citizens can still register and vote in London and Borough Elections.
Greater London Elections have the complexity of three components with three separate ballot papers:
Voters can have a first and second preference vote for the Mayor. The candidates with least votes are eliminated and their second preferences allocated until a candidate has a clear majority.
*Constituency Members on Assembly – 14
The 32 Boroughs + the City of London are combined to form 14 constituencies. In our case Richmond, Hounslow and Kingston form the South West Constituency. This is one vote for a candidate, and the winner is simply the one with the most votes.
*Assembly List Members – 11
Parties have a list of their candidates in an order of precedence usually determined by their internal election. Electors just cast their vote for a Party and a formula (d’Hondt) allocates the 11 seats to achieve a measure of proportionality for parties achieving at least 5% of the vote. In 2016, the Green Party vote of 8% resulted in 2 Assembly Members, which was in proportion.
Procedures for the Election
Due to the pandemic, electors will experience a rather different voting experience to the normal one. Late March you will have been issued with a polling station poll card, and been informed of what to expect at the polling station. Expect a one-way system, to have to sanitise your hands, and wear a face covering. Please do bring your own pen or pencil. There will be a Perspex screen between polling station staff and electors.
You can apply for a postal vote if you wish to, and don’t already do so. Download the form from the Council Website. Print, sign and return to Electoral Services. They can be contacted on 0208 891 7775 and firstname.lastname@example.org, if you want the form posted to you.
Your postal address does not have to be your home, and might even be overseas, but allow adequate time if it is. The completed form must be received by 11 working days before May 6th. You should expect to receive your Postal Vote pack around a week before the 6th May.
The votes will be counted at London Olympia on Saturday 8th May. It is an electronic count, rather than the mass of tables with human counters at General Elections. I attended the 2016 one, also at Olympia. Party, where representatives of the parties were teamed together to adjudicate on imperfect ballot papers. We viewed them on a screen to decide on whether we understood the voter’s intention. It is pleasant to recall that we were always unanimous in our judgement.
Cllr Richard Bennett
South Twickenham Ward, Leader, Green Group, Richmond Upon Thames