Counting is underway in the Norwich North By-election and initial estimates predict a turnout of around 45% which whilst much lower than the 61% for the constituency in the last general election is not startlingly low for a late term by-election.
The main reason for the delay in the count has emerged and the council is claiming that it is due to the high number of postal votes which require verification. According to the council chief executive Colin Bland “After the last general election new measures were introduced to try to eliminate election fraud. This means that when voters register for a postal vote we collect their date of birth and signature. Once we have received their postal vote we have to check their signature and date of birth against our records to verify their right to vote”. The council are also pointing to the lower costs of paying counters for day time work.
Th result is expected at 12 noon and a Conservative win is expected. Interest will also focus on whether the Liberal Democrats can push Labour into third place.