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article imageUK elections: Socialist candidate gets no votes, demands recount

By Megan Hamilton     May 17, 2015 in Politics
Rainham - It wasn't a very good day to be Paul Dennis, who was a candidate for the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in Rainham North, in Kent.
He was deeply embarrassed because results showed that he got no votes during the U.K.'s local elections.
Dennis, 45, said he felt humiliated when the room burst into laughter after his result was announced at the Medway Council elections on May 7, reports.
Now he's demanding a recount because he believes the result is incorrect. He said he "definitely" voted for himself, and that his wife and father had also pledged their support.
"I was gutted to be honest – it was a bit humiliating, especially at work, he said, per Unilad. "(But) people have come up to me and said 'I voted for you.'"
Two Conservative candidates were elected: David Carr (2,247 votes) and Martin Potter (1,910 votes). A total of 8,464 votes were cast in the ward, with just 13 voting slips rejected as being void. The rest of the votes were split between several other candidates.
Chas Berry, a TUSC spokesman, says there are suspicions regarding what happened, The Mirror reports.
"We think it's impossible for him to get zero votes," Berry said. "He lives in the ward, as do several members of his family."
The council, he says has some serious questions to answer.
Ivor Riddle, who's also a TUSC spokesman, wrote in his blog:
"The bottom line is that Paul Dennis and anyone who voted for him, has been disenfranchised by the local authority.
He wrote that the votes for Dennis had been treated with contempt, and that brings into question the veracity of the election in that ward.
Further, Riddle questioned how anyone could even be certain if this is the correct result if no one is prepared to examine this and do a recount, the Mirror reports.
The TUSC is demanding "a fair and impartial recount of the ballot papers cast," he said.
Local Tory Adrian Spence asked "What is the point of the socialists complaining?"
He said that even if the people who counted the votes had goofed, Dennis would still only get one to three votes, "which is hardly worth bothering about," he said, adding that the count must have been embarrassing for Dennis.
"He would have gone as red as a socialist flag," Spence said.
Medway council chief executive Neil Davies said the result can no longer be investigated and will stand as it is, Unilad reports.
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