Spoilt ballots / NONE - results from 2015

Example declarations from 2015

Below are the original reports from five example constituencies, including David Cameron's own.  These are written by the Returning Officer for each of the 650 constituencies, and submitted to the Electoral Commission.

We annotate them in red to show the votes for 'None' and other 'spoilt ballots', and the huge numbers who did not use their vote.

As you can see, the established British way to silence democratic protest is to mix protest votes with unclear ballots and classify them all as 'void for uncertainty'.  It's like the old Soviet tradition of declaring all opposition to the current party system as mistaken or insane.

If the number of clear votes for NONE increases, they become newsworthy, and this classification will be indefensible.

For campaigning purposes, we will assume nearly all category D votes were deliberate votes for None of the candidates (inc. unmarked Blank votes).  We call on the Electoral Commission to prove otherwise in 2017.

Overall, less than 1% of UK electors delivered a protest vote, while 34% remained silent.

The challenge is for people to wake up and change that!

Categories A-E are explained at the bottom of this page.

Reports by Returning Officers: Declaration of Result of Poll for example constituencies.

Explanation of the categores A-E

A. The ballot paper has not been stamped by a polling station.

B. If you vote for more than one candidate, or appear to, then it's rejected.

C. If you write your name, or any other form of identification, it's rejected.

D. This one's called rejection for uncertainty, but in fact it combines unclear votes with votes that may be very clearly for NONE of the candidates.  It has by far the biggest number of ballots.

As we suggest above, for campaign purposes, you can assume nearly all 'uncertain' Category D ballots were deliberate votes for None of the candidates (inc. Blank votes).  We call on the Electoral Commission to prove otherwise in 2017.

If just some of the 34% who stayed silent, vote NONE clearly instead, it will make make the protest vote newsworthy, establish the NONE option as a natural part of UK elections, and make this classification as 'uncertain' indefensible.  See Making Protest Votes Count.

E is not relevant to a single choice election like this, but to elections like for the London Mayor and Assembly where part of the ballot may be rejected.

Return to top of page.

Don't be silent.
Vote for a candidate who you trust
to work hard for things you believe in,
or vote NONE in protest.