17 Jul 2012
The local elections held in Wales in May 2012 were well run according to a report published today by the independent Electoral Commission.
The report shows that the polls went smoothly with 91% of voters saying they were confident that they were well run.
Local government elections were held in 21 of the 22 local authority areas in Wales with elections due to take place in Anglesey in May 2013.
Turnout at the elections was 39%. This was down from the last set of local elections in Wales in 2008 where turnout was 43% but was higher than the 31% of people who voted in local elections across England at the same time.
Kay Jenkins, Head of the Electoral Commission in Wales, said: “Overall the elections were well run, with high voter confidence. This is down to hard work and careful preparation by Returning Officers and their staff.
“This work will need to continue as we move towards Police and Crime Commissioner Elections which are due to be held on 15 November 2012. We look forward to working with our partners in the electoral community across Wales to ensure that voters’ interests are placed at the forefront of everyone’s minds as we plan our work around these elections.
“We’ll be doing what we can to make voters aware of the elections and how to participate, but it is the parties and candidates themselves that motivate people to vote. With no free mailing and large constituencies, candidates will need to work hard to communicate their policies to voters.”
- 2.26 million people were registered to vote in the elections and 39% of them did so.
- 17.5% of electors had a postal vote for these elections and 68% of them used it.
- 3,305 candidates campaigned to be elected for 1,224 seats in 841 wards.
- 99 wards were uncontested.
- 64% of people said they had enough information to make an informed decision about how to vote in the elections.
- 97% of those who voted in polling stations said the ballot paper was easy to fill in. 95% of those who voted by post said it was easy to complete and return their vote.
- 84% of people said they were satisfied with the procedure for registering to vote.
For further information and interviews contact:
Electoral Commission Press Office on 029 2034 6810
Out of office hours: 07789 920 414
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Notes to Editors
- The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. Our aim is integrity and public confidence in the UK’s democratic process. We regulate party and election finance and set standards for well-run elections and are responsible for the conduct and regulations of referendums held under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (2000).
- The full report ‘Local elections in Wales 2012’ can be found here.
- The Electoral Administration Act 2006 gives the Commission powers to set and monitor performance standards for electoral services. The standards for both EROs and ROs do not apply in Northern Ireland. Visit our performance standards page to read more: www.electoralcommission.org.uk/performance-standards
- All 21 Returning Officers met eight of the ten performance standards. 1 Returning Officer did not meet the standard relating to briefing sessions for candidates and agents and eight did not meet the performance standard relating to the timely despatch of poll cards.
- The statistics included within the report are based on a public opinion survey which interviewed 750 adults aged 18+ across Wales. Interviewing was conducted by ICM across Great Britain and took place between 4 and 22 May 2012.
- The Commission – working with Police Authority Returning Officers (PAROs) and Local Returning Officers (LROs) – will run a public information campaign ahead of the PCC elections to raise awareness about the elections and how to cast a vote using the Supplementary Vote (SV) system. This will include sending an information booklet to every household in England (outside London) and Wales where there are elections. The Government has proposed that a central website will be created to host information about candidates. Although the Electoral Commission has concerns about this approach, our focus will now be on ensuring that, as far as possible, voters are made aware of it and are able to access the information they need.
- Elections in the Isle of Anglesey have been postponed until May 2013 to allow for a boundary review.