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Last Updated: Friday, 21 September 2007, 07:31 GMT 08:31 UK
Court to rule on tied election
A BNP election van
A thorough vote recount was ordered by Mr Justice Irwin
The result of a local election in Burnley which ended with the winner being drawn by lots is to be decided by the High Court in London later.

The British National Party (BNP) won its battle for a recount after concerns about the validity of a single vote.

At the May elections there was a tie between Labour and the BNP - the Labour winner was called after drawing lots.

A supervised recount will take place in London with the court having the final say on who did win the seat.

Diagonal mark

BNP candidate John Rowe argued that a ballot paper that was spoilt was counted towards the Labour vote.

Mr Rowe said he was acting on behalf of voters who had expressed disquiet about the outcome in the Rosegrove and Lowerhouse ward.

Jason Copple, the returning officer's barrister, denied any mistakes had been made in scrutinising the votes, but suggested there should be a search for one particular ballot paper which had been allowed in Mr Reynolds' favour.

At a High Court hearing on 13 September the judge was told the vote in question had a diagonal mark in the left hand column against the number of the Labour candidate, rather than a cross in the right-hand column.

Mr Justice Irwin ordered a "thorough recount" instead of just "fishing" for the one suspect ballot paper.

All the 4,605 ballot papers are required by law to be kept for a year after a local election.


SEE ALSO
BNP wins case for a vote recount
13 Sep 07 |  Lancashire
Mixed poll results so far for BNP
04 May 07 |  UK Politics
BNP doubles number of councillors
05 May 06 |  UK Politics
Labour lose out in Burnley poll
05 May 06 |  Lancashire
Ex-BNP member backs anti-fascists
10 Mar 04 |  Lancashire

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