Page last updated at 10:53 GMT, Thursday, 10 July 2008 11:53 UK

By-election stage collapse fears

Ballot box
Twenty-six candidates are standing

The 26 candidates in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election will not share a stage at the count after fears it could collapse under their combined weight.

Election results are normally announced from a temporary stage at the Haltemprice Leisure Centre.

But the candidates in Thursday's poll will stand on the floor in a semi-circle around a small platform with the returning officer on it.

Voting is under way in the contest with polls closing at 2200BST.

The contest was triggered the resignation of Conservative MP David Davis.

A record 26 candidates are standing.

Speeches

Labour and the Lib Dems are not taking part, but the Green Party, English Democrats and Christian Party are.

But the high number of candidates has created a headache for the returning officer.

"We were worried we wouldn't have a stage that could hold them, both width and weight wise," said a spokeswoman for East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

"We weren't certain we could make it big enough. We just decided it would make more sense to have one small stage with one person on it at a time."

The 26 candidates will all be entitled to make a speech when the results have been announced, but the returning officer is expected to have a quiet word about keeping it brief, the spokeswoman said.

Turnout

Some 70,100 people can vote in the East Yorkshire constituency. The result is expected during the early hours of Friday.

Turnout is anticipated to be lower than the 70.1% achieved at the last general election in 2005, with the weather forecast to be a mixture of sunshine and showers.

At the last general election Mr Davis won the seat with a 5,116 majority over the Liberal Democrats.

Labour came third, followed by the British National Party and the UK Independence Party.

The candidates are:

  • Grace Christine Astley - Independent
  • David Laurence Bishop - Church of the Militant Elvis Party
  • Ronnie Carroll - Make Politicians History
  • Mad Cow-Girl - The Official Monster Raving Loony Party
  • David Craig - Independent
  • Herbert Winford Crossman - Independent
  • Tess Culnane - National Front Britain for the British
  • Thomas Faithful Darwood - Independent
  • David Michael Davis - Conservative
  • Tony Farnon - Independent
  • Eamonn "Fitzy" Fitzpatrick - Independent
  • Christopher Mark Foren - Independent
  • Gemma Dawn Garrett - Miss Great Britain Party
  • George Hargreaves - Christian Party
  • Hamish Howitt - Freedom 4 Choice
  • David Icke - No party listed
  • John Nicholson - Independent
  • Shan Oakes - Green Party
  • David Pinder - The New Party
  • Joanne Robinson - English Democrats: Putting England First
  • Jill Saward - Independent
  • Norman Scarth - Independent
  • Walter Edward Sweeney - Independent
  • Christopher John Talbot - Socialist Equality Party
  • John Randle Upex - Independent
  • Greg Wood - Independent



SEE ALSO
Guide: The Haltemprice hopefuls
02 Jul 08 |  UK Politics

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