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On voters, elections and food

by Jo Hayes on 26 May, 2016

One unusual feature of the local election campaign in Castle Ward was this:

Green_poster

This poster promoted a visit on 11th April by the Greens’ national leader to Castle Ward “to support green candidates in the local elections”, and announced that she would be on the doorsteps “alongside our lead Castle Ward candidate”. It invited everyone to a public meeting in The Waiting Room (the community facility that I helped to seed fund). It also invited the public to come and eat: light lunch, afternoon tea or supper.

Offering food to the local electorate seems a nice, friendly thing to do. There is a reason why the Lib Dems don’t do it though. It is that a person is guilty of treating if either before, during or after an election they directly or indirectly give or provide (or pay wholly or in part the expense of giving or providing) any food, drink, entertainment or provision in order to influence any voter to vote or refrain from voting. (Corrupt practice, section 114 of the Representation of the People Act 1983.)

Sailing close to the wind? I think so.

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