§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will ensure that organisations offering balloting services to(a) trade unions and (b) political parties which involve contested elections count votes in the presence of the candidates should they wish this. 
§ Mr. Alan Johnson
The Government have no plans to do so.
Trade union election ballots are regulated by the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, which requires elections to be held for appointments to certain positions in trade unions and governs the conduct of those elections. In particular, the Act requires that votes should be fairly and accurately counted, an independent scrutineer should be appointed to monitor and report on the conduct of the election, and voting papers should be stored, distributed and counted by the scrutineer or another independent person. A union member or candidate who 683W believes that there has been a breach of the Act's requirements can apply for a remedy to the Certification Officer or the court.
The procedure for the selection of candidates by political parties is a matter for the parties themselves.