HC Deb 09 June 2004 vol 422 cc405-6W
Mr. Andrew Turner

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the combined electorate of the four all-postal regions for the purpose of the European Parliamentary election on 10 June is; how many ballot papers in those elections reached the Post Office (a) on or before 1 June and (b) on each day subsequently; and how many ballot papers were delivered other than by the Post Office (i) on or before 1 June and (ii) on each subsequent day.[l77744]

Mr. Leslie

As at December 2003, the combined electorate of the North East, East Midlands, Yorkshire and the Number and North West regions was 14,083,004. Elections are not run by central Government. However, from discussions with returning officers, the relevant printing firms and the Royal Mail, we understand that 99.24 per cent. of ballot papers were with the Royal Mail or had been hand delivered by local authorities by midnight on 1 June. Those few batches which were not collected by midnight on 1 June were picked up by the Royal Mail at around 5.10am on 2 June. Small-scale problems which have necessitated the reprinting or issuing of new ballot papers after this date have been dealt with on a local level and figures are not held centrally. New ballot papers issued due to an elector reporting the original paper lost or spoilt are again administered at a local level and no figures are kept centrally.