Fringe Box



Guildford Borough Election Result Still Impossible to Call – Results Tomorrow

Published on: 4 May, 2023
Updated on: 4 May, 2023

Sam Peters, Green Party candidate and R4GV’s Arjun Raj Lakhani, pictured at the Salvation Army, Woodbridge Road polling station, show others that there can be friendly relations between competing parties

By Hugh Coakley and Martin Giles

Polling stations in Guildford Borough closed this evening at 10pm.

They were said to be busy this evening after initial reports of slow or steady voting in the local elections for the 48 seats being contested for Guildford Borough Council, one of 230 local elections across the country.

Polling was brisk at Fairlands this evening (May 4)

Normandy and Worplesdon was said to have been very quiet through the day but queues were forming at around 6pm in the evening at the Fairlands Community Centre polling station.

Parish halls, schools and community centres were being used as polling stations for the local elections today.

There were some reports of issues as a result of the new requirement under the Elections Act 2022 to produce identification before being allowed to vote.

One elderly gentleman was said to have been turned away because he didn’t have photographic identification (ID) on hand as required by the new regulations. He said he had never been asked for ID before and, while he had been a lifelong Conservative supporter, he would never vote Conservative again as a result.

One candidate outside a polling station said there were reports that the numbers stopped from voting because of a lack of ID could be underestimated because people were being turned away before they got to the voting desk by staff acting as greeters at the door.

But staff at a town centre polling station said voter ID had presented no problems although an example was given at the Salvation Army polling station of a nurse being turned away because her NHS ID was not acceptable.

Most town centre polling stations were reporting steady voting but, as in previous years, numbers are significantly reduced by postal voting.

R4GV candidate Nikki Ackerley at the URCH, Portsmouth Road polling station, with voter Eddie Ward.

Forecasting the election outcome was said to be impossible by many local pundits who cited the high number of candidates standing for election in the borough and the number of undecided voters. With 176 candidates for 48 councillors, there were around 3.5 candidates for every seat being contested.

A survey 10 days ago by The Guildford Dragon NEWS showed around 52 per cent of voters were undecided. 16 per cent were for the Lib Dems, 15 per cent for R4GV, 9 per cent Conservative, 8 per cent Labour and 4 per cent Greens, broadly reflecting the current position on the council.

St Joseph’s RC church one of three polling stations in the three-member Stoke ward which, under the boundary changes, has confusingly taken most of its territory from the old Friary & St Nicolas ward.

Whether all the parties will translate more or less of their percentage of the popular vote into a similar proportion of seats remains the question. For instance, GGG is still likely to be popular in the seats in which it is standing.

If the percentage figures do predict the result, then there will be no overall control at GBC and will mean there will need to be another coalition or a minority administration.

A range of venues were used as polling stations across the borough including churches and village halls:

Ash Roman Catholic Church

St John’s Church Hall, Stoke

Christchurch Church Hall, Waterden Road

The Spike, Warren Road

Adult Education Centre, Sydenham Road

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Responses to Guildford Borough Election Result Still Impossible to Call – Results Tomorrow

  1. Jeremy Pattison Reply

    May 5, 2023 at 6:56 am

    The Dragon’s survey indicates a turnout of 82% – more than twice that of the usual GBC election. We’ll find out with the results whether this is an encouraging sign of a new age of voter engagement or that the survey method has resulted in an unrepresentative sample.

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