Fringe Box



Guildford, North Korea

Published on: 2 Jun, 2016
Updated on: 2 Jun, 2016

mayorOur regular readers might agree that there are aspects of our local democracy that might need a little improvement but at least we have not had any examples of votes going 100% in one direction like a leadership poll in North Korea.

But that is what has now happened on the getsurrey website this week.

Some weeks after The Guildford Dragon NEWS started our poll on whether an elected mayor for Guildford is a good idea getsurrey paid us the compliment, using the sincerest form of flattery, of imitating us. They asked: “Will an elected mayor benefit Guildford?” It is included within an article headlined: “Date set for Guildford elected mayor referendum.”

Strangely, when we tried it and voted “No” we were told that the vote was 100% against. Perhaps Guildford is about to be twinned with Pyongyang in preparation for Brexit.

Surrey Ad Elected Mayor Poll

Screen shot of getsurrey elected mayor poll having voted “No”.

But relax. In the cause of balance we then voted “Yes” and were told this time that there was a 75%/25% split in favour of “No”.

Screen shot of Surrey Ad elected mayor poll having voted "Yes".

Screen shot of getsurrey elected mayor poll having voted “Yes”.

Either way the Noes have it – but they can’t both be right.

Meanwhile, the hopefully more reliable Dragon Poll on the question “Should Guildford Borough have an Elected Mayor?” is currently showing 80% “No” a slowly increasing “Yes” vote at  16% and 4% undecided.

If you have not already, please do take part in our poll, below and to the right, and help keep Guildford in, slightly more democratic, Surrey.

We have alerted getsurrey to this apparent problem and comment is awaited.

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Responses to Guildford, North Korea

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    June 2, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Yes, its always interesting to know how many voted, be it an election (of any type) or referendum.

  2. Nick Norton Reply

    June 3, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Perhaps it illustrates the complete indifference of visitors to the Surrey Ad web site to the prospect of a Guildford mayoral referendum when they have another more significant referendum on their minds.

    More seriously, it further illustrates how important turn-out is in any referendum. A well-motivated small group of voters, in the same way as a small well-motivated group of signature collectors got us into this mess in the first place, could swing the result if most others stay at home; a small turn-out might make the result significantly more volatile, producing a surprise and perhaps unwanted outcome.

    This suggests any work by The Dragon or Surrey Ad to raise awareness of and participation in the Guildford mayoral referendum is to the benefit of local democracy, such as it is. Otherwise, by default, we might end up living with an autocratic mayoral system where there is no point in local elections for ward councillors because their roles will become even less relevant and less representative than they are under the current “Executive” model.

  3. Jim Allen Reply

    June 3, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Do people vote for what they think is ‘the best way forward’ or for ‘the least worst on offer’?

  4. George Potter Reply

    June 3, 2016 at 9:58 am

    I think it’s safe to assume that the Dragon was the fourth voter on the Get Surrey poll.

    If it voted No then 100% of people (e.g. 4 people) had voted No and if it voted Yes then only 75% of people (e.g. 3 out of 4 people) had voted No.

  5. Eddie Russell Reply

    June 3, 2016 at 11:21 am

    The Surrey Ad poll results would suggest that when you voted “no” you were the third person to vote and your “yes” vote was the fourth vote, getting you the 75/25% split.

    As a matter of interest are you able to tell us how many have voted on the Dragon’s poll?

    • Martin Giles Reply

      June 3, 2016 at 11:48 pm

      No successive attempts brought the same result – there must have been a glitch in the poll.

      Over 400 have voted in the Dragon Poll on the same subject, as mentioned in the article.

      • John Perkins Reply

        June 5, 2016 at 9:34 am

        Is it possible that the poll ignores multiple votes from the same location? That would seem to be one way of partially preventing people from stuffing the ballot box.

  6. Dave Middleton Reply

    June 3, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Perhaps when you first voted No, you were one of only 3 voters who had all voted No = 100% No vote.

    Then you voted Yes and were one of 4 votes cast. 1 Yes & 3 No = 25% & 75% respectively.

    Just goes to show that percentages are meaningless without the figures to illustrate them.

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