Friday, October 05, 2007

Blogsclusive: Council Not Guilty of Vote Rig Say Council

Last Friday we brought you a Blogsclusive double story of alleged Tory shenanigans in Guildford. First a land and property deal some citizens thought whiffy. Then what looked very much like an attempt to to manipulate an online residents' vote about that very development.

Following formal complaints about Tory Guildford Council's closeness to a major Property Developer - they were sharing the same valuation consultant at one point which is not normally recognised as best practice - the District Auditor has been sent in to investigate. Meanwhile the Council's Chief Executive has apparently cleared his own political boss Cllr Andrew Hodges of wrong doing in what I'll call Surrey Advertiser Poll Gate. His website (all of it) is pictured.

This thoroughly unscientific "just for fun" poll of the type run by newspapers and bloggers everywhere allowed readers to vote once from their computer. Just as the Tom Watson MP poll we are featuring does. It is known to be possible to subvert this stricture by either removing cookies or using different machines. Grant 1234 Schapps has all the techy details I believe.

The Tory Councillor at the eye of the storm, the Leader of the Council no less, has admitted to voting twice using different PCs "out of frustration" at what he thought was a dodgy poll. It certainly seemed destined to become one!

Before the strange pattern of block voting the poll was running 80:20 that the people of Guildford WERE being ripped off by the cosy Tory deal.

Then the 14 votes from the Town Hall computers and also more than 100 from another network - all giving the scheme the thumbs aloft - weighed in and the swingometer worked overtime and the result was turned on its head.

After the suspicious voting pattern it was running 60:40 in favour of the cosy deal. So it must be quite a relief to hear that this run of votes wasn't due to any kind of Tory conspiracy. Everything is on the up and up down in Guildford on the square.

FAIRLY UNRELATED STORY: Apart from being in Guildford, and involving some new flats being built, and some money changing hands, and some building professionals, and Tories, and a new entertainment centre being built, anyway The Masonic Hall, Guildford (above) is thoroughly haunted. Probably liable to phantom results too.


Anonymous said...

Are you saying that the Tory councillors in Guildford and/or the builders or developers are freemasons and thick as thieves?

Or are the stories really fairly unrelated?

tonydj said...

And of course Nu-Labliar don't fiddle the votes.

Oldham? Burnley? Masons or the difference.