Sunderland is famous for declaring its vote before anyone else in the country. It takes the matter seriously, with the race a title fought tooth and nail for every five years.
Bill Crawford explained the proceedings to Chris Stokel-Walkerin anArticle for BuzzFeed.Overseeing staff between 1975 and 1992, he counted the citys results and announced them the next morning. This changed with the appearance ofcurrent council CEO Dave Smith, whohad theidea ofdeclaring results on the same day as the vote.
Crawford told Stokel-Walker: “We got to thinking, if we just knocked another five or ten minutes off, we could be first’.
The citydid just that, and have been the first to declare general election results ever since something thatnever ceases to become a Twitter trend success.
Sunderland looks like a scene from Roy Castle’s record breakers than a general election vote count. #GE2015
” Nicholas Divall (@NDivall) May 7, 2015
” AA.BBI (@abbinorris) May 7, 2015
” PT Simon Cole (@HackneyFit) May 7, 2015
The 2015 general election was no exception, with Sunderland remaining the reigning champion. This is the sixth time in a row that it has been first to declare a result.
Also speaking withSmith,?Stokel-Walker found the target time this year was 40 minutes 42 minutes was their fastesttime.
This is certainly one of the oddest things to happen during a general election. After all, there is no prize. But Smith saidnothing “could be more important in a democracy than people putting themselves through the wringer”.
Read more about the 2015 general election:
- Vince Cable: One of the sad casualties of this general election
- How exit polls impacted the financial world
- Richard Branson top choice for prime minister ahead of Alan Sugar, Deborah Meaden and David Beckham
But how has Sunderlandmanaged to return results so quickly It’s something that several Brits across the nation are dying to know about.
The one thing I have learnt from this general election so far is that people in Sunderland can count quickly
” Tom Herbert (@TomHerbert20) May 7, 2015
” Richard Grant (@richbts) May 7, 2015
It’s all in the detail, Smith told Stokel-Walker. Were controlled by the regulation of how a count must be conducted, so we work within those parameters. But we look for the best possible processes to do it.”
Part of what makes the counting process so efficient are the hordes of sixth formers running the boxes and volunteering bank tellers. With a staff count of 1,200, Smith claimedthere had even been dress rehearsals.
Runners aregivengloves and ballot papers are made thinner. It also comes down to learning from experience.
Want to see the sixth formers run for their lives