Within minutes of polling stations closing on Thursday 3 May, white vans were being packed with the ballot boxes to deliver to the SECC. The first arrived from Jordanhill within 25 minutes. In the course of the following hour, 110 vehicles from City Building and GHA delivered all the others.
They were guarded through the night by security staff who were keeping a sharp look-out for the inquisitive fox which managed to enter the building earlier in the week. Counting of the votes in this council election was scheduled to start at 9am on Friday morning and will be done electronically.
There was a poor turnout at polling stations according to the sample visited by this website. Most campaigners at the gates estimated between 10 and 15% of those entitled to make their mark, actually did so. But 50,000 people across the city requested a postal vote and around 70-80% of them were anticipated to have submitted that by the deadline.
At Hyndland Secondary School, one of several places for voters for the Hillhead Ward, 1394 people had slipped their ballot paper into the box out of the possible 5168 on the electoral roll. This would suggest almost one person in four had voted. But another 500 people used a postal vote taking the turnout to nearer one person in three.
The complex single transferable vote (STV) system establishes a quote figure by dividing the number of ballot papers counted in the ward by the number of seats to be filled + 1 and finally adding another 1 to that total.
Glasgow’s Chief Executive, George Black, is the returning officer who announces the results. He is responsible for the election mechanics, security and scrutiny. ‘I expect the job will be done by 5pm on Friday,’ he forecast as he supervised the arrival of the ballot boxes in the SECC.
An exhibition entitled ‘Antifascistas’ tells the story of the 2,500 volunteers from the British Isles who joined the legendary International Brigades to defend democracy during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39. It will be on display in the offices of the Glasgow Branch of UNISON at 84 Bell Street, G1 1LQ between 12 noon and 4pm on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 April and from 9.30pm till 4pm from Monday 30 April till Thursday 3 May.
Produced by the International Brigade Memorial Trust, the exhibition sets out the reasons why the volunteers took the extraordinary decision to risk their lives in a foreign war – in which more than 500 of them died.
The role of the British Battalion in many of the key battles in Spain is described, along with brief biographies of outstanding individuals who took part. ‘Antifascistas’ also details the heroic work of the medical volunteers in makeshift hospitals near the front line.
In addition, the exhibition considers the cultural and artistic impact of the International Brigades and their historical legacy, underlining the importance today of remembering their example of international solidarity.
Using many contemporary photographs and striking images, ‘Antifascistas’ brings to life the idealism, commitment and sacrifice of these exceptional men and women who served in the International Brigades and continued the fight against fascism during the Second World War and beyond.
For further information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 020 8555 6674
Thursday 18 April is the deadline to return registration forms and applications to vote by post for anyone who wants to vote in next month’s local government elections.
To vote on Thursday 3 May an individual must be registered and aged over 18 on polling day. They must also be a citizen of the UK, Ireland, the EU or qualifying Commonwealth citizens.
George Black, Glasgow City Council’s Chief Executive and Returning Officer said: ‘Make sure you are registered to vote, especially if you have changed your name or moved house this year. And if you want to vote by post or proxy, rather than go to the polling station, then there is still time to arrange that too.’
Residents can print off relevant forms from www.glasgow.gov.uk/elections, or phone 0141 287 4444. ’We don’t want anyone to miss their chance to have a say in how Glasgow is run,’ said Mr Black. ‘But they need to act now.’