Straw frames election night vote in law

By staff

Efforts to secure the overnight counting of votes during general elections received a firm boost from Jack Straw last night.

The justice secretary saw an amendment to the constitutional reform bill insisting counts begin four hours after the polls shut go through without a vote last night.

The message is a popular one with MPs, more than one hundred of which have backed calls for overnight counts.

The bill will struggle to become law before the general election, due to the limited amount of parliamentary time available, but Lords will probably allow it through the second chamber intact given that it relates to elections and has Tory and Labour support.

The amendment comes after growing concerns that some returning officers prefer holding the count the next day, for reasons of convenience and accuracy, a trend many political obsessives view with disdain.