Labour candidate’s vote count claims

By Sam Dale

Confusion surrounds Labour candidate for Bristol east Kerry McCarthy’s claim she has started opening postal votes before she was allowed.

Writing on her Twitter page, she claimed: “First PVs opened in east Bristol, our sample: Lib Dem XXX; Tory XXX; Labour XXX”.

However, the message has now been deleted and replaced with another tweet.

“On second thoughts, not counting, just random exercise..my mistake -hands up,” she posted on the social networking site.

The Electoral Commission says the first stage towards counting postal votes is a security check, which can happen before the election takes place.

The votes are opened but not sorted into piles and counted but it is believed this early stage has not yet occurred in Bristol east.