Slight panic today over submission of nominations. My calculations based on the normal by-election timetable was that nominations closed between day 6 to 9 at the discretion of the returning officer. The days being calculated from Day 0 being the moving of the writ in Parliament. Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays are excluded from the day count.
The Council's Election Office have been so busy with local elections and then straight into this by-election that there has been no briefing meeting for Candidates/Agents and no official timetable has been issued so by my reckoning the Writ was moved on 30th April (Day 0), was received in the Constituency 1st May (Day 1) and that made Day 6 on Friday 9th May (Saturday 3rd, Sunday 4th and Bank Holiday 5th May all excluded).
I always like to get nominations in early so was aiming to do it today (Wednesday) which I thought was in plenty of time. However, according to the TV news this morning Nominations closed today, NOT Friday. The Agent therefore was outside the Council Offices this morning before they opened! Nominations in and accepted.
I am still convinced that Friday should be the day nominations close but our papers are in so I'll let someone else worry about it.
According to the Elections Office the postal Ballot Papers will be going out on Friday 9th May so I suppose they need a couple of days to print them (there are approximately 7,000) so to get them out Friday they did need to close nominations today! Of course the Royal Mail Election Addresses will not be delivered until week commencing May 12th so some people will have voted before they receive anything through their letter box unless it is hand delivered by activists this weekend or an individual letter sent to the postal voters before next Saturday.
Don't fancy licking 7,000 stamps over the next two days! That would really give me a sore tongue!