Electoral Commission warns of 'unacceptable abuse and intimidation of candidates'

Voters are heading to polling stations
-Credit: (Image: PA)

The Electoral Commission warned there had been “unacceptable abuse and intimidation of candidates,” as well as acknowledging “there is room to improve the experience for some” during voting after the late arrival of postal ballots.

In a statement following the closure of polls, chief executive of the watchdog Vijay Rangarajan said: “Today, tens of millions of people exercised their democratic right and had their say at the ballot box. Overall, our initial assessment is that polling day ran smoothly and people were able to cast their votes securely. We continue to support administrators as they undertake counts tonight.

“Millions of people were able to have their say, but we know there is room to improve the experience for some. A record number of postal votes were successfully returned, but some couldn’t vote both in the UK and abroad because of the late arrival of postal votes.

“There was a robust and vibrant campaign, but unacceptable abuse and intimidation of candidates. We will collect evidence from people who participated in these elections as voters, candidates, campaigners and administrators, to better understand their experiences. We will recommend improvements to the systems where necessary.

“Delivering a general election is a considerable task, especially so soon after the May elections in England and Wales. New rules were in place this year, including on voter ID where we saw very high levels of public awareness. I want to thank electoral administrators across the country for their dedication and professionalism in delivering these well run polls.”

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