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Sunday, 10 May 2015





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Some quirky facts

Votes for the dead and voting with a penis drawing - here are some quirky facts from the 2015 British general election:

• In Hampstead and Kilburn, in north London, 113 people voted for Britain's 1962 and 1963 Eurovision singer Ronnie Carroll, even though he died in April.

• The seat's winner, Labour's Tulip Siddiq, is the niece of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and granddaughter of the country's first president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

• Conservative Glyn Davis, who held his Montgomeryshire seat in mid-Wales, revealed: "One voter decided to draw a detailed representation of a penis instead of a cross in my box on one ballot paper. Amazingly, because it was neatly drawn within the confines of the box, the returning officer deemed it a valid vote. Not sure the artist meant it to count, but I am grateful."

• Aged 20, Mhairi Black of the Scottish National Party (SNP), who trounced Labour's election strategist Douglas Alexander in Paisley and Renfrewshire South, becomes the "Baby of the House."

• Labour's Gerald Kaufman, 84, becomes the "Father of the House," the member with the longest unbroken service, having been in the Commons since 1970.

Three others have also been there for 45 years but Kaufman took his oath first.

• Alan "Howling Laud" Hope, the leader of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, secured 72 votes in Uxbridge and Ruislip South, won by Conservative London Mayor Boris Johnson. Across Britain, the Loonies won 3,898 votes.

• The west London seat had the most candidates at 13, the second-highest ever number for a seat at a general election.

• Speaker John Bercow's seat had the fewest this time around. Only two others stood against him in Buckingham, southern England.

• Stephen Kinnock, son of 1980s Labour leader Neil Kinnock and the husband of Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, won the south Wales seat of Aberavon.

• However, 4 percent, or 1,137 people, wanted Capt. Beany, formerly the Great British Eccentric of the year famed for his baked bean superhero costume and reputation for flatulence, to represent Aberavon in parliament.

• Three Cabinet ministers lost their seats, all Liberal Democrats: Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander, Business Secretary Vince Cable and Energy Secretary Ed Davey.

• For the sixth straight time, Houghton and Sunderland South in northeast England became the first constituency to declare a result, 48 minutes after the polls closed.

• The final declaration was England's most southwesterly constituency, St. Ives, 17 hours and 30 minutes on. Ballot boxes had to be flown over from the Isles of Scilly.

• Conservative Alan Mak became Britain's first ethnic Chinese Member of Parliament. Ten others stood.

• There are now a record number of women in parliament: 191 (29 percent).

• The new parliament contains just one independent member: Sylvia Hermon, who retained North Down in Northern Ireland.

• Nationwide turnout was 66.1 percent of the 46,425,386 electorate, up from 65.1 percent in 2010.

• Biggest gainers in terms of vote share: U.K. Independence Party up 9.5 percent; SNP up 3.1 percent; Green Party up 2.8 percent.

• Biggest losers in terms of vote share: Liberal Democrats down 15.2 percent; British National Party down 1.9 percent; English Democrats down 0.2 percent.

• Alasdair McDonnell of the Social Democratic and Labour Party won Belfast South with Britain's lowest winning vote share ever: 24.5 percent.

• Conservative Amanda Solloway won Derby North in central England with the election's narrowest winning margin: 42 votes.


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