Last night MPs backed an amendment to the Constitutional Reform Bill requiring all general election counts to start within 4 hours of the close of polls. This means that Cornwall Council will have to think again about plans to hold our counts the next day.
Along with colleagues on the Electoral Review Panel, I had expressed concerns that the Council is proposing to hold all our counts on the Friday - the final decision lies with the Returning Officer Kevin Lavery.
Whilst the St Ives count might be a special case because of the need to get ballot boxes from Scilly, I see no reason why we should be abandoning election night. As my friend Mark Pack has stated on a number of occasions, election night counts can be better and more secure than Friday counts.
The variable in this whole debate is as to whether or not the Constitutional Reform Bill will make it into law before the general election. If it does, then it appears Mr Lavery will have no choice. However, even if the Bill does not become law, there is a clear message being sent on the issue.