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Eight things you might not know about the elections in West Berkshire

Find out what the General Election means for us here in West Berkshire

Posted by: Communications team on 27 June 2024 12:25
Poll cards

There's just one week to go until the General Election on Thursday 4 July. West Berkshire Council is responsible for holding the elections for two parliamentary seats - the Members of Parliament who will represent Newbury and Reading West & Mid Berkshire in the House of Commons. 

Here are eight things you may not know about as we count down to election day.

1. It takes hundreds of people to make it all happen on the day...

Hundreds of dedicated employees will run the polling stations across the two constituencies. This year more than 450 people will be working at polling stations on Thursday 4 July - with another hundred people working through the night to verify and then count the votes. Organising the parliamentary constituency elections is a mammoth task which is coordinated by our small but dedicated Electoral Services team working at West Berkshire Council's offices in Newbury.

We rely on a loyal cohort of people to help make this happen and we are grateful to everyone who takes part.

2.  ...and more than a hundred polling stations for voters

Each polling station is overseen by a presiding officer and will have a number of polling clerks working with them. This year there are 145 polling stations across the Newbury and Reading West & Mid Berkshire constituencies. Chosen because of their size and community locations, venues transforming into polling stations for a day will include: West Berkshire Council's own Family Hub in Thatcham, a bowls club, a theatre, hockey and football clubs and countless village, church and community halls.

3. More than 140,000 people can take part

There are more than 140,000 people registered to vote locally. In  the Newbury constituency just over 71,600 people have registered to vote with 69,200 registered voters in Reading West & Mid Berkshire.

Speaking of the two constituencies...

4. Parliamentary constituencies have changed

For the first time, residents will be electing Members of Parliament for a revised Newbury constituency, and a new Reading West and Mid Berkshire constituency. Since the general election in 2019, these changes have been introduced as part of a national boundary review to rebalance the number of people each Member of Parliament represents.

Reading West and Mid Berkshire extends into the wards of Kentwood, Norcot and Tilehurst within the Reading Borough Council area. Your polling card will tell you which constituency you are voting in - but you can also find out more about the boundary changes and which areas they cover on the Boundary Commission for England website.

5. Two constituencies, each with seven candidates

There are seven candidates standing in each of the two constituencies. You can find out more about the candidates standing in your area on the Who Can I Vote For website.

6. You'll need your Voter ID

This is the first General Election where you will need to bring photo ID with you in order to vote at a polling station. There are more than 20 different documents accepted including UK passports and driving licences, blue badges and local travel passes. You can see all the accepted forms of Photo ID on the Electoral Commission website. If you've applied for a free Voter Authority Certificate you should bring that with you instead.

Why not add a note to your diary or set a reminder on your phone so you remember to bring it with you - and please remind family members and friends to do the same!

7. It's going to be a long night...

Unlike the district council elections, the votes in a General Election are counted overnight and the results declared as soon as they are available. With up to 140,000 votes to count across both constituencies, it's expected to be a long night with the results declared as late (or perhaps as early!) as 7am. 

As soon as the results are declared they will be published here: Results

8. All eyes on the count

With a good deal of interest in the General Election, the count and results declaration will be attended by accredited media organisations who will be reporting from the count. This includes networks including BBC, Sky, ITV and ITN, and more locally the Newbury Weekly News. 

Last modified: 28 June 2024 10:24

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