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Second police investigation into publication of postal vote information

2 May 2010 , ,

During the week Alex Foster blogged about the case of Bristol East Labour MP Kerry McCarthy who is facing a police investigation following a tweet giving voting figures from a postal vote opening.* She subsequently deleted the tweet and apologised but we await the outcome of the police investigation.

I now hear there is a second police investigation taking place, this time into a Scottish blogger who published information that was apparently supplied by the SNP based on postal vote opening in several constituencies. The post (subsequently removed) appeared on SNP Tactical Voting and made reference to three different constituencies.

The Returning Officer in one of the constituencies involved has confirmed that the matter has been referred to the police for investigation.

* There are two legal problems this could run in to: (a) the law banning ‘exit poll’ information based on how people have voted and (b) the secrecy rules imposed on people who attend postal vote openings.

UPDATE: I’ve changed the headline to bring it more into line with the text. The information in question was about how well or badly different parties were doing rather than direct numbers as in Kerry McCarthy’s case.

UPDATE 2: The BBC has more on the story: “A police force in Scotland has confirmed to the BBC that they are investigating a complaint that electoral law has been broken. … The post has been removed and Jeff Breslin, who runs the blog, has resigned from the party.”

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