Shropshire Star

Elections 2021: Candidate fears losing votes after incorrect name appears on ballot paper

A Labour candidate in the Shropshire Council elections says she could have missed out on votes because her name was printed incorrectly on the ballot papers.

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Labour candidate Elisabeth Roberts

Elisabeth Roberts is standing in Shrewsbury's Harlescott division, which has consistently voted Labour at every election since the council was formed in 2009.

But there are now fears that the mistake could cost the party the seat, with Ms Roberts claiming people who had pledged their support have said they did not recognise the name and therefore did not vote for her.

Ms Roberts said she put ‘Lisa’ on her nomination forms as a name she is also known as, but did not intend for this to be the name on the ballot papers.

When her name appeared as Lisa on the Statement of Persons Nominated, published four weeks ago, she said she contacted the council multiple times to get it corrected – so was shocked to see that the mistake was repeated on the ballot papers yesterday.

The ballot paper containing the name Lisa Roberts

Shropshire Council has been asked to comment.

Harlescott was previously held by Ioan Jones, who left Labour in 2019 to sit as an independent councillor, but with Mr Jones stepping down the party is hoping Ms Roberts will win the seat back.

Mr Jones was one of only eight Labour councillors elected in Shropshire in 2017. He took 552 votes, beating the Conservative and UKIP candidates who received 324 and 90 votes respectively.

This year Ms Roberts faces opposition from Conservative candidate Jeff Anderson, Liberal Democrat Artur Fejfer and Matt Galliers for the Green Party.

The first declarations are expected this evening, with nine results – totalling 12 seats – to be announced, and the rest to follow throughout the day on Saturday. Harlescott result is expected mid-afternoon on Saturday.

In the first results declared on Friday, Labour and the Conservatives took one ward each in the Telford and Wrekin Council by-elections.

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