Skip to main content

Friday Five - Electoral Ties

Friday Five

Where there is an election, you'll be sure to hear the old truism that your individual vote doesn't count. Don't listen to it because it is total baloney. Even in the tiny handful of elections I've been involved with I've witnessed a colleague be picked by the returning officer drawing one of two names from a ballot box. (No hat was available...)

Right now I'm constantly refreshing the news in hope of seeing an end to the US presidential election. The margins are so tight it's just impossible to officially predict the winner at the moment. To help pass the time here are five more tales of nail bitingly close election results:

#5. Looking Out For Number One

It is a fact of life that most candidates vote for themselves - it could very well be the difference between defeat and victory! Take the case of Frank Wageman who was running for District 16 in New Hampshire's 1980 Republican Senate Primary. Election Day saw him in hospital and unable to vote. Things only got worse when the count revealed both he and opponent Eleanor P. Podles had tallied exactly 2,438 votes. Eventually the decision was made by rolling numbered balls out of a black bottle.

Podles requested a recount but it didn't change the outcome, meaning she had to wait for the 1982 election to see Wageman off for good.

#4. It's Not What You Know...

In the UK a tied election was traditionally resolved by the returning officer casting an extra vote. In the 1866 Helston by-election, for example, being held in response to claims of corruption at the 1865 general election, Conservative candidate William Brett tied with his Liberal opponent, Robert Campbell. The returning officer, Thomas Hyne Edwards, the Mayor of Helston, cast a deciding vote for Campbell.

This resulted in an appeal to the House of Commons, who eventually determined that the only fair outcome was for both men to be returned as MPs! In spite of this decision, and the precedent Parliament declared it should set, in 1886 another Mayor cast a deciding vote: James Walker, Mayor of Ashton-Under-Lyne, voted in Conservative candidate John Edmund Wentworth Addison over the Liberal Alexander Rowley.

Thankfully today the returning officer just chooses a method by which to draw lots to determine the winner instead.

Louis Wyman vs John Durkin

#3. Swings and Roundabouts

Back to New Hampshire for this one, the 1974 Senate elections. With more than 220,000 ballots cast the race was neck and neck, with Louis Wyman eventually being announced the winner by 355 votes. A recount was requested - which put his opponent John A. Durkin in the lead by 10 votes. A second recount swung the contest back in Wyman's favour, albeit by a margin of just 2 votes.

The Senate then agreed to seat Wyman, serving the last three days of Senator Cotton's term, but this conviction wavered as the new Senate took office. The situation was deadlocked for months, until both candidates agreed to Wyman's proposal for a new election, to be held on September 16th 1975. Durkin won this one decisively - finally - by 27,000 votes.

Welsh Devolution Referendum 1997
BBC One predicted no, while on S4C pundits forecast yes...

#2. One Way or the Other

Referenda are certainly not immune from close results - the closest is said to be the 1946 Faroese Independence Referendum. 50.73% voted in favour of full independence, versus 49.27% in favour of home rule within Denmark; that difference equated to just 161 votes. Ultimately the Islands decided to go with the losing home rule option, after hitting a deadlock on what form Independence ought to take.

Closer to home, the Senedd was established as a result of the 1997 Welsh Devolution Referendum. The margins were incredibly tight however, with 50.30% voting in favour and 49.70% voting against, representing a difference of some 6,000 votes. Devolution has proved its worth in the years since, it seems, with around 1 in every 200 people in Wales now being a paid up member of the Welsh Independence Movement. 

#1. If at First You Don't Succeed...

At the 1996 election for the South Dakota House of Representatives the race was neck and neck between John R. McIntyre and Hal Wick. Initially McIntyre was declared the winner by 4 votes. A recount saw the election called for Wick by 1 vote. The South Dakota Supreme Court invalidated one of the ballots for Wick, putting the two on a tied count. Eventually Wick was given the seat after the House voted on the matter.

Two years later, at the 1998 general election, McIntyre and Wick tied again resulting in another recount, this time in McIntyre's favour.

Have you been following the US election? Let me know in the comments! :)

For more like this, click the image below:
Friday Five


Popular posts from this blog

Free Magazine Scans

Click the pictures below to find full cover guides to various teen magazines (primarily collated to make scale miniature magazine covers but I figure they'll also be useful for collectors and anyone into media history) and scans from my own magazine collection. I've also got a couple of kids' books I didn't want to part with - The Squirrel and Little Owl Book of Pets . The unwieldy size of my bookmark folders convinced me I needed a reference post for online magazine archives. Or, more accurately, free online magazine archives. Whether you're looking for leisure reading or research avenues, you're bound to find something useful in this list. :) ☆ Archive for the Unexplained - UFO mags galore. ☆   The Magazine Rack - over 140,000 digitised magazines! ☆   Lantern - thousands of vintage film magazines. ☆ FANZINES  - a number of online archives now exist for these including  FANAC  (SF), ScoTpress  (Trek), Sandy Herald Collection  (media fandom, major

Free Fabric Samples x 200

Choosing upholstery and soft furnishings can be a nightmare - especially if it arrives and isn't quite what you expected. Fabric samples are a great way to avoid costly mistakes, as well as providing a fab source of material for your crafts box. Here are over 200 places offering completely free fabric samples in the UK:

Simply Cook Review

I kept seeing ads and deals for Simply Cook everywhere, so as there was a special offer on at OhMyDosh! Rewards (£3 for the box and £3.50 cashback) I figured I had nothing to lose by giving it a try. What Is It? Recipe kits packed into boxes which fit through your letterbox. The usual price is £9.99 for a kit of 4, with each one serving 2-4 people depending on your serving sizes. All you need to do is buy the fresh ingredients required and follow the instructions. Here is Simply Cook's own helpful diagram: Does It Work? For me, as the person just eating it, it was awesome. Everything tasted great - the mushroom penne in particular was so good I went back for seconds - and I liked that the sauces weren't as rich as Anthony would usually make them. For Anthony, who cooked them, they weren't as impressive. He complained that the food was bland and that it was actually quite a lot of faff, as Lidl didn't stock everything we needed which meant another trip ou

Guide to Sindy Houses

As far as 1/6 scale doll houses go, Sindy's Super Home is fairly ubiquitous. It's a good size, it isn't made out of pink plastic, and you can pick one up on eBay for under £50. But the Super Home wasn't Sindy's only foray into property ownership. In fact she had numerous different houses, caravans, stables, and other buildings... 1970 Sindy's Town House Though this was advertised in the 1970 brochure, it doesn't seem to have ever made it into production. 1973 Sindy's House This one apparently made it into limited production, but was flimsy and was soon replaced. According to the Sindy Museum , it had four rooms, decorated as a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and lounge. You can see part of the house used for photos in the 1974 catalogue . 1974 Sindy's House Existing examples appear to have been competition wins, so it is unlikely this house was ever on general sale. You can read more about it HERE . 1975

Welsh UFO Sightings 2016

Welsh UFO sightings from 2016. For sightings from other years please click HERE . UK UFO Sunday 3rd January, 01:25 Gwent Witness saw a 'typical space ship' through their bedroom window. It had blue and red lights, and appeared to be moving towards them. They watched for a few minutes and the next day reported the sighting to UK UFO. FM: " I was up really late and i needed to use the bathroom so i got up and my side of the bed is by the window, so i had a look out. i saw an object shaped like a typical space ship would look, but it had blue and red lights and appeared to be coming towards me. i watched it for a while and then left to use the bathroom and by the time i had returned (5 minutes later) the mysterious lights had almost disappeared into the distance. " SUFON Tuesday 5th January, 09:20 Bevan Close, Waunarlwydd, Swansea  Broken cloud. Brian Harry was at home in Bevan Close, Waunarlwydd and had just let his dog out the back