Almost 1,500 postal votes for last month’s election could not be counted as they were delivered too late, the council has said.

Polling stations in Brighton and Hove shut their doors at 10pm on Thursday, May 4, legally bringing an end voting in the city’s council elections.

However, Royal Mail delivered 1,423 postal ballot packs on the Friday morning at 8am which could not be counted by law. 

Will Tuckley, interim chief executive and returning officer for Brighton and Hove City Council, has called on Royal Mail bosses to finalise their investigation into the late delivery of these postal votes which made up 4.6 per cent of those issued and received.

In a letter sent to Royal Mail several weeks ago, deputy returning officer Michael Appleford wrote:  “We are extremely disappointed with the service we have received from the Gatwick and Hove operational teams. 

“We have also raised this issue with the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Electoral Commission.”  

With no outcome received, the returning officer is now calling for Royal Mail to complete its investigation and confirm when it received the packs delivered on Friday, May 5. 


Mr Tuckley said: “The returning officer counted all ballot papers returned by 10pm on polling day. It is concerning to receive packs after the close of poll. Royal Mail must swiftly conclude their investigation so we can understand when they were posted and should have been delivered. 

"It is possible that these postal votes were placed in post boxes across the city on polling day and therefore would not have been received by the deadline. However, we need certainty. 

“It is essential that Royal Mail’s leadership understands the importance of their service in the delivery of elections.”

Though it is not known which wards the votes were for, there were several marginal seats.

Hannah Allbrooke, former deputy council leader for the Greens, lost her seat in Brunswick and Adelaide by just six votes.

In Preston Park, Leo Littman (Green) missed out on re-election by 32 votes.

And in Regency, Green councillor Ricky Perrin lost his seat to Labour’s Alison Thomson by one vote.