Labour Candidate Leaks Results of Postal Votes By Twitter
A Labour candidate who leaked the results of her areas postal votes through Twitter could face criminal charges.
Kerry McCarthy's constituency, Bristol East now knows the outcome of the postal votes in the area, well in advance of the general election results.
The message which McCarthy posted on social media site Twitter could lead to her facing criminal charges for breaching electoral law.
The Tweet in question prematurely boasted that the labour candidate had received a much higher number of postal votes than the areas Liberal Democrat and Conservative candidates.
However, electoral law states that no-one can release any election results until after all of the polls are closed. Although McCarthy deleted the Tweet, her message had already been relayed across the social media website, having been "retweeted" by nearly 6,000 of her followers.
The electoral commission has predicted that this wrongful act could lead to a £5,000 fine or six months imprisonment for McCarthy.
The potential MP released a statement on her website today stating: "On hearing the results of a random and unscientific sample of postal votes, I posted them on Twitter. It was a thoughtless thing to do, and I very quickly realised that it was not appropriate to put such information in the public domain."
She continued: "Because this was not official information, and no votes had been counted, I thought of it as being akin to canvass returns, i.e. telling people how well we were doing with Labour promises on the doorstep, but I appreciate now it was wrong to do so."
Bristol City Council has now passed the case onto the police and the issue is currently being investigated.
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