Candidates left counting the cost...

Ribble Valley Parliamentary Election count at Roefield Leisure Centre,  2015. The counting under way.
Ribble Valley Parliamentary Election count at Roefield Leisure Centre, 2015. The counting under way.

Half of the eight candidates standing for election as Ribble Valley’s MP lost their deposits.

Deposits are supposed to deter candidates who are not serious from standing for parliamentary election. The deposit for UK parliamentary elections is currently £500, which is only returned if a candidate polls at least 5% of the votes cast in the constituency.

The total number of votes cast in Ribble Valley was £52,414 – a turnout of 67.74%. That meant a candidate would need to poll at least 2,620 votes to see their £500 back in their pocket, but it wasn’t to be for four of the eight candidates.

Least of all Ribchester’s Tony Johnson, standing for the Independent Political Alliance Party, who polled a very slender 56 votes. He previously lost his deposit in 2010 after polling 232 votes.

Also lighter in the purse is Sabden Independent Grace Astley, whose 288 votes fell far short of the 2,620 required. Doing better but still shy of the deposit returnable mark were Independent David Brass on 1,498 and the Green Party’s Graham Sowter, on 2,193.

Mr Sowter confessed to disappointment at the rsult, saying “I was hoping at least to save my deposit”, while Mr Brass insisted: “It’s never been about the money... it’s about the principles”

Results over, he wasted no time leaving the count, having to open up his town centre newsagent’s shop without delay.

Liberal Democrat candidateJackie Pearcey was able to claim back her £500, but it was a close-run thing. She polled just 2,756 votes, a hefty drop from Allan Knox’s 10,732 for the local Lib-dems in 2010.