Orbiter remarks that may be of some general interest here
Throughout this Judgment, I direct myself in accordance with the important recent authority of Baxter v Fear  EWHC 3136 to the effect that the court should not hypothesise as to how people might vote (although the factual background was somewhat different). The Baxter case generally demonstrates that a psepholigical approach is not appropriate. Jay J said "Parliament cannot be treated as somehow empowering the judicial arm of Government to peer into the voting booth, whether by drawing informed, probabilistic inferences or otherwise". This is relevant because some part (but not all) of the Petition did invite me to speculate as to how particular sections of the population might have voted and as to expected turnout. I direct myself however that if the Petitioner was able to demonstrate a clear under counting of those who were likely to have voted this could give rise to an inference successful candidate would not be duly elected, subject to the under counting being sufficient to overcome the majority.
"You have sat there for far too long for any good your have done of late. Depart then and be gone! In the name of God go!" Oliver Cromwell, addressing Parliament
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Post by David Boothroyd on Jan 20, 2017 11:26:39 GMT
A reminder that Baxter v Fear was the Bournemouth case from the May 2015 local elections, where the wrong ballot papers were delivered to the polling stations for Kinson North and Kinson South. Some voters tried to vote in the early morning and were unable to come back when the right ballot papers were available. There were 115 of them, more than the majority of some candidates. The defence argued that not all of them would have voted for the petitioner, so that the error did not affect the result.
The commissioner took the view that it was not appropriate to guess how people would have voted; the mere fact that they were disfranchised and might have voted for the petitioner had the election been conducted properly meant that the result could not stand. www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2015/3136.html
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