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Fury at St Neots amid claims hustings poll results ‘rigged’

No-one has yet owned up to vote rigging

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The local radio presenter who chaired a hustings debate in St Neots claims votes taken during the meeting about which candidate had impressed the most and which candidate people were likely to vote for, were rigged. Ste Greenall of Black Cat Radio said the audience of more than 160 at Love’s Farm House, St Neots, last Thursday were invited to use a smart phone interactive app to vote.

“By Friday lunchtime from separate sources, I’d been told that the link to that poll was shared around at least two groups, outside of the meeting,” said Mr Greenall.

“On that basis the result of the poll was rigged. I feel rather let down to be honest.

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“I guess ‘that’s politics.’”

Love’s Farm Community Association said last night it has removed all exit poll results from its social media.

“We have received evidence that clearly shows intentional and targeted efforts by some, to manipulate our General Election hustings exit poll,” the association said in a statement.

“Therefore, we have removed the polling results from our media.

“We approached the event and exit polling in good faith that participants would behave with integrity. We are greatly disappointed by the actions of a small number of participants.

Love’s Farm Community Association, St Neots – where the hustings event took place – has removed all exit poll results from its social media

Love’s Farm Community Association, St Neots – where the hustings event took place – has removed all exit poll results from its social media

“The poor behaviour of this group of supporters also reflects negatively on our community association.”

The statement added: “For our part, we apologise to all of the candidates involved in our event.

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“We hope that the actors involved will delete any promotion of our manipulated polling results and swiftly issue an apology to the candidates, organisers and hosts of the event.”

Mr Greenall added: “I’d like to think that I’ve been pretty fair and reasonable in my dealings all of my life.

“Having earned a little bit of a reputation as a presenter on Black Cat Radio, I was possibly an automatic choice to chair the General Election hustings that were held on Thursday last week at Love’s Farm Community Centre.”

He said all 7 candidates were invited and the 6 candidates who turned up sat on the top table alongside him on other side.

Candidates present were Anthony Browne for the Conservatives, Stephen Ferguson (independent), Kathryn Fisher for the Greens, Marianna Masters of the Labour Party, Ian Sollom (Liberal Democrat) and Bev White for the Party of Women.

“At the end of the hustings questions were asked using an app,” he said.

“The first question that was asked was ‘On the basis of what you’ve heard tonight, who are you most likely to vote for on the 4th of July?’

“A simple question with each candidate’s name, allowing people to vote at the end of the poll.

“The collated numbers showed that Marianna Masters was in front although when I got home, I noticed that someone had posted the ‘so-called result’ part way through the poll which I had to correct and was acknowledged.

“Subsequently, I was given information which led me to believe that all may not be quite as it seemed.”

Guy Lachlan, the Reform candidate, did not attend.

 

 

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