With the arrival of yet another election this week, I thought it time for some facts.
This period of dissolved parliament is called purdah. Ministers remain in charge of their departments, but the country is effectively run by civil servants. Those who were MPs are technically no longer able to refer to themselves as such as they fight for reinstatement.
The youngest MP ever was 13-year-old Christopher Monck back in 1667. The record for the oldest is David Logan (Labour), who was 92 when he left office.
While the Queen can vote but chooses not to, members of the House of Lords cannot vote.
When it comes to voting, you don’t have to make a cross with a pencil. Pencils were originally chosen so there’s no danger of the ink making a second mark on the ballot paper. But you can do a tick with a pen if you choose.
There will be around 40,000 polling stations open on Thursday. Recent polling places have been set up not only in the traditional village halls and schools but also in churches, sports clubs, launderettes, caravans, mosques, pubs, hairdressers, restaurants, windmills and outdoor swimming pools. Apparently the polling station is the little booth where you stand, the building is a polling place.
Prior to 1918, UK elections took several days to carry out. Last year Newcastle upon Tyne Central had the ballots counted by 11pm, just one hour after the polling stations closed.
Voting slips have to be securely stored for one year – sorted by counted papers, postal votes, rejected papers and those that are unused. At the end of 12 months they are destroyed.
We have 70 warehouses dotted across England, Scotland and Wales for reliable document storage. And, when necessary, our specialist software can remind you to put the wheels in motion for secure destruction so you don’t fall foul of GDPR. Speak to one of our people on 0333 060 0349 and they can chat to you about how we can help.