(Online) poll-rigging in Guildford: council leader Andrew Hodges caught and not punished

Posted by Tim Ireland at October 5, 2007

Category: Anne Milton

This entry was posted on
Friday, October 5th, 2007
6:05 pm and is filed
under Anne Milton.

Via Chris Paul, who covers this and the not-entirely-unrelated scrutiny of the civic car park sale:

(Psst! If this is new to you, you can find the earlier post here.)

Surrey Advertiser – Council chief clears authority of poll rigging: An inquiry by Guildford Borough Council’s chief executive into allegations of rigging an online poll has cleared his authority of any wrong-doing… Council boss David Hill’s investigation unearthed that Guildford Borough Council leader Andrew Hodges used two council computers to vote ‘no’ twice. Cllr Hodges, a Conservative councillor for 30 years, said he voted twice in the poll out of “frustration”. He also claimed the poll was based on “a misrepresentation of the facts on the council’s position by the Surrey Advertiser”. “This was on an important subject and in my frustration I registered two votes to what I thought was a flawed poll,” Cllr Hodges added. No action will (be) taken against Cllr Hodges for his actions.

Read that again; Guildford Borough Council leader Andrew Hodges used two council computers to vote ‘no’ twice. No action will (be) taken against Cllr Hodges for his actions.

Way to go, Guildford Borough Council. My confidence in our local elected representatives is now at an all-time high.

1. Andrew Hodges? Now, there’s a familiar name. There’s a word for his relationship with our local MP Anne Milton and her inner circle, and that word is ‘tight’.

2. I really feel for Cllr Hodges. Time and again I’ve been frustrated by dishonest campaigning and a lack of proportional representation, which is why I always vote twice*, even when I’m not supposed to be voting at all..

3. If it was such an important subject to him, and Cllr Hodges doesn’t object to the concept of multiple votes (check his statement; you won’t see an apology there), why did he only vote twice? (Assuming, of course, that he didn’t pop back to his place to secretly express his frustration with a few extra votes before a late supper. They have The Internets in homes these days, I hear.)

4. The next time Cllr Hodges is faced with a situation where he is of the opinion that something is less than fair, he would do well to remember that two wrongs rarely make a right. He should also in future consider that if a poll is fundamentally flawed, then he should challenge or boycott the poll rather than participate in it. Twice.

5. The Surrey Ad works diligently to remain balanced; their reward is to have the local Tories scream “Bias!” whenever one of their gang is caught doing something questionable or downright wrong and the Surrey Ad has the audacity to (brace yourselves) report it. I wish the Surrey Ad the very best of luck in tracking down the single computer/user responsible for an additional 105 ‘no’ votes. Whoever was behind it deserves a bollocking.

[*This is a joke. Much like Andrew Hodges’ attitude toward the public he is supposed to serve.]


  1. underblog says

    I'm not sure of the protocol for these complaints. Was this a complaint lodged with the Standards Board for England? Their model code of conduct states:" 5. You must not conduct yourself in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing your office or authority into disrepute."" 6. (b)(i) You must, when using or authorising the use by others of the resources of your authority ensure that such resources are not used improperly for political purposes (including party political purposes)"If not, perhaps a Guildford resident could submit such a complaint? ;-)http://www.standardsboard.gov.uk/

  2. Manic says

    Oh, I do like that. Very much. It will be done.:o)

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