THE SHENANIGANS behind elections past and present are the subject of an intriguing talk at a Tavistock charity.

Downright devious and merely questionable election practices will be outlined in a talk at (TASS) Tavistock Area Support Services, next to the bus depot on Plymouth Road called Beer, Bribery and Bully Boys on Tuesday, May 14, at 11am. Admission is free. The talk is given by Professor Adrian Lee, formerly of the University of Plymouth where he was professor of politics. His main research was Cornish Nationalism and other movements in the Eighties and Nineties.

One of the examples of unusual elections Adrian highlights is that of Guernsey which he describes as ‘the strangest in the world’. On June 17 each voter will have 38 votes to spread among 100 politician candidates, but there is no political party system.

Adrian said: “Without any real party system, this will be unique. As far as I can determine, there’s no other jurisdiction of this size trying to elect that many people at once using the first-past-the post. Because of the complexities of casting 38 votes per person, the election will take place over the course of four days, rather than the normal one, with postal voting offered on demand.”

Adrian will also describe how the Westcountry has a special place in the Liberal tradition, being home to former MPs Isaac Foot and his sons Jeremy Thorpe, David Penhaligon and John Pardoe. For much of the post war period the Liberal Party’s parliamentary representation rested largely on South West MPs.