Voters across Glasgow awoke this week to find they had been relocated several miles westward by the Liberal Democrats. With parties entitled to a limited number of free deliveries for leaflets during election campaigns, a printing mix-up meant that leaflets featuring West of Scotland region candidates were delivered to the country’s largest city instead.
A spokeswoman for Royal Mail told Scrapbook:
“There was an error at the candidates printer with the addressing instructions given to Royal Mail. The West of Scotland leaflets have now been re-printed and are being distributed as we have been asked to do so.”
With the parlous state of Royal Mail finances, Scrapbook would hate to think that parties who botch thousands of leaflets up are then given a second shot at a free delivery courtesy of the taxpayer. Just ask Liberal Democrat minister for postal affairs Ed Davey:
“I knew Royal Mail’s finances were bad – but I hadn’t realised how bad. Especially the huge pension deficit, estimated by some at nearly £10 billion – proportionately the worst in Britain.”
While Royal Mail would not be drawn on specifics, there are 344,900 households on the West of Scotland electoral roll. If these all required re-delivery, at commercial rates we estimate this would cost upwards of £60,000.
So who is picking up the tab for this cock-up?