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?

  1. Cantabrigian says:

    A similar thing happened in Cambridge (also Lib Dem-led council) – some postal voters were issued with cards that said County Council election instead of City Council. New cards have been issued but some people may now be away from home and so unable to vote.

  2. Martin Marprelate says:

    I detest the Lid-Dems but let us consisder the facts before passing judgement. Was the fault the Lib-Dem activists who sent the copy to the printers, or the printers themselves? If the former then yes, they shouldhave to pay for a second delivery out of party funds but if it is the printer the LDs should get their “free” postal delivery and the Royal Mail should sue the printers for the costs thereof.

  3. It is hard to put the blame on this kind of mistake but this is something that should have been checked and checked again. Coming from a printing company i know how important accuracy is and also how to achieve it 100% of the time, this seems like a very large and unnecessary mistake.

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