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Ray Moon loses seat of Tunbridge Wells council by an unlucky draw

By Alan Smith

Ray Moon has served on Paddock Wood Town Council for 28 years, including a spell as its chairman.

He has also stood as the Labour candidate in the Paddock Wood West ward at every election for Tunbridge Wells borough council that there has been during that time.

At this month's election he came closer to success than ever before.

Ray Moon, who stood for Labour in the recent elections. He tied with Conservative candidate and lost when one name was pulled from a hat
Ray Moon, who stood for Labour in the recent elections. He tied with Conservative candidate and lost when one name was pulled from a hat

He polled 289 votes - exactly the same as the Conservative candidate Matthew Bailey - and then lost on the lucky dip.

Mr Moon said: "I knew with the national circumstances it would be an unusual election and I could tell at the count it was close.

"Then the returning officer announced there would be a recount - even though at that stage none of the candidates had asked for one."

The result of the recount was the same - the two men had tied.

Mr Moon said: "There were 16 spoilt ballots and these were looked at again, but none of them had anything that could be considered a cross for either of us."

In the end the returning officer determined the winner by putting both candidates' names in a bag and pulling out one. It was Mr Bailey's.

Mr Moon said: "It was very disappointing. I've being trying not to relive it - if I could have got just one more person to vote for me ...

"I know one of my supporters was in hospital and didn't vote, but I suppose Mr Bailey could probably say the same thing."

Mr Moon said: "I do wonder whether drawing a name from a hat is the best method of solving the dilemma. It seems a little unfair on all those people who did vote for me.

"Perhaps there should be a solution where tied candidates each serve for two years in turn - half of the four-year term."

But Mr Moon is not disillusioned. He said: "I shall be back next time and hope that I can do better."

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