General Election 2017: Voters turned away in key marginal Newcastle-under-Lyme as incumbent Labour MP Paul Farrelly brands voting issues a "shambles"

 
Rebecca Smith
Polls close at 10pm
Polls close at 10pm (Source: Getty)

Voters have been turned away in the marginal seat of Newcastle-under-Lyme amid claims of administrative errors.

The constituency is also home to Keele Univerity and student voters there said they had been turned away despite registering to vote online.

Students and other people are now being urged to go back and vote, after being turned down earlier in the day. Those turned away had registered to vote and received voting cards as well as confirmation they had successfully registered. But they found the polling stations had been issued with old registers that didn't include their details.

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The problems have since been fixed and those voters have been told to return in the last hour of voting and are being instructed to take their polling card to help avoid any further trouble.

The seat is a key marginal, currently held by Labour's Paul Farrelly by just 650 votes.

Farrelly said he planned to refer the council to the Electoral Commission over the "shambles", saying it had prevented at least 50 people from voting and that "there is chaos which is denying people votes on a scale unprecedented in my 30 years fighting and organising elections".

However, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council said on Twitter that it had looked into issues raised as a result of problems being experienced by students at Keele University who had tried to vote and said:

Our understanding is that people have not fully completed the registration process and therefore are not registered to vote.

When forms aren't completed fully we get back to the person and inform them by letter of what extra information or identification we need.

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