BRITAIN’S leading anti-Brussels party yesterday lodged a formal complaint with election officials amid fears that the folding of some ballot papers could have cost it tens of thousands of votes.
The UK Independence Party (UKIP) claimed to have been “swamped” with calls from supporters who could not find it on the list.
In some cases the printing process was said to have left the lengthy ballot paper stuck shut, requiring voters to prise it open to reveal the UKIP entry, below the names of rival parties, because of its place in the alphabet.
The party threatened to demand a legal challenge and a re-run of the elections in some areas if the problem appears to have damaged its showing in a year when it hoped to capitalise from public disgust at the main parties over MPs’ expenses.
UKIP complained to the Electoral Commission, which reminded polling booth officials to hand out ballot papers unfolded.
Party leader Nigel Farage also wrote to Justice Minister Michael Wills saying: “We are outraged that today’s European election has not been contested on a free and fair basis.
“We have been swamped with upset voters who failed to find us on the ballot paper.
“In many cases they have voted for other parties such as NO2EU and even the BNP.
“We are now getting information from across the UK with a view to issuing a legal challenge to demand a re-run of the election.”
Ballot papers were long because in some regions, 12 or more parties and independents were standing.
Parties also listed all their hopeful candidates.