A SMALL chapter in Doncaster’s political history has been written, with the first ever by-election count in the borough decided by drawing lots.
Four recounts for a vacant seat on Sprotbrough and Cusworth Parish Council failed to separate the only two candidates – so Doncaster Council chief executive Jo Miller was called in to supervise the draw after it ended in a dead heat.
The count was run alongside that of Doncaster’s votes for the Police and Crime Commissioner count at the Racecourse.
After four recounts Labour’s Sarah Gallacher and Conservative candidate Symeon Waller could not be separated, each polling exactly 129 votes.
Primary school teacher Mrs Gallacher, aged 28, finally won after her agent, Coun Kevin Rodgers, drew lots on her behalf - picking the one returning officer Jo Miller had marked with an X.
Deputy Mayor Cynthia Ransome represented Mr Waller.
It is believed to be the first time a councillor has ever been elected in Doncaster by the drawing of lots.
Coun Rodgers said: “I’ve never known an election to be so close. There was exactly the same number of votes for each so there was no alternative but to draw lots. Fortunately I picked the one marked with an X.
“We worked hard during the campaign and I know Sarah will be an excellent representative for the people of Sprotbrough.”
The by-election for Central ward was triggered by the resignation of the sitting Conservative councillor due to ill health.
Mrs Gallacher said: “I grew up in Sprotbrough and now I’m looking forward to representing it as a councillor.”
Labour now controls Sprotbrough Parish Council with 10 seats. The Conservatives have five and there are two Greens.