What happens if a British election ends in a dead heat? Well, one did…

Elections, US presidential election 2016, Iowa caucuses 2016, Oxford University, University admissions, Golf, Tax

6 February 2016

9:00 AM

6 February 2016

9:00 AM

Ballots drawn

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders tossed a coin to decide which of them was the winner in some precincts of Iowa. What would we do if we had a tied election?
— The closest British election in modern times was the council election in Bury, Greater Manchester, in 2011. With Labour needing one more seat to take control of the council, the Labour and Conservative candidates in the ward of Ramsbottom were found to be tied. They drew straws, the longer of which went to the Labour candidate, Joanne Columbine.
— The closest recent parliamentary election was that in Winchester in 1997, where Liberal Democrat Mark Oaten won by two votes. His Conservative opponent, Gerry Malone, had the result declared void on the grounds that some ballot papers had been unstamped, but lost the subsequent by-election by 21,556 votes.

High tee

Members of Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey threatened legal action over plans by its new Chinese owners to double its fees to £16,000 a year, and to charge a one-off joining fee of £100,000. Would it be the world’s most expensive golf club?

Cost of membership over five years
Singapore Island Country Club £26,800
Fancourt, South Africa £40,000
Trump National, Los Angeles £124,000
Bear’s Club, Florida  £129,000
Wentworth £180,000
Liberty National, New Jersey £240,000


Race for admission

David Cameron attacked Oxford University for supposed racial bias. Which ethnic groups had the highest success rate of applications between 2012 and 2014?

No. of applications
White 26,500
Mixed: white/black African 180
Mixed: white/Asian 938
Gipsy/traveller 5
White/black Caribbean 194
Chinese 660
Indian 1,470
Bangladeshi 215
Pakistani 483
% accepted
White 26%
Mixed: white/black African 26%
Mixed: white/Asian 25%
Gipsy/traveller 20%
White/black Caribbean 18%
Chinese 17%
Indian 15%
Bangladeshi 9%
Pakistani 9%

Final demands

How many people file their taxes on time?
— In 2014, HMRC reported that of 10.7 million returns, 93.4% were returned by the 31 January deadline.
— Of these, 570,000 (5.3%) were filed on 31 January itself, with 21,000 (0.2%) arriving between 11 p.m. and midnight.


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  • I killed Madeleine Mccann

    They should have had a cage fight.