IT all began when the election results were counted and published online on May 3 2019.

Voters quickly realised that a mistake had been made because the total number of votes for every candidate vastly exceeded the number of registered voters in the town - and only 37 per cent of those voters had gone to the polls in the last elections.

The new and re-elected councillors took their seats at the next meeting despite knowing about the mistake.

A meeting at Highworth Community Centre saw dozens support petitioning the High Court to allow for a recount to be held. Word quickly spread around town and residents raised more than £4,000 for the cause within a matter of days.

After consulting solicitors, a quicker way of resolving the matter was found.

Rather than make their case at the High Court for the ballots to be unsealed, a recount could be held in Swindon if a district judge gave the go ahead, then all the High Court needed to do was make these new results official.

Swindon Borough Council did not contest the petition and its election returning officer Susie Kemp apologised for the mistake and promised that steps had been taken to ensure it would not happen again.

A district judge allowed for the ballots to be unsealed and tallied up again on August 6 during a busy hour-long session in Swindon Magistrates Court with councillors looking on.

These results were sent to the High Court for approval last Friday.