A proposal concerning the merger of five local government areas into one was put to the vote in September 1997. On the same occasion, a survey was made to find out voters’ opinion on the 13 proposals for a name for the new area that would result from the merger. The voters were asked to put a 1 against the one they liked best, “and so on”. Further instructions were available at the polling stations. The method was not publicised in advance to anyone apart from some of the election officers, and the names were first published only the day before polling day. Seven hundred and one voters cast ballots on the merger proposal.