Monday, 9 January 2017

Turnout in Milton ward



I had this vague notion that the higher the turnout, the better were Labour's chances in Milton ward. This is a generally accepted rule for Labour across the country, although there are local exceptions. The reasoning behind this presumption is that Labour voters are seen as less inclined to express their suffrage; whereas Conservative voters, in general, are more eager to cast their votes.

Therefore, the higher the turnout, it is presumed, the more likely that this will include Labour supporters. Low turnout equates to Labour voters staying at home.

A by-product of this thinking (that Labour voters are less inclined to make an effort on polling day) is that we have to encourage and cajole people into voting, especially in marginal seats. This means that polling day itself is a long day for Labour activists.

I am aware that all serious contenders will be out encouraging their supporters to make the effort at the ballot box. A marginal like Milton will see teams from both the main two parties out all day. (I am not deliberately denigrating the efforts of the other parties, but I have yet to see them make any real effort here.)

This table shows the turnout and the Labour vote in percentage terms.

Year
Lab %
Turnout %
Position
2016
45.3
30.5
1
2015
37.8
57.9
2
2014
36.4
30.3
1
2012
35.8
24.4
1
2011
32.5
33.9
2
2010
22.8
52.0
2
2008
25.8
28.1
2
2007
27.9
26.5
2
2006
21.1
30.0
2
2004
27.6
30.9
2
2003
20.1
22.2
2
2002
34.7
27.5
2
2001
46.8
47.4
2

It is far from conclusive one way or another, although I think there is some correlation between increased turnout and increased support for Labour. General Election years create anomalies.

I want increased participation regardless as to whether it benefits Labour or not. If you value democratic engagement then you must want increased turnout.

The cynic in me could make an argument that making voting more difficult is in the best interests of the Conservative party, which may explain some of their recent reforms. Whatever, my aim is to drive turnout up in Milton ward, regardless of the consequences.


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