The Electoral Reform Society has lambasted the government’s handling of the Police & Crime Commissioner elections as a “comedy of errors“, predicting a record low turnout of 18.5%.
The ERS said:
“This election has been a comedy of errors from start to finish. Polling stations are standing empty because voters knew next to nothing about the role, let alone the candidates they were expected to pick from.”
Meanwhile, anecdotes on Twitter suggest an appallingly low turnout, which will damage the PCC role before it has even been won.
News from one polling station in Thames Valley – 28 voters out ofa possible 1300 by early afternoon. Not good. feel sorry for polling staff
— Shona Johnstone (@ShonaFJ) November 15, 2012
Just told that one polling station in Dorset has, so far, a turnout of just 4.8%. They’re expecting final turnout of 9.5% #pcc
— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) November 15, 2012
#PCC At 4pm, finally hit 50 ballots.
— Deborah Kaya (@DebbieKaya) November 15, 2012
I just became 14th to vote in #PCC elections at my polling station – an average of just over 2.5 votes/hr… doesn’t bode well for turnout
— Emma Maier (@EmmaMaier) November 15, 2012
Just checked in at local polling station. No.s of voters have doubled to 28. That makes it a 3.3% turnout so far.
— Neville Stankley (@nevillestankley) November 15, 2012
— vicky conway (@drvconway) November 15, 2012
Turnout looking dreadful – staff manning my (deserted) polling station were so engrossed in their books they didn’t notice when I went in!
— Sarah Whitebread (@swhitebread) November 15, 2012
Polling station at Mergaretting, Essex reports 27 voters have turned up for #PCC elections all day. Looking good for those turnout figures.
— Chris Warner (@cwarner7264) November 15, 2012
If the ERS are correct, and turnout when the polling stations have closed is 18.5%, it will be the lowest turnout in an election since 1945 — beating the 1999 EU Parliament elections, which saw 23% of voters cast their ballots.
Having insisted on holding the vote in November, no wonder Theresa May looked so desperate as she did the media rounds at the weekend.