Home > Coalition government, Conservative, Democracy, Economy, Labour, Liberal Democrat, UK Politics > Election 2011. Britain doesn’t go to the polls.

Election 2011. Britain doesn’t go to the polls.

There are elections and a referendum taking place across the UK today, as I type 3/4 of an hour remain before polls shut. The referendum is on whether the UK should switch from first past the post to Alternative vote, voters really do not care and as a result polling has been difficult at best.

I’m not for AV, but want it to win because I believe in electoral reform and proportional representation. I won’t lose sleep if the No campaign wins today.

Elections for the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly are being held, as are polls in 279 English councils, there are however no elections in London, so it will be very interesting to see if turnout rises above 30%.

In the constituency of Leicester South, there is a by-election to replace the former MP, Peter Soulsby, who resigned to contest the newly created position of a directly elected Mayor for the City of Leicester. Mayoral contests are also taking place in Mansfield, Middlesbrough, Torbay and Bedford.

Peter Soulsby won the seat from Liberal Democrats. Leicester South and the City election will be worth watching. Soulsby has in the past competed with Lib Dems about who was more anti-Iraq War.

Some lunacy has already gone on.

In Stockport nearly 100 people cast votes now recorded as invalid because wrong ballot papers were delivered to the polling station and in Carmarthenshire (Wales), a polling station was closed for hours after two escaped dogs bit four voters. Stick to the roads, keep clear of the Moors.

Council and Mayoral elections do nothing to change national government, although nearer the end of a Parliament Prime Ministers often used them to judge whether to run a General Election, however a wipeout for the Liberal Democrats may make their “partnership” with Cameron’s Conservatives somewhat more bitter.

My updated predictions – the Conservatives won’t do too badly despite massive cuts to public services because 1) they have their own fall guy, the Liberal Democrats who take the blame and 2) Ed Milliband is not really a shining star. So therefore Milliband and Cameron will have something to crow about and Clegg will be licking some painful sores (especially if the Yes vote loses).

UPDATE Polls have now closed, expect no politician to say how bad it was for democracy as a whole that turnout was abysmal.

Last update before bed: Nick Clegg is going to have a nightmare in his own Constituency, his City, Sheffield, is Lib Dem Controlled with no overall majority, I expect to wake in the morning with at least 12 Lib Dem Councillors defeated. 

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