Why did so many on the postal list not vote?
The move to extend postal voting was said to have been Labourâ€™s â€œbig ideaâ€ to deal with ongoing challenge that many more people say they support the party than actually vote for it.
There is little hard evidence available but looking at what information we have from May 5th and hearing anecdotal reports the question has to be asked as to whether the five-fold increase in applications for postal votes before May 5th might have led to reduced overall turnout levels?
In Birmingham, which admittedly is a special case, it was reported that only about two thirds of those who applied actually returned the completed ballot forms. But from other reports it seems that there might have been similar low response rates elsewhere amongst those who had requested to vote by post.
Given that those who have gone to the trouble of applying for a postal vote in the first place have indicated some desire to take part in the election then something is wrong, surely, if a significant proportion could not be bothered to return the completed ballots?
No doubt thereâ€™ll be some serious studies of the impact of one in six electors applying to vote in this way and it will be interesting to see if this is borne out. But my hunch is that three factors were at play here:-
Whatâ€™s been the experience of other people on the site? This is a debate that will contiune.