Will turnout in Glasgow really be that low?

Will turnout in Glasgow really be that low?


    Why my money’s on 45-50%?

Ladbrokes have just put up a new Glasgow East betting market on the level of turnout that we can expect. This is timely because much of the comment about the seat has suggested that the proportion voting could be very low indeed.

It was just 48.2% at the general election and there have been predictions of it dropping to the low 20s – particularly because election day takes place during the main Glasgow holiday period. This meant that much of the early campaign activity focussed on the getting postal votes signed up. These are the prices:-

0-19.99 % 40/1
20-24.99% 16/1
25-29.99% 5/1
30-34.99% 7/2
35-39.99% 9/4
40-44.99% 4/1
45-49.99% 6/1
50-54.99% 20/1
55%+ 33/1

There’s a widespread view that the smaller the turnout the better this will be for the SNP because the assumption is that that those who will be least likely to vote will be Labour.

I’m not so sure. Because this is such a critical by election and there is so much media coverage my guess is that we will see quite a high figure. Remember the last really tight by-election, in Crewe and Nantwich, where the figure was only a couple of points down on the general election.

Glasgow East is a seat which has always been a cert for Labour and this, surely, has been the reason why voting numbers have been low. It could be that come a week on Thursday we might see the percentage rise to near or even large than general election levels.

Mike Smithson

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