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Lack of competitiveness?

Turnout 'at 80-year low' | BBC News - June 8, 2001 |

As counting continued through the night, it looked as though the overall turnout could be as low as 58%.

This compares with 71.6% at the 1997 General Election, which itself was the lowest turnout since the Second World War. It would be the lowest turnout since the election of 1918 when the turnout was 57%.

It seems likely that more people will fail to vote than will vote for the Labour Party, which has secured a second consecutive landslide victory.


The lowest turnout so far has been recorded in the safe Labour constituency of Liverpool River, where just 34.1% of the electorate voted - a massive drop of 17.5% on 1997.


Leading Liberal Democrat and former Labour cabinet minister Lady Williams, formerly Shirley Williams, said that even if Labour was returned with a landslide, the party should be "disturbed" by the low turnout.

She said: "Turnout looks as though it is going to be lousy. In that case we have to say that a lot of people were not very enthusiastic about the government, but they saw its return as inevitable."

The BBC polled people who decided not to vote.

Some 77% said there was no point in voting because it would not change a thing, while 65% said they did not trust politicians. Just over half said it was obvious that Labour would win anyway.

Among the 18-24 age group just 38% said they planned to vote. The figure for the 25-34 group was 45%, and for the 35-64 group it was 62%.

Apathetic Landslide: The 2001 British General Election | Harvard Study |

Report: Turnout at Elections | House of Commons |

Related reading ...

Ballot box blues  | The Guardian - March 28, 2001 |

    Turnout is likely to be low at the next general election, particularly in safe Labour seats, but does Labour need to worry?

    Turnout tends to be low if people think that there is going to be an easy victory. The highest turnouts have all come at very closely fought elections, notably 1950 and 1951, when turnout exceeded 80%. Similarly the close races in February 1974 and April 1992 stimulated high turnouts of 79% and 78%.

    If Labour support evaporates in the next few weeks, as it did during the petrol protests last autumn, the prospect of a close race may galvanise voters. But at present I would expect a low turnout, below the 71.6% recorded in 1997, which was itself the lowest in the post-war period.

    The problem will be compounded in safe Labour seats. At least in 1997 there was the excitement of at last getting rid of the Tories. But that motive no longer holds.

Today in the digital world of social media, bots and a rightwing ownership of media ... who knows what the advent of Xmas will bring? Power to the villagers - demos.

by Oui on Fri Nov 15th, 2019 at 07:59:28 PM EST

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