Friday, 4 May 2012

Nottingham Picks the 'I Don't Give a Fuck' Option

The real winner of the referendum yesterday was apathy.

The truth is that very few people in Nottingham give a flying one about local government. At the last local election, with the added attraction of a referendum on our national voting system, we only managed to achieve a 37% turnout. Previous elections attracted 32.4% (2007) and 29.1% (2003, pre relaxation of postal vote rules). The turnout for the referendum was 23.9%.

The actual result of 57.5% to 42.5% rather pales into insignificance compared to that dour turnout figure. Despite being in favour of a mayor I would have honestly felt uncomfortable seeing such a significant change if the 'yes' vote had won on a similar turnout.

To make matters worse, over 20% of the votes, approximately 11,000 I was told, over 46% of the votes i.e. 23,019, were postal votes. That dwarfs the actual majority of approx 8,000. I've expressed my concerns about postal voting before and I've seen more than one reference to 'Labour's postal voting machine' about the place, including from someone who would definitely know what that entails. I mean it MIGHT all be above board but I suppose we'll never know.

It can't have helped that local politicians such as Lillian Greenwood, MP for Nottingham South went around telling people that it was all an irrelevance and we should concentrate on jobs and such. Because obviously, if we had a mayor, we wouldn't be able to do that any more. Is there anything less edifying than elected politicians telling us we shouldn't be allowed to vote for something? Still, let's 'get Nottingham trending' eh Lilian? Like she says, back to the things that matter.

And I can't bring myself to write anything else on Nottingham Labour's appalling scaremongering, so if you want to know what I think about it you'll have to go back here. I wonder how much negative campaigning actually puts people off voting at all? I suspect a lot.

But really, the end of it is that Nottingham doesn't give a fuck about local politics. Many of our local politicians rather like it that way as they can get on with serving their own interests without too many people looking. You only have to look at the reactions of the likes of JoCo and Cllr Toby Neal at people who do take an interest.

Still, look on the bright side. I added quite a few new followers on Twitter, with 500 now being a real possibility soon (hello btw), and yesterday generated the biggest number of hits pretty much since I started. So it's not all bad. After all, it's all about me really isn't it?

Addendum

As you can see I've edited the postal vote figure above, following receipt of new information. To put that in context, the 2011 local election attracted 23,986 postal votes on a much bigger overall turnout. There's something deeply smelly about that.

8 comments:

Unknown said...

Will there be a breakdown of postal votes by ward and the numbers both for and against an elected mayor?

Andy Platt said...

I might be able to get a breakdown of the numbers of postal votes in each ward but, afaik, postal votes are mixed in with the others before counting. As such it won't be possible to get a breakdown of yes/no votes among postals to compare with in-person votes.

Nick B. said...
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Nick B. said...

(corrected)
It rained on Thursday. People stayed at home.

I had a postal vote when I was living away and I've kept it on for one simple reason - It's a pain having to fit in going to the polling station. It's about time they got an electronic internet system sorted out, after all they already have one for voter registration.

I did encounter some local YES campaigners handing out leaflets in Clifton. Unfortunately the guy I spoke to wasn't able to answer my questions, even the simple one asking who the sponsor was that was named on the bottom of the leaflet.

Janet said...
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Janet said...

It would be informative to carry out a street poll to confirm just who did use their postal vote in the mayoral referendum.

Mark seeya said...

here copy of a email i got
Hello again Aspley folk! Carole Mcculloch has now given me the ACTC results to pass on to you. 500 voted, 435 voted NO, 65 voted yes. Add Broxtowe to Aspley it works out NO =696 and yes=104. Reinforcing what I said earlier. When it comes to Nottingham... Aspley /Broxtowe “WE’RE SIMPLY THE BEST”
email 2
Greetings Aspley Friends, Sorry to bother you again so soon, but Graham Chapman has just phoned with some figures. Aspley and Broxtowe had the BEST turn out in the whole of Nottingham! 87% voted NO to the Mayor, 13% voted yes at Denton Green. According to my maths? That works out that 161 voted No and 39 voted yes in Broxtowe, don’t know the exact numbers in Aspley, but very impressive. We have the best bunch of good people in Nottingham!

tgnc said...

Well its no wonder that it went to a no vote. The only notice I had was the propaganda leaflet of misinformation and outright lies that arrived in triplicate.

Had the leaflet been truthful and stated that this was over 4 years and not scare mongered, but then again, JoCo and Co. don't want diminished roles as they make out nicely with expenses and a nice pay cheque.

So what happened to the other parties views on this mayor, I voted yest to a mayor, someone who would have been democratically elected by the people and not someone like a dictator who stays in office with his despot cohorts who are just as greedy as south American corrupt police and boarder officials.

A few years back when we had the PVP political party running, we proposed that all political dealings should be available to all via whatever means that the person can vote, either SMS message, email vote, login to a web page and vote via you mobile, pda, netbook, laptop, home PC or surfing tablet.

This idea proposed publicly so that even job center terminals, library terminals or just about any communication system could be used, even a voice recognition system that you could talk to the computer.

So any objections to such a system I feel are objectionable because it would mean that the electorate would be able to vote from their arm chairs and that would mean that votes would be up and a more democratic vote would be in play.

As good an idea and pointing out that the infrastructure already exists, the implementation of this would be fairly simple with more accurate results.