Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Polling Day

It took me longer to post what happened on polling day than it took to form a Government; but perhaps this post will last longer.

Polling day is quite exciting but also hard work if you are involved in a political party. Most people just have to vote - although that seemed to be too hard for about 1/3 of the population - but the rest of us are active. One of my friends who helped at the Council election suggested that all we were doing was giving us something to do to keep us quiet, but in fact the polling day function - also known as get out the vote - does help and I am sure we go out the vote.

What we -and all the parties in all the seats they hope to do well in - do is sit outside the polling stations to find out who has voted. (It helps in an area like ours because so many people know each other). We then cross this off and nag people we think will support us to vote. It sounds easy but its a lot of hard work and co-ordination. We had 30 people in the Belford and Coastal area helping on polling day, and we have about 8% of the electorate in Berwick upon Tweed. My job was to try and make sure the operation worked, which involved a lot of driving about looking busy.
I think we did well; we had more voters than expected, we managed to call out some who would not otherwise have voted and we think we had a majority of Conservative voters in this area. The result overall was both excellent and disappointing - it was a shame Anne-Marie didn't win, after an excellent campaign and record on helping people in the area, but winning would have been very hard, and she has turned the constituency into a marginal from a safe LD seat. Next time?

We didn't have queues at 10.00 at our polling stations - people were much more sensible than that. But the experience in some seats was shameful, and I hope one of the things that the new Government will have time to do as it looks at political reform is to get rid of the Electoral Commission, which is unaccountable, and to focus on proper management of polling day and voting.

1 comment:

Troy said...

In terms of getting the Liberal Democrat Conservative coalition supporters out to vote the figures show you did extremely well in your constituency.