I’ve been busy phoning round people in Islington, getting feedback on the European elections.
Two thirds of people who could vote, didn’t. Some were away or unwell; some abstained on principle, as an expression of their Euro-scepticism. Others simply don’t think the Euros matter. And some who would normally vote didn’t this time, as a protest against the expenses row.
Many of those who did, voted for minority parties as a protest. Or because the electoral system used in the Euros means that there are no ‘wasted’ votes. On one evening, I spoke to a former Labour voter who voted Green, a former Conservative who voted Green, and a former Lib Dem who voted UKIP; none of them will necessarily vote the same way in future.
Danny Finkelstein in the Times cites James Stimson’s analysis of voters as ‘passionate’, ‘uninvolved’ or ‘scorekeepers’. Passionate voters like me stick with their party; the uninvolved opt out; so the scorekeepers tend to decide elections.
In the midst of all this analysis, some interesting facts emerge:
Nationally, it was the Labour party’s worst performance in a century.
Here in London, just 110 extra votes per Parliamentary constituency would have seen Jonathan Fryer elected as London’s 2nd Lib Dem MEP.
And the Socialist Labour Party polled lower than Christian Party. As one Twitterer commented, “Official – God more popular than Arthur Scargill!”