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Given the appalling weather let’s be thankful that yesterday wasn’t a general election or a referendum

March 2nd, 2018

There were 4 by-election taking place local councils yesterday and the results should make interesting reading because these happened on the worst Thursday for the weather across the country in decades.

Who would have thought, for instance, that one of the biggest Premier League matches of the season, Arsenal vs Manchester City, would take place in what appeared to be a half empty Stadium. A lot of people with tickets, and they are not cheap at the Emirates, simply didn’t turn up.

If people who had laid out possibly three figure sums on tickets for a football match were deterred from attending what are the chances for participation in an election in such conditions.

The one result that we’ve got from Devon the turnout was just. 12.4% and my guess is that quite a lot of those votes would have been postals.

This is a reminder why the machines of all the parties love postal votes which can all be handled in advance and take away the risk that something might deter voting on the day.

The weather has forced Downing Street to shift the venue of today’s big TMay speech from Newcastle to London.

Whenever there have been studies on the impact of the weather on election days the analysis has shown that it has had very little impact. But yesterday clearly was something very different and far worse.

Mike Smithson