Is a by-election crack-down on postal voting going on?

Is a by-election crack-down on postal voting going on?

Oldham E & Saddleworth postal voting Postal ballots issued Valid postal votes cast
General Election May 6 2010 10,518 8,316
By-election Jan 13 2011 10,251

Why are the numbers on the decline?

We’ve now got the above numbers for the number of postal ballots that have been issued in the by-election which show, extraordinarily, that there’ll be fewer postal voters in next Thursday’s by-election than there were at the general election.

So what you might say but the fact there’s little change and that it’s in a downwards direction is almost unprecedented.

For the changes in postal voting system introduced by the last Labour government mean that you can register for postal votes on an ongoing basis so you only have to sign up once.

This means almost inevitably that the totals ratchet up from election to election.

So why’s that not happened here? For it’s known that the red and yellow teams in particular have been working hard to sign up as many electors as possible for postal voters because it was clear that if there was to be a by-election here it would take place in the dead of winter.

There was an expectation amongst election experts that we were going to see a jump of up to 40% – instead we have got a decline.

My theory is that the circumstances of this election and having the UK’s most successful election litigant as one of the contenders has put everyone involved on their mettle.

As to which candidate will benefit most we’ve only got a week to wait.

Michael Smithson

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