For a long time local elections have had very low turnouts, it is common for there to be two or three times the number of non voters as voters. These numbers only improve when county, national or EU elections are held on the same day.
Our First Past the Post voting system doesn't help because many people's votes won't count. We should of course campaign for the introduction of a better voting system but we still need to achieve things within FPTP because life is too short!
My letter in the KM:
Political activists have spent the last week theorising about what the recent local election results proved but these amateur generalisations are often very biased. For obvious reasons people from all political creeds like to point out where their own did well but within this humdrum what is often missed is that local politics is broken.
The average turnout was just 32% for MBC and although this is similar to many comparable elections it is appallingly low. While just two out of eighteen parish councils had enough candidates to contest an election which led to a former BNP & NF candidate becoming a parish councillor by default while in the Borough council election he came in 8th place our of 8 candidates with just 43 of the 1631 votes cast.
Local political parties and activists need to look at themselves and ask why so few people vote. It would be easy and lazy to blame non voters but rather than apathy I think many people despair at what they see.
What is needed is a complete transformation in our local politics.