Has voter turnout in Harlow fallen over the years?
Elections / Sat 7th May 2022 pm31 04:48pm
IN THE aftermath of the Harlow District Council local actions, people have made reference to low turnout.
So we thought we would look at the turnout over the last fifty years and see whether it is going up, going down or staying the same.
This is just little look at the turnout as opposed to a full blown analysis. Professor John Curtice has no need to worry.
We also have to add that the data on Harlow Council’s website is incomplete.
On the face of it, turnout has gone down. Not massively so.
There are many many reasons why people don’t vote or to be specific why fewer people appear to be turning out.
For some people, they just don’t feel passionately enough about local council elections. They feel it really doesn’t matter enough, who is running their council.
Obviously, all parties will tell you it matters a great deal but we are talking about what people feel and not not what is right.
Many feel they just vote in a General Election. They feel that is far far more important.
With limited sources, all parties make a great effort to connect and encourage.
Some may not have seen a candidate/leaflet. Not received a phone call.
Of course you are fortunate to get outstanding coverage on YourHarlow, where we interview at least one candidate from each ward, analyse the ward and then get the predictions one.
Before we came along, the Harlow Star published the candidates on April 6th and the results with a bit of reaction from the leaders on May 6th.
And if you don’t vote because you think they are all the same then that tired excuse is up there with “before my time”. Ignorance really shouldn’t be a badge of honour.
Anyway, here are the turnouts from 1973 to 2022.
Brays Grove: 25.5%
Great Parndon: 47.7%
Latton Bush: 28.0%
Mark Hall South: 31.7%
Brays Grove: 31%
Great Parndon: 41%
Latton Bush: 40.2%
Mark Hall South: 59.6%
Brays Grove: 34.3%
Latton Bush: 39.4%
Mark Hall South: 38.8%
Brays Grove: 38.2%
Great Parndon: 48.1%
Latton Bush: 44.1%
Mark Hall South: 37.5%
Brays Grove: 32.3%
Great Parndon: 42.0%
Latton Bush: 39.9%
Mark Hall South: 32.8%
Bush Fair: 31.3%
Great Parndon: 30.9%
Harlow Common: 29.1%
Mark Hall: 33.6%
Staple Tye: 22.7%
Bush Fair: 36.5%
Great Parndon: 36.1%
Harlow Common: 37.6%
Mark Hall: 41.1%
Staple Tye: 31.8%
Bush Fair: 28.0%
Great Parndon: 31.6%
Harlow Common: 30.5%
Mark Hall: 33.6%
Staple Tye: 24.3%
Sumners and Kingsmoor: 27.7%
Little Parndon: 32.6%
Mark Hall: 27.73
Staple Tye: 23.68%
Bush Fair: 27.64%
Great Parndon: 34.11%
Harlow Common: 30.76%
Mark Hall: 29.43%
Staple Tye: 26.7%
I believe I can give another compelling reason why more and more residents no longer vote in the numbers they did in the past and that is that they have so little contact with the Council whether it be Councillors or officers. Back in the 1970's most residents were tenants of the Development Corporation, who had a number of Housing Offices across the town where residents would pay their rent, report repairs and deal with a whole host of issues. Very few needed to contact the Council or Councillors. This all changed in 1978 when the Council took over the Council housing stock of some 20,000 homes and so from then on residents were in direct contact with the council and all the services they provided. In the 1990's Area Committees were formed, when residents could meet Councillors on a regular basis, they could see and hear debates taking place in each neighbourhood and ask questions . By 2003 the Council closed it's area offices, centralised services, shut down it's area committees, since when the only time you see a Councillor is when an election is coming up. Residents cannot get to see let alone speak to officers, little if any proper consultation takes place and no feed back is given when decisions have been made. People say you can use social media, the fact is, nothing is as good as dealing with things face to face and despite political Parties using more and more social media, election turn out continues to fall. The proof of the pudding is that HAP and the Conservatives made a huge effort in the Great Parndon Ward leading up to the election and this paid off with the highest turnout.
I say again I will not vote for liars
Still pretty dismal: if a big effort was made in Great Parndon and 65.89 % didn't bother to vote. Thousands turn out on protest marches and neglect the most powerful means of bringing about change, their right to vote! The closure of neighbourhood offices and the ability of our Cllrs to totally ignore letters, emails and other posts to them as well as the fact that they regularly ignore the advice and expertise of Council officers has lead to a "party line " dominated, "we know best" culture. Take the decision to go ahead with the Eastern Raised Road Crossing that will not only devastate the natural nature reserve of the River Stort Valley but will throw traffic, flooding and sewage into Harlow's direction, no advantages to Harlow residents but the decision along party lines perhaps indicate illegal predetermination both in Harlow and East Herts all Conservative Cllrs voting for a project that will benefit the sector that is a major donor to the party, property developers. If you don't vote then at the most basic level you get pot holes and 20 story blocks of flats !
I used to vote but have become disillusioned with all the parties. They have all proven that they are untrustworthy and only in it for themselves.
I’ve been reflecting a lot on this today. The tone of politics a whether at local or national level, is nasty. Especially so online. Often here on this forum. Beben to read a leaflet can be unpleasant. The tone can frequently be combative and aggressive, often about a despised opposition group party (whoever the enemy is perceived to be). People don’t need that. It comes from a place of low consciousness and it doesn’t get us very far as a society. To make any comment at all, or to have any kind of opinion, entails stepping into a bear pit, so some people will naturally keep their distance from it all.
Councillors of all parties do not even acknowledge emails now. Except just a few individuals who do work for the community - but they are so few.
I imagine (as I have no idea in a real situation) that being a politician is a thankless task in some sense as people put the blame onto which ever group are in charge at any given time without any idea of what politicians actually do and will only hear or see what the media deem fit to publish or push out on TV and with the bias of different media outlets who in the end do you believe... it's a big muddle from start to finish 🤪