How many are going to be bothered to vote?

How many are going to be bothered to vote?

    Who’ll benefit from a very low turnout?

Looking at the detail from yesterday’s YouGov poll of Labour and TU members on the deputy leadership it’s clear that turnout is going to be absolutely critical. If Brown had not got his coronation there would have been a mass ballot to decide the next prime minister going on at the same time and the proportion voting would have been enormous. But that’s not happening and the election is getting very little media coverage.

    The detailed data from yesterday’s poll shows that only about half of the Labour members contacted by YouGov said they were certain to vote and the proportion dropped to barely 18 per cent in the trade union section.

What is likely to have an impact is that the desire to vote is not spread evenly amongst the six contenders. Supporters of some candidates are much more motivated than others and if we re-process the data as though it was an Ipsos-Mori survey then the picture looks very different. For Ipsos-Mori only include in their general election voting intention data those “certain to vote”. This is how the figures look.

  • Local party members Benn 25.8% Blears 9.2% Cruddas 15.1% Hain 12.1% Harman 11.5% Johnson 26.4%
  • Trade Unionists Benn 26.3% Blears 7.2% Cruddas 18.2% Hain 12.1% Harman 11.3% Johnson 25%
  • The problem, bluntly, is that the outcome does not really matter very much to anybody. What is being Deputy Labour Leader about? Not a lot really as a former postholder, Roy Hattersley, made clear a couple of weeks ago. Those who will be getting their postal voting papers know this so there’s not that much incentive to go to the bother of voting.

    This is where things might just be quite good for John Cruddas. He has a very different proposition from the rest and his supporters seem much more motivated.

    Click the link for the latest betting prices.

    Mike Smithson

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