2019 EU Elections: What do spoilt ballots tell us?
On Thursday (23rd May) voters headed to the polls to vote in the European Parliament elections, deciding who would be elected as an MEP to represent their region in the EU. For some however, this was an opportunity to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the parties and their candidates on the ballot paper.
We took a look at the percentage of spoilt ballots for each region to see what they could tell us about this election. We’ve also compared them to the previous European Elections, which took place in 2014.
The results show that in many regions the number of spoilt ballots increased compared to 2014. But while the percentages do appear small in comparison to overall turnout, the numbers behind them can represent a lot of voters – with 17,397 ballots rejected in London for example (this is a higher number of votes than even some candidates received).
Wales saw an increase of 0.4%, while the North East and East Midlands doubled their percentage of spoilt ballots. On the other hand, Northern Ireland saw their percentage half to 0.8%.
There are a number of reasons why rejected ballot numbers might increase, but we’d be interested to hear your and analysis, so please continue the discussion in the comments below.