Turnout: 2018 Local Elections in London
Turnout for the Local Elections is unfortunately often significantly lower than it is in General Elections, yet their effect on citizens’ and communities’ everyday lives is sometimes more visible. In this blog we’re focusing on the turnout of London during its last Local Election in 2018 where one borough had just a 29% turnout, and the highest turnout for a borough was only just over 50%.
Why is turnout important?
If turnout is high it means more people have been involved in making the decision about who represents their local area on the Council, and the people elected will likely be more representative of the people living there.*
Turnout can have a big impact on the result. While it is true that some campaigns do better if turnout is low in particular demographics, in other seats the candidates’ votes are very close (see here), and the result is decided by just a handful of voters! So a large turnout across the whole constituency has the potential to swing the vote significantly.
The result of Local Elections can also have a visible impact on your community, so having a say over who is running the local authority/council can help determine the future of your area. Just look at all the things they’re responsible for:
Source: London Data Store
*Although many argue that some voting systems always provides in an unrepresentative result.