Telling in Westminster
Posted by jonathanfryer on Thursday, 24th July, 2008
While the voters of Glasgow East — or a least some of them — were going to the polls this afternoon, in what will be widely interepreted as a verdict on Gordon Brown, I did a stint of telling at a polling station for a Westminister Council by-election, in which Martin Thompson was the LibDem candidate. It’s a singularly British tradition to have volunteers sitting at the entrance of the polling station (some unkind presiding officers make one stand!), wearing coloured rosettes representing their party and asking voters for their registration numbers. There are always a few electors who refuse or who want to know why, though over the years the message has got across to most that it saves them the hassle of being ‘knocked up’ (such an unfortunate expression) later on. Though the recently-deceased councillor for Church Ward was Labour, the Conservatives were throwing everything they had at the campaign and large numbers of South Asian Conservative activists were chasing out the sizeable Muslim vote, so I wouldn’t be surprised if their (Muslim) candidate does very well.