Went to vote on the way back from taking O to school, and put my X in the box1. Our polling station's at the library but judging by the turn out at school today, lots of parents have assumed that the school would be used as a polling station and so would be closed.
last time, our constituency had the second lowest turn out in the country - only 39.1% of registered voters voted. They've really been pushing postal voting this year, but it seems to me that if possible (and obv all polling stations should be accessible), you should make the effort to get along and vote in person. And even leaving aside the potential for fraud provided by postal voting, it seems to me that it potentially undermines the right to a secret ballot.
To this day my mum will not tell anyone how she votes. I can make a pretty good guess, she doesn't hide her views, but she insists on her right to keep her vote secret. That was drummed into her by her own parents, who grew up in a time when men tried to tell their wives how to vote. At a polling station, whatever you've told anyone about how you vote, no-one can see where your X actually goes. But if you are filling in a postal vote at home, I reckon it would be hard to keep your paper secret from a pushy spouse/friend/relative.
So anyways I've voted. Not that it will make much difference, as I don't live in one of these key marginals. No visits from John Prescott for the voters of Madcity Central - Labour majority in 2001 of 13,742. Our MP's not bad I s'pose, as Labour politicians go, but I could not vote Labour this time. For a whole raft of reasons, Iraq and immigration/asylum being just two. But then living in such a safe seat, I have the luxury of being able to make a protest vote. I don't know what I'd do if I lived somewhere there was a risk of letting the tories in. Like, say, Enfield Southgate.
Anyways, it's all over now bar the election-night-athon (incl. Dead Ringers election speshul) Which is the best bit.
Yes I was. May 97. Best. Election Night. Ever. They don't make 'em like that any more.
1. Peter Snow's done a handy guide on how to vote in UK general elections & the basics of the UK parliamentary system, for anyone who doesn't know how tis done - click here, then click on "how to vote guide" - or read about it here