Ribble Valley’s Conservative MP Nigel Evans has expressed his disappointment at the poor turnout in last Thursday’s local elections and called for the extension of voting to the days before traditional polling day.
From results declared by early last Friday afternoon, turnout (the percentage of eligible voter who actually cast their vote) was only around 36%, compared to 42% in 2011 and 39.2% in 2009.
In a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who is responsible for electoral and constitutional policy, Mr Evans wrote: “Despite the national media running with gains for UKIP as the main story of the day, I am far more concerned about the poor turnout in these elections.
“I am writing to suggest the introduction of a four-day polling station to be opened at each town hall from the Sunday before polling day, with the retention of the traditional polling day on Thursdays.”
Speaking from Westminster, Mr Evans said, “We need to see a different approach to voting in an attempt to encourage those who stay at home to turn out and cast their ballot. The fall in turnout in local and national elections should be of concern to anyone in elected office and I am of the belief that real action must be taken to end this decline.”