Simon Carr:

The Sketch: Normally I wouldn't dream of voting. It just distorts the result

Share
Related Topics

Decision day. Fifteen hours to change the world. Did you feel the electricity in the air? Ed Miliband had sent his postal ballot to Doncaster. The very words crackle on the screen as they're typed.

Click HERE to upload graphic (59k jpg)

Whatever the polls say there's always uncertainty at the heart of politics. People don't vote for very many different reasons.

My house is a good example. Normally I just don't vote at all. It distorts the result. Too fastidious you think? Better to be safe than sorry.

But then my son told me he'd defied the example I've set over the years. He's registered at our home address, as well. He'd come home quite pleased with himself.

"My God," I exploded, "they number the ballots, don't you understand! They check you off on a list, they've got your name and address – and they know which way you've voted!"

He couldn't see it but I've been in and around politics for 20 years, I know what these people are like. I thought if I went down and voted the opposite way we could at least plead neutrality as a household when they came for us later.

So – down to the polling station. It was actually in a school so people could vote after they'd dropped their children off. The polling door was right there by the front door of the school but people weren't going in.

Maybe they were on the council housing list. Maybe they feared for their child benefit – or their child – being taken away. Maybe they didn't want to come up on the radar of Her Majesty's Revenue? People have their reasons, as I say, and some are better than others.

I was going to ask the unvoting electorate – on your behalf – why they weren't voting. But outside was a warning: "It is against the law to ask how a voter will or has voted." The penalties were listed as "two years in prison, or an unlimited fine, or both".

Are exit polls now a custodial offence? The chief polling officer at the station couldn't explain it and gave me a phone number which I could ring to denounce Peter Kellner of Yougov (he'd have to ask for 10 million other offences to be taken into consideration). Prudence prevailed. It's safer to keep out of their way.

The voting itself was uneventful. I don't mind AV but it's my second preference. What I want is for people to have one vote – to be cast when they are 50 years old. I explained that briefly on the ballot paper. I think I got away with it.

twitter.com/simonsketch

Conservatives cut Labour lead

The Conservative Party has cut Labour's lead to three percentage points, according to The Independent's latest poll of polls. The weighted average of surveys taken in April by ComRes, ICM, Ipsos Mori and YouGov puts Labour on 39 per cent (down one point on March), the Tories on 36 per cent (unchanged), the Liberal Democrats on 13 per cent (static) and other parties on 12 per cent (up one point).

Although Liberal Democrat support has dropped 10 points since the general election a year ago, the Tories enjoy the same share of votes as then. The latest figures would give Labour a majority of only 26 if repeated at a first-past-the-post election. Labour would win 338 seats, the Tories 262, Liberal Democrats 25 and others 25.

"It is getting close to hung parliament territory," said John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, who compiled the poll. "The Tories continue to be remarkably relatively unscathed."





React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 2nd / 3rd Line IT Support Engineer - Managed Services Provider

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 2nd / 3rd Line IT Support Eng...

Recruitment Genius: UI / UX Designer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...

Recruitment Genius: General Processor

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Our representatives must represent us

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
MP David Lammy would become the capital’s first black mayor if he won the 2016 Mayoral election  

Crime, punishment and morals: we’re entering a maze with no clear exit

Simon Kelner
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot