UK local, Scottish and Welsh elections live

Live commentary on today’s UK elections, and a Westminster by-election in Labour-held Hartlepool, where a poll gave the Conservatives a 17-point lead. Guest post by Adrian Beaumont.

Results Summary

In England, Labour suffered a crushing Westminster by-election loss in Hartlepool, with the Tories romping to a 52-29 victory in a Labour-held seat. Labour’s vote was nine points down on what they got with Jeremy Corbyn as leader in the December 2019 general election – and that was a bad loss overall.

In English local council elections, the Tories won the BBC’s Projected National Share by 36-29 over Labour, a bad result for an opposition party. With all 143 councils up for election reported, the Tories have gained over 200 councillors, while Labour has lost over 300. The Greens are up almost 90 councillors.

In Scotland, the SNP fell one seat short of a majority, but will be able to continue governing with the Greens. In Wales, Labour is one seat short, but will continue to govern with the Lib Dems. The Welsh result contradicts English results. Labour’s Sadiq Khan was easily re-elected London mayor.

Live Commentary

10:16am Monday With all 143 English councils declared, the Tories control 63 (up 13), Labour 44 (down eight) and the Lib Dems seven (up one). The Tories won 2,345 councillors (up 235), Labour 1,345 (down 326), the Lib Dems 586 (up seven), the Greens 151 (up 88) and UKIP zero (down 48).

10am With 132 of the 143 English councils declared, the Tories control 58 councils (up 12), Labour 44 (down seven) and the Lib Dems five (steady). The Tories have 2,205 councillors (up 239), Labour 1,268 (down 301), the Lib Dems 524 (down eight), the Greens 121 (up 70) and UKIP zero (down 43). These elections were good for the Tories and Greens, and bad for Labour and UKIP.

9:48am For the London Assembly, Labour won 11 of the 25 seats (down one since 2016), the Tories nine (up one), the Greens three (up one), the Lib Dems two (up one) and UKIP zero (down two). Labour will need support from either the Greens or Lib Dems on measures opposed by the Tories. Labour won nine of the 14 FPTP seats.

9:07am With 11 of 13 mayors declared, Labour has gained two from the Tories. Mayoral elections use preferential voting, and Labour won in one of their gains after trailing on first preferences. In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, primary votes were 40.5% Tory, 32.8% Labour and 26.7% Lib Dem. Labour won by 51.3-48.7 after preferences.

8:58am Labour’s Sadiq Khan is re-elected Mayor of London by 55.2-44.8 over Tory Shaun Bailey. Primary votes were 40.0% Khan, 35.3% Bailey, 7.8% Greens and 4.4% Lib Dem.

6:57am Labour fell just short of a majority in Wales, winning 30 of the 60 seats (up one since 2016). The Tories won 16 (up five), Plaid Cymru 13 (up one) and the Lib Dems one (steady). The Labour/Lib Dem coalition will continue. List vote shares were 36.2% Labour (up 4.7%), 25.1% Tories (up 6.3%), 20.7% Plaid Cymru (down 0.1%), 4.3% Lib Dem (down 2.2%), 4.4% Greens (up 1.4%) and 1.6% UKIP (down 11.4%). Labour won 27 of the 40 FPTP seats.

6:48am Sunday The SNP has fallen one seat short of a Scottish parliamentary majority, winning 64 of the 129 seats (up one since 2016). The Tories won 31 seats (steady), Labour 22 (down two), the Greens eight (up two) and the Lib Dems four (down one). The SNP won 62 of the 73 FPTP seats, but only 40.3% of the list vote (down 1.4%). The Tories won 23.5% in the list (up 0.6%), Labour 17.9% (down 1.2%), the Greens 8.1% (up 1.5%) and the Lib Dems 5.1% (down 0.1%). The SNP/Green coalition will continue.

10:18pm Labour is still on 30 seats in Wales, one short of a majority, after 56 of the 60 are declared. There’s one four-member region to go. In England, with 97 of 143 councils declared, the Tories are pulling well ahead of Labour, who have lost over 200 councillors.

11:23am After these seven of 14 FPTP seats declared, Labour’s Sadiq Khan leads Tory Shaun Bailey for London mayor by 39.0% to 37.0%. Of the seven remaining seats, five voted Labour and two Tory in 2016. Khan should increase his primary vote lead when these are counted, and will benefit from Greens and Lib Dem preferences. It will be closer than polls expected, but Khan will win.

10:35am As well as the mayor, there is a London-wide Assembly. So far, only seven of the 25 Assembly seats have been declared. These are all FPTP with list seats to be added later. Labour has won four of the seven, and the Tories three; there is no change in any seat declared from 2016.

10:17am With 87 of the 143 English councils declared, the Tories control 36 councils (up six) and Labour 33 (down four). The Tories have 1,379 councillors (up 153), Labour 864 (down 186), the Lib Dems 273 (down 25) and the Greens 78 (up 51).

10:10am Labour is on the verge of a majority in Wales. They’ve won 30 of the 52 seats declared so far (up one), with 12 Tories (up four), nine Plaid Cymru (down one), one Lib Dem (steady) and zero UKIP (down four). If Labour wins one of the eight regional seats in two regions to be declared, they will have a Welsh parliamentary majority. However, they may have maxed out in those regions owing to their FPTP dominance.

8:05am In Wales, two of the regional lists have been declared. Labour now has 27 of the 47 to be declared so far (up one), the Tories 12 (up four) and Plaid Cymru eight (down one). One FPTP and three four-member regions remain. A majority is 31 seats.

7am Labour has won 26 of the 39 Welsh seats declared so far, steady since 2016. The Tories have eight (up two), Plaid Cymru five (down one) and the Lib Dems zero (down one). Labour and the Tories’ vote share have both increased 5% from 2016, with UKIP down 12%. One FPTP remains to be declared, then the 20 regional seats.

6:50am In Scotland, the SNP have won 39 of the 48 seats declared so far, a gain of three for them since 2016. The Lib Dems have four (steady), the Tories three (down two) and Labour two (down one). All seats declared so far are FPTP seats, not the proportional list. So far, the SNP have gained 1.3% in their vote share. There will be no further counting until tonight AEST.

6:39am Saturday The BBC’s Projected National Share, based on English councils to declare so far, is 36% Tory, 29% Labour and 17% Lib Dem. The seven-point Tory lead compares with a one-point Labour lead in 2016 and an 11-point Tory lead in 2017, the last time councillors elected here were up. Governments usually perform worse at council elections than general elections, so this is very bad for Labour. The Lib Dems always do worse at general elections than at council elections.

6:21pm After 16 of 143 councils declared, the Tories have overtaken Labour in both councils controlled and total councillors.

6:17pm Most councils declared so far last elected in 2016, when Labour won nationally by one point and UKIP was still strong. The Tories have consolidated the UKIP vote. An exception is Northumberland, last elected in 2017. The Tories were up one seat there and Labour down three. 2017 was already very bad for Labour (they lost by 38-27 nationally).

4:16pm Labour got THRASHED in the Hartlepool by-election by 23 points. That’s even worse than the 17 points in the Survation poll. Another seat to add to the Tories’ big majority in the Commons. Labour’s vote was nine points worse than under Corbyn in Dec 2019! RefUK measured against Brexit party support in 2019.

3:20pm The Greens gain a ward in Stockport from Labour.

3:15pm Labour GAINS a ward in Northumberland from the Tories. A better result for Labour than most so far.

3:06pm: So far, we’ve got complete results from only 11 of 143 English councils, nothing from Scotland or Wales and nothing from London. This BBC item says it’ll probably take until Saturday night to get full results (Sunday morning AEST). It’s taking longer than usual due to COVID precautions and a high number of elections.

1:47pm Scotland and Wales will start counting Friday morning UK time (tonight AEST).

1:42pm After nine of 143 English councils declared, Labour have 98 councillors (down 28), the Tories 53 (up 24), the Lib Dems 22 (up three) and the Greens three (up two).

12:57pm In the first council to officially change hands, the Conservatives won 12 of the 13 up for election (up seven) in Harlow, to have an overall 20-13 majority over Labour.

12:35pm Swing of over 40% (!!) to the Conservatives in a ward on Nuneaton and Bedworth council. Tories now have a majority on that council for first time since 2008.

11:51am Labour is already conceding defeat in the Hartlepool by-election.

10:35am No councils officially declared yet, but there have been dreadful results for Labour in northern, pro-Leave areas.

9:12am The first result is in from a ward in Northumberland, and it’s grim for Labour. They held, but only by two points as the Tory vote surged 27 points with no UKIP.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is an honorary associate at the University of Melbourne. His work on electoral matters for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

Polls close for today’s UK elections at 7am AEST. In the UK, all votes for a seat or council are gathered in one place and counted there. Scotland and Wales use regional lists, and we will not know the regional result until at least all First Past the Post seats in that region are declared. I expect we will need to wait until at least Saturday morning AEST for final results.

The biggest news since Monday’s article is a poll for the Westminster by-election in Labour-held Hartlepool. This Survation poll, conducted April 23-29 from a sample of 517, gave the Conservatives 50%, Labour 33%, two independents a combined 12% and the Greens 3%. A previous Survation poll, in early April, gave the Conservatives a 49-42 lead over Labour.

While Hartlepool has been Labour-held since 1964, it voted to Leave the European Union in 2016 by nearly a 70-30 margin. At the December 2019 general election, Labour was only saved by a split between the Conservatives and Brexit party. Labour had 37.7%, the Conservatives 28.9%, the Brexit party 25.8% and the Lib Dems 4.1%.

In Australia, single-seat polls have been particularly error-prone, but it would be unusual for a poll to be wrong by 17 points or more. Losing Hartlepool would be a disaster for Labour.

41 comments on “UK local, Scottish and Welsh elections live”

  1. Do they continue counting all through the night and into the next day over there without a break? Because it’s about 12:30 am in the UK at the moment.

  2. @BritainElects showing massive swings against UK Labour and to Conservatives in Council Elections. Hartlepool turnout +50% which is huge for a byelection.

  3. “BREAKING: Labour MP Jim MacMahon concedes defeat in the Hartlepool by-election. Tells
    : “It’s pretty clear from the way the ballots are landing that we are not close to winning this despite our best endeavors.””

  4. From what I am seeing in the Council result the Conservatives are picking up the Brexit Party vote and about a 10% swing against UK Labour as well – not everywhere but that’s just an eyeball estimate.

    Uk Labour are in the same position as AU Labor – no clear candidate to replace the current underperformer.

  5. Way too long to wait for any real results.

    England doesn’t matter at the moment. It’s a one party system.

    Scotland is the one to watch. If there is a substantial leave uk, rejoin eu majority this will be everything.

    If Scotland leave, north Ireland will likely do the same a few years later.

    That’s either a boost to the Tories as it removes some areas that never vote Tory, or it will end the Tory party as their base doesn’t forgive them for losing two of England’s few remaining colonies.

    Until Scotland leaves, English politics is just about waiting to see how long it takes for the greens to replace labour in opposition.

  6. Voice endeavour says:
    Friday, May 7, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    “England doesn’t matter at the moment. It’s a one party system.”

    Just because you don’t like the Conservatives doesn’t make it a one party system – there’s 6 (+7?) parties in the Parliament off the top of my head.

    “If there is a substantial leave uk, rejoin eu majority this will be everything.”

    They’ve had a referedum which the separatists lost. The UK government isn’t going to grant another one for decades.

    “If Scotland leave, north Ireland will likely do the same a few years later.”

    Completely different dynamics so I don’t see the connection.

    “That’s either a boost to the Tories as it removes some areas that never vote Tory, or it will end the Tory party as their base doesn’t forgive them for losing two of England’s few remaining colonies.”

    Why would the base see it as a loss attributable to their Conservative Parliamentary Party?

    “Until Scotland leaves, English politics is just about waiting to see how long it takes for the greens to replace labour in opposition.”

    The Greens do worse in the UK than here in Australia so that’s going to be a very long wait.

  7. “Uk Labour are in the same position as AU Labor – no clear candidate to replace the current underperformer.”


    Uhhh yeah these council elections are looking absolutely terrible for UK Labour.

    See this is the problem when you get rid of someone like Jeremy Corbyn and start lurching back to the right. He may not have been everyone’s cup of tea but at least he stood for something different. UK Labour are becoming Tory-lite again, just as the ALP are Lib-lite. UK Labour seems to be alienating the left without picking up much at all on the right.

    Any news from the north yet, or have the Scots gone to sleep? Might have to wait until morning. That’s the really interesting contest.

  8. “The Greens do worse in the UK than here in Australia so that’s going to be a very long wait.”

    First past the post will do that. But in Scotland they use a regional list system alongside the constituency vote, which is a total game-changer.

  9. “If Scotland leave, north Ireland will likely do the same a few years later.”


    Yep, it’s only a matter of time. They will both leave sooner or later. Once the genie is out of the bottle it’s very hard if not impossible to stuff it back inside. Northern Ireland is a perfect example of how the push for independence will not go away. That is a very delicate situation though – more bloodshed must be avoided at all costs.

  10. @bucephalus

    England can refuse to grant Scotland a referendum. They didn’t grant the American colonies a referendum and see how that went for them. If Scotland declare themselves independent and apply to join the EU, there’s less England can do about it than they could in the American case. Scotland is nuclear armed, and would be backed by the combined EU army.

    Scotland is asking for permission, because they’d rather have a friendly southern neighbour. But there’s only so long they’ll voluntarily remain.

    The previous referendum was pre brexit and is thus not relevant. Scotland voted to stay in the EU by about 2:1, and voted to remain in the UK by about 52:48.

    The base would see Scottish and n Irish independence as the Tories fault because in both cases, it was caused by brexit. And specifically, it was caused by the way the Tories chose to implement brexit, contrasted against labour proposals that would have been acceptable to Scotland and n Ireland.

    N Ireland is completely different dynamics but the end point will be the same. Unionists wanted to stay in the UK. That’s no longer really an option. N Ireland now can trade with Ireland more easily than they can with the Uk. N Ireland won’t so much choose to leave, they’ve been kicked out.

    As for labour vs the greens, yes, you’re right. If the Tories escape blame for the loss of the colonies, we are looking at several decades of Tory rule before anyone can replace them. If you think that labour can recover in that time, you’re entitled to your own opinions but I’d love a poker game against you.

  11. Labour seem to have lost voters both to the Conservatives and the Greens, something which will inevitably happen in Australia, mainly because they’re failing at both ends of the spectrum.

  12. Hartlepool, parliamentary by-election result:

    Con: 51.9% (+23.0)
    Lab: 28.7% (-9.0)
    Ind: 9.7% (+7.5)
    RefUK: 1.2% (-24.6)
    Grn: 1.2% (+1.2)
    LDem: 1.2% (-3.0)
    Oth: 6.1% (+4.9)

    Con GAIN from Lab.

  13. Wow! Another huuuuge swing to the Greens! I don’t know if you can even call this a swing anymore, it’s that massive. Surging from ~7% to 48.1% is just phenomenal!

  14. Grn GAIN from Con!

    A third massive swing to the Greens! It’s the Green Wave! And they gained this one off the Tories! Epic!

  15. Green gain from the Lib Dems! Normally you’d call a 12% swing massive but it’s relatively small compared to those other three. Starting from a much higher base here though. So good to see the progressive left surging!

    Labour must be seriously regretting getting rid of Corbyn now. They’re losing the left and not gaining any on the right to replace them. Absolute disaster for them.

  16. re an independent Scotland joining the EU

    It’s not quite as easy as that. Any new member requires a unanimous OK from all the other members, and getting an OK for Scotland from Spain is not going to be easy. Spain is going to be very negative about setting any precedent that might encourage Catalonian efforts at independence. Not saying it couldn’t ever happen, simply that if Scots think EU membership post independence is going to be easy, they may be in for a nasty shock. Best route back into the EU for Scotland would probably be to ask the Maltese if they can become part of Malta 🙂

    btw Scotland would be a total economic basket case as an independent nation. Catalonia on the other hand would do fine.

  17. The results so far show (in terms of seats won) a swing from Labour to the Tories (but generally not a landslide), the predictable elimination of the ‘kippers, a few minor gains for the gruens and a mixed bag for the libdems.

    My prediction would be that the tories will take a few more councils (and councillors) from labour, and the libdems will do worse when the south/south west results come in.

    But, hey! local council results with low turnouts. Not too much of importance.

    The really interesting results will be in Scotland which I suspect will have much larger turnouts and (potentially) significance.

  18. “re an independent Scotland joining the EU

    It’s not quite as easy as that.”


    Northern Ireland on the other hand has a much easier way back into the EU, as they can reunify with the Republic of Ireland, which is already in the EU. And of course Brexit has created lots of headaches along the Irish land border, so that’s a really positive selling point for Irish reunification.

    As for Scotland, I think in the end Spain would have to let them in if the rest of the EU wanted them in. You’d think the EU would love to have Scotland join because of the positive message it would send after Brexit.

  19. Lots of people suggesting that there was a very large turnout in Scotland. Very interesting. They should be getting stuck into the counting right about now.

  20. PaulTu, so far the Tories have 155 councillors (up 59) and Labour 141 (down 58). That’s a huge swing by proportion to councillors originally held. It’s likely to get much worse for Labour in the total councils and councillors as more Tory-heavy councils report.

  21. 1. I’m going to slightly disagree with Adrian. Tory gains so far have been mostly in heavily Leave areas. When we get to more Remain areas, including Scotland, London and traditionally Tory snooty middle class areas in the South East around London, the Tories will probably make few gains and may well go backwards. And Labour may well do fine in Wales, a mildly Leave area.

    2. As Theo says, the route for Northern Ireland back into the EU is much simpler. Although strictly “Irish reunification” is something of a misnomer. Ireland was only ever “united” for a single day – from 6 December 1922 to 7 December 1922. Prior to the English occupation(s) Ireland was a patchwork of Kingdoms and Earldoms. Ireland was only “united”, by the English, as a consequence of English, and later UK rule. But in 1922 as part of the deal for Irish independence, the legal mechanism was to create a single State of all Ireland, but to allow the Parliament of Northern Ireland an immediate vote to rejoin the UK, which it duly exercised.

    3. For those whose Irish history is a little light it’s worth remembering that the original occupation of Eastern Ireland was by the Danes (aka Vikings) and the first “English” occupation was in fact not by the real English but by the Normans, who invaded Ireland to do to the native Irish pretty much what they’d done to the native English over the previous century.

    4. It’s also worth remembering that English raids on, and occupation of, Ireland (and Scotland and Wales) were not undertaken solely out of manic bloodlust and greed for land. (Though those aspects were certainly not absent.) Since these days England totally overwhelms the Celtic nations in terms of population and wealth it’s easy to imagine that all those ancient wars must have been sheer English bullying and malevolence. But this is anachronistic. Back in 1200 or so, England was nothing like as dominant, maybe 50% of the population of the British Isles rather than the 80% now. In alliance with England’s continental enemies, or even in raids when the English were occupied elsewhere, the Celtic nations were real threats to the English Crown.

  22. The really clever people on here, you know the right wingers who are so politically astute, given their views re Corbyn. What have they got to say now? Nothing, because they know nothing!

  23. clem attlee says:
    Friday, May 7, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    What’s your answer? I’m sure UK Labour would like your advice.

  24. @GuidoFawkes tweets

    Senior Shaun Bailey source tells Guido off the back of this, “it’s closer than everyone thinks. Still a long way to go though, but Shaun will have beaten the polls by a fair whack”

    “He’s polling above the party”

    @patrickkmaguire tweets

    I can’t believe I’m writing this. But Tory sources say Shaun Bailey’s campaign now believe they can win the London mayoralty.

    If this turns out to be true how good is Jeremy Corbyn looking.

  25. Given half the London Assembly constituencies haven’t counted yet (they are counting those Saturday UK time) the Tories are over egging their pudding on a possible victory as the constituencies aren’t balanced on when they are being counted and their political make up.

    Heavy Labour areas in areas like Lewisham, Greenwich, Camden and Newham are still to come and they will rack up large votes for Khan whereas heavy Tory areas like Bromley and Bexley declared today (Friday)

  26. Even more monster swings to the Greens overnight! This is incredible!

    And if you thought a swing of 40+ was big, just have a look at this…

    A 55% swing! I can’t remember seeing so many massive swings like this anywhere before.

  27. Hartlepool is a bad result for Labour no bones about it but if the Brexit Party had not stood in 2019 the Tories would have won the seat then as well! As for the council elections also a bad result for Labour but I think lurching back to the left is the wrong solution! What’s the real fail point was electing another London based politician

  28. >Spain is going to be very negative about setting any precedent that might encourage Catalonian efforts at independence.

    Spain have already said they wont oppose Scotland rejoining. They didn’t oppose former Yugoslav states (or Czechia/Slovakia) joining the EU. Spain would object to a region breaking off any EU state (partly because Catalonia’s initial pitch for independence was that it would get more development assistance from the EU than it would as part of Spain) but the UK is not part of the EU.

  29. Scottish election 2021: Scottish Greens win record eight Holyrood seats in ‘best ever’ result

    The Scottish Greens have increased their number of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament to a record eight.

    The party said it had delivered a pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament, alongside the SNP.

    Scottish election 2021: Nicola Sturgeon celebrates ‘historic’ SNP election win

    Nicola Sturgeon has hailed the SNP’s “historic and extraordinary” fourth consecutive victory in the Scottish Parliament election.

    With all the results in, the SNP has finished on 64 seats – one short of a majority but one more than it won in 2016.

    Ms Sturgeon said her priority was to steer the country through the pandemic.

    But she said she still intended to hold an independence referendum once the crisis has passed.

    And she said there was no democratic justification for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, or anyone else, to attempt to block it

    With all seats now declared the SNP has won 64, the Conservatives 31, Labour 22, the Scottish Greens eight and Liberal Democrats four.

    So good! The perfect result! The Greens and the SNP now have the chance work together to save Scotland from the grips of the authoritarian and conservative old UK. The stale old British Unionist parties – the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems – must now respect the democratic will of the Scottish people. The referendum must be allowed to take place as soon as the pandemic has been dealt with.

  30. The turnout for the recent by-election in Hartlepool was very low indeed…..42.55% apparently….While the vote for Labour was lamentable for Labour, the fact that nearly 6 in 10 people did not vote at all does not say much for the state of English democracy currently……The Conservatives thus got just over 50% of the 42.55% of the votes cast……Bad day for Labour but hardly a ringing endorsement of the Tories either…..Pathetic day for democracy in the Old Dart…..

  31. Adrian…Yes, I was aware that turnouts for by-elections, in particular, tend to be low…But what is the point of any election when so few turn out?
    In theory, I guess, people have the right to engage or not engage in the voting process in the UK and it has been thus for some time.
    That so many voters in that electorate did not even bother is something which should worry those of us who think the democratic process is in good health.
    At the last General Election, I seem to remember, that nearly one third of the electorate did not turn out….
    To think over the past 400 years people in Britain have fought so hard for franchise and yet seem treat it with indifference and/or contempt currently……

  32. And now it’s reported that the Tories are planning to change the voting system for Mayors from the current sort-of-preferential back to first-past-the-post (aka voting for people who can’t count to 2). They apparently think it will help them generally, though it wouldn’t have in London this time. Typical – if you can’t win fair and square, fiddle the system. Tory is an old Irish word for robber-baron, after all.

  33. Jack…one could argue the toss until Doomsday about an appropriate voting system, but just on the recent history in the UK (England?), something is not working. The “Will of the People” (say in Hartlepool) shows just one party getting merely half the vote cast of half the electorate who bother to vote…….It would seem the Apathy Party is the clear winner…..No wonder regimes such as Russia and China are contemptuous of the voting processes in so-called democratic systems as they see for themselves how poorly the people appear to support the current voting processes…….

  34. Adrian : Will Boris allow a Scottish referendum?

    It would be quite unreasonable for the UK government to deny the Scottish people a referendum vote on independence. The questions are –

    (1) how often should such a vote be held (the last one was in 2014) and
    (2) if the Scots were to vote “Yes” to independence should there be a three year cooling off period, and another vote to make sure they really mean it ?

    Fortunately there are precedents from Brexit, where a second referendum was permitted….after 41 years. And on (2) although a second vote was not in the end insisted upon, most of the political parties in the UK – including the SNP – were quite content to block Brexit in the UK Parliament, and a surprising number of establishment politicians thought it was perfectly OK to insist on the electorate being given an opportunity to correct their mistake, before implementing the people’s decision in the referendum, which they had all promised to respect when they thought they were going to win.

    But seriously – should there be an independence referendum every year ? Or every ten tears ? Or what ? Leaving aside the particulars of Scotland, is there a principle or a common sense rule that should be applied to how often to repeat a referendum ?

  35. To think over the past 400 years people in Britain have fought so hard for franchise and yet seem treat it with indifference and/or contempt currently……

    The contrary view is that it is positively glorious to live in a country where the results of the election are sufficiently unimportant that lots of people don’t bother to vote. If one side is Mr Numpty and the other side is Ms Screechy and they’re arguing about bin collection, your life is not going to be upended by the result.

    But if Lenin or the little fellow with the toothbrush moustache is standing, and either of them have a chance of winning, then you’d better vote. Better to live in Numpty-Screechy Land than in the lands where the moustachioed megalomaniacs roam.

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