Possibility of low turnout looms in Richmond as voters face second poll in six months

The upcoming election will be the latest in a successive string of votes and analysts speculate that ‘voter fatigue’ may play a significant role in the result.

In particular, residents in Richmond have already had to vote on an array of issues, from local elections, by-elections and mayoral elections to the Brexit referendum, with the Labour leadership election shortly after that.

Now Richmond voters have to summon the strength to go to the polls again, but will they want to?

Richmond local Martin Kavanagh said: “I’m not fed up with voting, I’m fed up with talking about voting.

“We’ve had Brexit, we’ve had all the other stuff going on, council elections last year, so yeah I’m getting a little bit jaundiced from the whole thing.”

Richard Latham said: “The timing was quite surprising and I can understand why some people might feel like they’ve gone through rather a lot.

“But I think this election had to be called and it’s probably as well it’s happening sooner rather than later.

“I would say to people to get out and vote and exercise your rights, apathy is a dangerous thing.”

However, speculation for a low-turnout goes beyond the electorate being exhausted.

With predictions of a Tory landslide victory, some feel that turnout may be low due to people feeling like their vote won’t make a difference.

For example, in 2001, polls pointed strongly to a Labour victory and turnout was at that election was 59% – the lowest since 1918.

The claim could be made that Richmond is a special case, as it is highly marginal.

Mr Latham said: “The vote last time was very close and I think it will be again.

“I think nationwide the polls are closing a little bit actually, and the polls are thoroughly unreliable anyway, so you just never know.”

As 63.3% of the electorate in Richmond voted to remain, it is difficult to know if they will feel this election is relevant to their concerns.

Mr Kavanagh said: “I think if we still had the option of reversing the Brexit decision then it would be.

“People voted on one issue for Brexit – it was all about immigration.

“It was much more sophisticated so I would like to see that as part of this election, but too late. It’s done.”



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