The polls have closed – the ballot boxes have been sealed until tomorrow and the day is drawing to a close on probably the most enjoyable election day that I have ever had.
Much credit must go today to the two teams of Labour and Conservative activists who have manned polling stations, leafleted, knocked on the doors of those who had yet to vote (far too many) and despite what people may think, have genuinely wished each other good luck. Some of my Labour colleagues across the country might be surprised at this but Surrey Heath “rules” are that you work as hard as you can with as many people as you can and then let the electorate decide!
The great unknown in this election and across Surrey is the vote that UKIP will get. My impression from our canvass returns is that they have polled well despite running a very poor campaign which failed to focus on a single local issue. Certainly, their supporters identified by us have come out to vote as have a large number of people who are identified as “don’t know”. Many Conservative voters have decided to stay at home despite a gloriously sunny day but then so have some of the Lab voters. This means that the turn-out in this election is therefore likely to be low. It is difficult to predict exactly but my guess is lower than 35% and perhaps nearer 30% which would be a pity.
Fuller blog with results and comparisons tomorrow.