Elections 2021: What is voter turnout like in Peterborough?
Voters will head to the polls in Peterborough next month for the first bumper crop of elections since the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Contests up and down the country are set to take place on May 6, dubbed “Super Thursday”, including some that were postponed from last year because of Covid-19.
In England, voters will be choosing a mixture of councillors, local mayors, regional mayors and police commissioners.
Those on the electoral roll in Peterborough can take part in the unitary authority elections in just over three weeks’ time. Alongside this, residents will choose who they would like to be Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Voters will also decide who they want to take up the role of Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire – the contest was due to take place last year, but was delayed due to the pandemic.
With the voter registration deadline looming, we have taken a look at what turnout has been like across Peterborough in recent years.
Electoral Commission data shows that at the last local council elections in 2019, 131,800 people in the area were eligible to vote, with 44,000 of them returning valid ballot papers.
That was a turnout of one third of eligible voters (33.4 per cent), which was higher than the England average for council elections of 32.3 per cent.
Around 14,700 postal votes were included in the count.
Including rejected votes, the ballot box turnout in Peterborough that year was 33.6 per cent.
Further data shows that the last Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mayoral election in 2017 had a valid voter turnout of 32.9 per cent, across the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough combined authority.
Different figures show that 45,300 people in Peterborough returned valid votes at the Cambridgeshire PCC election in 2016 – 34.1 per cent of those who were eligible to take part.
Elsewhere in Britain, Welsh and Scottish voters will be heading to the polls on May 6 to elect new parliaments.
The scale of Super Thursday means that every voter will be able to take part in at least one type of poll, making it the biggest event of its kind outside a general election.
An Electoral Commission spokesperson said: “This May, voters across Great Britain will be going to the polls to vote and choose the people that make decisions which can impact their day to day lives.
“There are several ways for people to vote – you can choose to vote at a polling station, by post, or by appointing someone you trust to vote as a proxy on your behalf.”
A YouGov survey carried out on behalf of the Electoral Commission in February found that the majority of voters would feel safe attending a polling station despite current public health challenges.
However, it added that absent voting is likely to play an important role in delivering elections during the pandemic, with more than one in five (22 per cent) of people surveyed in England who normally vote in person saying they intend to vote by post this year.
Anyone wanting to have their say must be registered to vote by midnight on Monday, April 19, while 5pm on April 20 is the final deadline for postal vote applications.