Elections in Abingdon – with pandemic regulations

There was a cold frosty start to Thursday, the May election Day. Voting started at 7am and ended at 10pm. There was some sunshine during the day but it never got very warm.

People working at the polling stations began work at about 6 am to get everything ready. This included the usual things such as unpacking and putting together the polling booths, and new things such as one way arrows, and screens between officials and voters, and hand gel.

Entry to the polling stations was from one end, and exit from the other, where possible. Doors were left open for a free passage of air.

The election was for Oxfordshire County Councillors, Police and Crime Commissioner, and a Town Councillor for Fitzharris Ock Ward.

At the Guildhall, where I voted, you were expected to wear a facemask, and were asked whether you had brought your own pen, and the booths were wiped between use.

There was no entry through the Cinema doors which open from May 17th with Nomadland, Six Minutes to Midnight, and Peter Rabbit 2.

I saw Chris Palmer delivering leaflets at 7:10 in the morning near the Reynolds Way shops. He said the postal vote was up on usual but it was difficult to predict voter turnout or how it would go. He was standing in South Abingdon. The usual Conservatives, Mike and Marilyn Badcock, had retired after many dedicated years of service to that part of town. Their long term opponent, Neil Fawcett was still there standing for the Lib-Dems. Neil has worked for the Lib-Dems as a professional campaign manager, and brings his campaigning skills to Abingdon and his impressive deep voice to debates.

Alison Rooke the Lib Deb candidate for East Abingdon rang me early on Thursday afternoon to see if I had voted, then asked if I had voted for her.

It took longer to count the results than usual because of the pandemic restrictions. The voting was on Thursday and the results were counted on Sunday. The Lib-Dems have won all three Abingdon seats as in the last election in 2017. Here are the winners and their winning margins:

There was also a Town Council election which the Lib-Dems won.

The new councilor replaces the energetic and free-thinking Jeanette Halliday, seen here before the 2011 C and W bun throwing.

4 thoughts on “Elections in Abingdon – with pandemic regulations

  1. Mary

    Apologies for delayed response, but I cannot understand why voter turnout is so low. Voting is made very easy for us in the UK. I wish everyone would participate.

    1. Hester

      Yes, I wonder how many of those who regularly complain about councillors actually use the power of the ballot box!!
      PS sadly, the government is planning to make it less easy to vote by requiring people to produce photo ID – an enormous obstacle for the many hundreds of thousands who don’t have passports or driving licences.

  2. Daniel

    if it is important, why not just get photo ID? I heard somewhere that its somewhere around 5% of the voting public that don’t have a passport or drivers licence…frankly I can’t quite believe, in this age of “security” that, of ALL things…you DON’T need to prove who you are in order to vote?

    I think people don’t vote for various reasons. Here’s one:

    How has it come to pass that “the meadya” has swung this “election” in to some kind of marker for what the country thinks of Boris’ handling of the pandemic (or the government in general)? Why does me “voting for the chap who’ll sort the kids playground round the corner” in anyway reflect upon my feelings towards the government?

    It is a sad state of affairs we have got to that “The BBC”* (insert any ratings driven news outlet of your choosing) has made the Local Elections into a “Reflection on the Government”. It isn’t.

    But, people believe it is – because “The BBC”* is always right, right?

    So, rather than have them told what their opinion means, people would rather keep that opinion to themselves.

  3. Iain

    Anyone heard anything about how the talks on what form of coalition will run OCC for the next few years? I heard on BBC Oxford there are talks between Liberals, Greens and Labour


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.