WE heard a lot at the General Election of how dithering voters couldn’t make their mind up right to the last, some setting off to the polling stations still even then not knowing for sure who they were going to support. Only once inside the booth, did they feel inspiration running through their veins and into that stubby pencil.
People with clear convictions over their party allegiances don’t really believe the above actually happens. It’s just a polling day story to them. How silly would you have to be to collect your paper at the polling station and then head to the private booth with your head still racing with indecision?
Yet, a senior Lib Dem tells me that during counting for the recent Hampstead and Kilburn parliamentary seat, there was clear evidence that people did prevaricate like confused quiz show contestants in those final seconds. The source tells me that there were around 50 papers which looked like they had a cross marked in the Lib Dem box, that had then been scribbled out. In most of these cases, a new mark was apparently then made for Labour. It’s an interesting story. Just another bit of evidence, the Lib Dems believe, of a genuine panic at the polls among people who they think were bullied into sticking with two party politics.