Local elections 2021: What is voter turnout like in Crawley?

Voters up and down the country will head to the polls tomorrow (Thursday) for the first bumper crop of elections since the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 2:36 pm

Many contests 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.

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Voters go to the polling stations on Thursday, May 6

Those on the electoral roll in Crawley can take part in elections for the area's borough and county councils in just over three weeks' time.

Voters will also decide who they want to take up the role of Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex – the contest was due to take place last year, but was delayed due to the pandemic.

With the voter registration deadline looming, we've taken a look at what turnout has been like across Crawley in recent years.

Electoral Commission data shows that at the last local council elections in 2019, 80,200 people in the area were eligible to vote, with 24,900 of them returning valid ballot papers.

That was a turnout of 31.1%, which was lower than the England average for council elections of 32.3%.

Around 9,100 postal votes were included in the count, while 379 votes were rejected, which can occur if a paper is not marked properly or has been spoiled.

Including rejected votes, the ballot box turnout in Crawley that year was 31.6%.

Different figures show that 22,500 people in Crawley returned valid votes at the Sussex PCC election in 2016 – 29.2% 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 22% 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.