Never has a polling day caused so much tension and had so much riding on how the future political landscape will be shaped — and it’s not even a General Election.
Polls closed for the European Parliament elections last night, putting an end to a Brexit-soaked campaign. Across Lincolnshire there was an average turnout of 33%, which is an increase on the 29% of voters just three weeks ago at the local elections.
While Brexit overshadowed local issues at the start of the month, there was no doubt about the dominating theme yesterday.
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A splash of allegations of breaking electoral law and milkshakes thrown at party campaigners added to the build-up for what will prove to be an interesting results day.
Parties who set their stall out on Brexit are expected to perform well on Sunday and take the headlines. The Liberal Democrats made their anti-Brexit campaign known and are tipped to have a good night, despite playing down expectations in the East Midlands.
Meanwhile, it would be no surprise to see Labour and the Conservatives take a beating from the public over their handling of the issue.
Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, which paid a visit to Lincolnshire on the campaign trail, are expected to take the majority of the 73 seats available nationally. Despite having no manifesto or policies, they have held a lead in the polls.
The elections will be yet another test of public opinion in the government and opposition. But, it will also give the minor parties a flavour of how their campaigns on Brexit have played with the electorate.
Results day will give food for thought ahead of the elections in years to come, though the next may not be so far away following the Prime Minister’s resignation announcement on Friday.
A General Election would be different battleground though, covering an array of national issues rather than just Brexit, not to mention a totally different voting system.
It could prove to be too much for some parties who have to offer more in their manifestos, but still an interesting prospect all the same.
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