Elections 2022: Looking at voter turnout in Bucks

Voters across the UK will flock to the polls next week for this year’s round of elections.

By Katie Williams
Friday, 29th April 2022, 3:22 pm

Thousands of seats are to be contested on Thursday (5 May), when residents up and down the country will decide who they want to make important decisions on their behalf.

In England, voters will be choosing a mixture of councillors, local and regional mayors.

While those on the electoral roll in Buckinghamshire won't be taking part in full council elections this year, we've taken a look at what turnout was like when voters last headed to the polls to vote for their preferred ward councillors.

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Bucks voters turned out at an above average clip, (Yui Mok PA Archive/PA Images)

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Buckinghamshire local elections 2021 results

Last year’s vote was the first time the public had voted for Bucks officials, since the unitary authority was formed in 2019.

Electoral Commission data shows that at the last local council elections in 2021, 413,650 people in the area were eligible to vote, with 161,373 of them returning valid ballot papers – equating to a valid voter turnout of 39%.

Around 46,500 postal votes were included in the count, while 878 votes were rejected, which can occur if a paper is not marked properly or has been spoiled.

Including votes rejected at the count, the ballot box turnout in Buckinghamshire that year was 39.2%, which was higher than the England average of 35.7%.

Last year was a bumper year for elections, with people across England and Wales also responsible for choosing the Police and Crime Commissioner for their area – the person who will hold their local force to account and ensure it is serving the needs of the community.

In Buckinghamshire, 160,521 people cast a vote at the 2021 Thames Valley PCC election, which was a turnout of 38.8%.

National issues such as the surging cost of living, Ukraine and partygate will be on voters' minds this year – but residents across Great Britain still want councils to focus on improving local roads and housing, according to a poll.

A survey carried out by Ipsos ahead of the May 5 elections found 50% of Britons thought improving the condition of roads and pavements should be a top priority for councils.

That figure rose to 60% in Wales and 63% in Scotland, while in London only a third of people thought roads were a priority.

Second on the list was providing affordable, decent housing, with 39% of voters telling Ipsos this area was most in need of improvement.

Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos, said: “Although most people are pretty happy with where they live, they still want to see improvements, particularly on roads, housing, high streets and the local cost of living – all of which are regular bugbears for residents.

“And these can all vary by where you live, for example, crime is a particular issue in London, while in the rest of the South East, traffic congestion is a bigger priority.”

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