Thursday, 4 June 2009
The sun is already up, and its a beautiful morning outside. There's some very thin, very high cloud - but the sun is shining. As soon as I have written this post - and checked my email - I will quickly get ready for a very long day ahead.
The polls open at 7.00am. We moved from Rugby to Milton Keynes just over a month ago. I am now registered to vote at our new address - so will be outside the polling station - perhaps to be the first in. No one is expecting the long queues which I saw in Alexandria, Virginia last November. Once I've voted - and as Milton Keynes is a unitary authority - there is no local vote to cast. In England County Councils are being elected. I will however cast my vote in the European Elections. Unlike all other elections in England, my vote will not be for an individual - but for a party list. Seats will be allocated, on a broadly proportional basis, according to the votes cast for each party. Milton Keynes is (just) in the South East Region.
As soon as I have voted, I will make my way into the region in which I am the fourth placed name on the Labour Party list. The East Midlands extends from just three miles from my home (the Milton Keynes/Northamptonshire border), up to the outskirts of Sheffield. Its western border is with Warwickshire - and is pretty close to the geographical centre of England [some people say the centre is in Daventry, which is in the East Midlands itself - it depends how you calculate the "centre"]. It is made up of the counties of Derbyshire; Nottinghamshire; Lincolnshire; Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.
I expect to spend the day in Leicester. The city has three Labour held parliamentary seats. As it too is a unitary authority, there are no county elections. Just outside the city, such elections are being held - I'm particularly interested in the elections in the current parliamentary constituency of Blaby, which I stood for in the 2001 and 2005 General Elections. Braunstone Town borders Leicester City - and is held by Labour.
Polls close at 10pm. During the day I'll be involved in the GOTV (Get Out The Vote) activities. With all the current turmoil in British politics it should be an interesting day. Once polls have closed I'll drive home. Tomorrow county council votes will be counted and results announced. European Parliament votes will not be counted until Sunday, after all polling stations across the European Union have closed. I'll be back in Leicester for my count.
You can follow the days events via the BBC
The Labour Party's website is: - http://www.labour.org.uk/
and the East Midlands Labour Team: http://www.eastmidslabour.org.uk/?PageId=b39af385-51f5-7e04-215f-f24d53b021f9