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'People are fed up with elections' - council leader explains fall in voters for European elections

PUBLISHED: 15:13 24 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:13 24 May 2019

There was a 7pc fall in voters for the European elections in Great Yarmouth compared with 2014. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

There was a 7pc fall in voters for the European elections in Great Yarmouth compared with 2014. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

A 7pc drop in voters turning out for the European elections in Great Yarmouth has been put down to people being "fed up with elections".

Leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council Carl Smith. Picture: Ella WilkinsonLeader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council Carl Smith. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

The turnout in Great Yarmouth for Thursday's vote was 31pc compared with the last European elections in 2014 which had a turnout of 38pc.

Leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council Carl Smith, said: "People are fed up with elections.

"When we were out campaigning for the local elections there were a lot of frustrated people who didn't understand why there was another vote."

Despite a fall of 7pc when compared with the last European elections, the figure does represent a 3pc rise in voter turnout from the local elections earlier this month.

Mr Smith believes this is because many people who voted on Thursday wanted to cast a "protest vote".

A standout line from the local elections was the 950 ballot papers which were spoiled in the borough,however, the council leader said he expected this to "return to normal levels" as people had greater choice at the polls.

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Great Yarmouth is one of 45 local authority areas in the Eastern region whose local verification figures and results are feeding into the overall result and turnout for the region, which are being coordinated at Chelmsford in Essex.

The result from the borough will be published on the council's website after 10pm on Sunday, May 26.

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