Post by Davıd Boothroyd on May 26, 2016 21:01:45 GMT
Someone recently emailed me about the district level turnout figures for the 1975 referendum. Butler and Kitzinger's book "The 1975 Referendum" refers to the figures on page 273 and implies they were available.
I’ve had a look round and can’t find any published source. It isn’t given in the Certificate of the Chief Counting Officer (Cmnd 6105) which gives the official results. Other publications from 1975 do not give the district figures.
The 1975 referendum was counted in an unusual way. At 10 pm when the polls closed, the ballots were verified by the district councils, before being taken to county centres to be counted starting on Friday morning. The turnout figures for the districts came from that initial Thursday night verification.
Does anyone else know if the figures are available anywhere? My speculation is that David Butler and Uwe Kitzinger asked the district councils directly to supply them with figures. If so they may be preserved at Nuffield College somewhere.
Despite excellent coverage in the local press the turnout figure for Calderdale in 1975 is given as 'about 66%'. There is mention that there was only a 13 vote discrepancy between the five boroughs' verification and the central West Yorkshire count.
Off topic there was an unpleasant episode at one polling station in Sowerby. A prominent YES campaigner (and Tory agent) went to cast a proxy vote and found the presiding officer with an unsealed ballot box and her hands in the box. The second polling clerk had been given permission to attend a funeral. The presiding officer had forgotten to officially mark some ballots during a busy stint. She panicked...the lady was reprimanded and sacrificed her fee.
Post by timrollpickering on May 27, 2016 15:33:59 GMT
ISTR from the television coverage that there were a number of recounts - the studio reckoned these were to sort out verification issues rather than close voting numbers. It does sound like this was one of the worst pieces of voting administration in modern history.