Tired of making lists of DIY jobs to do this Easter weekend? Why not register to vote. Today is the last day you can do so in time for the Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester mayoral elections.
The size of the electorate will influence the level of turnout on 4 May; late registrants are more likely to vote. Neither Manchester nor Merseyside sub-regions have a great track record for getting high turnouts, perhaps borne of the sense of inevitability folk in Labour strongholds feel about voting. The newer the format or more remote the seat – think European Parliament, police and crime commissioners – the worse the turnout. Voting for the first police and crime commissioner in Liverpool, won by Jane Kennedy, was a mere 12.7%, which was only slightly better in GM, Tony Lloyd, at 13.9%, or 272,000 out of two million people that could have voted. Could mayoral elections fall into that challenging novelty bracket?
Official teams in both areas have been working and spending hard, backed by Department for Communities & Local Government, producing social media campaigns, advertising on public transport, media releases, residents’ magazines and newsletters, notice boards in civic buildings. But still there are the familiar complaints about lack of public information, such as on the GM Elects page on Facebook in the past week.
The communications team behind the Liverpool City Region Elects effort said the website has had 9,000 visits since it was launched on 13 March. Is that enough? The devolution prize is a big one – let’s hope the size of the mandate reflects that.
Register to vote here www.gov.uk/register-to-vote If you have already registered but want to vote by post, the deadline to request a postal vote is 5pm on Tuesday 18 April.
Hang on, did we miss something or is Chris Oglesby standing for mayor of Greater Manchester? This shot of the Manchester Publicity Association’s Big Debate held at Neo this week shows the Bruntwood boss, pictured far left, lined up alongside Sean Anstee, Jane Brophy and Andy Burnham, sporting their best ‘creative workwear’, along with some public relations types from the MPA. Sorry Chris but the nominations have closed, the Bruntwood Party’s electoral debut will have to wait another day. Surely it wasn’t just another ploy to get people inside one of Bruntwood’s latest developments? Image by @thevainphotos