One of the things I’ve noticed whilst talking to voters today is that many people seem to have picked up the habit of voting from their parents. It seems obvious when you think about it, but seeing other people in your family going to vote can have an important influence on whether you choose to vote yourself or not.
For example, one resident told us about her family voting rituals:
Family voting rituals – audio
A lady who I spoke to yesterday said that the influence went back even further in her family, to her grandmother:
I will be voting - video
This is a stark contrast with my experience at my own polling station this morning. A lady walked in to the church hall, with a small child attached to each arm, and stopped abruptly in the middle of the floor.
She turned to the election officers behind the desk and said tetchily: “Is there no playgroup today?” Heads turned. There was a polite reply of “No”. The lady was strangely oblivious to the giant “Polling Station” signs that she’d just walked past, along with the polling booths, the ballot boxes, the desk full of paperwork and the bemused onlookers. “Well, nobody told me”, she said forcefully.
And off she went, trailing the small children behind her.