Bolton councillors blame national politics for voter apathy in local elections

By Carrie Smith & Shanna McGoldrick

Councillors at this year’s Bolton council election were left on tenterhooks as disillusioned voters stayed at home on polling day.

The turnout, around 32%, was down from 37% last year.

Labour leader of the council Cliff Morris admitted that the low turnout was a disappointment.

Conservative leader John Walsh blamed the introduction of postal votes, which he suggested gave Labour an unfair advantage as they have voters who stay at home more.

He said: “People are getting lazy and it shouldn’t be allowed unless you are going on holiday.”

Speaking before results were announced, Labour councillor Champak Mistry estimated that the turnout in Harper Green was just 20%.

He said: “People are disillusioned with what’s happened in national politics and it’s having a bad effect.

“We’ve been knocking on doors but people are just not interested.”

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