At a press conference, attended exclusively by the Evening Harold, Mayor Rufus D Jackson conceded that the polls were nothing to be proud of: “This is an historic day for our community but in a bad way. The fact that each of the candidates received just one vote each is not good, but at least I’ve retained office so it’s not all bad. It sustains my faith in democracy.”
Jackson admitted that it appeared that only the five candidates actually voted: “We will have to look into this of course,” adding “Questions will be asked in the Jackson household as to why I only received one vote.”
Despite the low turnout, Harold’s polling station was manned throughout the day. Staff whiled away the long hours by playing a variety of traditional village games such as ‘Spot the spider’, ‘What’s that smell?’ and ‘Name the worst way to spoil a ballot paper’.
Once polling closed, the count took a record two minutes which included three recounts, just for the fun of it.
We canvassed opinion on why the turnout was so low. Eddie, landlord of the Squirrellickers Arms, felt apathy was not to blame but ignorance. “Village folk have strong political opinions which you will hear every evening in the ‘lickers after a few beers; it’s just that the locals were too engrossed in guessing who will be the next celebrity to be arrested to realise that the election was last night.”
Although voter apathy was blamed by others, it is thought that Councillor Ron Ronsson’s scheme of luring potential opposition voters away from the village by arranging a mystery coach trip to Dunstable may have backfired, since most of temporary tourists said they wouldn’t have voted for any of the candidates anyway. “Tossers, the lot of them,” was a typical response.