I’m glued to my telly at the moment watching the election coverage. Reports are coming in all over the country of polling stations overwhelmed by voters. My constituency, withington is not only a vital marginal seat (labour/lib dem) but also one of those that has had voters turned away.
Personally I had no problems voting. My polling station was fairly quiet at 6pm. However, a friend of mine, @mikeedge who voted at the more central Barlow Moor road Parkfield Road South station, West Disbury witnessed queues all evening.
After deciding the queues were getting longer not shorter he took the plunge at about 8.30pm.
Mike estimated there were 150 people queueing when he joined. It took approx 45 minutes to get through these people. 3 people per minute.
As he left after 9.15pm the queue was longer than when he joined, about an hours queue at the pace he experienced with more people arriving.
The BBC is reporting more than 200 people were turned away from Withington as a whole. No indication if this is at multiple polling stations or just one.
Some constituencies are blaming large numbers of students turning up without polling cards or without having registered but although Withington has a significant student population this situation was not observed at the Barlow Moor road Parkfield Road South polling station.
In such a critical seat, this story could run and run. We could be the Florida of the 2010 UK election.
Or not. Incumbent Lib Dem MP John Leech held withington and actually extended his narrow lead from the last election.