Elections 2022: Looking at voter turnout in Wigan
Voters across the UK will flock to the polls next week for this year’s round of elections.
Thousands of seats are to be contested on Thursday, when residents up and down the country will decide who they want to make important decisions on their behalf.
In England, voters will be choosing a mixture of councillors, local and regional mayors, with those on the electoral roll in Wigan able to take part in the borough council elections in just a few days' time.
We've taken a look at what turnout was like across Wigan when voters last headed to the polls to vote for their preferred ward councillors.
Electoral Commission data shows that at the last local council elections in 2021, 242,786 people in the area were eligible to vote, with 72,604 of them returning valid ballot papers – equating to a valid voter turnout of 29.9 per cent.
Around 29,400 postal votes were included in the count, while 658 votes were rejected, which can occur if a paper is not marked properly or has been spoiled.
Including votes rejected at the count, the ballot box turnout in Wigan that year was 30.2 per cent, which was lower than the England average of 35.7 per cent.
National issues such as the surging cost of living, Ukraine and “party-gate” will be on voters' minds this year – but residents across Great Britain still want councils to focus on improving local roads and housing, according to a poll.
A survey carried out by Ipsos ahead of the elections found 50 per cent of Britons thought improving the condition of roads and pavements should be a top priority for councils.
Second on the list was providing affordable, decent housing, with 39 per cent of voters telling Ipsos this area was most in need of improvement.
Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos, said: “Although most people are pretty happy with where they live, they still want to see improvements, particularly on roads, housing, high streets and the local cost of living – all of which are regular bugbears for residents.
“And these can all vary by where you live, for example, crime is a particular issue in London, while in the rest of the South East, traffic congestion is a bigger priority.”