The by-election is upon the voters in Eastleigh – Thursday 28th February 2013.
They can’t make history just by electing one of the candidates (however bizarre the choice). They will though be in the papers, on the TV & Radio, and make history if they either turn out in droves to vote, or don’t turn up at the polls at all!
The Highest turnout in any UK general election in modern times was in Northern Ireland Fermanagh and South Tyrone in 1951 at 93.4%. The Lowest turnout was in Liverpool Riverside in 2001 at 34.1%.
However, for by-elections things tend to be much different. Again in modern times the highest turnouts were in Mid Ulster by-election in 1969 at 91.5%; in Carmarthen by-election in 1957 at 87.4% (Wales); Brighouse and Spenborough (England) by-election in 1950 at 85.4%. Out of reach for Eastleigh voters no doubt as turnout at the last general Election in 2010 was at 69.3%, and the previous by-election in 1994 was 58.2%.
At the other end of the scale the lowest turnout in modern times was in Manchester Central by-election in 2012 at 18.2%. Hopefully Eastleigh voters will try harder than that.
It seems most likely that turnout will be significantly lower than the general Election figure of 69.3% so could be well under 50%!
Oh dear, perhaps history is not in the making at Eastleigh?