General Election: Hundreds queue at polling stations across the UK

12 December 2019, 14:51

Voters queued for up to 45 minutes in Streatham
Voters queued for up to 45 minutes in Streatham. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Huge queues are being reported outside polling stations across the UK as voters head to the polls.

Queuing appeared particularly widespread in London, with long lines and waits of up to 45 minutes in some areas.

Chris Schofield told reporters that more than 70 voters were waiting in the Bermondsey and Old Southwark constituency.

He said: "It's about 20 times busier than it was in 2017, and for the locals and Euro elections.

"The atmosphere is very London: orderly queueing and no-one is talking to each other"

Voters are in large queues in Streatham Hill
Voters are in large queues in Streatham Hill. Picture: PA Images

Alixe Bovey reported queueing for 35 minutes in the Streatham constituency.

She tweeted: "In 20 years of voting in Streatham Hill, always at about this time of day, I have never encountered a queue of more than six or seven people."

Queues of people were also reported in Cambridge, where John Walsh tweeted to say it was the "first time ever" that he had to queue to vote.

Many Twitter users said they were encouraged by the queues, suggesting it could mean a greater turnout than in the last general election.

The queue from outside a polling station in Bermondsey
The queue from outside a polling station in Bermondsey. Picture: PA Images

Total turnout at the 2017 General Election was 68.8 per cent, the fourth successive election where turnout increased.

The Electoral Commission advises polling stations "can get very busy, particularly towards the end of the day", but says voters in a queue before 10pm will be entitled to apply for a ballot paper.

Voters unable to vote for whatever reason can return to their polling stations at any time before 10pm on Thursday evening.

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