In case you hadn’t noticed, in less than a decent night’s sleep, the polling booths will open across the UK. I’ve set my alarm 10 minutes earlier than otherwise so that I can cast my vote on the way to the station. In this rural parish, I guarantee I will be the first voter to cross the threshold. In the unlikely event of there being an exit poll, it will throw the pundits into a frenzy, as they extrapolate into a forecast of a kicking for the Chancellor. The two officials, if that is what they be, will resemble the Miss Tibbs, residential at Fawlty Towers, and will cluck and gurgle about their duty. They will comment, as they check my voting paper, that I am the young man (I’m 52) who lives round the back of so-and-so. I will not see them again until the next democratic opportunity. I go dancing at loads of village halls around the country, but this is the only occasion when I visit the one in my home village, tucked away in it’s 1960s prefabness, round the side of the parish church, which in turn is set out in the fields. I haven’t a clue what goes on there any other time. It’s a picture of bucolic England as much of a caricature as John Major’s cycling district nurses.
I am sure there are plenty of us on here for whom our first experience of elections was a day off school, as the nation commandeered our classrooms and assembly halls. These are the places that pop up on the telly as narrative, ideally contrasted with some out of the way institution on a remote Scottish island, to which people have to row in order to exercise their democratic right.
Where do you vote? Anyone got any quaint venues or tales to tell as they make use of this precious privilege, denied to so many round the world, fought for by our ancestors, yet squandered by a third of the electorate?