Mayoral referendum: how Croydon voted, ward-by-ward

The council last night released the figures by ward of how Croydon residents voted in October 7’s Mayoral referendum. We already knew that the thumping 80% majority across the whole borough, and defeats in all 28 wards, was very bad news indeed for Labour.

But dreadfully low turn-out – in one polling district,  just 19 people bothered to show up all day – ought to put all local politicians on alert at the levels of apathy and contempt the exercise showed


The council’s caveats which came along with the raw figures say, “Please note that the votes cast at polling stations for each ward are counted with postal votes from across the borough.

Croydon counting: even with a relatively low turn-out, the referendum count was a bit of a dawdle

“Comparatively the turnout amongst postal voters was higher than amongst polling station voters, so postal votes made up a greater proportion of the votes counted overall and by each ward team than at previous elections.

“The ward breakdown is therefore not a definitive record of the votes cast by electors in each ward, and can only be treated as an indication of how a ward has voted.”

Fair  ’nuff.

The council’s figures indicate that almost half of the votes counted had come from postal voters – which is nearly double the usual proportion of postal votes. This may reflect a shift towards postal voting inspired by concerns over attending polling stations since covid.

But the turn-out on the day was overall very, very poor.

In some of the hot-spots of DEMOC enthusiasm, there were reasonable numbers of voters: All Saints’ Church in Sanderstead had 40.76 per cent of voters pay its polling station a visit on the day.

The lowest turn-out was experienced at the Goldcrest Centre in New Addington North, where just 77 voters did their democratic duty – 5.7 per cent of the eligible electorate in that polling district.

The lowest number of voters using a polling station, though, was the 19 of 254 eligible voters who went along to a polling station at the Salvation Army Centre from district 7 of Waddon.

Read more: Croydon votes 4-to-1 in favour of having directly elected mayor
Read more: After defeat, pressure mounts on ‘lame duck’ council leader


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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in 2021 Mayor Referendum, 2022 council elections, Croydon Council, New Addington, New Addington North, Sanderstead, Waddon and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Mayoral referendum: how Croydon voted, ward-by-ward

  1. I know people who didn’t receive a referendum notification card from the council and therefore didn’t vote.

    There is no way Katherine Kerswell should be allowed to keep her position as borough returning officer given this administrative cock-up. The Buck stops with her.

  2. Anita Smith says:

    We all know people who didn’t receive their polling cards, and although you don’t actually need one to go and vote, if you were unaware a vote was taking place, you have been disenfranchised. I wonder if the Council are looking into these missing cards.? Perhaps all those who missed out should drop a line to the Council and then under a Freedom of Information request we can establish the extent of this failure. Questions need to be asked!

    • The cards are a formal notification as part of an important democratic and legal process. Once people decide ‘oh, you don’t really need a card’ or “if you didn’t know about it you shouldn’t be voting” the foundation of the right to vote is undermined.

      Kerswell had a task to do for which she is paid £30,000 (on top of her salary). She did not have to be the returning officer, it could be the head of social services, but in this instance, Kerswell grabbed the position and payment for herself – and then fudges it.

      If she can’t do that, is she capable of running the council?

  3. Geoff James says:

    The turn out for the Croydon Referendum was very very poor – but it appears this was the choice of the current administration.

    The natural and easy path for the Council was to hold the referendum in May 2021 along side the London Mayoral Elections. Had the Council allowed this the turnout for he Croydon Referendum would likely have been around 38% (same as London Mayor) AND it would have cost a tiny fraction as the Croydon Referendum would have been a simple add-on to the existing polling (ie no extra polling stations to hire and few extra staff needed)

    The leadership did a lot of heavy lifting to engineer the delay of the Croydon Referendum to Oct. The obvious consequence is a small turn out (By design); and an extra £0.5m in cost (but does that matter when it is other people’s money, and they have already wasted £1.5bn)

  4. Hazel swain says:

    so lets see what the new mayor does for croydon…. lets hope he is better than mr khan !

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