Man arrested for attempting to blow up polling station amidst longest queues in UK election
London, Dec. 12, 2019 (AltAfrica)-Election queues, arrest have been major highlights of UK election today as a 48-year-old man was arrested for attempting to blow up a polling station in North Lanarkshire, many UK media outlets report (see earlier).
Police said a suspicious device was discovered on the ground floor of Glen Tower flats in Motherwell at around 1am on Thursday.
A cordon was placed around the building as residents were evacuated following the find.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal staff were called to the scene to examine the item before carrying out a controlled explosion
One woman said she was queueing for 35 minutes outside her polling station, which was the busiest she had seen it in 20 years of voting there.
Waits of more than half an hour were reported at various other locations across England
Queuing appeared particularly widespread in London, with long lines reported in a number of constituencies.
Chris Schofield said more than 70 voters were waiting in the Bermondsey and Old Southwark constituency – some of whom gave up and left during his 20-minute wait, “presumably to go to work”.
“It’s about 20 times busier than it was in 2017, and for the locals and Euro elections,” the 27-year-old consultant said. “Atmosphere is very London: orderly queueing and no one is talking to each other!”
Several voters claimed they had never seen queues like it in years.
Asked why he thought there were so many queuing, Schofield said: “I think it’s the election of a lifetime for many of us.” Alixe Bovey reported queueing for 35 minutes in the Streatham constituency.
“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,” she tweeted.
Waits were also reported in English cities such as Cambridge, where John Walsh tweeted to say it was the “first time ever” that he had to queue to exercise his democratic right.
Many members of the public said they were encouraged by the queues, suggesting it could mean a greater turnout than in the last general election. In the 2017 poll, there a turnout of 66.4%.
Voters unable to vote for whatever reason can return to their polling stations at any time before 10pm on Thursday evening.
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 in England, Scotland and Wales do not need to take anything with them to vote, while those in Northern Ireland must have photo ID.