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ELECTIONS 2004: WIGAN TURNOUT UP BY 50%

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As polling draws to a close, Wigan borough's local election turnout is ...
As polling draws to a close, Wigan borough's local election turnout is

already almost 50 per cent higher than in 2003. By 5pm on 9 June some

33% of voters had returned their ballot papers, compared to just 22.7%

voting a year ago.

In some places turnout has been even higher. Orrell and Wigan Central wards

have passed the 40 per cent mark, with Ashton, Bryn and Shevington not far

behind.

73,500 of the borough's 237,000 registered electors have voted so far - and

the final figures are likely to be even higher once a sweep of post boxes

has been carried out, and ballot papers dropped off today at assistance and

delivery points have been collected.

Local returning officer, Steve Jones, said: 'It is evident that the postal

pilot has increased turnout for both the European and local elections which

is good news. In Wigan we had seen a gradual decline in turnout over recent

years so the postal pilot has clearly had an impact.'

Anyone still wishing to vote has until 10pm tonight to drop their ballot

paper off at assistance and delivery points at Wigan Town Hall or Leigh

Library, as well as emergency centres set up at Aspull Library, Standish

High School and Hindley Leisure Centre.

Turnout in the north west for the last European elections held in 1999 was

just 19.5%.

Latest voting figures:

Votes returned as of 5pm Wednesday 9 June

Ward / Envelopes returned / Percentage of electorate

Abram278428.32

Ashton349038.02

Aspull New Springs Whelley277328.51

Astley Mosley Common299031.39

Atherleigh223428.89

Atherton340031.04

Bryn363439

Douglas272729.53

Golborne and Lowton West300834.78

Hindley283631.7

Hindley Green269931.22

Ince223626.18

Leigh East266830.06

Leigh South324331.72

Leigh West267725.21

Lowton East347435.33

Orrell374841.87

Pemberton285229.18

Shevington with Lower

Ground362039.15

Standish with Langtree353137.6

Tyldesley334933.19

Wigan Cen tral373940.58

Wigan Westno local election

Winstanley296333.7

Worsley Mesnes291931.74

Overall 73,594 32.87

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