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VMPhil9,634 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
The choice of voting on Thursdays in the UK was made in 1913. Not everyone could vote anyway, so it didn't really matter which day was chosen.

Thursday was chosen because many of the electorate were assumed to be drunk on Fridays (when they were normally paid). Apparently we'd all be penniless and sober on Thursdays.


My dad always used to joke that it was Thursdays to avoid people staying in to watch Corrie

Harold Wilson convinced then BBC DG Sir Hugh Greene to move Steptoe and Son until later in the evening on the day of the 1964 election, in fear that Labour's working class vote would stay home rather than go to the polls.
Ben Shatliff1,034 posts since 30 Aug 2003
Granada North West Today
Yes, Sunday voting is the norm in most countries and its the more sensible day to do it - people are off work, no need to close schools etc. A lot of countries that do have weekday voting do it on public holidays. The US is the other major outlier, theirs are in Tuesday.

I don't think anyone knows why we do them on Thursdays and I'm pretty sure that until recently it was convention rather than mandated. No reason why we couldn't have the EU elections on a Sunday like everyone else


They should try a Sunday and see if the turnout is any better for them.

If it was the first Sunday In May then we have the bank holiday the following day; easier for staying up to watch the results.
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Moz5,428 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Wales Today
Sunday night 11pm


WHAT!!!? I've booked Friday 24th off work so I could watch through Thursday night!

It should be vote Thursday, results by Friday morning.

Thank God we're leaving this backward arrangement!


There's nothing backwards about it. We're the outliers because we vote on Thursdays. The votes are then kept uncounted so as not to affect the rest of the election.


Yes there is, it's just weird. We do it right, everyone else does it wrong. They should all move to the proper day for voting - Thursdays.
#skillsforlife
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AlexS715 posts since 19 Oct 2016
Central (East) Midlands Today
Yes, Sunday voting is the norm in most countries and its the more sensible day to do it - people are off work, no need to close schools etc. A lot of countries that do have weekday voting do it on public holidays. The US is the other major outlier, theirs are in Tuesday.

I don't think anyone knows why we do them on Thursdays and I'm pretty sure that until recently it was convention rather than mandated. No reason why we couldn't have the EU elections on a Sunday like everyone else


They should try a Sunday and see if the turnout is any better for them.

If it was the first Sunday In May then we have the bank holiday the following day; easier for staying up to watch the results.

Sunday on a bank holiday weekend would be a totally inappropriate time for an election due to the numbers of people that go away over bank holidays.
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Moz5,428 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Wales Today
Yes, Sunday voting is the norm in most countries and its the more sensible day to do it - people are off work, no need to close schools etc. A lot of countries that do have weekday voting do it on public holidays. The US is the other major outlier, theirs are in Tuesday.

I don't think anyone knows why we do them on Thursdays and I'm pretty sure that until recently it was convention rather than mandated. No reason why we couldn't have the EU elections on a Sunday like everyone else


They should try a Sunday and see if the turnout is any better for them.

If it was the first Sunday In May then we have the bank holiday the following day; easier for staying up to watch the results.

Sunday on a bank holiday weekend would be a totally inappropriate time for an election due to the numbers of people that go away over bank holidays.


Which is why we do it on Thursdays.
#skillsforlife
Inspector Sands13,599 posts since 25 Aug 2004
Thursday's seem to work well so no point in changing it. You have 15 hours to cast your vote or do it weeks before via postal.

I don't know by what criteria you say it 'works well'? Whether weekend voting would be any better in terms of turnout no one can know unless it's tried.
sjhoward526 posts since 21 Sep 2003
Tyne Tees Look North (North East)

Every country has their traditional voting days. It just happens to be the case that most European countries conduct their elections on a Sunday. Remember, Sunday evenings are when the results of the French & German presidential elections are usually called, because they traditionally vote on Sundays. The UK & Ireland are amongst a select number of outliers who vote on days other than Sunday. The UK has traditionally always been Thursdays, whilst Ireland has been Fridays.


True, but when it comes to European elections, every country is essentially a constituency (although five of them have multiple constituencies), and I can't think of too many elections in which various constituencies vote on different days. After all, if EU members can't even agree to hold pan-EU elections on the same day, what hope is there for "an ever closer union."

But I suspect this is a topic for another place and another time.


This is the thing. A supposedly single European Parliament election, is actually 28 separate country by country elections to that parliament. Just like in America, it's actually 50 seperate elections to the US Houses of Congress every 2 years, not just one national election.


It's also worth noting that different countries use different electoral systems in the European Parliament election - it's not solely a case of voting on different days. Indeed, even within the UK, Northern Ireland uses a different system to the other constituencies.
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bilky asko5,465 posts since 9 Sep 2006
Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
Thursday's seem to work well so no point in changing it. You have 15 hours to cast your vote or do it weeks before via postal.

I don't know by what criteria you say it 'works well'? Whether weekend voting would be any better in terms of turnout no one can know unless it's tried.


I don't know what the voting hours are in the rest of the EU, but I seem to recall that the voting period in the US is much shorter than the UK. 7am-10pm (plus postal voting) gives ample time.
itsrobert6,281 posts since 23 Mar 2001
Granada North West Today
I don't know about others, but I think I would be less inclined to vote on a Sunday. Sundays are either about staying in doing jobs or chilling - or alternatively going out on some sort of social/leisure activity. Either way, I wouldn't be as thrilled about having to fit in stopping at the polling station. At least on a Thursday, most of the population is already up and about for work, so calling into a polling station at some point isn't exactly problematic. For me, it would definitely be more of a faff on a Sunday.
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