I am very lenient in these cases – I think everyone who has turned up before the time that the polling station closes should be allowed to vote. And I don’t care whether this turns out to include a hundred BNP supporters, a stretch of Tory limos, or LibDem-voting students. This is a democracy; everyone that wants to vote and decides to do so in time should be allowed to.
It is ‘not on’ that this way, the system can potentially be misused by anyone at the polling station, deliberately stalling the voting if it is predicted that most registered voters will vote for a party that ‘isn’t so popular’ with the organisers of the polling station. I’m not saying this happened but the potential is there – and it shouldn’t be there.
Arguments that people simply ‘should have turned up earlier’ are ridiculous. Some people were there over an hour in advance. Sounds reasonable to me. Some that turned up late weren’t able to get there earlier.
Regardless of that, if you are there before 10PM you’re clearly indicating that you’re ready to vote, and within the legal limit too. Why shouldn’t you be allowed to vote? I can’t think of a compelling reason apart from legal hairsplitting.
And there is the issue that in some instances people were turned away whereas others were allowed to vote; that’s unfair to some people somewhere, too.
I say, a full revote for all these polling stations.