Biggest scandal of election is the poor turnout figures

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There could only be one subject for me to write about this week and, unfortunately, that’s politics.

It always feel mildly distasteful talking about it in public, as if this column represents a dinner table and I shouldn’t risk upsetting its guests.

Because they say politics, like religion, should not be discussed in polite company.

Well I’m sorry, but it’s all anyone has been talking about so it would be silly of me to ignore it.

Bit of a shake-up locally, then, with Ukip gaining seats in all our councils.

Portsmouth got a mention on the national news because the Ukip candidate ousted Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock from his seat on the council representing Fratton ward.

It’s perhaps no surprise that he lost it, given the controversies that have dogged him during the past few years and the fact he said he was too unwell to campaign.

But it is a bit of a surprise that Ukip was the party that beat him.

The media has been awash with stories about Ukip candidates dropping clanger after clanger – anyone remember the councillor who blamed January’s storms and floods on gay marriage making God angry?

Social media hijacked the #WhyImVotingUkip hashtag on Twitter as a way of protesting about the party’s views on immigration, sexuality, equality and policy.

It seemed everybody had an opinion.

But there is no scandal here, no outrage. Ukip will not be in control of the council, which will delight the party’s detractors and confound its supporters.

The real scandal is the turnout figures. In the Grange ward of Gosport, it was as low as 21 per cent while the highest was Stubbington with 50 per cent.

Where were all those opinionated people? In the polling station? Or at home?

My brilliant grandmother would be turning in her grave to hear that almost eight out of every 10 eligible voters in one part of Gosport simply didn’t bother to decide who they wanted to run their town.

I can almost hear her tutting now. Oh, no wait, that’s me, I’m the one who’s tutting.