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'Postcode lottery' of catching votes in East Lancashire
VOTERS in Burnley are valued at nearly double those in Blackburn, figures reveal.
But the gap in spending on advertising to attract voters has made no difference to turn-out, which was 62 per cent in both towns, defying expert research.
Political parties spent 85p per person in the BB1 postcode for Blackburn town centre – in the middle range for party spending.
In the BB11 postcode for Burnley town centre, £1.52 per person was spent in the run-up to the last general election – in the top flight for party spending.
A total of 41,845 people voted, 62.8 per cent of the electorate. The cost of elections per head has been calculated using an online tool from the Electoral Reform Society.
In the 2010 election, nearly 27,000 votes went to defeated candidates in Burnley when Gordon Birtwistle triumphed.
In Blackburn, Jack Straw was elected with support from 47.81 per cent of local voters, with nearly 24,000 votes going on defeated candidates. A total figure of 45,499 people voted, a turnout of 62.9 per cent.
Political parties budget the advertising spend according to how likely they are to win the seat in a particular constituency, the society said.
Chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, Katie Ghose, said: “Elections in Britain have become the ultimate postcode lottery.
“The amount of money which parties spend on attracting your vote depends almost entirely on where you live. If you live in a marginal seat, then parties will spend money trying to attract your vote but if you live in a safe seat then you will be all but ignored.
“Our report shows that where parties tighten their belts, people will be much less likely to vote.”
Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said: “Blackburn is a very safe seat, like Burnley used to be. We have to work harder in Burnley.
“A lot of hard work went into the election. We fought the campaign and we won.
“It’s up the parties how they spend their money because they raised it themselves.”
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