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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 May, 2005, 23:47 GMT 00:47 UK
Sit down protest

POSTED: Friday 6 May, 0015BST

The British are not quite used to the idea of queuing to vote - remember the heartwarming scenes in South Africa's first post-apartheid elections, or the more controversial ones in Florida during the US Presidential elections of 2000?

But there was a whiff of indignation tonight in at least two constituencies.

In Watton, Norfolk, police reportedly had to persuade some 50 people to go home after they staged a sit-in. They complained they hadn't been able to vote before the door was shut at 10pm because of the queues. Ribble Valley too has reportedly seen people turned away from two polling stations for similar reasons.

UPDATED 0045BST: Police say the report of the sit-in at Wootton have proved unfounded, but some 40 to 50 people who were uable to vote because of long queues say they are going to register a formal complaint.

Polling stations are open 7am-10pm. That's 15 hours in which to vote! What on earth were these people doing all day that they had to turn up in the last few minutes of the poll?
Stuart Foulstone, Sheffield

Their jobs, perhaps SF? Not everyone spends all day in their local constituency. Personally, I was working away from home the day before so I woke up on polling day elsewhere, went to my own office, then got home at 9.30pm - and went straight to the Polling Station. Remember also, SF, that some people even work 15 hours or more in one day.
Adrian Grant, Reading

I think you will find that many commuters leave home pre-7 a.m. and do not arrive home until 19.30 hours, presumably keeping the economy functioning. Hence the scramble to arrive at the polling station after dinner i.e. post-9p.m.. Not much time after all is there?!
Julie Davey, Saffron Walden

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