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Last Updated: Friday, 6 May, 2005, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Turnout up more than 2% on 2001
Voter placing vote in ballot box
Postal voting is preferred by many.
Turnout in Thursday's general election was up by more than 2% on 2001 levels, according to the latest figures.

With 627 results declared, turnout reached 61.28%, compared to 59.17% in 2001. In close run seats turnout has been up to five points higher.

Voting rates were expected to be given significant boost after the number of those who elected to vote by post trebled.

The polls also saw more people turn out in Tory seats than in Labour ones.

Postal increase

Early analysis showed the turnout rose on average by just under two points in constituencies Labour were defending on Thursday, but by nearly three points in seats the Conservatives were defending.

As a result, the average turnout in Con constituencies ran at 65%, seven points higher than in Labour constituencies.

But postal voting has increased most of all in the north of England - with a 9.8% increase there.

It is thought this was probably due to voters being familiar with this method of voting.

All-postal ballots were conducted there in the local elections in June 2004.

Despite the increase, the figures are nowhere near those in Labour's historic 1997 landslide when 71% voted figures or 78% high of 1992.



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