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Wednesday, 30 May, 2001, 11:29 GMT 12:29 UK
Scoring success?

Politicians are always keen to appear at sporting events. Tony Blair presented this year's London Marathon awards and appeared alongside Kevin Keegan in 1997.

Both Charles Kennedy and William Hague are football fans, supporting Inverness and Rotherham respectively.

Sporting success triggers all kind of events. When Barnsley were promoted to the Premiership in 1997, the town's productivity went up by 10 per cent. This week a host of British teams appear in high-profile sports events. Could British success on the pitch encourage people to vote next Thursday?

Will a week of British sporting success encourage more to the polls and who will benefit if it does? Or could a run of disastrous results on the pitch affect turnout and give the opposition parties a boost?

Have Your Say


It's not as if the success/failure of the England team can be attributed to Blair or Hague

Graham, Chester, UK
What a silly question. It's not as if the success/failure of the England (or Scotland etc.) team can be attributed to Tony Blair or William Hague. How stupid do you think we are?
Graham, Chester, UK

I think it does matter if your country's team is doing well. When our village cricket team is doing well the place is buzzing, and I think the same applies to the country. If British teams do well, it'll give the country a buzz - and people will feel proud of where they're from.
Ed Craig, Gateshead, UK


The result of a sports team does not really reflect on the politicians involved

Kenneth, UK
The result of a sports team does not really reflect on the politicians involved, but can make us feel more/less nationalistic. At a previous election I remember the SNP's below-par performance being blamed on a Scotland-Sweden World Cup qualifier. I guess this works the same for the Tories, and Welsh nationalists.
Kenneth, UK

I wonder what the voter turnout would be if there were major sporting fixtures on polling day? British sporting success would be unlikely to produce extra votes then.
Jay, Ystrad Mynach, Wales


Sport totally undermines democracy

James, Cardiff, Wales
Sport totally undermines democracy. It's plainly obvious that people will see the shiny white football and subconsciously think of William Hague. In the interests of impartiality, every match in the weeks before an election should also have a ball with a big toothy smile drawn on it. Also, to help out the third party, it should be a ginger ball.
James, Cardiff, Wales

I expect the sports minister Chris Smith will have a good chance of increasing his 10600-odd majority next Thursday in Islington South and Finsbury if England beat Greece. I doubt it'll do much for the shadow minister's chances though!
Alex Banks, Wales


Who needs sport when the future of democracy is at stake?

John B, UK
I suggest that anyone sufficiently malleable that they change their vote based on 22 men kicking a lump of leather should lose the right to vote. Who needs sport when the future of democracy is at stake?
John B, UK

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