Local elections: Assess your motivation

HOW likely it is that each of the 81,765 people eligible to vote in the Huntingdonshire District Council elections on May 4 will actually turn out can be predicted on the basis of a complex equation, according to a psychologist? Dr Cliff Arnall of Cardiff

HOW likely it is that each of the 81,765 people eligible to vote in the Huntingdonshire District Council elections on May 4 will actually turn out can be predicted on the basis of a complex equation, according to a psychologist?

Dr Cliff Arnall of Cardiff University based his "motivation equation" on research carried out for the Electoral Commission, the independent body set up to foster confidence and participation in elections.

Individual voters can work out their motivation by assessing a number of factors on a scale of 1-5 and dividing the result by how safe the seat is on a scale of 1-3.

The formula is C+I+P+(VxD)+N divided by S.

C= How often have you been contacted by any political party or candidate?

I= Do you believe that any of the parties can handle the important issues?

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P= How interested were your parents in politics?

V= How much do you think your vote will influence the result?

D= How much do you think voting is a duty?

N= How close do you think the contest is between parties at a national level?

S (1-3) How safe do you think your own local area is for one party or another?

If you score:

1-4 - you have been disengaged with politics.

5-9 - you probably believe in the right to vote, but don't know whether it will make a difference.

10-14 - you believe voting is important and you probably will turn out to have your say in how the district is run.

Over 15 you feel proud to be part of the democratic process and want everyone to know it. Or else you are a candidate.

HDC elections take place in Alconbury and The Stukeleys, Buckden, Earith, Elton and Folkesworth, Godmanchester, Gransden and the Offords, Huntingdon East, Huntingdon West, Ramsey, Sawtry, St Ives East, St Ives South, St Neots Eynesbury, St Neots Priory Park, The Hemingfords, Warboys and Bury, and Yaxley and Farcet.

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