Lowest turnout for 25 years

The turnout at the referendum was the lowest at a general election or referendum for 25 years.

Records going back to 1980 show that, by Gibraltar standards, Thursday's turnout was poor - it being specially significant given that the public was being told that this was an act of self-determination.

In the general election of 1980, the turnout was over 65%,and it has kept going upwards from the 1984 election.

In 1984, 1988 and 1992, turnouts at general elections were over 70%. And in 1996 it was nearly 88%. The following general election drew almost 84% turnout - and it was over 79% at the last election in 2003.

And when it comes to referendums, the turnout in 2002 was nearly 90%. Yet, last Thursday's referendum only drew 60%.

In this context, Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle, who surfaced 'on holiday' on referendum day, was made to look a fool by his enthusiastic comment about 60% was a fanstastic result! He was comparing it with turnouts in the UK which tend to be on the low side, the wrong comparison indeed, as any comparison should have been with Gibraltar standards and not with what happens elsewhere.

He appeared to be the most enthusiastic person of referendum night. What political game was he playing?

In fact, the referendum lacked enthusiasm, it was as if we were exercising our right to self-determination on a matter of no importance. That is how the public perceived it, and not as a hugely important occasion as the Yes camp kept promoting.

It follows that the public were not impressed by utterings that this was a solemn act of self-determination to determine our decolonisation otherwise, as some noted, the whole of Gibraltar would have been out in the streets, dancing in the streets and celebrating that after 300 years, Gibraltar had now become a country.

Instead it could not have been more of a low key affair.

What does it mean? It means that few believed that this was what we were being told it was.It all looked a fake, it was not the real thing!

2006 12177 60.24%
2002 18177 87.92%
2003 14610 79.18%
2000 14936 83.56%
1996 16169 87.70%
1992 12244 71.66%
1988 13473 76.86%
1984 12626 74.45%
1980 10636 65.65%