General election due to be blanketed in snow as freezing conditions set in

4 December 2019, 17:58

Snow is expected on election day
Snow is expected on election day. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

The UK is heading for a cold snap just in time for the general election, with forecasters warning much of the UK could see snow on 12 December.

Areas in the North of England, including the Pennines and Peak District, as well as eastern Scotland, are likely to see a blanket of snow arriving for election week.

Dean Hall, a meteorologist at the Met Office, told LBC News: "The weather is going to be very unsettled for the next couple of weeks.

"There is a high risk of ice and snow for northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and these areas should all be snowy for the election.

"There is also a risk of ice and frozen fog across the UK next week."

Much of the UK is likely to see snow this December
Much of the UK is likely to see snow this December. Picture: PA

However, pollsters say poor weather is unlikely to deter voters, with rain and snow only having "a small effect on turnout".

Ben Page, CEO of Ipsos MORI, said: "In terms of winter elections, we only really have February 1974 to go on. Then the weather was bad but the turnout (79 per cent) was high, and up on 1970.

"By contrast, for the Blair 1997 landslide, temperatures rose to the mid-20s, but turnout (71 per cent) was down on 1992.

"Other factors, such as the perceived importance and closeness of the election, are likely to play at least as big a part as the weather, and of course far more people tend to vote by post, where the weather is irrelevant."

Chris Curtis, political research manager at YouGov, added: "It might be getting extremely cold over the next week or so but it's unlikely that the weather is going to deter anyone going to the polls who wasn't already staying at home.

"Most of the evidence shows that weather actually has quite a small effect on turnout, and factors such as how close the election is perceived to be, and how different the parties' positions are, normally have more of an impact."

The news comes after forecasters predicted a wet and windy rest of the week.

Thursday and Friday will see low temperatures and freezing fog across much of the UK.

"Danger to life" yellow weather warnings have also been put in place across eastern Scotland.

Mr Hall said: "Heading into the weekend, there will be high winds and rain in the north of England and Scotland, with some areas seeing between 80 and 100mm of rain.

"On Sunday, gales are expected to hit west and southern England.

"It is unlikely that there will be disruption as a result of the weather conditions."