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General Election is great excuse to head to the pub early, says research

In Politics on May 6, 2010 at 07:13

More appealing than voting

Hundreds of thousands of voters across the country will be using today’s General Election as an excuse for bunking off work early and heading to the pub, according to new research released yesterday.

The study, conducted by the National Institute for Research (NIR) found that election-based excuses had already been made by British workers in order to secure a couple of hours of extra drinking time at the end of the working day.

“Our research points to an astonishing amount of creativity on behalf of British workers, who obviously view the prospect of sinking a few pints as more appealing than exercising their civic duty,” said the NIR’s Dudley Pilkington-Hume, who was responsible for the study.

“Although you could argue that this shows, on the one hand, a disproportionately large number of people using the same, tired excuse about wanting to leave early to get their vote in, the variety of reasons given is impressive.

“Indeed, the fact that polls open at 7am and do not close until 10pm means that excuses from work-shy people across the country have had to show a degree of ingenuity in order to make their story sound convincing.”

The study found that more than 34% of British workers will vaguely excuse themselves to leave early to vote because of ‘a thing’ they have to do after work. 23%, meanwhile, will claim that they have to vote early ‘for religious reasons’.

Other notable excuses to be used include ‘attending a piano recital tonight by my cat’ (5%) and ‘I’m standing as a local MP and want to do some last minute canvassing'(17%). 97% of those who said they would be leaving early to vote, also admitted that they would go directly to the pub, with the remaining 3% adamant that they will pick up a six-pack of premium strength lager on the way home.

Steve Jenkins, a 38 year-old insurance salesman from Basildon, Essex, summed up the general feeling of the electorate, stating: “To be honest, I don’t really care what time the polls open.  I’m much more concerned about what time the pubs open.  I’ll use any excuse I can to make sure I can get down to the drinking station as quickly as possible and this election has been a Godsend in that respect.”

A government spokesperson, who had been invited to denounce the study’s findings was unavailable for comment after declaring that he had to “nip out and have a quick dri-….I mean, vote.”

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