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Paper Monitor

10:43 UK time, Friday, 16 November 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Paper Monitor anticipated picture desks might have a field day over the reported low turnouts at the first PPC elections, but it's stuck by just how much they went to town.

So it is that snaps of deserted polling booths and uninterested commuters take centre stage in some papers.

The Times, for example, leads on a photo of a cow seemingly following a lone farmer to the polling station in a village in Cumbria.

"The stampede to the ballot box begins," is its headline. Page three sings to the same tune, with three pictures - of a runner, a walker, and a sole voter (in Brighton, Bristol and Cambridgeshire) - splashed across it.

"Ballot stations deserted as police poll flops," it goes on, reporting that at one village hall in the Lake District, officials waited two hours for their first voter.

The Guardian has a similar story, splashing six scenes of lonely figures at polling stations across England and Wales across its pages.

"'A waste of time.' Welcome to the invisible election," the paper's Michael White says.

While the Daily Telegraph declares the elections have descended into a "farce".

"Reports of widespread public apathy flooded social media sites as electoral staff were left 'twiddling their thumbs', doing puzzles and even knitting," it says.

Meanwhile the Independent chooses a picture of dog - not even with its owner - walking past an empty polling station to convey the same message. "Nothing to see here, move along," is its caption. "Was this the secret policeman's ballot?" the paper also asks.

However perhaps newly-elected police and crime commissioner should take some comfort from the above-mentioned coverage. In some of the tabloids, Paper Monitor struggled to find much at all.

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