Phew, what a scorcher

As I write, Cambridge has voted in the County Council elections, but the ballot papers are still waiting in their boxes for the count to begin at 10:00. One feature of the election that all parties can agree on, however, was that the weather on polling day was particularly lovely, mild and sunny throughout the day. While we wait for the verdict of the voters, here’s a quick look back at the weather in Cambridge on polling day in recent years, taken from the records of the University weather station.

First, here’s the highest temperature in degrees C recorded on polling day each year:

Cambridge temperature on polling day

As you can see, yesterday wasn’t unusually hot. In 1997, the year of Labour’s sweeping General Election victory, the mercury reached 24.3C; in 2004, when all 42 City Council seats were up for election at once after boundary changes, it reached 26.1C, and the hottest polling day in recent years was 2006, at 26.5C. However, party workers did pretty well for sun yesterday. Here are the records of the number of hours of sunshine:


Yesterday was the second-sunniest polling day in recent years, beaten only by 2009, with 1997 in third place. There will probably be one or two glowing faces at the election count today. In contrast, in several years polling day managed no sun at all, with last year being particularly miserable with zero hours of sunshine and a top temperature of just 8C.

The first results from the elections should start coming in soon after midday, and will be published on the County Council’s website. Congratulations to the winners, and I hope the losers don’t take it too hard.

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