Apart from the difficulties of online voting, we should not have been surprised at the relatively low turnout in yesterday's voting.
In 2003 58,202 members voted, about 54 per cent of the then total membership. There was only one ballot.
Yesterday the turnout was a little lower, about 50 per cent on the first ballot. It dropped a little on succeeding ballots. We should not forget that rules regarding union membership and participation were different then so the two situations are not strictly comparable. But it should not have been assumed given previous experience that most members would vote.