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Investigating differences in electoral turnout: the influence of ward-level context on participation in local and parliamentary elections in Britain

Orford, Scott, Rallings, Colin, Thrasher, Michael and Borisyuk, Galina 2008. Investigating differences in electoral turnout: the influence of ward-level context on participation in local and parliamentary elections in Britain. Environment and Planning A 40 (5) , pp. 1250-1268. 10.1068/a39169

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Abstract

Electoral turnout is an important measure of the health of a liberal democracy. Although research identifies factors that affect electoral participation, we still know little about how electors in a specific location respond to opportunities to vote for different kinds of local, national, and supranational institutions. This paper addresses this issue by analysing the relative rates of turnout at local, parliamentary, and European elections within three time periods for the London Borough of Brent. It uses turnout data for individual polling districts to investigate whether relative differences in turnout are sustained across time, whether polling districts perform consistently or not for different types of elections and whether variations in turnout are related to marginality. The results indicate that turnout at different types of elections is not stable even within tightly constrained time periods and that there are statistically significant differences in the relative rates of participation between polling districts. Geographically, the differences in relative rates of turnout appear to be spatially clustered, particularly with respect to local elections and this may reflect an increase in the concentration of party campaigning in marginal wards.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Additional Information: Scott Orford, Colin Rallings, Michael Thrasher, Galina Borisyuk, 2008. The definitive, peer-reviewed and edited version of this article is published in Environment and Planning A, 40, 5, 1250-1268, 2008, 10.1068/a39169
Publisher: Pion
ISSN: 0308518X
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2013 09:33
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/10678

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