Elections in The United Kingdom - Current Issues - Low Turnout

Low Turnout

As in many Western democracies, voter apathy is a current concern, after a dramatic decline in election turnout recently. Turnout fell from 77% in 1992, and 71% in 1997, to a historic low of 59% in 2001. It increased to 61% in 2005, and 65% in 2010. The main reasons identified for low turnout are:

  • Lack of variation between the ideologies of the main parties.
  • Decline in partisanship as many voters are no longer permanently loyal to one party.
  • Reduction in the popularity of various party leaderships.
  • Dissatisfaction with parties' record on public services, education, transport etc.
  • Lack of interest in the election campaign.
  • Voters believing their vote will have no effect on the overall outcome. There is an inverse relationship between turnout in a constituency and the winning candidate's majority in that seat.
  • Unpopularity of First Past The Post amongst the many smaller political parties such as Liberal Democrats, Green Party, SNP etc. as well as amongst some political commentators and academics such as Medhi Hasan.

Possible measures to increase turnout include:

  • Compulsory voting
  • Electoral reform, towards proportional representation, advocated by the Liberal Democrats, Green Party and many other minor parties
  • New voting methods such as post, telephone, and internet. There were several criminal proceedings after the last general election which highlighted weaknesses in the postal voting system and resulted in a cooling of enthusiasm for IT and proxy arrangements.
  • Lowering the voting age, which has recently seen support, most notably the 'Votes for 16' campaign which was launched in 2003. Furthermore lowering the voting age to 16 is endorsed by independent commissions such as the Commission on Local Governance in England and the Human Rights Commission in Northern Ireland.

Read more about this topic:  Elections In The United Kingdom, Current Issues

Other articles related to "turnout, low turnout":

Harrow West (UK Parliament Constituency) - Election Results
2.1 +0.8 Green Rowan Langley 625 1.4 N/A Majority 3,143 6.8 Turnout 46,116 67.6 +3.2 Labour hold Swing −5.7 General Election 2005 Harrow West Party Candidate Votes ...
Glasgow Springburn (UK Parliament Constituency) - Election Results - Elections in The 1920s
11,110 34.5 -9.0 Majority 9,969 31.0 +18.0 Turnout 32,189 73.6 -5.7 Labour hold Swing 9.0% General Election 1924 Glasgow Springburn Party Candidate Votes % ±% Labour George Hardie 15,635 56.5 -5.8 Conservative D ... Guild 12,043 43.5 +5.8 Majority 3,592 13.0 -11.6 Turnout 27,678 79.3 +11.2 Labour hold Swing 5.8% General Election 1923 Glasgow Springburn Party Candidate Votes % ±% Labour ... Guild 8,814 37.7 -1.8 Majority 5,721 24.6 +3.6 Turnout 23,349 68.1 -10.4 Labour hold Swing 1.8% General Election 1922 Glasgow Springburn Party Candidate Votes % ±% Labour George Hardie 15,771 ...
California's 37th Congressional District Special Election, 2007 - Low Turnout
... Voter turnout was very low during this special election ... absentee ballot drives were a part of both sides campaign strategies because of the expected low turnout ...
Egyptian Presidential Election, 2005 - Election Day Events - Low Turnout
... The Mubarak government initially stated that turnout was high, though numbers varied ... on September 9, the government released results and turnout figures that were low and may have been accurate, as low in some places as 19% ... election monitoring groups stated that turnout was low, reportedly because ordinary Egyptians thought the outcome a foregone conclusion ...
Knowsley Council Election, 1999 - Ward Results
342 54.5 Independent Peter Muldoon 266 42.4 Conservative Geoffrey Allen 20 3.2 Majority 76 12.1 Turnout 628 16.8 Cherryfield Party Candidate Votes % ±% Labour Edward Grannell 501 76.0 ...