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Will anyone vote? Prospects for turnout in the general election

Curtice, John and Park, A. (2010) Will anyone vote? Prospects for turnout in the general election. [Report]

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Abstract

One of the most notable features of the last two general elections was the low level of turnout. Before 2001 turnout at general elections was always at least 70% (and often far higher). But in 2001 it fell to just 59% and, at 61%, the figure in 2005 was little better. Over 17 million people eligible to vote that year chose not to do so, seven million more than voted for the winning Labour party. Britain found itself almost at the bottom of the turnout league among established European democracies. The failure of large sections of the public to go to the polls has led to considerable concern about the health of Britain’s democracy and stimulated many a suggestion as to how the country’s politicians might be able to reconnect with the electorate.