Seanad Elections 2016 – A Final Overview

Adrian Kavanagh, 28th April 2016

Figure 1: Number of seats won by political parties/groups and by female candidates at 2011 and 2016 Seanad Elections

Counting for the 2016 Seanad Elections, which had commenced on the morning of Monday 25th April, finally concluded in the evening of Thursday 28th April, with the completion of counting for the Administrative Panel. This post briefly review the main trends evident in these contests. Continue reading

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Seanad Election 2016 – Administrative Panel counts: Updates and Perspectives

Adrian Kavanagh, 28th April 2016 (This post will be (hopefully) updated, as and when counts proceed over the rest of the day.)

Counting for the 2016 Seanad elections commenced on 25th April 2016 with the counting of votes for the 5-seat Cultural and Educational Panel. The second of the panels to be counted were be the 11-seat Agricultural and Labour Panels. Counting for these panels commenced on 26th April, with counting for the Labour panel continuing into the following  morning. The next panel to be counted was be the 9-seat Industrial and Commercial Panel, with counting commencing around midday on 27th April and continuing late into that night. The final panel to be counted would be the Administrative Panel.

Administrative Panel (7 seats – at least 3 “Inside”/at least 3 “Outside”)

The last constituency/panel to be counted in the 2016 Seanad Elections was the Administrative panel. The First Count for this panel would commence at 10.00am on Thursday 28th April 2016 and details for this and subsequent counts may be viewed here. Continue reading

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Seanad Election 2016 – Industrial and Commercial Panel counts: Updates and Perspectives

Adrian Kavanagh, 27th April 2016 (This post will be (hopefully) updated, as and when counts proceed over the rest of the day.)

Counting for the 2016 Seanad elections commenced on 25th April 2016 with the counting of votes for the 5-seat Cultural and Educational Panel. The second of the panels to be counted were be the 11-seat Agricultural and Labour Panels. Counting for these panels commenced on 26th April, with counting for the Labour panel continuing into the following  morning. The next panel to be counted will be the 9-seat Industrial and Commercial Panel.

Industrial and Commercial Panel (9 seats – at least 3 “Inside”/at least 3 “Outside”)

The First Count for this panel is expected to take place around midday on 27th April 2016 and details for this and subsequent counts may be viewed here. Continue reading

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Seanad Election 2016 – Labour Panel counts: Updates and Perspectives

Adrian Kavanagh, 26th April 2016 (This post will be (hopefully) updated, as and when counts proceed over the rest of the day.)

Counting for the 2016 Seanad elections commenced on 25th April 2016 with the counting of votes for the 5-seat Cultural and Educational Panel. The second of the panels to be counted would be the 11-seat Agricultural Panel, with counting for this panel to commence at 9.30 on Tuesday 26th April. Once counting for this panel is concluded, then counting for the next of the vocational panel contests – the Labour panel – is scheduled to commence soon after.

Labour Panel (11 seats – at least 4 “Inside”/at least 4 “Outside”)

The First Count for this panel was announced on the evening of 26th April 2016 and details for this and subsequent counts may be viewed here. The main trends evident in this count included the following:

In the 2011 election, Fine Gael won 5 seats on this panel, while Fianna Fail won three seats, Labour won two seats and Sinn Fein won one. Labour are already certain to lose one of their two seats, as only one Labour Party candidate is contesting this panel in 2016.

22 candidates are contesting this panel (see here for more details on these candidates) – including 11 on the “Outside” panel and 11 on the “Inside”. This is one of the two largest vocational panels, along with the Agricultural panel. As a result of this, the quota for this panel will be notably smaller than was the case for the 5-seat Cultural and Educational Panel (which was 187.167 votes, or 16.6% of the first preference votes). The quota for this panel is likely to be 93.583 votes (or 8.3% of the first preference votes). Based on the earlier analysis of the number of Dail, Council and (outgoing) Senator votes controlled by the different parties and groupings, both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael will expect to win 3 seats here while Sinn Fein will be expecting to win 2 seats. Based on the stronger than normal support levels for independent candidates in a Seanad contest evident in yesterday’s election, there would be expectations that one or two Independents could win seats on this panel. While only one independent candidate is contesting the Agricultural Panel, there are four independents are contesting this panel. The only “smaller” party/grouping to contest this panel are the Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit, although the AAA-PBP do control a significant number of Dail/Council votes, amounting to roughly one third of a quota – this does, of course, suggest that Cian Prendiville will need to win votes from other parties/groups in order to be successful in this contest.  This panel and the Agricultural panel both amount to the best chance that the Labour Party has of winning seats in these Seanad elections, but Ged Nash will need to be able to attract vote transfers from outside his own party to ensure that he is elected – the number of Council, Dail and (outgoing) Seanad votes controlled by Labour amounts to just 0.7 quotas on this panel.

The First Count/Second Count vote and transfers details pointed to a remarkable degree of deja vu on the part of the two Sinn Fein candidates. Maire Devine topped the poll with 98.00 votes, exceeding the quota and being deemed elected (just as Rose Conway-Walsh had done on the Agricultural panel). Running mate, Paul Gavan, won 90.000 votes on this count (the same number that Trevor O Clochartaigh won on the Agricultural panel) and was deemed elected on the following count with vote transfers from the Maire Devine surplus. The very strong party loyalty evident in the Sinn Fein transfers on the second count of the Agricultural Panel was again evident here, with 4.095 of the 4.333 Devine surplus votes (94.5%) being transferred to her running mate, ensuring his election.

On the First Count, Fianna Fail candidates won 357 votes (31.8%, or 3.8 quotas), Fine Gael candidates won 307 votes (27.3%, or 3.3 quotas), Sinn Fein candidates won 188 votes (16.7%, or 2.0 quotas), while Independent candidates won 146 votes (13.0%, or 1.6 quotas), the Labour candidate (Nash) won 74 votes (6.6%, or 0.8 quotas) and the Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit candidate won 52 votes (4.6%, or 0.6 quotas).

Following the transfer of the 0.428 surplus Gavan votes on Count 3 – a large proportion of these going to the Independents and Others grouping – the lowest placed candidate, Madeline Spiers (then standing on 8.021 votes), was eliminated. With 2.021 of her votes being deemed non-transferable, six candidates each picked up a vote each from the Spiers transfers – Jerry Buttimer, Joe Neville, Maurice Cummins and Terry Brennan (Fine Gael), as well as Ged Nash (Labour) and Jennifer Murnane-O’Connor (Fianna Fail). Daithi de Roiste was eliminated at the end of this count – he was standing on 16.014 votes at this point.

The de Roiste transfers on Count 5 tended to favour the Fianna Fail candidates, with Paul McAuliffe (5.000) and Kate Feeney (4.000) faring especially well in winning vote transfers. In all, 15.007 of the de Roiste transfers went to the (remaining) Fianna Fail candidates – Neale Richmond being the only candidate outside of Fianna Fail to gain a vote in this count. Standing on 24.014 votes on this count, John Campbell was eliminated at the end of this count. The bulk of these votes did not go to other independents, but instead fifteen transfer votes were divided between Labour and the Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit: Ged Nash (gaining 9.000 votes) proved to be significantly favoured by the Campbell transfers, as was Cian Prendiville (6.000). At the end of this count (Count 6), Tony Mulcahy (then standing on 30.000 votes) was eliminated. It was expected that this count and/or the subsequent two or three counts would ensure the election of both Jerry Buttimer and Gerard Craughwell, but Ged Nash was also moving closer to the quota. The Mulcahy transfers largely stayed within the Fine Gael grouping – 28.000 of the 30.000 transferable votes going to other Fine Gael candidates – with Buttimer (6.000), Richmond (6.000) and Cummins (5.000) all faring especially well on this count. Count 7 led to the elimination of Noel Cribbin, who was then standing on 31.052 votes.

Underpinning the growing strength/coherence of the Independent voting bloc (albeit not a trend that was evident in the Spiers or Campbell transfer particularly), a large chunk of the Cribbin transfer (20.000) went to Craughwell, who was deemed to be elected at the end of this count (Count 8) after comfortably exceeding the quota. Fianna Fail candidates did relatively well in relation to this transfer, picking up 7.000 between them. However, the next most successful candidate after Craughwell in terms of winning Cribbin transfers was Cian Prendiville (2.000 transfer votes). Prendiville subsequently won the most transfers (2.139) from the Craughwell surplus of 13.563 votes on Count 9, with Nash (1.426) winning the second largest number of transfer votes. However a large number of the Craughwell transfers were shared out between the remaining Fianna Fail candidates (7.130 votes), as was evidenced in the previous count. Maurice Cummins, then standing on 35.007 votes, was eliminated at the end of this count.

28.007 of the 35.007 Cummins votes (three quarters of these) were transferred on to the remaining Fine Gael candidates. The transfer of the Cummins transfers on Count 10 secured the election of Jerry Buttimer, with Buttimer winning 9,000 transfer votes to reach 101,713 votes, comfortably exceeding the quota and being deemed elected on this count. Other Fine Gael candidates faring well on this count and the subsequent count in terms of winning Cummins transfer votes and votes from the subsequent transfer of the Buttimer surplus included Joe O’Reilly, Joe Neville and Terry Brennan. However, Neville – then standing on 43.795 votes -was eliminated at the end of this count. The transfer of his votes on Count 12 gave a major boost to Neale Richmond (gaining 19.894 transfers votes), but also to Joe O’Reilly (14.000).

Colm Keaveney, then standing on 45,720 votes, was eliminated at the end of Count 12. With seven Fianna Fail candidates still remaining in the field prior to his elimination, this would amount to the first of a series of crucial Fianna Fail transfers that would effectively determine which four (or possibly three) Fianna Fail candidates would go on to win seats in this panel. Jennifer Murnane-O’Connor (9.000) and Paul McAuliffe (9.000) proved to be especially successful in winning Keaveney transfers, as well as Robbie Gallagher (5.713). 37.713 of the 44.729 transferable Keaveney votes were shared between the remaining Fianna Fail candidates (84.3%) of these. However, Ged Nash, who Keaveney was a former Labour Party colleague of, also fared well in terms of winning transfers on this count, picking up an extra four transfer votes. At the end of this count, Ged Nash was just over two cvotes short of the quota. Fianna Fail’s Kate Feeney, then standing on 50.426 votes, was eliminated at the end of this count. Count 14, which would commence on the following morning (27th April) would involve the transfer of her votes.

Only 2.426 of the Feeney transfers were lost by Fianna Fail (one transfer vote going to Fine Gael’s Neale Richmond and 0.713 votes going to Nash and Prendiville. 95.2% of the Feeney transfers (48.000 votes) went to the other remaining Fianna Fail candidates, with Jennifer Murnane-O’Connor (14.000), Ned O’Sullivan (14.000), Terry Leyden (9.000) and Robbie Gallagher (8.000). At the end of this count, Fianna Fail’s Paul McAuliffe was eliminated – he was standing on 61.734 votes at this stage.

The McAuliffe transfers would be expected to push the lowest placed Fianna Fail candidates, Robbie Gallagher and Terry Leyden, clear of their main rivals for the final two seats – Cian Prendiville and Terry Brennan. This turned out to be the case, but the McAuliffe transfers also officially confirmed the election of Jennifer Murnane-O’Connor and Ned O’Sullivan, who both exceeded the quota on this count (Count 15). 56.000 of the 60.000 transferable McAuliffe transfers stayed with Fianna Fail on this count (93.3%). The surpluses of Murnane-O’Connor (Count 16) and O’Sullivan (Count 17) both went to the two remaining Fianna Fail candidates, Gallagher and Leyden, and these transfers were sufficient to ensure Gallagher exceeded the quota at the end of the 17th Count. The 3.732 transferable votes from the Gallagher surplus all went to Leyden, leaving him in a very strong position on 84.102 votes. Fine Gael’s Terry Brennan (then standing on 62.501 votes) was eliminated on this count, with his transfer expected to strongly favour Joe O’Reilly and Neale Richmond on the following count, thus ensuring three Fine Gael votes. Ged Nash, still on 92.040 votes, still remained just off the quota, but was practically guaranteed a seat at this stage, once the number of non-transferable votes were factored in. Indeed, Count 19 confirmed the election of Ged Nash, but also Joe O’Reilly and Neale Richmond. 44.000 of the 53.000 Brennan transferable votes (9.000 of these were non-transferable) were evenly shared out between O’Reilly and Richmond, thus ensure both exceeded the quota. Nash received a much lower transfer (2.000) but this was enough to ensure he exceeded the quota. With no transfers to Prendiville and an 8.000 vote transfer to Leyden, this ensured that Leyden was now too far ahead of Prendiville to be caught given the limited number of surplus votes left to be transferred (and he was just over a vote short of the quota at this point in any case) – Leyden standing on 92.102 votes on this count as against Prendiville’s 65,974.

With counting now concluded,  the candidates who have been elected on this panel include:

  • Maire Devine Sinn Fein
  • Paul Gavan Sinn Fein
  • Gerard Craughwell Independent 
  • Jerry Buttimer Fine Gael
  • Jennifer Murnane-O’Connor Fianna Fail
  • Ned O’Sullivan Fianna Fail 
  • Robbie Gallagher Fianna Fail
  • Joe O’Reilly Fine Gael
  • Neale Richmond Fine Gael
  • Ged Nash Labour Party
  • Terry Leyden Fianna Fail
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Seanad Election 2016 – Agricultural Panel counts: Updates and Perspectives

Adrian Kavanagh, 26th April 2016 (This post will be (hopefully) updated, as and when counts proceed over the rest of the day.)

Counting for the 2016 Seanad elections commenced on 25th April 2016 with the counting of votes for the 5-seat Cultural and Educational Panel. The second of the panels to be counted would be the 11-seat Agricultural Panel, with counting for this panel set to commence at 9.30 on Tuesday 26th April.

The main trends evident in this contest included: Continue reading

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Seanad Election 2016 – Cultural and Educational Panel counts: Updates and Perspectives

Adrian Kavanagh, 25th April 2016 (This post will be (hopefully) updated, as and when counts proceed over the rest of the day.)

Counting for the 2016 Seanad elections commenced earlier today.

Cultural and Educational Panel (5 seats – at least 2 “Inside”/at least 2 “Outside”)

The first constituency/panel to be counted was the Cultural and Educational panel. The First Count for this panel was announced on the afternoon of 25th April 2016 and details for this and subsequent counts may be viewed here. The main trends evident in this count included the following: Continue reading

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A Geography of Voter Turnout at the 2016 General Election: A Focus on Dublin City

Adrian Kavanagh, 15th April 2016

Voter turnout can be defined as the percentage of people who turn out to vote in a given election. In the USA, voter turnout levels are calculated the percentage of the valid adult population (aged 18 and over) who turn out to vote. In Ireland and other European countries, however, voter turnout levels are expressed as a percentage of the number of people on the electoral register. Thus, if there are problems with the electoral register, turnouts may be over, or under, estimated in these countries, including Ireland. Rather than skewing/determining the geography of voter turnout levels in Ireland, however, register inaccuracies have the effect of actually dampening the extent of turnout differences. Research based on the 2002 General Election and 2002 Census showed that registration levels in high turnout areas – mainly rural areas, but also including some settled middle class urban areas – tended to be over-estimated, meaning that the “real turnout” levels in these higher turnout areas (or the turnout level as related to the valid adult population) was actually higher than the recorded ones.  By contrast, registration levels in very low turnout areas – mainly inner city areas and commuter belt areas – tended to be under-estimated, meaning that the “real turnout” levels in these low turnout areas were actually even lower than the recorded levels.

Despite often being viewed as a country with a high level of interest in all things political, Ireland has had one of the lowest average turnout levels in Western Europe. For instance, only Portugal and Switzerland had lower average turnouts than Ireland did during the 1990s. At the same time, turnout rates were declining in western democracies in the last few decades of the 20th Century, with some particularly significant drops evidenced between electoral contests; for instance the UK general election turnout level fell from 71.5% in 1997 to 59.4% in 2001. Low and declining voter turnout levels also became increasingly characteristic of Irish electoral contests from the early 1980s onwards, with general election turnouts falling by 13.5% between 1981 and 2002. Turnout levels fluctuated significantly during the Celtic Tiger period, and especially in those areas that had been impacted on the most by the social and economic changes of the late 1990s and 2000s, associated with the Celtic Tiger, namely the more urban parts of the state and most notably in Dublin and its commuter belt. At the national level, turnout trends in the earlier part of this period marked a continuation of a sustained decline in electoral participation levels that had marked all Irish electoral contests since the early 1980s. The low turnout levels for the 2002 contest marked the culmination of this trend, as subsequent electoral contests, starting with the second Nice Treaty Referendum in 2002, would see a recovery in turnout levels across different electoral contests, with these generally returning to levels experienced before the start of the Celtic Tiger era, with the exception of some notable low turnout contests.

Trends in relation to fluctuating voter turnout patterns were most pronounced in urban Ireland, with turnout levels falling by almost ten percent in Dublin and its commuter belt between 1992 and 2002 but then rebounding back almost to the 1992 levels for the 2007 contest and then proceeding to exceed the 1992 levels at the 2011 General Election. Ultimately, with the level of turnout improvement not being as marked in the generally higher turnout rural areas, this resulted in a significant narrowing of the very significant turnout differences between rural and urban Ireland that had characterised the low turnout elections of 1999 (local and European elections) and 2002 (general election). But the low turnout 1999 and 2002 elections were also characterised by dramatic turnout differences within the low turnout urban areas, with very notable class-based turnouts being observed in a number of working class areas in Dublin, including Ballyfermot/Cherry Orchard, North Clondalkin, West Tallaght, Ballymun and Darndale, during this period, in addition to the Dublin Inner City area. The 2000s, however, marked an improvement in turnout levels in a number of these working class areas – with the notable exception of the inner city – and resulted in a narrowing of the class-based turnout differences within Dublin, with the narrowing of these turnout differences being particularly accelerated during the period of the Economic Crisis, from 2008 onwards.

Figure 1: Voter turnout level (%) at the 2016 General Election by Dail constituency.

Figure 1: Voter turnout level (%) at the 2016 General Election by Dail constituency.

Turnout trends at the 2016 General Election proved to be rather disappointing, in that the trend of improving turnout levels, observed across much of the 2000s, was halted. Turnout levels, nationally, fell by almost five percent. Well over one million registered voters did not turn out to vote at this election – a number that was roughly twice as large as the number supporting the largest political party at this election, Fine Gael (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Non-voter numbers at 2016 General Election as compared with numbers of voters supporting different political parties/political groupings

Figure 2: Non-voter numbers at 2016 General Election as compared with numbers of voters supporting different political parties/political groupings

Turnout levels were higher in rural Ireland, although the large rural-urban variations in turnout levels that were associated with the 2002 contest were not as apparent with the 2011 and 2016 elections. That being said, there was a notable drop in the average turnout level in Dublin from a level of 68.2% at the 2011 election to a level of 62.8% at the the 2016 contest. There was also a notable drop in turnout levels in parts of rural Ireland, however, and the very high turnouts associated with constituencies such as Roscommon-South Leitrim (78.7%) and Tipperary North (77.2%) in 2011 were not as readily apparent in the 2016 election. The highest turnout constituencies again tended to be found in rural Ireland, but only four constituencies recorded turnout levels above the seventy percent level – namely Roscommon-Galway (71.6%), Wicklow (70.9%), Kerry (70.9%) and Wicklow (70.0%). By contrast, the lowest turnout levels were again associated with the three Dublin constituencies that take in parts of the Dublin Inner City – namely Dublin Central (52.4%), Dublin Bay South (54.8%) and Dublin South-Central (58.1%).

Figure 3: Voter turnout levels (%) by election division in the Dublin City constituencies at the 2016 General Election

Figure 3: Voter turnout levels (%) by election division in the Dublin City constituencies at the 2016 General Election

Polling station-level turnout data (ballot reconciliation figures) released on the Dublin City Returning Officer’s website over the past few days means that an electoral division level analysis for this election is possible for the five Dublin City constituencies. Mapping these figures (Figure 3) shows that there still remains very definite geographical pattern to the Dublin City turnout levels – almost akin to a doughnut effect with low turnout in the centre of the city and higher turnout on the edges of the Dublin City Council area– a pattern that has been largely similar for all other electoral contests held during the 2000s. The higher turnout levels tend to be found in the more settled and more middle class parts of the city’s northern and southern inner suburban zones, encompassing places such as Templeogue in the south and Clontarf, Raheny and Glasnevin in the north. The main concentration of lower turnout is very much focused on the Dublin Inner City, with most electoral divisions in this area registering turnout levels lower than the 50% level, with the notable exception of the Tenters area (Merchants Quay D electoral division) in the South West Inner City. At the polling station level, the ballot reconciliation turnout figures released by the Dublin City Returning Officer showed that the polling box returning the highest turnout level in the City was Box 3 in the Raheny Public Library (Howth Road) polling station, with a very high 81.0% turnout level. This area covered by this box was located within the Raheny-St. Assam electoral division. The polling box returning the lowest turnout level in the City was Box 6 in the St. Paul’s CBS, North Brunswick Street polling station, with a very low 22.1% turnout level. The area covered by this box is located in the North City electoral division. Indeed, North City was one of the two electoral divisions to have a turnout level of lower than thirty percent at this election, based on the ballot reconciliation data analysis, with the other one being the neighbouring Rotunda B electoral division.

The more working class parts of the city, dominated by Dublin City Council housing estates, also tended to have lower than average turnout levels for this contest. But the gap in turnout levels between these areas and the more middle class areas in the city has narrowed considerably over the past decade and a half. Turnout levels in some traditional working class areas were indeed close to, or even higher than, the average turnout level across the five Dublin City constituencies (59.7%); most notably in the case of the West Cabra area.  While the data is not available, at present, to study the rest of the Dublin region, the general trend in other parts of Dublin (Fingal, South Dublin County and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown) in previous elections – most notably the 2014 Local and European elections – has pointed to a similar narrowing of class-based turnout differences in the rest of Dublin, with improving turnouts levels being evident in working class areas, such as North Clondalkin, across the 2000s.

The general trends in recent years suggest that, as class becomes a less significant factor in terms of shaping/explaining turnout variations across the city, residential mobility is emerging as a particularly significant factor in terms of pointing towards/resulting in areas of lower voter turnout levels. This can be evidenced in the trends observed in Figure 3 (above), as well as in other previous voter turnout studies on this site, which observe low turnout levels in the Dublin Inner City, but also other new residential areas such as parts of the Greater Blanchardstown and South Lucan areas as well as the Northern Fringe. Analysis that I carried out in relation to the 1999 and 2002 elections in the South West Inner City showed that the main low turnout areas there were not, as might have been expected, the Dublin City Council flat complexes and housing estates. Instead, the very low turnout levels were associated mainly with the (then) new private gated apartments in that area.

That being said, many of the areas with higher levels of residential mobility also tend to have higher levels of non-Irish/UK citizen residents – especially the Dublin Inner City. While non Irish/UK citizen residents may have been on the electoral register for these areas, they would not have been eligible to vote in the general election – have the right to only vote in local elections, or local and European elections. Therefore, a high number of non-Irish/UK citizen residents on the register would have pushed down the turnout figures here by default. If I have the time (and money!) to purchase and analyse the marked registers of electors for these constituencies, I will follow up on this to uncover what general election turnout levels in these areas would be if non Irish/UK citizen residents were not included in the analysis. (Similar analysis in the past shows that the turnout levels in these area tend to be higher by a few percentage points, but turnout levels still remain low relative to other areas in the City – and, of course, the state.) Such analysis is not possible when only using the ballot reconciliation figures.

To conclude, as noted in the earlier post discussing voter turnout in the 2011 General Election, it must be noted that voter turnout levels are the result of a multiplicity of different turnout decisions made by individual electors, with these in turn being shaped by a host of a number of, often conflicting, factors, and also by the places in which they live and work. A range of socio-economic, demographic, political and institutional factors help explain why turnouts between areas differ, with some of these listed below. Perhaps the most significant factor of all in terms of predicting turnout variation is housing tenure, as this is a factor that relates to nearly all of the other key influences on turnout variation.

Factors that tend to be associated with/result in higher turnout areas/levels include:

  • Older populations
  • Married people
  • Residential stability
  • Rurally based/Agricultural employment
  • Affluence/high levels of social well-being
  • High levels of education
  • Owner occupied housing
  • High levels of political mobilisation
  • Proximity to the polling station
  • High levels of political choice
  • Weekend voting
  • Numbers on electoral register are under-estimated*

Factors that tend to be associated with/result in lower turnout areas/levels include:

  • Younger populations
  • Single or Separated people
  • Population mobility
  • Urban-based employment
  • Social deprivation
  • Low education standards
  • Local authority or private rented housing
  • Low levels of political mobilisation
  • Distance from the polling station
  • Low levels of political choice
  • Voting on weekdays
  • Numbers on electoral register are over-estimated*

*  While the under-estimating (over-estimating) of numbers on the electoral register will result in the recorded turnout levels being higher (lower) than they are in reality, past research has actually shown (as discussed above) that registration levels generally tend to be under-estimated in lower turnout areas (meaning that turnouts in those areas are actually lower than their recorded levels) and registration levels generally tend to be over-estimated in higher turnout areas (meaning that turnouts in those areas are actually higher than their recorded levels).

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