Core and Peripheral Voters: Predictors of Turnout Across Three Types of Elections

Yosef Bhatti, Jens Olav Dahlgaard, Jonas Hedegaard Hansen, Kasper Møller Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Citizens who abstain from voting in consecutive elections and inequality in turnout in democratic elections constitute a challenge to the legitimacy of democracy. Applying the law of dispersion, which stipulates higher levels of turnout and higher levels of equality in turnout are positively related, we study turnout patterns across different types of elections in Denmark, a high-turnout European context. Across three different elections with turnout rates from 56.3% to 85.9%, we use a rich, nationwide panel dataset of 2.1 million citizens with validated turnout and high-quality sociodemographic variables. A total of 9% of the citizens are abstainers in the three consecutive elections, and these are disproportionately male, of non-Western ethnic background, with little education, and with low income. The law of dispersion finds support as inequalities in turnout increase when turnout decreases and vice versa. Furthermore, municipalities with lower turnout have higher inequalities in participation than high-turnout municipalities in local elections.
Citizens who abstain from voting in consecutive elections and inequality in turnout in democratic elections constitute a challenge to the legitimacy of democracy. Applying the law of dispersion, which stipulates higher levels of turnout and higher levels of equality in turnout are positively related, we study turnout patterns across different types of elections in Denmark, a high-turnout European context. Across three different elections with turnout rates from 56.3% to 85.9%, we use a rich, nationwide panel dataset of 2.1 million citizens with validated turnout and high-quality sociodemographic variables. A total of 9% of the citizens are abstainers in the three consecutive elections, and these are disproportionately male, of non-Western ethnic background, with little education, and with low income. The law of dispersion finds support as inequalities in turnout increase when turnout decreases and vice versa. Furthermore, municipalities with lower turnout have higher inequalities in participation than high-turnout municipalities in local elections.
LanguageEnglish
JournalPolitical Studies
Number of pages19
ISSN0032-3217
DOIs
StatePublished - 9 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 9. April 2018

Keywords

  • Voter turnout
  • Participation
  • Law of dispersion
  • Inequality

Cite this

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title = "Core and Peripheral Voters: Predictors of Turnout Across Three Types of Elections",
abstract = "Citizens who abstain from voting in consecutive elections and inequality in turnout in democratic elections constitute a challenge to the legitimacy of democracy. Applying the law of dispersion, which stipulates higher levels of turnout and higher levels of equality in turnout are positively related, we study turnout patterns across different types of elections in Denmark, a high-turnout European context. Across three different elections with turnout rates from 56.3{\%} to 85.9{\%}, we use a rich, nationwide panel dataset of 2.1 million citizens with validated turnout and high-quality sociodemographic variables. A total of 9{\%} of the citizens are abstainers in the three consecutive elections, and these are disproportionately male, of non-Western ethnic background, with little education, and with low income. The law of dispersion finds support as inequalities in turnout increase when turnout decreases and vice versa. Furthermore, municipalities with lower turnout have higher inequalities in participation than high-turnout municipalities in local elections.",
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Core and Peripheral Voters : Predictors of Turnout Across Three Types of Elections. / Bhatti, Yosef; Dahlgaard, Jens Olav ; Hansen, Jonas Hedegaard; Hansen, Kasper Møller.

In: Political Studies, 09.04.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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