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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/12068

Title: Turnout at local elections
Other Titles: The relevance of contextual variables
Authors: ACKAERT, Johan
Wauters, Bram
Verlet, Dries
Issue Date: 2011
Citation: Politicologenetmaal 2011, Amsterdam, 9-10 Juni 2011
Abstract: Although compulsory voting constitutes one of the main characteristics of the Belgian electoral system, the last general election results pointed out that nearly 11 pct. of the registered voters did not show up at the ballot station and that nearly 6 pct. of the voters casted a blanc or invalid vote. Most of the recent research on electoral participation focuses on the importance of individual (social-demographic and social-psychological) variables and political attitudes to explain turnout. Less attention is paid to the influence of the broader social, cultural, institutional and political context variables on turnout. Yet, local elections allow researchers to analyse electoral participation taking particular local political, social, cultural and institutional factors into account. To explain turnout at the local level, this paper examines the relevance of: 1. Social demographic variables: size, age-structure, SES-distribution, ethnic-cultural diversity; 2. Social capital variables: number of volunteer organisations; 3. Political variables: number of parties, fractionalisation, type of majority, presence and importance of anti-system parties; 4. Electoral technology: use of electronic voting. This types of variables will be used to analyse variation of electoral absenteeism as well as blanc/invalid voting in recent local elections in Flanders.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/12068
Category: C2
Type: Conference Material
Appears in Collections: Behavioural Sciences - Public Law

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