Voter turnout in national elections typically underestimated
Which countries have the highest rate of turnout for national elections? Ipsos Mori conducted a survey listing the public’s average guess for turnout versus actual turnout. With the UK general election swiftly approaching, the public guessed that Britain’s voter turnout is 49%. However, in reality, the actual number is 66%. France leads the way with an actual turnout of 80%. The average guess was far lower in the survey - just 57%.
Why is there such a considerable gulf between Britain and France in voter turnout? Some observers believe it is related to timing. Traditionally, the British general election takes place on Thursday, a working day, whereas the French typically vote on a Sunday. Naturally, there are more factors influencing turnout, many of them cultural. Italy also records an impressive turnout with a 21% point difference between the actual number and average guess. Respondents in the United States were spot on when they were asked to guess voter turnout. The public guessed 57% while the actual number is 58%.