Voter turnout in na­tional elec­tions typ­i­cally un­der­es­ti­mated

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

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%.

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