Chapter

The Extent and Nature of the Problem of Abstention in European Parliament Elections

Jean Blondel, Richard Sinnott and Palle Svensson

in People and Parliament in the European Union

Published in print July 1998 | ISBN: 9780198293088
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598814 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198293089.003.0002
 The Extent and Nature of the Problem of Abstention in European Parliament Elections

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Presents the data on turnout in European Parliament elections and examines the evidence, derived from an open‐ended question in Eurobarometer 41.1, on the reasons abstainers give for not voting. Based on this evidence, the chapter develops a distinction between circumstantial and voluntary abstention. The incidence of various sub‐types of each of these forms of abstention is considered. The chapter concludes by presenting a typology of participation/abstention in European Parliament elections that takes account of the distinction between circumstantial and voluntary abstention, and of whether individuals voted in the European Parliament election only or in the most recent national election only, in both, or in neither.

Keywords: circumstantial and voluntary abstention; election; Eurobarometer; European Parliament; open‐ended question; participation; turnout

Chapter.  8771 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Politics

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