CHANGE THE SEATS, CHANGE THE PARTICIPATION? PARLIAMENTARY REDISTRICTING AND CONSTITUENCY TURNOUT

Charles Pattie*, Ron Johnston, David Rossiter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Electoral redistricting reshuffles the links between communities and constituencies, replacing old geographies of representation with new ones. The process can be unsettling for both parties and voters, raising anxieties about how their interests might be represented. For instance, a recurrent worry among those commenting on proposed new seats during the 6th Periodic Review of the UK's constituencies has been that radically redrawing constituency boundaries will break community ties and hence discourage people from voting. This article investigates how well-founded this fear might be by examining the impact of boundary changes arising from the previous review on participation in England and Wales at the 2010 General Election. Far from discouraging turnout, radical boundary changes may even prove a mild stimulus to participation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-428
Number of pages10
JournalRepresentation
Volume48
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

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