Analyses of turnout in British general elections fall broadly into two camps: those based on constituency-level data, and those based on survey data. The former stress the importance of local context, while the latter stress personal characteristics and viewpoints. Underlying both are a range of theories purporting to explain turnout. However, to date, there has been little systematic attempt to analyse turnout in the round. In this paper, we combine survey and constituency data to study the individual and contextual correlates of turnout at the British general election and 1992. Constituency level analyses seem to confirm the importance of local context, though it declined during the 1980s. However, and contrary to analyses which employ constituency data only, while individual electors' decisions on whether or not to turn out are influenced by their personal circumstances, they are not influenced by local context.
|Number of pages
|European Journal of Political Research
|Published - Mar 1998