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Conférence “Competing or Complementary? Local and National Competitiveness as Explanatory Factors of Turnout in SMP Systems”, par Kaat Smets (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Rooted in the rational choice theory, high stake elections are considered to attract more voters than elections where the outcome is a foregone conclusion. Although measures of national level electoral competitiveness are often thought to suffice when researching proportional electoral systems, this is not the case in countries with single-member districts. As Johnston, Matthews and Bittner (2007) and Blais and Lago (2009) point out, voters in single member plurality systems are likely to (also) take into account the closeness of the race in their constituency when deciding to turn out to vote or not. Measures of the closeness of the race at the constituency level should, therefore, be modelled alongside indicators of national level competitiveness. This presentation aims to shed light on the nature of the relationship – whether competing or complementary – of local and national competitiveness on voter turnout in single member plurality systems. It does so based on the combined British Elections Studies from 1964 to 2019 to which information on the level of electoral saliency at the constituency and national level have been added. This unique dataset not only permits addressing the extent to which local and national competitiveness influence turnout in national elections. It also allows assessing which measures of competitiveness matter more or less. 


Organisé par le Centre pour l’étude de la Citoyenneté démocratique dans le cadre de sa Série de conférences 2021-2022.  




DATE: vendredi 3 décembre, 11h