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An Analysis of Youth Voter Turnout in the UK - Dissertation Example

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The particularly low voter turnout of British youths between the ages of 18 and 24 during the 2001 and 2005 general elections has given rise to assumptions that British youth are becoming increasingly disengaged from British politics (Sloam, 2007)…
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An Analysis of Youth Voter Turnout in the UK
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Download file to see previous pages In order to effectively interpret and analyse low voter turnout in Britain this dissertation draws on the voter surveys conducted by the, the Electoral Commission, British Election Study (BES) and Ipsos MORI before and after general elections and a number of empirical research studies conducted over time. Thus secondary sources are used because they provide a more realistic representation of youth voter turnout over a long period of time among a larger representative population sample using both quantitative and qualitative analyses. A single empirical study would only be able to cover a small population sample of voters in a single location, who may vote or not vote in upcoming elections. Secondary studies identify youth who failed to vote in past elections and trends indicating that young people are becoming increasingly alienated economically, socially and politically as well as generally disenchanted with democracy in Britain. Table of Contents Abstract 3 Table of Contents 4 Part I: Introduction to the Study 5 I.Introduction 5 II.Research Questions 6 IV.Significance of the Study 8 V.Research Methodology 8 VI.Organization of the Study 9 Part II: A Review of the Literature 10 I.Introduction 10 II.Evidence of Young Voter Turnout 10 A.Global Trends 10 B.Youth Voting Trends in Britain 13 III.Explaining the Youth Voter Turnout Downward Trajectory 14 IV. Previous Studies 18 Part IV: Young Voter Turnout Trends in Britain 21 Part V: Research Findings/Conclusion 24 Bibliography 27 Table of Figures Figure 1: Global Voter Turnout From 1945-2005.......................................................11 Figure 2: Voter Turnout by Age in 15 Western European Democracies.....................13 Figure 3: Nonvoters by Age Group from 1964-2005...................................................22 An Analysis of Youth Voter Turnout in the UK Part I: Introduction to the Study I. Introduction It is generally accepted that youth voter turnout in the UK is significantly lower than the voter turnout for older cohorts (Parry, Moyser & Day, 1992; Heath & Park, 1997; Jowell & Park, 1998; Keaney & Rogers, 2006). Although voting trends in general are on the decline, younger voters’ turnout is declining at a more alarming rate than older voter turnout. A poll conducted by MORI in coordination with the Electoral Commission in 2001 concluded that 24% of voters between the age of 18 and 24 reported that they have never voted while only 6% reported having ever voted (Ipsos MORI, 2002). Another survey conducted in 2005 found that although 75% of register voters over the age of 65 voted, only 37% of younger voters voted (Keaney & Rogers, 2006). The British Election Study (1997) revealed that only 56% of young voters between the age of 18 and 24 turned out to vote in the British General Election in 1997. The British Election Study (2005) also reported that less that 48% of registered 18-24 year old voters turned up to vote in the 2005 British General Elections compared to 75% of older voters. The Electoral Commission (2002) provides some insight into the declining trends among young voters in terms of voter turnout. Using data from an Ispos MORI survey, the Electoral Commission (2002) concluded that there were two primary factors influencing young voter ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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