Gender electoral turnout and abstention in europe
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Gender, Electoral Turnout and Abstention in Europe. Susan Banducci, University of Exeter Yvonne Galligan, Queen’s University Belfast Bernadette C. Hayes, University of Aberdeen. Focus. European Parliament post-election survey, 2004 Gender differences in electoral turnout

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Gender, Electoral Turnout and Abstention in Europe

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Gender electoral turnout and abstention in europe

Gender, Electoral Turnout and Abstention in Europe

Susan Banducci, University of Exeter

Yvonne Galligan, Queen’s University Belfast

Bernadette C. Hayes, University of Aberdeen


Focus

Focus

  • European Parliament post-election survey, 2004

  • Gender differences in electoral turnout

  • Gender differences in timing of decision to vote

  • Do men and women differ in terms of their electoral turnout?

  • Are women more likely than men to delay their electoral decision-making?


Main findings electoral turnout

Main Findings: Electoral Turnout

  • Men and women do not significantly differ in terms of their voting behaviour

  • Around equal numbers of men and women turned out to vote across the various nations

  • Key finding is the increasing rates of abstention by both men and women both within and across the various nations


European election turnout gender differences have disappeared

European Election Turnout – Gender differences have disappeared

Source: Eurobarometer, European Election Study 1999 & EP Post Election Survey 2004


Electoral abstention

ELECTORAL ABSTENTION

  • The decision to vote or not to vote came later for women than for men

  • Reasons for electoral abstention – circumstantial (absence from home, illness or disability, pressure of work, registration problems) versus voluntary (uninterested, distrustful of politics, critical of the European Union)


Voluntary or circumstantial abstention gender differences

Voluntary or Circumstantial Abstention: Gender differences

  • Among men who did not vote, 33% give circumstantial reasons (50% voluntary)

  • Among women who did not vote, 38% give circumstantial reasons (45% voluntary)


Main findings reasons for electoral abstention

Main Findings: Reasons for Electoral Abstention

  • Voluntary reasons are primary factor in accounting for European abstention although women were somewhat less likely to offer this explanation than men

  • Women somewhat more likely to cite circumstantial reasons which they were more likely to attribute to personal and family-related matters than were men


Main findings gender differences in the impact of political orientations on electoral abstention

Main Findings: Gender Differences in the Impact of Political Orientations on Electoral Abstention

  • Main orientations of electoral abstainers indicated a distrust of politicians and a lack of interest in politics

  • Women abstainers were notably more likely to be uninterested in politics than male abstainers


Women candidates and political engagement

Women Candidates and Political Engagement

  • More women candidates, higher levels of interest among women

  • More women candidates, women more likely to vote

  • Countries with quotas (party, nat’l) had 8% more women candidates (36% compared to 28%)

  • On average, women had an 8% increase in the probability of voting in countries with quotas


Quotas mep survey

Quotas: MEP Survey

  • 45% of women MEPs (compared to 25% male MEPs) feel that European-wide quotas for women should be adopted

  • Source: David Farrell, Simon Hix, Mark Johnson and Roger Scully (2006) 'EPRG 2000 and 2006 MEP Surveys Dataset', http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/EPRG/


Should there be candidate gender quotas for ep elections

Should there be candidate gender quotas for EP elections?

Source: Farrell et al (2006)


European wide lists mep survey

European Wide Lists: MEP Survey

  • Most MEPs disagree with European-wide lists (58%)

  • However, 40%+ of women MEPs feel that 10% or more MEPs should be elected from European-wide lists


Should meps be elected from europe wide lists

Should MEPs be elected from Europe-wide lists?


Policy implications

Policy Implications

  • Efficient voting registration practices

  • Alternative ways of accessing the ballot

  • Address information deficit, particularly evident among women non-voters

  • 50:50 gender balanced party lists

  • European lists for proportion of EP seats, with mandatory 50:50 gender balance


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