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The electoral consequences of postal voting at the 2005 general election

The electoral consequences of postal voting at the 2005 general election

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The electoral consequences of postal voting at the 2005 general election

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  1. The electoral consequences of postal voting at the 2005 general election Colin Rallings & Michael Thrasher LGC Elections Centre, University of Plymouth Paper presented at the Elections, Opinion Polls and Parties Annual Conference, 9-11 September 2005, Essex University. Data collected and some analyses conducted for the Electoral Commission. Not for quotation without prior permission.

  2. Outline • The nature of the postal vote electorate • The nature of the postal voter • Some aspects of the increase in postal voters

  3. The postal electorate

  4. The postal electorate in 2005 * Some or all data are missing for 35 constituencies in England and 1 in Wales

  5. Correlates of postal electorate

  6. Regional aspects of postal electorate * All-postal voting at 2004 European/local elections

  7. Distribution of postal electorate by constituency

  8. Effects of local election postal pilots

  9. Party incumbency and postal electorate

  10. 2001 majority and increase in postal electors

  11. The postal voter

  12. The postal voter in 2005

  13. Postal voters by English region * All-postal voting at 2004 European/local elections

  14. Distribution of postal voters by constituency

  15. All-postal pilots and postal voters

  16. Party incumbency and postal voters

  17. Comparing postal and in-person turnout

  18. Increases in postal votes and change in turnout

  19. Some aspects of increased postal voting

  20. Comparing in-person and all-postal voting Staffordshire S. is excluded

  21. Postal turnout higher than expected • Doncaster Central • Gosport • Cambridge

  22. Postal turnout is lower than expected • Hull West and Hessle • Liverpool Garston • Solihull

  23. A simple model of postal voter turnout R2=0.34; standard errors in brackets; ** 0.01 level

  24. Postal voting – the regional effect

  25. Postal voting – the experiments effect

  26. Modelling the 2005 postal vote turnout R2=0.42; standard errors in brackets; ** 0.01 level

  27. Was the spread of postal voters political? Dependent variable is percentage point change in postal ballots issued as a percentage of total electorate R2=0.20; standard errors in brackets; ** 0.01 level

  28. Did the increase in postal voters help Labour? Dependent variable is percentage point change in Labour vote share 2001-5 Data are for England only; R2=0.28; standard errors in brackets; ** 0.05 level; * 0.01 level