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The Problem of Low Voter Turnout in the United Kingdom - Article Example

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The Problem of Low Voter Turnout in the United Kingdom

According to the paper United Kingdom is renowned for its appetite in following democratic principles of governance. The country has three major political outfits namely; Labour party, Liberal Democrats, and the Conservative party. Being a democratic country, one would expect that the voter turnout rate is higher than in many other nations that are still nurturing their democracies. But this is not the case. To give validity to my argument, let me compare the UK with its closest neighbor, the Republic of Ireland. The UK participated in nine elections from 1951 to 1982, whilst the Republic of Ireland has had 10 general elections. While voter turnout rate in the Republic of Ireland had risen by 2.1 percent during that time, it dropped by about 4.5 percent over the same period in the UK.From this study it is clear that the low voter turnout witnessed in the UK has caused many to worry since it is seen as a threat to the democratic principles which have taken so much and so long to nurture. To sustain a healthy representative democracy in the UK, the strength of enthusiasm to engage in the democratic processes is vital. Voter turnout stood at 82 percent in 1950 in the UK. It stood at 72 percent in 1983. Going forward, voter turnout slightly improved during the 1987 and 1992 general elections due to the closeness of the battle between Labour and Conservative candidates. But the last two general elections of 2001 and 2006 have witnessed a sharp reduction in voter turnout, with 2001 registering only 59.3 percent....
Voter Turnout in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom is renowned for its appetite in following democratic principles of governance. The country has three major political outfits namely; Labour party, Liberal Democrats, and the Conservative party. Being a democratic country, one would expect that the voter turnout rate is higher than in many other nations that are still nurturing their democracies. But this is not the case. To give validity to my argument, let me compare the UK with its closest neighbor, the Republic of Ireland. The UK participated in nine elections from 1951 to 1982, whilst the Republic of Ireland has had 10 general elections. While voter turnout rate in the Republic of Ireland had risen by 2.1 percent during that time, it dropped by about 4.5 percent over the same period in the UK (Bogdanor & Butler 1983:184).

The low voter turnout witnessed in the UK has caused many to worry since it is seen as a threat to the democratic principles which have taken so much and so long to nurture. To sustain a healthy representative democracy in the UK, the strength of enthusiasm to engage in the democratic processes is vital (Low voter Turnout 2006). Voter turnout stood at 82 percent in 1950 in the UK. It stood at 72 percent in 1983. Going forward, voter turnout slightly improved during the 1987 and 1992 general elections due to the closeness of the battle between Labour and Conservative candidates. But the last two general elections of 2001 and 2006 have witnessed a sharp reduction in voter turnout, with 2001 registering only 59.3 percent (Franklin 2004). There are several causes that have necessitated this downward trend in the UK. Below, I briefly analyze some of the causes.

Causes of Low Voter ...Show more
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Summary

This paper stresses that election campaigns around the world are costing so much money and time to plan, prepare, and execute. But instead of the voter turnout going upwards, the global trends shows a decrease in voter turnout in most established democratic countries. …
The Problem of Low Voter Turnout in the United Kingdom
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