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  Talk Elections
  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion
  International Elections (Moderators: Gustaf, afleitch, Hash)
  UK Turnouts (1885-2019)
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Author Topic: UK Turnouts (1885-2019)  (Read 663 times)
DistingFlyer
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« on: February 16, 2020, 12:49:52 pm »
« edited: February 16, 2020, 10:21:35 pm by DistingFlyer »

Here's a provisional chart illustrating the turnout at each British election from 1885 to the present, including turnouts in each constituent country as well as the constituencies with the highest & lowest turnouts.



I should note that the table is not quite complete: I haven't yet been able to square the electorate figures for 1918 and 1987-1997 completely, nor have I yet found estimates for numbers of electors voting (as opposed to votes cast) in the dual-member Cambridge University, Cork City & Dublin University constituencies prior to 1918. Will of course update the table when these deficiencies have been rectified, but the overall national figures should remain largely the same as they are now.
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DistingFlyer
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2020, 12:57:20 pm »

This thread appears to have come up twice - is it possible for an admin to delete the second one (can't seem to do it myself)?
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DistingFlyer
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2020, 08:31:41 pm »
« Edited: February 16, 2020, 08:35:30 pm by DistingFlyer »

Looking at the turnouts for regions within England, Greater London took the booby prize from 1885 through 2005, with its lowest turnout being (predictably) in 1918, at just 47.8%. From 2010 to now, it's done rather better, almost matching the non-London South in 2017 (70% to 71%).

As for the region with the highest turnout in England, it was usually the North until the 1950s (including an eleven-election streak from 1918 through 1951). The last hurrah was in 1959, and from 1964 to the present the highest-turnout area has been the non-London South. Northern England dipped below the Midlands in 1974, and below London in 2010, when it became the area of England with the lowest turnout, which it has been ever since.

The South scored the highest in 1906 & 1910 (achieving a high of 88.9% in January 1910, to go along with the nation's all-round best turnout that year), but not again until 1955, and from 1964 to the present. The Midlands were the highest-turnout region of England only in 1885 & 1900, but they have also never been the lowest.

EDIT: Have updated the table above to include turnouts in English regions, as well as in the constituent countries. Have not updated it in the duplicate thread, so hopefully that will die soon.
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DistingFlyer
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2020, 10:22:57 pm »

Here's a chart that illustrates only the highest & lowest constituency turnouts as well as the overall turnout for the country; the color of each dot refers to the winner in that election (in the constituency or nationally). The vertical bars denote changes in the franchise.

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DistingFlyer
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2020, 02:29:32 pm »
« Edited: February 17, 2020, 02:36:50 pm by DistingFlyer »

Here's a map showing turnouts for the 1992 election:



(Admittedly my electorate tally is still off by ninety somewhere, but it shouldn't make much difference to the shading!)

Curiously, in spite of the overall rise in turnout, a number of big cities saw drops (6% in Manchester & Liverpool, 2% in Sheffield & Glasgow, 1% in Leeds).


Additionally, here are ones for the 1975 EEC & 2016 EU referenda:

1975


2016
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DistingFlyer
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2020, 11:42:46 pm »

Here are turnout maps for 1997 & 2001:



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Clyde1998
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2020, 11:47:50 pm »

Here's a provisional chart illustrating the turnout at each British election from 1885 to the present, including turnouts in each constituent country as well as the constituencies with the highest & lowest turnouts.



I should note that the table is not quite complete: I haven't yet been able to square the electorate figures for 1918 and 1987-1997 completely, nor have I yet found estimates for numbers of electors voting (as opposed to votes cast) in the dual-member Cambridge University, Cork City & Dublin University constituencies prior to 1918. Will of course update the table when these deficiencies have been rectified, but the overall national figures should remain largely the same as they are now.
Never realised that Wales used to have the highest turnout of the four nations. Mustíve been a time when the industrial cities had relatively high turnouts - unlike what we see today.
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DistingFlyer
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Posts: 394
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2020, 12:18:19 am »

Here's a provisional chart illustrating the turnout at each British election from 1885 to the present, including turnouts in each constituent country as well as the constituencies with the highest & lowest turnouts.



I should note that the table is not quite complete: I haven't yet been able to square the electorate figures for 1918 and 1987-1997 completely, nor have I yet found estimates for numbers of electors voting (as opposed to votes cast) in the dual-member Cambridge University, Cork City & Dublin University constituencies prior to 1918. Will of course update the table when these deficiencies have been rectified, but the overall national figures should remain largely the same as they are now.
Never realised that Wales used to have the highest turnout of the four nations. Mustíve been a time when the industrial cities had relatively high turnouts - unlike what we see today.

Also one reason why the North was the highest-turnout region in England around the same time.
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CumbrianLeftie
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2020, 12:19:14 pm »

Curiously, in spite of the overall rise in turnout, a number of big cities saw drops (6% in Manchester & Liverpool, 2% in Sheffield & Glasgow, 1% in Leeds)

Yes, that was a bit of a "canary in the coalmine" for what was to come.
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DistingFlyer
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2020, 04:54:15 pm »

Here are turnout maps for Margaret Thatcher's three victories:

1979


1983


1987
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CumbrianLeftie
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2020, 05:36:21 pm »

Maybe you could have used a different colour - no so easy to see the differences/changes there?

(only a minor quibble of course, these maps are an excellent resource)
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DistingFlyer
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2020, 05:58:45 pm »

Maybe you could have used a different colour - no so easy to see the differences/changes there?

(only a minor quibble of course, these maps are an excellent resource)

Had thought about that myself, and considered inverting the shading (dark for low, light for high) as more subtle differences in turnout at the higher end would be more noticeable, but I also knew that that would confuse the hell out of people and I'd have to explain it endlessly. It's not ideal, but works surprisingly well if one switches from one to the other on something like Photo Viewer (one reason why I like maps that fit over each other, and why I predominantly use these ones drawn by afleitch) - even a relatively small turnout change like 1979 to 1983, or 1983 to 1987, shows up better than I'd expected when filling these in.
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