European GE Turnouts

Rates of General Election Participation in European Countries

The table here shows the rates of participation in sixteen European countries. The UK is the only nation that has continued to use the first-past-the-post election system. Except for France**, all the others use proportional representation.

The table is kept up to date with revision made as soon as possible after new elections are held (Column 2). It is a snapshot making available data that can be used for a variety of purposes, the main ones being:

a) to evaluate and rank UK turnout against principal European countries (Column 7).

b) to allow readers to form a view on any relationship between the rate of turnout and the system of election in use (Column 6).

c) to indicate the approximate change in the number of UK voters who would turn out to vote if the rate of participation matched that of the other countries in the table (Column 8).

d) to calculate an average rate of turnout across the sixteen countries. As of November 2019 this stands at 73.6%. If we want to compare ourselves with the eleven countries above us in the table, their average is 79.3%.

**France: a two-round presidential election usually ends up in a run-off decided on a simple majority between two final candidates.  We show the second round turnout.

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