The impact of motivational and contextual factors on turnout in first- and second-order elections

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Soderlund P, Wass H, Blais A
Publication year: 2011
Journal: Electoral Studies
Journal acronym: ELECT STUD
Volume number: 30
Issue number: 4
Start page: 689
End page: 699
Number of pages: 11
ISSN: 0261-3794


Based on voter survey from European election study 2009, we examine the impact of one individual-level motivational factor, i.e. interest in politics, and its interactions with institutional and contextual factors such as compulsory voting, electoral competition and the number of parties on participation in 2009 EP elections and previous national elections. The results show that political interest is more closely connected to turnout in second-order elections which are usually considered less salient. Correspondingly, also the contingent effect of compulsory voting and competition is more evident in EP elections. While compulsory voting substantially decreases the turnout gap between the most and least politically attentive voters in both types of elections, the moderating effect of competitiveness is found only in EP elections. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Compulsory voting, Effective number of parties, Electoral competition, Political interest, Second-order elections, Turnout

Last updated on 2020-25-09 at 05:24