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FP6 CivicActive Gender, Electoral Turnout and Abstention in Europe Susan Banducci, University of Exeter Yvonne Galligan, Queen’s University Belfast Bernadette.

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Presentation on theme: "FP6 CivicActive Gender, Electoral Turnout and Abstention in Europe Susan Banducci, University of Exeter Yvonne Galligan, Queen’s University Belfast Bernadette."— Presentation transcript:

1 FP6 CivicActive Gender, Electoral Turnout and Abstention in Europe Susan Banducci, University of Exeter Yvonne Galligan, Queen’s University Belfast Bernadette C. Hayes, University of Aberdeen

2 FP6 CivicActive Focus European Parliament post-election survey, 2004 Gender differences in electoral turnout Gender differences in timing of decision to vote Do men and women differ in terms of their electoral turnout? Are women more likely than men to delay their electoral decision-making?

3 FP6 CivicActive Main Findings: Electoral Turnout Men and women do not significantly differ in terms of their voting behaviour Around equal numbers of men and women turned out to vote across the various nations Key finding is the increasing rates of abstention by both men and women both within and across the various nations

4 FP6 CivicActive European Election Turnout – Gender differences have disappeared Source: Eurobarometer, European Election Study 1999 & EP Post Election Survey 2004

5 FP6 CivicActive ELECTORAL ABSTENTION The decision to vote or not to vote came later for women than for men Reasons for electoral abstention – circumstantial (absence from home, illness or disability, pressure of work, registration problems) versus voluntary (uninterested, distrustful of politics, critical of the European Union)

6 FP6 CivicActive Voluntary or Circumstantial Abstention: Gender differences Among men who did not vote, 33% give circumstantial reasons (50% voluntary) Among women who did not vote, 38% give circumstantial reasons (45% voluntary)

7 FP6 CivicActive Main Findings: Reasons for Electoral Abstention Voluntary reasons are primary factor in accounting for European abstention although women were somewhat less likely to offer this explanation than men Women somewhat more likely to cite circumstantial reasons which they were more likely to attribute to personal and family-related matters than were men

8 FP6 CivicActive Main Findings: Gender Differences in the Impact of Political Orientations on Electoral Abstention Main orientations of electoral abstainers indicated a distrust of politicians and a lack of interest in politics Women abstainers were notably more likely to be uninterested in politics than male abstainers

9 FP6 CivicActive Women Candidates and Political Engagement More women candidates, higher levels of interest among women More women candidates, women more likely to vote Countries with quotas (party, nat’l) had 8% more women candidates (36% compared to 28%) On average, women had an 8% increase in the probability of voting in countries with quotas

10 Quotas: MEP Survey 45% of women MEPs (compared to 25% male MEPs) feel that European-wide quotas for women should be adopted Source: David Farrell, Simon Hix, Mark Johnson and Roger Scully (2006) 'EPRG 2000 and 2006 MEP Surveys Dataset', Farrell, Simon Hix, Mark Johnson and Roger Scully (2006) 'EPRG 2000 and 2006 MEP Surveys Dataset',

11 FP6 CivicActive Source: Farrell et al (2006) Should there be candidate gender quotas for EP elections?

12 FP6 CivicActive European Wide Lists: MEP Survey Most MEPs disagree with European-wide lists (58%) However, 40%+ of women MEPs feel that 10% or more MEPs should be elected from European-wide lists

13 FP6 CivicActive Should MEPs be elected from Europe-wide lists?

14 FP6 CivicActive Policy Implications Efficient voting registration practices Alternative ways of accessing the ballot Address information deficit, particularly evident among women non-voters 50:50 gender balanced party lists European lists for proportion of EP seats, with mandatory 50:50 gender balance


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