The Discreet Charm of (Not) Casting a Vote A study of an effect of election campaigns on turnout for the Legislative Elections in France in 2012, the General Elections in the United Kingdom in 2015 and the European Parliament 2014 Elections in both countr

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: This thesis investigates why the variance in turnout for national and European Parliament elections is lower in France than in the United Kingdom. Based on the Most Similar System Design, it hypothesises that the variance is explained by the difference in the election campaigns conduct, following France’s and the United Kingdom’s switch of electoral systems for the European Parliament Elections. Hence, it examines the election campaigns and particularly the behaviour of the media as an issue mediator and voter mobilising actor for Legislative Elections 2012 in France, General Elections 2015 in the United Kingdom and European Parliament Elections 2014. The thesis finds a firm difference in the way election campaigns were carried out in two countries. Concurrently, it suggests that this difference might have an impact on turnout in the two countries. Yet, further research is needed to fully understand how election campaigns influence turnout in France and the United Kingdom.

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