University of Sussex
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NO(political) identity, NO(political)information, NO VOTE: the decline of electoral turnout among young voters in Britain

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posted on 2023-06-07, 15:40 authored by Edward Phelps
This thesis examines the extent of turnout decline at general elections since 1992. Its first contribution is to reveal that turnout decline amongst the youngest age groups was significantly more pronounced in the period 1992-2001 than for other age groups. The central argument is that there are sufficient grounds for suspecting that life-cycle factors cannot alone account for the unprecedented decline in turnout between 1992 and 2001, and that generational factors may be at work. The second contribution of the thesis is to test a variety of explanatory models of political participation on these youngest groups to ascertain if the results provide any insights of the dynamics of a suspected generational change. The thesis argues that a weakening of the psychological anchors to social and political life have left recent generations exposed and more susceptible than their older counterparts to factors that have been shown to decrease the likelihood of voting such as weakness of electoral competition; little perceived difference between political parties and an environment of negative images of politics and politicians.


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  • Sociology and Criminology Theses

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  • doctoral

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  • dphil


  • eng


University of Sussex

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