Turnout in second order elections: the case of EP elections in Dublin 1984 and 1989
Whelan, Brendan J.
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Citation:Sinnott, Richard; Whelan, Brendan J. 'Turnout in second order elections: the case of EP elections in Dublin 1984 and 1989'. - Economic & Social Review, Vol. 23, No.2, January, 1992, pp. 147-166. Dublin: Economic & Social Research Institute
This paper argues that the distinction between first order and second order elections should be used as an analytical tool rather than as a source of different standards to be applied in assessing turnout. The Maastricht Treaty makes turnout in European Parliament elections important both for the legitimacy of the Community and the development of European citizenship. The key empirical question is whether turnout in second order elections can be explained by social or other variables, or is largely idiosyncratic. The analysis uses turnout data in Dublin from 1984 and 1989. The idiosyncratic interpretation is not warranted. The sources of low turnout are in large measure identifiable and they indicate that the reality falls a long way short of the ideal whereby every citizen, regardless of status or resources, has an equal say.
Publisher:Economic & Social Research Institute