Enhancing local electoral turnout

Colin Rallings, Michael Thrasher, James Downe

Local electoral turnout is the subject of frequent discussion and concern among politicians, local government personnel and academics alike.

Turnout in Britain is demonstrably lower than for sub-national elections in any other member state of the European Union and at a level which could be seen as damaging the legitimacy of local democracy.

A unique survey conducted by the Local Government Chronicle Elections Centre at the University of Plymouth aimed to discover how far this issue was a matter of concern for local authorities themselves and what steps they have taken, if any, to facilitate registration and voting in their own area.