Electoral Systems and Turnout

Andre Blais, Kees Aarts

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99 Citations (Scopus)
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Research dealing with contemporary western democracies has consistently shown that turnout is substantially higher under PR, under larger district magnitude, and under more proportional systems in general. That research has failed to explain, however, that how and why PR fosters turnout. Furthermore, the same pattern fails to be replicated in Latin America. Finally, studies that include a wide set of democracies find turnout to be higher under more proportional systems, but the reported impact is quite small. We conclude that the pattern observed in established democracies is not robust and that until we have developed a more compelling explanation for how and why PR fosters turnout, a sceptical position is justified.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)180-196
Number of pages17
JournalActa politica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • district magnitude
  • METIS-232594
  • proportional representation
  • number of parties
  • Turnout
  • IR-61169

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