Tuesday 24 October 2017

One fifth of those who didn’t vote in last election either disillusioned or disinterested

ABOUT a fifth of people who did not vote in the last general election are either disillusioned with politics or disinterested, a survey on electoral habits has revealed.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) reported that more than a third of people allowed to cast a ballot did not because they were not registered.

Elsewhere, 11pc of non-voters said that the main reason they did not go to the polls was because they were not interested in politics, while another 10pc said they were disillusioned.

The rest of non-voters blamed being away from home on the day, 15pc, difficulty getting to the voting station, 11pc, living too far from the polling station, 5pc, while only 2pc blamed a lack of information.

The CSO, however, revealed some discrepancies in its survey compared to the actual turnout figures.

Its research found 82pc of people voted in the 2011 general election even though the reality was a turnout of 70pc.

Experts claimed the huge overstatement was usual in election surveys as non-voters may be reluctant to admit not going to the polls or a low turnout among people not surveyed.

"Despite these shortcomings the survey results provide a sound basis for analysing the reasons for not voting and also for contrasting voters and non-voters in respect of their socio-demographic characteristics and attitudes," the CSO said.

The report went on to show that younger people were considerably less likely to vote in 2011 than those in older age groups.

It found that 92pc of people in the 55 to 64 age group voted in 2011 compared with 62pc of 18 to 24-year-olds and 73pc of people aged between 25 and 34.

The CSO said turnout remained lowest among young people, students and unemployed people while a lack of education was directly linked to a lack of interest in voting or politics.

Press Association

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