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Explaining the low voter turnout in Iceland’s 2010 local government elections

Explaining the low voter turnout in Iceland’s 2010 local government elections


Title: Explaining the low voter turnout in Iceland’s 2010 local government elections
Author: Eyþórsson, Grétar Þór   orcid.org/0000-0002-3022-5759
Kowalczyk, Marcin
Date: 2013-01-01
Language: English
Scope: 14
School: School of Business and Science
Series: Samtíð; 1(1)
ISSN: 2298-2396
DOI: https://doi.org/10.12742/samtid.2013.2
Subject: Kosningaþátttaka; Voter participation; Voter turnout; Government elections
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/3020

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Citation:

Eyþórsson , G Þ & Kowalczyk , M 2013 , ' Explaining the low voter turnout in Iceland’s 2010 local government elections ' , Samtíð , vol. 1 , no. 1 , pp. 1-14 . https://doi.org/10.12742/samtid.2013.2

Abstract:

Voter participation in Iceland (measured as voter turnout) was significantly lower in the two most recent local government elections than ever before. In the 2006 local elections, voter turnout in the country dropped below 80 percent for the first time since registration began (to 78.7 percent) and fell even further to 73.4 percent in the 2010 local elections. This article presents data on this drop and seeks potential explanations for it. One hypothesis is that a major factor, especially in the 2010 elections, was disillusionment in the wake of Iceland’s economic collapse in 2008 and the subsequent crisis of public confidence in parliament. Another hypothesis is that the size of municipalities has to be taken into account. As elsewhere, political participation in Iceland is stronger in smaller municipalities. It is only in the bigger municipalities in Iceland that nationwide political parties in Iceland are active, and it is also there that voter turnout has dropped the most and voters have given the most support to newly formed political parties.

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