Voter turnout in national and EU parliamentary elections (tsdgo310)

Indicator Profile (ESMS)

Data tables: tsdgo310

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union


Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4.Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Dissemination format
11. Accessibility of documentation
12. Quality management
13. Relevance
14. Accuracy
15. Timeliness and punctuality
16. Comparability
17. Coherence
18. Cost and Burden
19. Data revision
20. Statistical processing
21. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)
Eurostat Quality Profile
14.1. Accuracy - overall High
16.1. Comparability - geographical Medium
16.2. Comparability - over time Medium
20.1. Source data ESS

Description of Eurostat quality grading system under the following link.



For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT

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1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

E2: Environmental statistics and accounts; sustainable development

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 26/02/2014
2.2. Metadata last posted 26/02/2014
2.3. Metadata last update 26/02/2014


3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

‘Voter turnout’ is an indicator of citizens’ participation in public affairs both at EU and national levels. The number of those who cast a vote or 'turn out' at an election includes those who cast blank or invalid votes. In Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece, and Cyprus, voting is compulsory. ( For more information on compulsory voting: Compulsory Voting | Voter Turnout | International IDEA )

The indicator presents voter turnout for European Parliament elections and national elections. For national elections, the indicator refers to parliamentary elections except for Cyprus (presidential elections), France, Portugal and Romania (both parliamentary and presidential elections). The indicator includes an EU average “turnout”. This was estimated by Eurostat on the basis of the trends observed in each of the Member States national elections. The calculation of the EU average is based on parliamentary elections for all countries, except for Cyprus (only presidential elections), France, Portugal and Romania (both parliamentary and presidential elections).

The indicator is compiled with data from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) Voter Turnout Database

3.2. Classification system

The indicator distinguishes between European Parliament elections and national elections. For national elections, the indicator refers to parliamentary elections except for Cyprus (presidential elections), France, Portugal and Romania (both parliamentary and presidential elections) to reflect the different forms of government existing in these states.

For more information: IDEA Voter Turnout Database – Methodology & Sources

3.3. Coverage - sector

Not available

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

Turnout is calculated by dividing the number of votes cast by the number of registered voters. The number of those who cast a vote at an election includes those who cast blank or invalid votes.

For more information: IDEA Voter Turnout Database – Methodology & Sources

3.5. Statistical unit

not available

3.6. Statistical population

not available

3.7. Reference area

EU, EFTA, candidate countries and acceding countries. Between 1990 and 1992, the indicator refers to Czechoslovakia. 

3.8. Coverage - Time

from 1990

3.9. Base period

not applicable


4. Unit of measure Top

%


5. Reference Period Top

Calendar year


6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Council Directive 93/109/EC (1993)

Communication from the Commission of 12 December 2006 - European elections 2004 - Commission report on the participation of European Union citizens in the Member State of residence (Directive 93/109/EC) and on the electoral arrangements (Decision 76/787/EC, as amended by Decision 2002/772/EC, Euratom) [COM(2006) 790 final - Not published in Official Journal].

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

not available


7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

not applicable


8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA)’s Voter Turnout Database is regularly updated according to the election calendar. The estimation of the EU average turnout is done by Eurostat once a year.

8.2. Release calendar access

Not applicable

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Dissemination format') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.


9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Yearly


10. Dissemination format Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

not applicable

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Publications

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

See data availability for table(s) tsdgo310

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

not applicable

10.5. Dissemination format - other

not applicable


11. Accessibility of documentation Top
11.1. Documentation on methodology

These data are extracted from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA)’s Voter Turnout Database.

For more information: IDEA Voter Turnout Database – Methodology & Sources

The EU average turnout is calculated by Eurostat using data from the IDEA Voter Turnout Database. It is calculated by dividing the number of total votes cast in a given year by the number of total registered voters (the sum for all member states). Unlike European parliamentary elections which take place at regular intervals in all EU member states, national elections in some member states take place at different intervals and in different years. In order to calculate the total sum for a given year, a linear trend is estimated between every two data points. For example, if country X holds two successive elections in 2000 and 2004 and the registered voters are 5,000,000 in 2000 and 6,000,000 in 2004, the estimated values for the other years would be: 5,250,000 (2001), 5,500,000 (2002) and 5,750,000 (2003). If the latest available data point is not also the last year in the time series, the value for the last years in the time series is assumed to be the value of the latest available data point.

11.2. Quality management - documentation

Eurostat's mission is to provide the European Union with a high-quality statistical information service (see Eurostat quality framework)


12. Quality management Top
12.1. Quality assurance

These data are extracted from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA)’s Voter Turnout Database.

For more information: IDEA Voter Turnout Database – Methodology & Sources

12.2. Quality management - assessment

Data is collected from reliable sources applying high standards with regard to the methodology. Restrictions in comparability and accuracy are related to the construction of the indicators and in particular to the quality of voters' register.


13. Relevance Top
13.1. Relevance - User Needs

The indicator is part of the “good governance” theme of the EU’s sustainable development indicators set. It provides an indication about political participation, and as a proxy, the level of trust in political institutions.

Two of the guiding principles of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS) are an ‘open and democratic society’ and the ‘involvement of citizens’ in policy-making. Although no linear relationship exists between voter turnout and democratic development, voter turnout is a key indicator of citizens' participation in public affairs at local, national and EU level.

13.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

For more information: IDEA Voter Turnout Database – Methodology & Sources

13.3. Completeness

See data availability for table(s) tsdgo310


14. Accuracy Top
14.1. Accuracy - overall

High

High

The indicator is compiled with data from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) Voter Turnout Database, which contains the most comprehensive global collection of political participation statistics available. There are regular updates of voter turnout figures for national presidential and parliamentary elections since 1945 and, for EU member states, for EU parliamentary elections since 1979.

Data is provided by the authority responsible for the registration of voters for national elections which is usually a Central Government Department or a Local Government Authority or an EMB (Electoral Management Body) or the National Statistical Offices. The methods used to compile and update the voters register might vary between countries: links to national population records or b) police records or c) actively - by mail, appearance in registration office and the use of a door-to-door registration campaign.

The frequency in updating the voters’ register differs from country to country. Most countries update the register continuously i.e. the register is maintained and continually updated. Other countries update it periodically i.e. before elections  and others annually Finally many countries have voter-specific registers versus not separated register of voters. There are important benefits to having a centralized voter register, since it facilitates clearing of duplications, thus eliminating the likelihood of double voting.

Problems of accuracy stem from the quality of the voter’s register. This may include over coverage (people that should not be in the register are included like deceased persons), under coverage (young voters have not been included in the register yet) and double counting (when two or more entries correspond to the same person).

14.2. Sampling error

not applicable

14.3. Non-sampling error

not applicable


15. Timeliness and punctuality Top
15.1. Timeliness

not applicable

15.2. Punctuality

not applicable


16. Comparability Top
16.1. Comparability - geographical

Medium

Comparability across countries is limited by the fact that in some countries voting is compulsory (Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece and Cyprus while for the rest of the Member States it is optional.     (For more information on compulsory voting: Compulsory Voting | Voter Turnout | International IDEA )

This has to be taken into account in the interpretation of the differences. In addition, the quality of the register may affect the number of registered voters which represents the number of names on the voters' register at the time that the registration process closes and it is reported by the electoral management body. Countries do not use the same sources to establish and update the voters’ register and the same frequency in updating it.

For national elections, the indicator refers to parliamentary elections for all countries except for Cyprus (presidential elections), France, Portugal and Romania (both parliamentary and presidential elections).

FR – 1995, 2002, 2007, 2012 - Presidential election

CY- 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2013 – Presidential election

PT – 1996, 2001 and 2006 – Presidential election

RO – 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2009 – Presidential election 

 

Otherwise replace with “In some EU member states, voting is compulsory (more information)”

16.2. Comparability - over time

Medium

Comparable time series are available for the countries. In the main data source of IDEA Voter Turnout Website, there are regular updates of voter turnout figures for national presidential and parliamentary elections. With regard to the Czech Republic and Slovakia the data concerning the years 1990-1992 refers to Czechoslovakia. For Hungary, starting from 1998, we have opted for data related to the first round of elections. While European parliamentary elections take place at regular intervals, every five years (the European Parliament cannot be dissolved earlier), national elections in some member states take place at different intervals, depending on the parliament's mandate.


17. Coherence Top
17.1. Coherence - cross domain

The indicator is linked to two policy principles of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy: ‘open and democratic society’ and ‘involvement of citizens’. The indicator can be analysed together with level of citizens' confidence in European Union institutions.

17.2. Coherence - internal

not applicable


18. Cost and Burden Top

not applicable


19. Data revision Top
19.1. Data revision - policy

These data are extracted from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA)’s Voter Turnout Database.

19.2. Data revision - practice

These data are extracted from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA)’s Voter Turnout Database.

For more information: IDEA Voter Turnout Database – Methodology & Sources


20. Statistical processing Top
20.1. Source data

ESS

These data are extracted from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA)’s Voter Turnout Database.

The IDEA sources for the data on voter registration and total vote are the national electoral management bodies (EMBs) and national statistical bureaus of countries listed in the IDEA Voter Turnout Database. Data from the EMBs are obtained from either their official reports or information provided in their official web portals. In few cases, when data are not available from the EMBs, the information on voter turnout is obtained from secondary sources. In addition, the IDEA Voter Turnout Database takes into account inputs and suggestions from the users of the database.

For more information: IDEA Voter Turnout Database – Methodology & Sources

20.2. Frequency of data collection

For more information: IDEA Voter Turnout Database – Methodology & Sources

20.3. Data collection

For more information: IDEA Voter Turnout Database – Methodology & Sources

20.4. Data validation

For more information: IDEA Voter Turnout Database – Methodology & Sources

20.5. Data compilation

For more information: IDEA Voter Turnout Database – Methodology & Sources

The EU average turnout is calculated by Eurostat using data extracted from the IDEA Voter Turnout Database. The EU average turnout is calculated by dividing the number of total votes cast in a given year by the number of total registered voters (the sum for all member states). Unlike European parliamentary elections which take place at regular intervals in all EU member states, national elections in some member states take place at different intervals and in different years. In order to calculate the total sum for a given year, a linear trend is estimated between every two data points. For example, if country X holds two successive elections in 2000 and 2004 and the registered voters are 5,000,000 in 2000 and 6,000,000 in 2004, the estimated values for the other years would be: 5,250,000 (2001), 5,500,000 (2002) and 5,750,000 (2003). If the latest available data point is not also the last year in the time series, the value for the last years in the time series is assumed to be the value of the latest available data point.

20.6. Adjustment

not applicable


21. Comment Top

none


Related metadata Top


Annexes Top