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Voter turnout in UK elections 1918-2019

In the 2019 United Kingdom General Election, voter turnout was 67.3 percent of eligible voters, a 1.5 percent drop compared with the previous general election in 2017. Between 1922 and 1997 voter turnout never fell below 70 percent, but in 2001 it dropped to just 59.4 percent. Since that low point, voter turnout has gradually recovered and reached 72.2 percent in the Brexit Referendum of 2016, which is still some way off the peak of 83.9 percent recorded in the 1950 General Election.

A winter election in 2019

The United Kingdom's first winter election since 1923, took place on December 12, 2019. Typically, elections in the UK take place in warmer months, due to a fear that bad weather will lead to lower turnouts. The irregular timing of this election undoubtedly has much to do with the political chaos caused by Brexit however, and the failure of the UK to leave the European Union on October 31, 2019

Voter apathy in EU elections

The trend of low voter turnouts in recent times is also reflected in the European elections, which had its lowest voter turnout in 2014 at 42.61 percent. Although this did increase in the most recent European elections in 2019 to 50.6 percent, this is still far below the 61.99 percent recorded in the first European elections in 1979.

Voter turnout in general elections and in the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom from 1918 to 2019

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Release date

December 2019


United Kingdom

Survey time period

1918 to 2019

Supplementary notes

The 2019 general election turnout was obtained via the BBC.

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Statistics on "UK General Election 2019"

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