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    Who Votes? An Exploration of the Factors Influencing Turnout Propensity in Fingal County

    Kelly, Denise (2007) Who Votes? An Exploration of the Factors Influencing Turnout Propensity in Fingal County. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Irish elections in recent decades have been marked by considerably low turnout levels with voter turnout rates varying from place to place. This thesis addressed this issue with respect to the county of Fingal in an attempt to identity the factors that influence individual turnout propensity. Data was collated through a county-wide questionnaire survey which was complemented with interview data from politicians, local councilors, political candidates and party workers. The data was subsequently analysed using SPSS along with qualitative analysis of the interview data, supplemented by the use of ArcView 3.2 to create maps, and Census data to conduct aggregate analyses. This research confirmed the existence of an amalgamation of influential factors on turnout propensity. There were found to be a number of demographic influences on individual turnout propensity with age and martial status proving to be particularly influential. There were also found to be a number of socio-structural influences on turnout propensity in Fingal. However, these influences, which included social class, housing tenure and educational attainment, were found to exist only at the aggregate level. Length of residence was found to be particularly influential with findings on residential stability suggesting the existence of this association at the aggregate level also. The research findings suggested the existence of a “habit” of voting in Fingal. It was also found that an individual sense of political efficacy, understanding of political issues, interest in politics, newspaper readership and feelings of civic duty all influence turnout propensity with many of these factors being interrelated. In addition, there were found to be numerous place variations in relation to the strength of each of the influential factors.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: Votes; Propensity; Fingal County;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Item ID: 5274
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2014 16:12

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