Non-participation in Australian National Elections: Fault-lines in the compulsory voting consensus

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This chapter examines national election participation rates over the past two decades and identifies a recurring pattern of below average turn out in a small number of seats, suggesting that these constitute fault lines in the otherwise widespread consensus of public compliance with compulsory voting. These seats fall into two main categories. The first are remotes seats with comparatively high rates of Indigenous population, and this confirms a chronic and well recognised issue of concern regarding low Indigenous participation in the electoral process. The second are affluent inner urban seats in Australia’s major cities of Melbourne and Sydney in which highly educated young people are clustered. The latter pattern might presage a potential weakening in the public’s support for compulsory voting.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Century of Compulsory Voting in Australia
Subtitle of host publicationGenesis, Impact and Future
EditorsMatteo Bonotti, Paul Strangio
Place of PublicationGateway East, Singapore
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789813340251
ISBN (Print)97898133404244
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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