Voter Turnout in Small Referendums

Reprint No. 2007:20

Author(s): Morten Søberg and Thomas TangeråsYear: 2007 Title: Electoral Studies Volume (No.): 26 (2) Pages: 445–459

We analyse voter turnout using data from 309 local Norwegian language referendums carried out during 1965–2005, emphasising the effect of referendum type and changes in suffrage. The largest determinant of voter participation is suffrage: The contraction of voting rights to parents with children in school leads to an 18 percentage point average increase in turnout, even after controlling for electoral size effects. The data fail to corroborate our prediction that turnout is significantly higher in semi-binding than advisory referendums. The evidence confirms our hypotheses that turnout is negatively correlated with electoral size and positively correlated with electoral competition.

Søberg, Morten and Thomas Tangerås (2007), "Voter Turnout in Small Referendums". Electoral Studies 26(2), 445–459.

Thomas Tangerås


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Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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