Uncertainty Is (Usually) Motivating: Election Closeness and Voter Turnout in 2002 and 2006 City President Elections in Poland
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Trinity College, Dublin
Publication date: 2009-06-30
Polish Sociological Review 2009;166(2):297-308
One of the classic explanations of variation in voter turnout states that, all else being equal, the closer (the more competitive) the election in question the higher the respective turnout rate should be. In this paper, I examine whether this proposition holds in the context of the city president elections in Poland. I employ two different measures of election closeness to account for the substantive difference between the first and the second rounds of these elections. The results I present indicate that, while the effect of closeness on turnout in the first rounds of the 2002 and 2006 elections was moderately strong or even weak (and insignificant), the regularities observed in the second rounds lend arguably strong support to the closeness hypothesis.
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