Social class, electoral turnout and voting: Analyses based on the European Social Survey

16 April 2019

Using data from the European Social Survey (ESS) I examine the impact of social class on electoral turnout, the support for left and social democratic parties and for right-wing populist parties. I find that the impact of class on voting for leftist and social democratic parties seems to have disappeared in some countries. Yet there is clear evidence that class has an impact on electoral turnout and on support for right-wing populist parties. The class-pattern of support for left/social-democratic parties tends to be weak in countries where electoral turnout has a particular strong class pattern. Further, changes in turnout affect left and social democratic parties more than other parties.

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Social class and electoral abstention (recall, ESS wave 2016)

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Social class and voting for leftist and social democratic parties (recall, ESS wave 2016)

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Social class and voting for right-wing populist parties (recall, ESS wave 2016)

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Change in turnout and change in support for various groups of parties (recall, ESS waves 2002-2016)

I presented these findings on the 4th International ESS Conference 15–17 April in Mannheim. That notwithstanding I have not yet been able to condense these finding into a research paper. I will update this post as soon as such a paper exists.