Turnout: 2017 General Election
Although the overall turnout of the 2017 General Election was 68.7% (up from 66.2% in 2015), the turnout in individual constituencies varied from 53% to 79.5%. Use the interactive tool below to see which constituencies had the lowest turnout.
Why is turnout important?
If turnout is high it means more people have been involved in making the decision about who represents their local area in Parliament, and the person elected will likely be more representative of the people living there.* A high overall turnout also arguably gives greater legitimacy to the result and provides your MP with a mandate to serve.
Turnout can have a big impact on the result. While it is true that some campaigns do better if turnout is low in particular demographics, in other seats the candidates’ votes are very close (see here), and the result is decided by just a handful of voters! So a large turnout across the whole constituency has the potential to swing the vote significantly.
It is also an unfortunate truth that politicians will sometimes look at voter turnout before making key policy decisions. If a certain demographic‘s turnout is high then politicians may be more likely to make policy that benefits that demographic in order to please them and subsequently win their votes or retain their support.
High and low turnout
These graphics from the House of Commons Library team document the seats with the highest and lowest turnout in 2017 (source).
*Although many argue that First Past the Post (the voting system) always provides in an unrepresentative result.