Why people don't vote

VERNON SMALL
Last updated 14:51 31/01/2014

Relevant offers

Politics

Iraq troop deployment would put NZ at risk - Government warned Health minister to parents: Shop around for free GP visits NZDF selling 10 remaining Iroquois "as is" More alleged sex offenders granted name suppression Nelson Marlborough District Health Board backtracks on zero-hour contracts Quiet departure for Kiwis while Aussies fly the flag at troop deployment New Whanau Ora approach could "overturn" Maori welfare Are Kiwis being duped over organic food? New Zealand troops depart for Iraq Free GP visits don't cover all children - Greens

The young, the poor and recent migrants were less likely to turn out for parliamentary elections than other voters, a survey has found.

The Statistics NZ survey found the most common reason given for not voting in the 2008 and 2011 General Elections was they "didn't get round to it, forgot or weren't interested", with 21 per cent of non-voters citing that reason.

A further 7 per cent did not vote because they felt their vote would not make a difference.

"It's interesting to see that this group has nearly doubled since the 2008 General Election," general social survey manager Philip Walker said.

Age, income, and migrant status also made a difference to voting behaviour.

The survey found 42 per cent of 18-24-year-olds said they did not vote in 2011.

"People who feel they don't have enough money to meet their daily needs are also less likely to vote," Walker said.

Recent migrants had low voting rates, while migrants who had been in New Zealand for longer periods had very similar voting behaviour to those born here.

The Electoral Commission has welcomed the report.

"Declining voter engagement in our Parliamentary democracy is a problem that affects all of us and it will take a national effort to turn this worrying trend around," chief electoral officer Robert Peden said.

"This research will further increase understanding of the problem, which is a necessary step in finding solutions." Turnout in the 2011 election was 74.21 per cent, the lowest for more than a century.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content