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Voter participation is often seen as a measure of confidence in democracy and the voting system in use.94 However, the drivers of voter participation and non-participation are complex. As we will see in Chapter 7 on the international perspective, research carried out by Pippa Norris in 2003 suggests that, on average, turn-out in countries with some form of PR tends to be about five percentage points higher than in those with majoritarian systems — around 65 percent compared with 60 percent. This differential is sometimes presented as being as high as 10 percentage points, but Chapter 7 explains why this may be an exaggeration. Also, voter turn-out is higher in countries where voting is compulsory. This section explores the factors impacting on voter turn-out in the UK since 1997.

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