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The impact of different voting systems on voter participation and turn-out is perhaps the most complex criterion, about which interest is high but answers are not straightforward. While there are many factors that impact on a person's propensity to vote, recent research shows that sophisticated analysis is required to look at the relationship between different factors. Voter knowledge, interest and lack of perceived differences between parties have emerged as important factors in voter participation, although the precise relationship is not yet clear. One particular trend that has been identified across different studies is the inequalities in turn-out at General elections, with turn-out decreasing most rapidly amongst those being identified as being at greatest risk of disengagement. Interventions to improve participation, particularly amongst the least engaged, should target a range of contributory factors. John Curtice has also suggested that since turn-out is sensitive to perceptions of a close contest, the trend of voter turn-out may be reversed as British elections become more competitive. It is certainly too simplistic to attribute turn-out levels to particular voting systems or to blame the FPTP system specifically for poor turn-out in the last few General elections. Turn-out has been relatively low in most other elections in the UK since 1997 but more recently has been improving across Scotland, Wales, London and for the European Parliamentary elections.

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