Missing votes: the 2010 tally

27 Sep 2010

The figures are in: almost 3,252,000 eligible Australians didn’t cast a valid vote in last month’s election, write Brian Costar and Peter Browne in Inside Story

NOW THAT the final tally for last month’s election is almost complete it’s possible get a better sense of what was different about this poll and what the implications are. As far as participation in the election goes, the picture that emerges from the data isn’t encouraging.

As Tim Colebatch reported in the Age this week, “More voters refused to vote than at any election since 1925, the first election at which voting was made compulsory.” The “boycott rate” was highest in safe Labor seats, according to Colebatch, which accounted for twenty-three of the thirty seats with the lowest attendance. Among those who did make it to a polling booth, the rate of informal voting was…

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