As you can see from the table of raw data, the turnout for the 2001 general election hit its lowest point for 60 years, dropping 12% from the previous election in 1997, which saw Tony Blair revoke John Major of his political power, and bring New Labour into the government as its executive. We have looked at a few possible causes for the recent decline of interest in politics, however there are many other theories as to why we have seen this negative trend, some statistical analysts, for example, believe that around about 70% of the variation of the past 60 years can be explained by an equation: Turnout = 79. 8% – (0. 39 x Lead) + (0.12 x Distance) – (0. 22 x Years from 1945)
This equation incorporates three different factors including the amount of time that has passed since World War II, the lead of the winning political party, and also the distance between the parties (Budge, 2007). The issue about the World War is a very relevant theory as the younger people that have superseded the older generations, especially those who had to fight for our right to democracy, don't seem to appreciate the privileged position that we are now in, which however is understandable as the younger generation do not have first hand experience to back up the facts that they are taught.
The table also shows a slight upturn in the turnout in the most recent general election of 2005, which is said to be a result of the difference between the positions of the parties, which affects the equation that we mentioned earlier used by statistical analysts. However if we use the equation as it is intended, the results show that the turnout for the 2005 election should have been around 67. 5% if the equation worked perfectly, which suggests that some of the other factors mentioned were possible causes.
Primary Data research I have decided to investigate the reasons for voter apathy in more detail by creating a questionnaire using the research that I have done so far, incorporating the following questions: 1. Do you have an interest in Government and politics? 2. Why don't you have interest in Government and politics? 3. Do you have faith in the Government of the day? 4. Why don't you have faith in the Government of the day?
What do you think would best remedy the situation? The questionnaire that I will ask people to fill out will not be worded exactly as above, and will have options, for example question 5 will have options such as: Better education, more restraint on the executive, etc. In order for the questionnaire to be ethically sound the questionnaire will also have the opportunity for people to skip questions if they do not want to, or do not need to answer them.
I will also include questions to gain personal information about the subjects such as, age range, gender, and political view (if any, and if willing to share that information), in order to test whether there is any correlation between the answers. The information received will be quantitative and discrete and I will be able to show my results in the form of tables and charts. A copy of the questionnaire that I used will be included at the back of this research project. Results: I have the results from the questionnaires.
As I work part time in a shop in Bicester, Oxfordshire, I decided to ask random customers whether they would like to participate in a completely confidential survey for my independent research project based on government and politics, the sample method that I have therefore used is opportunity sampling, and the target audience was the people of Bicester, and surrounding areas. I asked 40 people over a period of two days to fill in the questionnaire and came up with some interesting results. Below are tables of results for each question, I will then create some graphs based on the results of some of the questions.