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A Conservative Revolution?Electoral Change in Twenty-First Century Ireland$
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Michael Marsh, David M. Farrell, and Gail McElroy

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198744030

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198744030.001.0001

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In the Line of Duty

In the Line of Duty

The Moral Basis of Turnout in the 2011 Irish Election

(p.172) 10 In the Line of Duty
A Conservative Revolution?

André Blais

Carol Galais

Theresa Reidy

Oxford University Press

Among all the explanations offered for the act of voting, an attitude stands out for its predictive power on turnout: the belief that voting is a moral obligation or a civic duty. How strong or weak is this sense of duty in Ireland? How is it related to the decision to vote or not to vote? And where does duty come from? This chapter ascertains how many Irish citizens feel that they have a moral duty to vote, particularly in a time of national crisis, as compared with elections in more prosperous times. It examines in particular whether sense of duty matters more for those less interested in politics. Finally, the chapter explores the socio-demographic correlates of duty to vote, with a special emphasis on age, gender, education, and religion, paying attention to how they interact with each other.

Keywords:   electoral turnout, voting as duty, political interest, demographics and voting, electoral participation, abstention, social norms

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