Civic Engagement

Voter turnout — general elections

Voter turnout rates help to show how people feel about central government. This includes the confidence they have in political institutions, the importance they attach to them, and whether they feel their participation in general elections can make a difference. In New Zealand, the enrolment of eligible electors is compulsory, but voting is not.

This indicator presents the voter turnout (proportion of eligible electors who cast a vote) in general elections, for greater Christchurch and New Zealand, for 2014 and 2017.

In 2017, 82 percent of enrolled electors in greater Christchurch voted in the general election (up from 79% in 2014), the highest turnout since 2005 (80.9%) [10]. Turnout increased in both general and Māori electorates [10]. Nationally, the voter turnout was slightly lower at both elections, at 77 percent of enrolled electors in 2014 and 79 percent in 2017.

The figure shows increased voter turnout in the general elections for all seven electorates in greater Christchurch, from 2014 to 2017, continuing to build on the 2011 result (data not shown) [11].

The figure shows that in 2017, 78 percent of enrolled Māori electors voted in the general election compared to 82 percent of non-Māori. The voter turnout for Māori in greater Christchurch in 2017 is the highest since 2005 (80.9%) [10].

The figure shows an increase in voter turnout for younger people in greater Christchurch between 2014 and 2017, with the largest increase being in the 18 to 24 year-old age group. Younger voters in greater Christchurch (74% turnout; 18 to 24 year-old age group) were relatively more engaged than their peers nationally (69.3% turnout) - New Zealand data not shown [10]. Voter turnout in greater Christchurch mirrors the national picture of increasing voter engagement with increasing age, at both time points.

Data Sources

Source: Electoral Commission.
Survey/data set: Administrative data. Access publicly available data from the Electoral Commission website www.elections.org.nz/events/2017-general-election/2017-general-election-results/voter-turnout-statistics
Source data frequency: Three yearly.

View technical notes and data tables for this indicator.

Updated: 19/11/2018