Electoral participation (survey of)

Dernière mise à jour le : 08/12/2011

Présentation de l'opération

Organisme producteur :

Insee. Direction des statistiques démographiques et sociales (DSDS)

Type d'opération :


Objectifs :

Turnout in elections is an indicator of the involvement of citizens in institutions and major public debates.

By monitoring the behaviour of the people registered on the electoral lists between two rounds of the same vote and between different successive votes, the surveys of electoral participation are used to analyse this involvement in more in-depth fashion than the analysis of the instant turnout rate trends published by the Interior Ministry.

These surveys are not only used to study participation according to different socio-demographic criteria, but also to observe voting intermittence, by distinguishing between systematic voters, systematic abstainers and more or less intermittent electors.

Initially conducted on a national basis, these operations are now based on samples of a sufficient size in order to enable regional analyses.

Thèmes abordés :

Voting recurrence, between two rounds of the same election and between different successive elections, according to age, gender and different socio-demographic characteristics.

Champ de l'opération

Champ géographique :

Metropolitan France

Caractéristiques techniques

Unité statistique enquêtée :

Elector registered on the electoral lists

Périodicité de l'opération :


Historique :

A first survey of electoral participation was conducted in 1983 on an exploratory basis during the municipal elections.

It was limited to the major municipalities of Metropolitan France (sample of less than 3,000 people).

In 1984, the operation was repeated over the whole of Metropolitan France for the European elections (sample of approximately 7,000 people).

In 1998, the programme monitored several successive elections for the first time: 1988 presidential and legislative elections, 1989 referendum on New Caledonia and municipal elections. The panel featured approximately 8,000 people. It was used to produce the first analyses on voting recurrence on a national level.

In 1995, a new panel was selected for the 1995 presidential election, the 1995 municipal elections and the 1997 legislative elections. It featured nearly 39,000 people, which enabled the first regional analyses.

This framework was then applied again in 2002-2004 (2002 presidential and legislative elections, 2004 regional and European elections) then in 2007-2008 (2007 presidential election and legislative elections, 2008 municipal elections).

Plan de sondage :

Since 1995, the sample of the successive panels has featured approximately 40,000 people. It is selected from the general list of electors managed by INSEE in accordance with article L37 of the French Electoral Code. This list is used to monitor registration on the electoral lists.

It is notably used to prevent multiple registrations: when someone registers in a municipality, e.g. once they have moved house, INSEE is informed of this fact in a notice sent by this municipality; it then informs the previous municipality of registration in order to allow them to strike the person off the list. This list is not used to draw up the electoral lists.

There may therefore be slight discrepancies between the number of people registered on the municipality's electoral list and the number of people registered on the INSEE list for this municipality. Potential electors, but who are not registered, are not included in the scope of the survey.

The respondents are selected using stratified unequal probability sampling, which must, firstly, ensure samples of a sufficient size on a regional level to enable the production of results at these levels; and, secondly, limit the number of municipalities involved in order to reduce collection costs.

Méthodologie :

Once the sample of registered electors has been selected, whether they have participated in the elections or not is recorded by the officials of the INSEE regional directorates, by consulting the lists of actual voters within ten days of the vote, as any elector is entitled to do.

These lists are consulted at the prefecture for national votes and the sub-prefectures for other votes. The same sample of electors can be monitored over several votes (in this case, electors changing municipalities of registration are not monitored).

The general list of electors features little socio-demographic information (age and gender, municipality of registration, municipality of birth). In order to have further information, such as socio-professional category, qualifications or family situation, it is matched with the permanent demographic sample (EDP).

This sample combines the civil registry bulletins and census bulletins from a hundredth of the population. As it is selected based on date of birth, it is easy to restrict the sampling frame to electors liable to be in the permanent demographic sample.

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