Presidential and legislative elections from 2002 to 2017: Atypical participation in 2017
Since 2002, in Metropolitan France, the rate of participation in at least one round of the presidential or legislative elections has been stable: Nine out of ten registered voters participate in at least one round of voting. Nonetheless, voting behaviour changed in 2017 compared with previous national elections. Turnout was significantly lower in all four rounds of the presidential and legislative elections (systematic voting). On the other hand, the number of intermittent voters was higher. In particular, the number of people who voted in both rounds of the presidential election but did not vote at all in the legislative election continued to increase, reflecting the declining interest in legislative elections.
The drop in systematic participation in 2017 encompasses all age groups, qualification levels and social categories.
Differences in voting behaviour depending on qualification level or social category became greater in 2017. The participation gap between the most highly qualified voters (least likely to abstain) and unqualified voters (most likely to abstain) has grown steadily wider since 2002; the gap between executives on the one hand, and intermediate professionals, employees and blue-collar workers on the other, also grew in 2017.