12 Nov 2008

Low voter turnout for 2008 election

8:59 am on 12 November 2008

Voter turnout in the 2008 general election appears to have been one of the lowest in a century.

Provisional results show that 78.69% of the 2,935,537 people enrolled to vote actually cast one.

It is the second lowest turnout since the 1978 election, and the third lowest since 1902.

Victoria University political scientist Stephen Levine says people's voting behaviour, including whether to vote at all, is affected if there is an expectation of the likely outcome of an election.

Mr Levine says the consistency of opinion polls - that the National Party would win - leading up to the election may have played a part in the low voter turnout.