, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 783-786,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 27 Jul 2011

Weather conditions and voter turnout in Dutch national parliament elections, 1971–2010


While conventional wisdom assumes that inclement weather on election day reduces voter turnout, there is remarkably little evidence available to support truth to such belief. This paper examines the effects of temperature, sunshine duration and rainfall on voter turnout in 13 Dutch national parliament elections held from 1971 to 2010. It merges the election results from over 400 municipalities with election-day weather data drawn from the nearest weather station. We find that the weather parameters indeed affect voter turnout. Election-day rainfall of roughly 25 mm (1 inch) reduces turnout by a rate of one percent, whereas a 10-degree-Celsius increase in temperature correlates with an increase of almost one percent in overall turnout. One hundred percent sunshine corresponds to a one and a half percent greater voter turnout compared to zero sunshine.