Video: European elections — if turnout is down, who is voting?

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By Emma Beswick
Video: European elections — if turnout is down, who is voting?

Who is most likely to vote during the upcoming European elections?

Between May 23 and 26, European Union citizens will vote to fill 751 seats in the European Parliament. Each country holds voting separately with countries voting on different days.

There are 508 million EU citizens across 28 member states. Here's what voter turnout looked like during previous elections.

Watch Euronews' Emma Beswick break it all down in the video player above.

Voter turnout decreasing

Every election since 1979 has seen lower voter turnout than the previous election.

Voter turnout went from an all-time high of 61.99% among the 9 European nations that voted in 1979 to the lowest turnout in 2014 at 42.31% among 28 states.

"Many commentators have contributed it to the fact that as the second world war generation, the generation that fought in that war die out, there are fewer and fewer people who see voting as an obligation,” editor-in-chief Euan Healey of Europe Elects told Euronews.

Compulsory voting

In countries where voting is mandatory, turnout is higher.

Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, and Luxembourg all have compulsory elections.

In 2014, voter turnout was highest in Belgium (89.64%) and Luxembourg (85.55%). Turnout was low in the Czech Republic (18.20%) and Slovakia (13.05%).

Voting trends

Men were more likely than women to vote in the 2014 election.

Turnout was highest among older voters. Some 51% of the over 50s group voted in the European elections, but only 28% of the 18-24-year-old age group voted.

Managers, those who are self-employed, and retirees had the highest turnout whereas homemakers, students, manual workers, and the unemployed were less likely to vote, according to the EU's post-election polling data.

Why do so few people vote in European Elections?

Low turnout at the European Elections: what's wrong with EU?

Tune in to Euronews for extensive EU elections coverage throughout the week.