7th – 1970
The 1970 election was one of many fought between the Conservatives’ Edward Heath and Labour’s Harold Wilson. The Conservatives won the election with a small thirty-seat majority, which led to Heath’s first and only period as prime minster. The turnout rate stood at 72%, the seventh worst since 1945.
6th – 1997
In this year, Tony Blair was swept to power with a landslide, however, turnout was just 71.4% - down by over six percentage points in just five years. While this election is significant for New Labour’s striking victory, it is also important because it is the most recent election where the turnout rate was above 70%.
5th – 2017
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at an event
The most recent election was many things, but it also had the 5th worst turnout rate in UK general elections since 1945 of just 68.7%. However, it is important to note that it had the highest turnout rate since 1997, which shows that UK democracy is moving in the right direction.
4th – 2015
Two years ago, David Cameron won a surprise overall majority for this party. Turnout at the election was up from turnout in 2010, standing at 66.1%.
3rd – 2010
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron with his mother Mary Cameron in the royal box
Five years before that, in 2010, Labour lost its majority and the UK faced a hung parliament, which resulted in the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition. Turnout at the election was 65.1%.
2nd – 2005
In terms of low turnout rates, the second-place prize goes to the 2005 election, in which Tony Blair secured a third term as prime minister. The dismal turnout rate was 61.4%.