Participation in elections varies throughout Europe, and while politicians frequently claim that high turnout
suits them, it cannot be true for all parties. Some authors have claimed that there is a positive correlation between turnout
and support for left-wing parties; others have said that increased turnout aids challengers. Both these hypotheses have
received support using data on the US, but evidence from data on Europe is less convincing. This article assesses these
hypotheses and tests them using different data. While there is some support for the challenger hypothesis using data on the
UK, the partisan hypothesis receives no support, probably because it was mis-specified in earlier tests.