Electoral Studies. Volume 85(2023), 102674

Using nationally representative longitudinal data from Understanding Society we explore the relationship between disability and political participation in the UK. More specifically, we examine the determinants of the ‘disability voting gap’, and assess how it varies by the severity, type and chronicity of disability. After accounting for demographic characteristics, the disability voting gap across UK General Elections between 2010 and 2019 is found to be 6.2 percentage points. More than half of this gap is explained by the channels of resources and recruitment, with evidence of a residual disability gap consistent with additional disability-specific barriers to participation. We find a larger disability voting gap for those with more severe disability, disabilities relating to mental health and chronic disabilities. Applying panel data methods, however, we find no evidence that transitions in disability status are related to changes in voter turnout.