Many ICT-based tools for supporting democratic participation that have been developed with public funds and applied in pilot projects have not yet achieved large-scale outreach. Optimists still believe this will happen; sceptics doubt. This paper starts from the assumption that technological development and diffusion are largely influenced by socioeconomic conditions. It develops a contingency model for e-democracy tools and applies the scenario method for differentiating the future context of these tools. It is based on the results of a research project that described possible futures of European e-government in general and e-democracy in particular on a 10-year time horizon by using the scenario method and inputs from European experts on e-government. Out of three different scenarios, possible and plausible futures of e-democracy are described in order to analyse robust technologies that are expected to be used in all three scenarios.