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Measuring the impact of Voting Advice Applications on Vote Choice

TitleMeasuring the impact of Voting Advice Applications on Vote Choice
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsAndreadis, Ioannis, Joëlle Pianzola, and Diego Garzia
Conference Name2nd European Conference on Comparative Electoral Research
KeywordsComparative Politics, vote switching, Voting advice applications

In almost all advanced democracies voting behaviour scholars observe a decline in party memberships and an increase of the number of swing voters. The explanatory power of party attachments for the vote choice has been reduced and voters might need new tools that will help them decide their electoral position. Voting Advice Applications (VAAs) are web applications that provide voters with information about which political party comes closest to their own political preferences. VAAs are based on the conceptions of Downs' proximity-model, but they use an extended version of it which can work with multiple parties competing on many issues.

VAAs have become very popular in many European countries and lately they have been applied successfully in countries outside the European continent. Given their constantly increasing popularity it is important to know if VAAs have an impact on vote choice. The paper uses data from Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Finland and Greece. All these countries have post-election surveys that include questions about the use of VAAs. In addition to data from post election surveys, we also use data collected from web surveys of VAA users. The focus of this paper is to present the possible methods that can be used to measure the impact of VAAs on vote choice, to evaluate each method by enumerating their advantages and disadvantages and finally to present the outcome of the analysis of data from many countries in order to determine the magnitude of the impact and possible interactions with other variables.

Measuring-the-impact-of-VAAs.pdf65.13 KB