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The impact of Voting Advice Applications on Voting Behaviour

Ioannis Andreadis
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Ioannis Andreadis
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Theodore Chadjipadelis
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Open Panel

Abstract

The impact of Voting Advice Applications on voting behaviour differs from voter to voter. Voters who had not chosen a candidate before using the application can learn the positions of candidates on the issues of the electoral competition and choose the most suitable candidate to represent them. Voters who had chosen a candidate before using a VAA may get one of the following VAA outcomes: i) either the voting recommendation is identical to voter''s selection or ii)the VAA does not propose the same candidate. In the former case, the possible impact of VAA on voting behaviour is to strengthen the user''s intent to vote for the candidate who was pre-selected. In the latter case, the possible effect of VAA will be in the opposite direction, i.e. instead of strengthening, the VAA recommendation would undermine user''s initial selection, and if the influence is strong enough, it can lead to a change of vote choice. In this paper we present findings from the first Greek VAA called Helpmevote, which was used for the Greek regional elections in 2010. Helpmevote was used by more than 26,500 Greek citizens. On the last page of helpmevote, users were able to follow a link to participate in a web survey related to the impact of helpmevote on their vote choice. Almost 5000 citizens have responded to this invitation. The results presented in this paper are based on the responses of these individuals.