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Political Science in Europe

Never-Ending Success Story? Recent Findings from Research on Voting Advice Applications

Political Parties
Section Number
Section Chair
Stefan Marschall
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Section Co-Chair
Diego Garzia
Université de Lausanne

Voting Advice Applications are online tools implemented before elections and designed to help voters to compare their policy preferences on major issues with the respective positions of political parties/candidates. As a result, these tools indicate the political proximity between the individual voters and parties/candidates running for election. In the year 2017, Voting Advice Applications (VAA) have experienced new historic all-time records in several countries. In the Netherlands, the highest percentage ever turned to VAAs before the national elections in spring. And in Germany, the Wahl-O-Mat has topped its previous high in absolute numbers: before the elections in September 2017 it was used more than 15.6 million times. Also in other countries and regions of the world we witness the perpetuation of the VAA success story. Apart from their being strongly demanded, we can observe an increase in the number and variations of Voting Advice Applications.

Given their popularity among the voters, VAAs have been in the last years an object of social science research resulting in projects, publications and networking. By bringing together European scholars working on VAAs, the ECPR Research Network on Voting Advice Applications assembles the wealth of research that has been done in national arenas. Recently, the study of VAAs has been significantly advanced especially in terms of the data VAA research draws on and the methodological designs that have been applied to understand the role of these tools in modern party democracies. Moreover, there is an increasing number of studies using VAA data for addressing a broad spectrum of questions not all of them directly related to the making of these tools such as to explain and predict the coalition forming after elections.

Panel List

Code Title Details
P127Effects of Voting Advice Applications on Political Attitudes and Behaviour View Panel Details
P421Studying the Elite-Citizen Gap Using VAA Data View Panel Details
P437The Design of Voting Advice Applications View Panel Details
P515Voting Advice Application Data, Party Systems and Coalition Studies View Panel Details
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