Do Voting Advice Applications Affect Party Preferences? Evidence from Field Experiments in Five European Countries

Micha Germann, Fernando Mendez, Kostas Gemenis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Voting advice applications (VAAs) are online tools that provide voters with personalized information on the extent to which their policy views match those of political parties or candidates. These tools have proliferated across advanced democracies in recent years and become integral parts of electoral campaigns, especially in multi-party systems. However, it remains unclear to what extent voters actually make use of VAAs to inform their voting preferences. We present new field-experimental evidence on the short-term effects of VAAs on party preferences from five European countries. We find consistent evidence that exposure to VAA advice leads voters to update their party preferences in line with the information provided. Furthermore, we find partial evidence that VAAs more strongly influence less politically interested and undecided voters. Overall, our results point to the potential value of VAAs as a mechanism to strengthen democratic representation and accountability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-614
Number of pages19
JournalPolitical Communication
Volume40
Issue number5
Early online date1 Mar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Economic and Social Research Council

Data Availability Statement


Replication materials are available at https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/HURBH3.

Keywords

  • Voting advice applications
  • democratic representation
  • field experiment
  • issue voting
  • party preferences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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