Vote Compass in the 2014 New Zealand election: Hearing the voice of New Zealand voters

Jennifer Lees-Marshment (Lead / Corresponding author), Yannick Dufresne, Gregory Eady, Danny Osborne, Cliff van der Linden, Jack Vowles

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Vote Compass - an online voter education tool originating in Canada - was used for the first time in New Zealand during the 2014 general election. During its inaugural run, over 330,000 New Zealanders visited the Vote Compass website to answer 30 policy- or issue-based questions. In return, respondents received a report on how close their views were to 10 political parties seeking office. Due to the large sample size, these data provided Television New Zealand with unique insights into voters' views that could also be related to party policies and campaign events by academic commentators. After explaining the nature of the tool and describing the composition of the New Zealand-based team, this article examines the implications that Vote Compass has for party responsiveness and political marketing. In particular, we note the importance of Vote Compass not just for market-oriented policy, but for the overall leadership brand, including its ability to deliver on promised goods. The article also reflects on the contribution that the tool makes to voter engagement and democracy in general. Lastly, it provides a summary of the overall Vote Compass data from the main survey items and marketing-related post-election survey data in an appendix for academics to use in their own research and teaching in future.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)94-124
    Number of pages31
    JournalPolitical Science
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


    • Delivery
    • Electoral Commission
    • leadership
    • policy
    • political branding
    • political marketing
    • Television New Zealand
    • Vote Compass
    • voter engagement

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science


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