New voting advice application launched to provide insight into policy preferences

Thursday, 25 May 2017

WhoGetsMyVoteUK

An Oxford Brookes lecturer in comparative politics is behind a new, interactive website launched to help voters in the upcoming UK general election determine which party policies they most closely identify with.

The online voting advice application, called WhoGetsMyVoteUK, is part of a collaborative project led by Oxford Brookes, involving researchers from Queen Mary University of London and the University of Bristol.

Users of WhoGetsMyVoteUK respond online to a questionnaire with a series of policy statements stating to what extent they agree with them. It then produces the results in a number of graphical displays providing users with information including how close they are in terms of policy preferences to each party, how close they are to each party on a number of ideological scales, and how other users who answered the questionnaire in a similar way to them intend to vote. 

Launched towards the end of May the application has already proving extremely successful. So far, around 40,000 users have accessed the site and it is expected this will translate into some 30,000 completed questionnaires.

Lecturer Dr Jon Wheatley, from the Department of Social Sciences at Oxford Brookes University said: “WhoGetsMyVoteUK has been designed to be a useful tool to help voters see where they stand relative to the main political parties and which policies they have a preference for; ultimately making it easier for users when making their own choice on how to vote in the general election. I am delighted that we have had so many people using the tool since it launched, and encourage more to give it a try ahead of 8 June."

In the long run we hope to generate a lot of data from use of this tool which will prove key for future research on voter alignments in an age of globalisation and the use of these types of online voting tools. It will also provide us with extensive data to make a longitudinal study around ideological dimensions, particularly whether pre and post Brexit, the traditional Left-Right dimension is still relevant.

Dr Jon Wheatley, Lecturer in Comparative Politics, Oxford Brookes University

“The more questions the user answers, the better insight the tool will be able to provide on their positioning on the political landscape. Every party is coded by at least three expert coders on an interactive platform in which clear evidence for each party's position must be presented. This makes the party codes far more reliable than those of competitors. 

“In the long run we hope to generate a lot of data from use of this tool which will prove key for future research on voter alignments in an age of globalisation and the use of these types of online voting tools. It will also provide us with extensive data to make a longitudinal study around ideological dimensions, particularly whether pre and post Brexit, the traditional Left-Right dimension is still relevant.” 

“Indeed, a focus of my recent research explores a new ideological dimension that draws on cultural issues relating to identity and voter and party positions on sociocultural and identity issues, rather than purely economic issues.” 

You can read more about Dr Wheatley’s research on this in his latest posting on the Policy and Internet Blog

WhoGetsMyVoteUK can be accessed from a computer or mobile device by at  www.whogetsmyvoteuk.com. It does not collect any personal identifying information and all data is anonymous.