WhoGetsMyVote: Innovative tool from Oxford Brookes academic to aid voter choices in General Election

WhoGetsMyVote website

Undecided voters in the upcoming General Election can receive some independent advice thanks to an online tool developed by an Oxford Brookes University academic.

On 4 July the country will go to the polls for the first General Election in five years. Anyone struggling to decide on which box to mark their ‘X’ can turn to WhoGetsMyVote to help pick the right party for them. 

Dr Jon Wheatley, a Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics at Oxford Brookes, helped to develop the tool, which goes live from today (17 June), ready for members of the public to use. 

Website users will see a series of statements on key election issues, including foreign policy, the environment, the cost of living, health and social care, and tax and benefits. They are then asked to state to what extent they agree or disagree with them. WhoGetsMyVote’s algorithms then analyse their answers and suggest the party which best matches their political views. 

Dr Wheatley said: “WhoGetsMyVote turns the tables and empowers the voter, by providing much needed clarity in what can seem like information overload in the final weeks. We aim to be able to provide people with clarity by asking them what is important to them, and then translate this into more informed voting intentions. Additionally, we hope that WhoGetsMyVote will mean a bigger turnout at the election, by simplifying the decision making process for people before they visit polling stations early next month.

“To ensure the accuracy of the survey while recommending a voting option to the user, a team of political scientists with experience in party competition and public opinion determined the parties' positions on each issue based on multiple sources. 

“These included detailed policy documents, proceedings from recent party conferences, speeches of party leaders or party spokespeople like ministers and shadow ministers, as well as verifiable newspaper reports on where parties stand on the issue under consideration. Five expert coders determined the positions of each party on each of the issues on the platform, first independently and then in collaboration with one another through an anonymised online forum.”

WhoGetsMyVote was first launched in 2014 and was available to use for the European elections that year. Since then, it has been running for the 2015, 2017 and 2019 General Elections, as well as the 2019 European election. 

The online tool has been developed in partnership with the University of Bath, the University of Surrey, Swansea University, Cardiff University and the University of Exeter. Users can access it by visiting the WhoGetsMyVote website