FSD1088 Finnish National Election Study 1991Detailed description (collection | citation | publications)
Pesonen, Pertti (University of Tampere. Research Institute for Social Sciences)
Sänkiaho, Risto (University of Tampere. Research Institute for Social Sciences)
Borg, Sami (University of Tampere. Research Institute for Social Sciences)
Keywords: election campaigns, Finland, parliamentary elections, political allegiance, political attitudes, political participation, voting
In this survey focusing on the Finnish parliamentary elections of 1991, voters were interviewed both before and after the elections. In the interviews before the elections, the respondents were asked if they were members of trade unions, political parties and other organisations, and how actively they were involved in the activities. They were also asked if they read newspapers and followed current affairs programmes on TV and on the radio, and if so, how often and which papers/programmes. General interest in politics and participation in political activities were investigated, as well as willingness to use various means of civic activity to influence things.
The respondents were asked to what extent they agreed with a number of statements relating to politics and political actors. They were also asked to assess 17 groups in society on a scale from -50 to +50 according to their attitude towards these groups, negative to positive. Views were probed on whether those in power in the society had too much, too little, or the right amount of power. Knowledge of the present parliament was tested by asking what the four biggest parties in Parliament were and which parties formed the cabinet. In addition, the respondents were asked whether they intended to vote in the forthcoming elections and their reasons for either voting or abstaining. Those who intended to vote were asked what party they were going to vote for and why. The interviewed persons were also asked about their voting pattern in the previous parliamentary and presidential elections and what they thought about the election prospects of the present political parties in Parliament.
In the interviews after the elections, questions covered opinions on the election results, interest in the campaign, and events preceding the elections. The respondents were asked if they believed that international events like the Gulf War or the situation in the Baltic States had affected the election results, information sources used for voting decision, how often they had talked about the parliamentary elections before the vote, and what they remembered about the campaign. A number of questions dealt with election campaign programmes on TV: which programmes the respondents had watched and what they remembered about them.