FSD2269 Finnish National Election Study 2007Detailed description (collection | citation | publications)
Paloheimo, Heikki (University of Tampere. Department of Political Science and International Relations)
Keywords: constituencies, elections, internet, objectives, parliamentary candidates, parliamentary elections, political attitudes, political participation, political support, voting
The survey consists of two parts which were collected after the 2007 parliamentary elections in Finland with the help of face-to-face interviews and a supplementary, self-administered questionnaire. Swedish-speaking population is over-represented in the data. The interview data form Finland's contribution to the international Comparative Study of Electoral Systems program (CSES).
The respondents were asked about their interest in politics and how much they had followed the elections in different media. Their views were canvassed on which group they primarily identified with, self-perceived social status, how stable their party preference was, and what they would be willing to do in order to promote the issues they considered important. Views on voting, participating in parliamentary elections, politics, politicians, and various institutions were queried with the help of attitudinal statements. The respondents were also asked questions about the Internet and the ways of using it as a means of political participation.
Next, the respondents were asked whether they had held any municipal elected offices, and whether they were members of any political party. They were also asked to name objectives which the recently elected members of parliament in their constituency should focus on, and also to name the most important issues debated during the past parliamentary elections as well as the most severe social problems in Finland. The respondents were asked whether they thought voting makes any difference, and whether it makes any difference who is in power. They were also asked to assess the performance of the previous government led by Matti Vanhanen. In addition, the respondents were asked to place various political parties as well as Matti Vanhanen, Eero Heinäluoma, Jyrki Katainen, and themselves on the left-right axis. Some questions focused on how the parties had distinguished themselves from each other during the elections, to what extent the respondents had followed election campaigning, and how well democracy worked in Finland.
In addition, the respondents were asked whether they had voted in the 2007 parliamentary elections, which party they had voted or would have voted for, and whether there was a party in the past elections they would have never considered voting for. If the respondents had not voted, they were asked about their reasons for abstaining from voting. Those who had cast a vote were asked what their voting decision was based on, whether they had voted for a candidate of their own gender, how old their candidate was, and whether they had voted in the 2003 parliamentary elections. Finally, the respondents were presented with some questions measuring their knowledge of political issues.
The supplementary, self-administered questionnaire charted the importance of issues and objectives debated during the elections for the respondents. The respondents were also presented with a set of attitudinal statements on redundancies, growing income disparity, and building a sixth nuclear power plant in Finland. In addition, they were asked about different sources where they had received information relevant to their voting decision, and presented with general questions and statements pertaining to voting, Finland's international relations and politics. Membership in various groups was canvassed, as well as how often the respondents discussed political issues with other people and what they would think if it were possible to vote online on the issues debated in the Parliament. The respondents expressed their views on the significance of party leaders for party support, whether there should be more freedom of choice in the public sector, whether there should be more social reforms, and whether the state of affairs was better at the time of the interview than two years before. Finally, views on the future and satisfaction with financial situation and life in general were probed.
Variables beginning with 'k' denote the national election study variables, 'q' denotes CSES variables, 'p' denotes variables from the self-administered questionnaire, 'a' denotes CSES administrative variables, and 'd' denotes background variables.
Background variables included the respondent's year of birth, gender, education, marital status, trade union membership, economic activity, occupational status, annual household income, religiosity, mother tongue, place of residence, type of accommodation, and constituency.