FSD2630 Follow-up on Parliamentary Elections 2011Detailed description (collection | citation | publications)
Moring, Tom (University of Helsinki. Swedish School of Social Science)
TNS Gallup Finland
Keywords: advertising, candidate selectors, election campaigns, election data, mass media, newspaper press, parliamentary elections, political allegiance, political parties, social media, voting behaviour
The survey studied voting behaviour in the 2011 parliamentary elections in Finland. The data were collected just after the elections.
First, a number of questions charted the respondents' use of and attitude towards candidate selectors. The respondents were also asked whether they had followed election reporting, campaigning and advertising in different media (including the social media such as Facebook). Views were probed on the election campaigns of different parties. Other questions covered which parties' or candidates' advertisements the respondents had seen on TV and what was their attitude towards political advertising on TV and in newspapers in general.
Voting behaviour was investigated by asking whether the respondents had voted in the parliamentary elections just held, which party they had voted for and whether the candidate or the party had been more important in the choice. Information sources used for the voting choice were studied. Those who had voted were asked why they voted, which factors and issues had influenced their candidate choice and at which stage they had made their final choice. Opinions were charted on the media reporting on election campaign and election issues. One question focused on the performance of party leaders during the campaign.
Those who had abstained from voting were asked why they had not voted, which party they had voted for in the 2008 municipal elections and in the 2007 parliamentary elections and which party/group they would vote for if they were obliged to vote.
Further questions covered self-placement on different axes (left - right, unreligious - religious, liberal - conservative etc), newspaper reading habits and opinions on how well newspapers had succeeded in their reporting of election issues (reliability of the news, understandability, background information and analysis etc).
Views were probed on acceptable measures to sustain public sector economy. Measures mentioned included, for instance, raising taxes or retirement age or selling public sector property. The respondents were also asked which parties should be in the coalition government and which parties had the right to stay out of it, taking the election outcome into account, and which party they thought would act most responsibly in the government. Further questions charted the visibility, acceptability and impact of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) campaign to increase the turnout of SAK members. The respondents were asked to what extent they agreed with a number of statements relating to democracy, political decision-making, the EU etc.
Background variables included the respondent's gender, age, basic and vocational education, economic activity and occupational status, annual gross income, municipality and major region of residence (NUTS2), self-perceived social class, degree of urbanity and membership in a federation of trade unions.