The scientific objectives of the group responsible for the Design of the Voter Survey are to
- carry out a surveys for the pilot study among representative samples of enfranchised citizens in all 27 member states of the EU (n=1000 realized interviews per country) immediately after the European elections of June 2009.
- make sure that the possibility exists to conduct a pilot panel study in individual EU members states, if funding can be found, where individuals are re-interviewed who were already interviewed following the EP election.
- ensure that the data from these studies can be linked to the other PIREDEU data.
The voter survey aims to gather nationally representative data for all EU members states as well as internationally and historically comparable data to the extent it makes use of identical questions, wording and question order. Our main tasks involve development of draft survey, listing of most important parties and media outlets in contact with country experts, monitoring data collection activities, and data cleaning, and documenting the data
The final selection of topics and questions is still to be determined but our proposed range of options includes:
- electoral behaviour including questions on party choices, past voting behaviour, voting behaviour at the national level, party preferences, and propensity to support particular parties.
- general political attitudes and behaviour based on question on interest in politics, campaign, most important problems, attitudes regarding EU, left-right self placement, placement of parties
- background characteristics including gender, age, education, religion, media consumption
We welcome suggestions and proposals from the social science community on how to improve our set of questions (see Open Forum). More particularly, proposals are sought on questions, topics, wording, answer options and survey order. The publicly accessible forum should enable us to gather proposals and discuss the overall survey design and coding. We also expect to work in close collaboration with other teams to make sure that we use a uniform list / coding of parties and media outlets and engage in a common process of data cleaning and documentation. We expect the integrated dataset to be available to social science community by late 2010.
The user community is invited to play a role not only in suggesting additional concepts/ questions/ coding categories, but also in monitoring the consolidated list of concepts/ questions/ coding categories and pointing out any redundancies and/or duplications.
The Voter Survey group will first develop a draft questionnaire for the pilot study. It will contact country experts to compile lists of the most important parties in each country and the most important media. The questionnaires will be translated into all languages of the member states, and translated back. A report on this validation will be subsequently drafted.
After collection and cleaning, we will make the data and associated codebook publicly available.
During the final phases, the team will provide a report that will outline technical and design aspects of the pilot study, which will eventually lead to the conceptual design report.