Same but different: A typology of Voting Advice Application users in first- and second-order elections
Voting Advice Applications (VAAs) fulfill different needs for different citizens. In national elections, the majority of users can be characterized as politically sophisticated citizens who use VAAs for entertainment purposes and confirmation of their party preference, but a significant minority uses VAAs to learn about politics and make an informed vote choice. VAAs might, however, play a different role in second-order elections, since in these elections campaign dynamics and information supply are very different. In the current research, we applied latent class analysis on user data from a widely used Dutch VAA (Kieskompas) for a supranational and several subnational elections in the Netherlands, to test if an extant typology of VAA users for national elections could be replicated. We find that the typology can be replicated for most of these elections, but also that the relative size of the groups of users differs across elections; in all second-order elections except for the provincial elections, more doubters and seekers are found relative to national elections. This suggests that VAAs are likely to have stronger mobilizing potential in these second-order elections.
KeywordsVoting Advice Applications User typology Second-order elections Digital divide Latent class analysis
This work was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) under Grant number 321-89-003.
- De Telegraaf. 2017. https://www.telegraaf.nl/nieuws/75277/recordaantal-bezoekers-voor-stem-wijzer.
- De Vreese, C.H., E. Lauf, and J. Peter. 2007. The Media and European Parliament Elections: Second-Rate Coverage of a Second-Order Event? In European Elections and Domestic Politics: Lessons from the Past and Scenarios for the Future, ed. W. Van der Brug, and C. Van der Eijk, 116–130. Paris: University of Notre Dame Press.Google Scholar
- Liu, Y.-I., and W.P. Eveland. 2005. Education, Need for Cognition, and Campaign Interest as Moderators of News Effects on Political Knowledge: An Analysis of the Knowledge Gap. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 82 (4): 910–929. https://doi.org/10.1177/107769900508200410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Marschall, S., and M. Schulze. 2012. The emergence of the “voter 2.0”? VAA users in a changing political communication sphere. In Paper Prepared for the XXVI Convegno SISP, Università Roma Tre (Vol. Rome).Google Scholar
- Marschall, S. 2014. Profiling Users. In Matching Voters with Parties and Candidates. Voting Advice Applications in Comparative Perspective, eds. D. Garzia and S. Marschall, 93–104. Colchester, UK: ECPR Press.Google Scholar
- Sudulich, M.L., D. Garzia, A.H. Trechsel, and K. Vassil. 2014. Matching Voters with Parties in Supranational Elections: The Case of the EU Profiler. In Matching Voters with Parties and Candidates. Voting Advice Applications in Comparative Perspective, eds. D. Garzia and S. Marschall, 175–182. Colchester, UK: ECPR Press.Google Scholar
- Van de Pol, J. 2016. Voting Wiser. The Effect of Voting Advice Applications on Political Understanding. University of Amsterdam. http://hdl.handle.net/11245.1/dd560adb-ff73-4c0d-b7e8-d680107409b5.
- Van der Brug, W., K. Gattermann, and C.H. De Vreese. 2016. Introduction: How Different were the European Elections of 2014? Politics and Governance 4 (1): 1–8. http://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v4i1.591.
- Wall, M., A. Krouwel, and T. Vitiello. 2012. Do Voters Follow the Recommendations of Voter Advice Application Websites? A Study of the Effects of kieskompas.nl on Its Users’ Vote Choices in the 2010 Dutch Legislative Elections. Party Politics 30 (3): 416–428. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354068811436054.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Westle, B., C. Begemann, and A. Rütter. 2014. The “Wahl-O-Mat” in the Course of the German Federal Election 2013—Effects of a German VAA on Users’ Election-Relevant Political Knowledge. Zeitschrift Für Politikwissenschaft 24 (4): 389–426. https://doi.org/10.5771/1430-6387-2014-4-389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar