Acta Politica

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 225–244 | Cite as

Same but different: A typology of Voting Advice Application users in first- and second-order elections

  • Jasper van de PolEmail author
  • Naomi Kamoen
  • André Krouwel
  • Claes de Vreese
  • Bregje Holleman
Original Article


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.


Voting 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.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jasper van de Pol
    • 1
    Email author
  • Naomi Kamoen
    • 2
  • André Krouwel
    • 3
  • Claes de Vreese
    • 1
  • Bregje Holleman
    • 4
  1. 1.Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Tilburg center for Cognition and CommunicationTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of CommunicationVU UniversityAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Utrecht Institute of LinguisticsUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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