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Academic initiative launched to boost voter awareness in upcoming EU Election

06 May 2014

Today sees the launch of the EUVOX Voting Advice Application (VAA), an online tool developed by academics from universities throughout Europe to encourage greater participation in next month’s EU Election.

Today sees the launch of the EUVOX Voting Advice Application (VAA), an online tool developed by academics from universities throughout Europe to encourage greater participation in next month’s EU Election.  

The aim of the VAA project, being led in the UK by NatCen Social Research and academics from SwanseaUniversity, ZurichUniversity, GlasgowUniversity and Queen’s University Belfast, will help voters identify which UK party most closely represents their political, economic and social values using a series of scenario and policy orientated questions. Advanced analytics are used to measure the preferences of voters’ against party manifestos, helping to indentify the closest match.

The organisations behind the project will analyse the data collected to provide an insight into the attitudes of UK voters towards a range of issues, including the European Union. The VAA is also intended to help promote better overall awareness of the EU Election and the issues at hand from a non-partisan perspective.

Zsolt Kiss, Research Director at NatCen Social Research commented: “The EUVOX offers an academically robust way for members of the public to see which political party most closely matches their own political views. We hope it will be a useful tool for the public and that it will help raise awareness of the European elections among the UK electorate.”

Dr. Matthew Wall, Lecturer of Political and Cultural Studies, Swansea University added: “The project offers an exciting chance for academics who study elections to let the public profit from our research. That's why we place a lot of emphasis on transparency and our role in encouraging greater public engagement with politics. We're also able to use the data we gather from these projects to refine our academic understanding of elections and voters.'

ENDS

To access the site please visit: http://www.natcenweb.co.uk/euvox-uk/

For more information about the application, data or find about more about embedding it, please contact: jamie.barclay@scotcen.org.uk 0131 221 2573 / 0784 180 1266 or Leigh Marshall: leigh.marshall@natcen.ac.uk 0207 549 8506 / 0782 803 1850

About NatCen

NatCen Social Research is an independent, not for profit organisation. We believe that social research has the power to make life better. By really understanding the complexity of people’s lives and what they think about the issues that affect them, we give the public a powerful and influential role in shaping decisions and services that can make a difference to everyone.