FSD1260 Finnish National Election Study 2003


  • Karvonen, Lauri (Åbo Akademi University. Department of Political Science)
  • Paloheimo, Heikki (University of Tampere. Department of Political Science and International Relations)


Internet, election campaigns, elections, parliamentary candidates, parliamentary elections, party identification, political allegiance, political attitudes, political awareness, political influence, political interest, political participation, political support, voting, voting advice applications


The survey consists of two parts which were collected after the 2003 parliamentary elections in Finland with the help of face-to-face interviews and a supplementary, self-administered questionnaire. Swedish-speaking population is over-represented in the data. The interview data is Finland's contribution to the international Comparative Study of Electoral Systems program (CSES).

The survey charted the respondents' participation in campaign activities, for instance, in election events. The respondents were asked how much they had followed the elections in different media and whether it made a difference who is in power. Some themes focused on respondents' voting behaviour in the 1999 parliamentary elections. Opinions on the way democracy works in Finland, performance of the government and the party they voted for in the 1999 parliamentary elections were examined as well as perceptions on how well elections ensure that voters' views are represented by MPs. Political party preference and attitudes to other parties were also studied. The respondents were asked to place different political parties on the left-right axis. Satisfaction with own financial situation and life in general, and expectations of the financial and employment situation of the respondent, his/her family and Finland in the future were explored. The respondents' factual political knowledge was charted with a few questions. They were also presented with a set of attitudinal questions on politics and voting. The respondents were asked whether they had voted in the 2003 parliamentary elections and if not, reasons for not voting. Those who had voted were asked about their party of choice, reasons for choosing that particular party and candidate and which one was more important to them: party or candidate.

The supplementary, self-administered questionnaire charted opinions on current political issues. Sources of information relating to the election were charted. The respondents' willingness and attitudes to social and political participation were also studied. The respondents were presented with general questions and statements pertaining to voting and society. Some topics focused on the effectiveness of election advertisements and different aspects that might have affected respondents' voting decisions. Questions also covered Internet use, for instance, reasons for use, frequency and location. The respondents were asked whether they had followed things related to the elections, politics and society on the Internet and whether they had used candidate selectors / voting advice applications, contacted politicians via the Internet or e-mail or visited the web pages of public administration. Opinions on voting through the Internet were examined.

Variables q19-q22, q51-q65_11, and q67-q80 are national election study variables, variables q23_1-q50 and q66 are CSES variables, variables beginning with 'p' are self-administered questionnaire variables, and the rest are background variables.

Background variables included respondent's age, gender, mother tongue, employment status, occupational group, household composition, income, basic and vocational education, area, region and province of residence and type of municipality.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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