FSD2110 Follow-up on Finnish Municipal Elections 2004

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  • Moring, Tom (University of Helsinki. Swedish School of Social Science)
  • TNS Gallup Finland


election campaigns, local government elections, party identification, political allegiance, political attitudes, television advertising, voting, voting behaviour

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The survey studied the 2004 municipal elections in Finland, focusing on election campaigning, political advertising and voting behaviour. The survey was conducted as part of the "Changes in Finnish TV Election Campaigns" project. The respondents were asked whether they had voted in the recent municipal elections. Those who had voted were asked the candidate of which political party or group they had voted for, at which point they had decided who to vote for, and whether the candidate or the party had been more important in the choice. They also rated the importance of a number of issues (e.g. environmental issues, employment, taxation, social security, public services, crime prevention) to the voting decision. In addition, voters were asked whether the public debate on outsourcing and privatising the provision of municipal services (local government services) had encouraged them to vote. Further questions covered information sources used to help them decide how to vote.

Non-voters were asked to what extent certain factors influenced their decision not to vote (e.g. difficulty to find an appropriate candidate, distrust of politics and politicians, having more important things to do on the voting day). One question explored at which point they had made the decision not to vote.

All respondents were asked whether they had noticed or seen election advertising and in what form: television, newspaper or internet adverts advertising political parties or candidates, leaflets dropped in the letterbox, outdoor posters etc. One question explored whether the respondents had seen television advertisements for certain political parties. The respondents were asked which party they would vote for if they were obliged to vote for one, and whether they had voted in the 2003 parliamentary elections, and for which party.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's year of birth, gender, mother tongue, marital status, household composition and size, basic and vocational education, occupational status, employer type, employment sector, trade union membership, which party the respondent would vote for if the parliamentary elections were held at that time, which party had voted for in the 2000 municipal elections, left-right political self-placement, subjective social class, household annual gross income, accommodation type, housing tenure, major region (NUTS2), region (NUTS3), province of residence, type of neighbourhood.

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