FSD2131 Presidential Elections 2006 and Democracy Indicators

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  • Borg, Sami (University of Tampere. Faculty of Social Sciences)


political power, presidential candidates, presidential elections, voting behaviour

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This election survey was fielded after the first round of the presidential elections in Finland in January 2006. First, the respondents were asked to what extent they agreed with statements relating to political leadership, presidential powers, democracy, and use of referendums. The respondents were also asked whether they had voted in the first round of the presidential elections, and if they had, who they had voted for. Second and third preferences were charted. Further questions covered whether the political party or the candidate had been more important in their choice of candidate, and whether the respondent had constantly supported the candidate (s)he had voted for.

The respondents were asked whether there were candidates they would never have voted for, and when they decided who to vote for in the first round. One question explored to what extent certain factors (e.g. the candidate's party, language skills, character, campaign, opinions on presidential powers and role) had influenced their choice of candidate. Views were probed on the extent to which the media had covered issues like candidate goals, policies of political parties on presidential powers, the outcome of the first round etc. The respondents were asked how often they had seen, heard or read of pre-election poll results, and how often they had discussed these results with other people. Influence of pre-election poll results on vote choice was studied. Some questions charted the respondents' political knowledge. Finally, the respondents were asked which of the two remaining candidates they would vote for if the second round of the presidential elections were held at that time.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, age, economic activity and occupational status, education, household composition, region (NUTS3) of residence, major region (NUTS2), constituency, type of municipality, what political party R would vote for if the parliamentary elections were held at that time, and what party R had voted for in the 2004 municipal elections.

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