FSD3467 Finnish National Election Study 2019

Aineisto on käytettävissä (B) tutkimukseen, opetukseen ja opiskeluun.

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  • Grönlund, Kimmo (Åbo Akademi University. Social Science Research Institute)
  • Borg, Sami (Tampere University. Faculty of Management and Business)


Internet, constituencies, democracy, election campaigns, elections, electoral candidates, mass media, members of parliament, parliamentary elections, political allegiance, political attitudes, political participation, trust, voting

Sisällön kuvaus

This survey focused on the 2019 parliamentary elections in Finland. Main themes included political participation, political attitudes, party allegiance, candidate and party choice, and voting behaviour. Further topics included citizens' initiative, different ways of having a say in matters, and future prospects of Finland. The data were collected after the elections through face-to-face interviews and a self-administered drop-off questionnaire. The interview data contain Finland's contribution to the international CSES study (module 5). Data collection was funded by the Ministry of Justice.

First questions in the interview covered the respondents' interest in politics, attention paid to media coverage of the elections (including social media), Internet use, discussions about politics with others, party identification and self-perceived social class. The respondents were asked to what extent they agreed with some statements relating to voting, democracy, the electoral system, and decision-making. Willingness to influence things by own activity (for instance, by participating in a demonstration or joining a consumer boycott) was charted as well as membership in a political party. Concerning citizens' initiative, the respondents were asked whether they thought the introduction of the initiative had promoted democracy in Finland and whether they had signed any initiatives. Opinions on the importance of the Internet and social media as channels of civic engagement were surveyed.

The survey also carried a set of attitudinal statements on voting, politics, political parties, politicians and public political influence (e.g. 'I have no say in what the Government and Parliament decide' or 'By voting, ordinary people can influence political decision-making'). With regard to the future prospects of Finland, the respondents were asked which future directions they thought sounded good or bad (e.g. 'more entrepreneurship and market economy', 'better equality between men and women').

The CSES module first explored the respondents' opinions on politicians and their actions, and immigration. Views on whether various factors contributed to being truly Finnish, whether corruption was widespread among politicians, whether the Government should take measures to bridge the income gap, and whether it made a difference who was in power or who people voted for were also charted. The respondents were asked to place themselves and the parties on a left-right axis. Questions also covered satisfaction with democracy in Finland and whether the respondents felt close to any party. Voting behaviour was studied with questions on whether the respondents had voted, the candidate of which party they had voted for, whether they had considered voting for a candidate of any other party and if yes, which party, whether they had voted in the previous parliamentary elections and which party they had voted for. Opinions on the parties in general as well as individual party leaders were surveyed. Finally, the respondents' factual knowledge of politics was tested with a few questions.

Non-voters were asked why they had not voted and how self-evident not voting had been to them. All those who had voted were asked what had influenced their choice of party, to what extent various issues had influenced their candidate choice, whether they had voted for a candidate who was of the same age and gender as themselves, and when they had decided which candidate and party to vote for. Trust in government and other institutions, groups and people was charted as well as views on the performance of the Government in the previous electoral term.

The self-administered questionnaire first surveyed the respondents' opinions on how easy it was to detect how the policy objectives of parties differed, how well the previous Government had handled various issues, and which issues they had found interesting in election campaigns. The respondents were also asked to what extent they agreed with a set of statements concerning current political issues (e.g. that Finland should leave the EU, Finland is too eager to meet the EU's environment and climate goals, and the right of same-sex couples to marry or adopt is a good thing) and the parliamentary elections (e.g. whether electoral legislation was unfair to smaller parties and voting had been made easy). The sources from which the respondents got relevant information for their voting choice were examined (e.g. family or friends, newspapers, TV, social media), and the respondents were asked whether they had noticed any forms of electoral disruption in the elections as well as whether they thought various forms of electoral disruption were possible in future elections.

Online voting and political activities and participation on the Internet were charted, as well as time spent on following news and other programmes on politics and topical issues. The extent to which the respondents came across different political opinions, news and other information on the Internet was studied. Other topics included views on whether male or female politicians were better able to work in various policy sectors and opinions on the decision-making process of Finnish political parties as well as on whether promises had been fulfilled by parties after the 2015 parliamentary elections. The respondents' perceptions of their own financial situation and the Finnish economy and employment situation were also charted, as well as their satisfaction with their own life. Finally, personality traits of the respondents were surveyed using the Ten-item personality inventory (TIPI).

Variables beginning with 'k' are national election study variables, 'q' denotes CSES variables, 'p' denotes variables in the self-administered questionnaire, 'a' denotes CSES administrative variables and 'd' denotes background variables.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's year of birth, gender, education, marital status, health status, trade union membership, economic activity and occupational status, employer type, unemployment periods, religiosity and religious attendance, mother tongue, gross annual household income, number of people in the household, type of neighbourhood/municipality, and electoral district.

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