Modes of Data Collection in the 2017 Norwegian National Election Study

Postcard from the Field

Modes of Data Collection in the 2017 Norwegian National Election Study
Bernt Aardal and Johannes Bergh

In our Postcards from the Field series CSES collaborators provide an update and commentary on election studies recently in the field.

The first Norwegian National Election Study (NNES) was conducted by Stein Rokkan and Henry Valen in connection with the 1957 parliamentary election. There was no election study in the following 1961 election. The next time around in 1965, and in every Norwegian parliamentary election since then, election studies have been carried out. As a result, the NNES is one of a handful of election studies programs globally that has time-series data that spans 60 years or more.

With the exception of the 1965, 1969 and 2001 studies, where the design included a pre- and post-election study, most studies have been based on a post-election design. From 1977 onward the design includes a rolling-panel, where half of the previous sample is re-interviewed at the next election. Since 1997 the NNES has taken an active part in the Comparative Studies of Electoral Systems (CSES) and have included all CSES modules to date.

Face-to-face interviews have been the primary mode of data collection for the NNES. For the first few decades this was the only means of interviewing respondents. In the 1990s, telephone became a possible alternative way to interview people if it was more convenient than doing it face-to-face. Gradually, telephone-interviews took up a larger share, until 2013 when close to half (45%) of the respondents replied over the phone. Continue reading “Modes of Data Collection in the 2017 Norwegian National Election Study”

Post-election Survey 2016 in Slovakia: Manifolds Challenges to Voters’ Memory


Postcard from the Field

Post-election Survey 2016 in Slovakia:
Manifolds Challenges to Voters’ Memory
Olga Gyarfasova

This is the first of our Postcards from the Field series. CSES collaborators provide an update and commentary on election studies recently in the field.

In general, election results are getting more and more unexpected. It is due to growing voters’ volatility, increasing portion of late-deciders, or changes on the political scene (e.g. due to the formation of new parties). High electoral volatility is further catalyzed by social media channels that have proven to be extremely effective in generating quick though often short-lived voter mobilization. All in all – predicting election results has become a very tough job. But the same is true for recalling the vote choice once the interviewer asks you: who did vote for? Especially if this happens some weeks or even months after the election day.

High electoral volatility is a global phenomenon; however, the post-communist countries are affected even more. In newer democracies the alignments between political parties and their electorates do not share historically-grown roots as they do in more mature democracies. The fluctuation of party sympathizers is in addition supported by the unstable political scene (and vice versa – the voters’ demands reinforce the supply of candidates from new parties).

In March 2016 Slovakia held its 9th democratic general elections after the Communist regime collapsed in 1989. Many analysts labeled this election as an “earthquake,” “shock,” or “hurricane”. In any case, an unpredictable phenomenon indeed. Continue reading “Post-election Survey 2016 in Slovakia: Manifolds Challenges to Voters’ Memory”