NZES1996: New Zealand Election Study

The objectives of the 1996 election study were two-fold: to monitor the democratic process during New Zealand’s transition from a plurality (first-past-the-post) electoral system to a proportional (MMP) system, and to gauge the attitudes, opinions and behaviours of electors. Two election surveys were conducted – one during the campaign and the other after the election. The questionnaire and data set provided are from the post-election survey.

Electors surveyed in the pre-election phase answered questions on party affiliation, preferred Prime Minister, most important issue affecting voting choice, party and candidate most likely to choose, coalition preferences, parties expected to form the next government, and the relative importance of party and electoral votes under MMP.

Electors in the post-election phase were asked questions on their interest in politics, the type of communication (e.g. phone calls, letters) received from members of campaigning parties, previous and current party affiliation, the effectiveness of MPs, unity of the main political parties, the performance of the government, important election and social issues, the power of the vote and the need for a one-party government.

Background variables included age, gender, marital status, occupation, income, collection of benefits, subjective class, religion, ethnic identity, occupation and partisanship of parents.