NZES2014: New Zealand Election Study

The general election was held on 20 September, 2014. Its outcome was the re-election of a National Party-led government for a third term.

We generated new knowledge about relationships between psychological personality types and political behaviour, particularly for participation and civic engagement. We also tested the extent to which individuals' aspirations for economic advancement and their perceptions of job security or insecurity affect voting choices and turnout.

The study of personality types and mass political behaviour is rare in political science and psychology but is now increasing, and was included in NZES2014. While there is some evidence that personality may shape political inclinations, our main interest is in the correlates of personality types with political participation, and possible interactions with gender.

Those who identify a 'politics of aspiration' suggest that anticipations of economic advancement by individuals' own efforts could shape their political behaviour. This may be one reason why the association of income with political choice is often weak: people relate to their anticipations of future rather than present income. Yet aspirational effects may be offset by factors such as low job security. Drawing on a new measure of wealth and assets we can test these conjectures. Again, this plays into the analysis of turnout as lower incomes, and the lack of wealth and assets tend to be associated with failure to vote.