NZES2002: New Zealand Election Study

The 2002 NZES had five major components: A New General Sample, which involved a proportionately random selection from the general parliamentary electorates; the Election to Election Panels, which was conducted post-election and included respondents from the 1996 and 1999 NZESes; the Campaign Pre-Election Sample and Pre-Post Panel, which involved a random national sample and was conducted 36 days before the election; the Māori Election Study, which involved an over-sample from the Māori electoral rolls; and The Candidate Study, which was sent out to all candidates standing for parties in the House.

Variables include the respondent’s interest in politics, internet usage, how many hours spent watching television or listening to the radio, attitudes toward and trust in the government in general, opinions of other candidates, campaign involvement, attitudes to immigrants, group membership, voting preferences and confidence in the public service.

Background variables include gender, date of birth, country of birth, highest level of education, employment status, religious affiliation, and parents’ political views.

Response rate: New General Sample: The postal response rate was 44.6% (N = 1,338), with the telephone interviewing adding a further 8% (N = 248), resulting in a combined response rate of 52.2% (N = 1,586).

Election to Election Panels: The 1996 Panel had N = 533, and the 1999 Panel had N = 537. Of all the panel respondents, 1,040 completed the postal questionnaire and a further 120 were followed up by phone. Respondents within each panel were subject to different levels of response rate attrition, but no significant or obvious non-response bias was apparent.

The Campaign Pre-Election Sample and Pre-Post Panel: The Pre-Election campaign had N = 3,590, with a target of 100 interviews for the 36 days immediately before the election. The response rate was 34%. Campaign respondents were also asked to participate post-election and the 3,190 who agreed to do so were mailed the post-election questionnaire. Of these, 2,008 responded again by post and 514 by phone, resulting in a response rate of 79% of those who had agreed to participate.

Māori Election Study: This study had N = 500, with a corresponding response rate of 33.3%. 27% resulted from the mail questionnaire; 6.3% was achieved by telephone.