Voting Advice Applications

Voting Advice Applications have gained a large popular audience over the last decades, but their design has not been studied very elaborately. These tools ask voters for their opinion on a number of salient issues in an election and then present the ‘best match’ between the user’s preferences and the policy preferences of the political parties in a country. In a number of projects, together with different colleagues I have begun to unravel these issues of VAA design. The main question of these studies is: how can we be sure that these tools provide voters with good advice?


Rosema, Martin & Tom Louwerse (2016) Response Scales in Voting Advice Applications: Do Different Designs Produce Different Outcomes?, Policy & Internet 8(4): 431-456

Fivaz, Jan, Tom Louwerse & Daniel Schwarz (2014) Keeping promises: VAAs and political representation. In: D. Garzia & S. Marschall (Eds.) Matching Voters with Parties and Candidates, pp. 197-216

Louwerse, Tom & Martin Rosema (2014) The design effects of voting advice applications: Comparing methods of calculating matches, Acta Politica 49(3): 286-312

Otjes, Simon & Tom Louwerse (2014) Spatial models in voting advice applications, Electoral Studies 36: 263-271

Louwerse, Tom & Simon Otjes (2012) Design challenges in cross-national VAAs: the case of the EU Profiler, International Journal of Electronic Governance 5(3–4): 279-297