As some of you will recall, in September I mentioned on the blog that a research team I am leading had been fortunate enough to secure funding from the Economic and Social Research Council of the UK to conduct a detailed academic study of this year’s Welsh Assembly election. Our study, imaginatively-entitled The 2016 Welsh Election Study, has three main dimensions:
- A study of voters (based on several in-depth surveys of representative samples of the electorate)
- A study of local campaigning; and
- A study of social media activity.
I gave an outline presentation on the project in December: you can see the slides from that presentation here.
As we are now into the final 100 days of campaigning, plans are proceeding apace with various aspects of the study. In particular, we are looking to put together the content for the voter surveys over the next couple of weeks. And for this, I am hoping to draw on the collective wisdom of the Elections in Wales community.
The main subjects that the surveys will be seeking to address are the following:
- Electoral Participation
- Party Choice
- Perceptions of the election campaign
- Attitudes to the parties and their leaders (both at the UK and Welsh levels)
- Attitudes to devolution and the constitution
- Judgements of the policy record of devolved government; and
- Respondents’ individual characteristics, identifications, broad political attitudes and media usage (including social media).
Put simply, I am inviting anyone out there who has any bright ideas regarding what we should ask about, or how we should ask about things, to put forward their suggestions.
We won’t have complete freedom of action in what we ask, and how we ask it. In particular, in some respects we will be needing to maintain questions asked in past surveys, in order that we can try to track change over time. You can see how we did things in 2011 by looking at the pre-election wave survey and the post-election wave survey.
However, that said we should still have a fair degree of scope to innovate. And as good ideas are never over-supplied, we’d certainly welcome any suggestions that people wish to put forward.
You can put suggestions forward in two ways. First of all, you can simply use the comment facility below this post. Alternatively, if you have some really lengthy suggestions, or if you wish to make them to me directly, you can email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.