16 April 2010

Testing Online Vote Matchers

Out of interest, I decide to test drive two of the websites which claim to be able to tell you who to vote for based on the answers you give to questions on a range of issues. The two sites were Vote Match and Who Should You Vote For.

My initial results for Vote Match looked like this:

However, after you’ve completed the questions, they offer you another five questions to refine your search, which changed my results to this:

So, strangely, after the extra five questions, I seemed to agree with every party more!

My results for Who Should You Vote For were:

Liberal Democrat50
UK Independence13
Your recommendation: Green

My general feelings about the quizzes are:
  • Both quizzes seem relatively unbiased and give a conclusion which doesn’t seem completely unreasonable to me.
  • I’m a little surprised at how highly the Green Party rates in my results, but I suspect that the choice of questions has resulted in the similarities in terms of ID cards and digital rights outweighing the differences in terms of market liberalism. Of the two quizzes “Who Should You Vote For” had more questions relating to civil liberties, which probably goes some way to explaining why it gave a higher ranking to the Greens and a lower ranking to Labour, when compared to the “Vote Match” results.
  • I was initially surprised at the relatively good ranking given to Labour in the Vote Match quiz, but there were quite a few questions on electoral reform, which is probably where a significant amount of the agreement lay.
  • With the exception of the BNP, the big two of Labour and Conservative ranked below all the other parties on both quizzes, which does tend to make a mockery of the approach taken by the media of using one representative from each of the big two to represent balance and a range of opinions.
  • Only the Vote Match quiz included the BNP and it seemed to show that, if you take the racism out of the equation, which the quiz did, the BNP are in the same ball park as the big two. That highlights something I’ve believed for some time; beyond the overt racism, their claim to represent something different significantly different to the status quo is nonsense.
I think they’re both interesting and potentially useful tools, but from a personal perspective, I’m in such a safe seat that any choice about if and how I vote will be more an issue of strategy than expecting my vote to get someone elected.

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