Vote Compass navigates the 2013 Election

GABRIELLE SMITHThe ABC released an online ‘electoral literacy application’ to assist users in comparing their results to that of electoral candidates and their parties.

Since the launch of Vote Compass on 4 August over 800, 000 people have used the application to gauge their stance in comparison to the policies of the major parties.

The application is intended to engage voters in understanding public policy propositions not to predict overall party preference.

Designed by a team of independent, non-profit political scientists, the questionnaire pertains to some of the elections more prominent policies and the difference between the parties.

Source: Gabrielle Smith

Source: Gabrielle Smith

Despite not intending to sway voters or influence their opinions of the parties, users have been surprised at how different their results are to what was expected.

University student and avid political follower Sofia Moffett used Vote Compass to gauge how important the issues that she considered important are to the different parties.

“I would consider myself a little left of centre but I was just so surprised where I ended up, I didn’t think that what I considered important could be viewed as so left,” Ms Moffett said.

Recent results have shown that Australian voters are disenchanted regarding further aid given to the Australian car industry. And that many voters are not overly concerned with a surplus budget if public services have to be compromised.

In a recent interview on ABC news, election analyst Antony Green explained the results to date in relation to key issues of the election.

“Once the data has what people think are the key issues in this election, and of those clearly the economy is up there at the top of the list at 28 per cent, asylum seekers at 13 per cent and health at 10 per cent and then a selection of other issues in single figures,” he said.

The figures reveal that the voters of the different parties have vastly different issues that they see as key.

In an election where there has been much debate and confusion between the different parties policies, Vote Compass has been a widely used tool to help decipher where voter preferences lie.

Vote Compass can be found on the ABC news website at http://www.abc.net.au/votecompass/.

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