English title: Events and Reliability of Measures: The Effect of Elections on Measures of Interest in Politics

Author(s): Mihkel Solvak -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2009


This article aims to determine whether elections affect the level of interest in politics. The European Social Survey’s (ESS) long fieldwork periods make it possible to compare the change in levels of interest in politics as election time approaches and campaigns intensify, or as elections pass and the attention of the public turns toward other issues. The scope and comparability of the ESS allows for seeing possible effects on a cross-national level. The distance from the last parliamentary election and the distance to the next election are calculated for all cases in the database. The distance is then compared with the change of levels in variables measuring interest in politics throughout the fieldwork period. Additionally, changes in the mean values for each fieldwork month in countries where the ESS was fielded during elections is also compared. Results show that the distance from the last election and the distance to the next election are not correlated with a change in the levels of interest in politics. Furthermore, changes in the mean levels of interest in politics are within the error margins for fieldwork months that coincided with election months.

Volume: 21

Issue: 3

From page no: 316

To page no: 332

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1093/IJPOR/EDP033

Journal: International journal of public opinion research

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