A new interactive website has been launched to help voters in the upcoming Senedd election identify how their policy preferences line up with the stances of political parties and candidates.
The free myVoteChoice website is part of a collaborative project led in Wales by Swansea University’s Dr Matthew Wall, involving researchers from Oxford Brookes, the University of Bath, the University of Surrey, and the University of Zurich.
The website allows Welsh voters to explore how their opinions on key election issues correspond with the positions of parties and candidates through a set of 28 questions, developed with an advisory board of experts on Welsh politics.
It then produces individualised results in several graphical displays providing users with information including how close they are in terms of policy preferences to parties and candidates in their constituency, and they can explore these results question-by-question. The site also places users on a political map, showing how close they are to parties and candidates on ideological scales.
Funded by the British Academy and Leverhulme Small Research Grants scheme, myVoteChoice is a strictly not-for-profit project and is not associated or affiliated to any political party or organisation.
Dr Matthew Wall, Associate Professor of Politics in Swansea University’s Department of Political and Cultural Studies said: “The idea of myVoteChoice is quite straightforward. It asks 28 policy questions that are at the centre of the political debate in Wales. Our research team has secured answers on these questions from the major Welsh parties as well as over 85 individual candidates. When voters visit the website, the website provides a unique ‘match’ output which shows how closely their opinions align with the parties’ policy positions as well as with candidates in their constituency.
“The site is focused on topics that are at the heart of the Senedd election, including health, Covid-19 policy, education, transport, the Welsh economy, and the environment - as well as devolution itself.”
This site encourages people to vote by giving them confidence to understand how their vote relates to key debates that affect their daily lives, said Dr Wall.
“Politics can seem intimidating and confusing but that can’t be an excuse with this site. Anyone can answer these 28 questions and decide where they stand on the main topics of the election. The project is designed particularly with new voters in mind – this will be the first time that 16- and 17-year-olds have the vote here in Wales. It’s made to inspire people to think more deeply about politics and policy and to have the confidence to cast their vote on 6 May.”