New Zealand Election Study Datasets

The following data are available to download free of charge. The NZES does not claim ownership of the data. It is available for independent analysis by anyone who wishes to download it. All NZES datasets are hosted by the Australian Data Archive. Access to NZES data requires a Dataverse login, and usage is subject to the NZES Terms & Conditions [Link].

Please follow the links below to open the relevant Dataverse datasets in a new tab.

Using NZES data?

We’d like to add your work to our bibliography. Please send a link to any publications using NZES data to nzes@auckland.ac.nz

2017

The 2017 NZES attracted 3445 respondents, sampled from the electoral rolls, containing just over 92 percent of those estimated to be eligible to vote. 1339 of these also participated in the 2014 NZES. The Maori electorates were oversampled, as were voters 30 and under. The data in the frequency tables has been weighted by Maori/General electorates, age, gender (from the rolls), highest educational qualification (from the Household Labour force Survey and the 2013 census), and party vote and turnout (corrected from the marked rolls), in order to be as representative as possible of those on the rolls.

Across those freshly sampled for 2017, on a conservative basis, not removing any of the original sample for non-availability, the response rate (weighted to take account of the oversampling) was 30.6 per cent. The response rate of those who could be recontacted from the 2014 sample was 61.6 per cent.

2014

The 2014 NZES is based on a dataset of responses from 2,835 people whose names were randomly selected from the electoral rolls and who either returned questionnaires sent to them in the post or completed the survey online. Of these, 1,419 had responded to the 2011 NZES, making it possible to compare their responses between the two elections. The remaining 1,462 responded for the first time in 2014. Those enrolled in the Maori electorates were oversampled, with 547 responses.

Questionnaires were in the field 2-3 days after the election. The questionnaire contains instruments to the extent to which individuals’ aspirations for economic advancement and their perceptions of job security or insecurity affect voting choices and turnout. Those who identify a ‘politics of aspiration’ suggest that anticipations of economic advancement by individuals’ own efforts could shape their political behaviour. This may be one reason why the association of income with political choice is often weak: people relate to their anticipations of future rather than present income. Yet aspirational effects may be offset by factors such as low job security. Drawing on a new measure of wealth and assets we will test these conjectures.

2011

The 2011 NZES survey includes module 4 of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) programme and also includes questions that have been used to analyse the results of the electoral system referendum concurrent with the election.

2008

The 2008 Election Study includes module 3 of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) programme. The data set contains 3,042 respondents, of whom 636 are an oversample from the seven Māori electorates. Part of the data set is a three-wave panel going back to 2002 (948 respondents). Among the freshly-sampled respondents, the response rate was about 40%. Support predominantly came from various sources within The University of Auckland and the Electoral Commission, with some further funding from the University of Houston, the New Zealand Treasury, and AUT University.

2005

The 2005 NZES had two main elements. The first was the study’s standard post-election survey, with questionnaires sent by post to several thousand New Zealanders. The second was more experimental, and took place on the Internet only, in two waves, one immediately before the election and another after the final results were announced. Unlike most Internet surveys, this was based on a random sample of enrolled voters, to whom postcards were sent during the final week of the campaign. The first-wave response rate was just over 10%, but it reflected surprisingly well the age and gender breakdown of the electorate.

2002

The 2002 NZES has five major components: A new General Sample, which involved a proportionately random selection from the general parliamentary electorates; the Election to Election Panels, which was conducted post-election and included respondents from the 1996 and 1999 NZES; the Campaign Pre-election Sample and Pre-Post Panel, which involved a random national sample and was conducted 36 days before the election; the Maori Election Study, which involved an over-sample from the Maori electoral rolls; and, The Candidate Study, which was sent out to all candidates standing for parties in the House.

1999

The 1999 survey comprised pre- and post-election surveys. Electors surveyed in the pre-election phase answered questions on party affiliation, preferred Prime Minister, most important issue affecting voting choice, party and candidate the respondent was most likely to choose, coalition preferences, parties the respondent expected to form the next government, the relative importance of party and electoral votes under MMP, the MMP electoral system and perceived liklihood of becoming a republic. Electors in the post-election phase were asked questions on their interest in politics and the election campaign, the type of communication received from members of campaigning parties, important election and social issues, democracy, parties and the political system, policies, party preference and voting, government and the electoral system and representation and participation.

1996

The objectives of the 1996 election study were two-fold: to monitor the democratic process during New Zealand’s transition from a plurality (first-past-the-post) electoral system to a proportional (MMP) system, and to gauge the attitudes, opinions and behaviours of electors. Two election surveys were conducted – one during the campaign and the other after the election. Electors surveyed in the pre-election phase answered questions on party affiliation, preferred Prime Minister, most important issue affecting voting choice, party and candidate the respondent was most likely to choose, coalition preferences, parties the respondent expected to form the next government, and the relative importance of party and electoral votes under MMP. Electors in the post-election phase were asked questions on their interest in politics, the type of communication received from members of campaigning parties; previous and current party affiliation; the effectiveness of M.P.s; unity of the main political parties, the performance of the government; important election and social issues, the power of the vote and the need for a one-party government.

1993

This post-election survey focused on voting trends and decision-making in the 1993 New Zealand general election. Voters were questioned on: parties/politicians and the politics and issues of each; economic policy; attitudes to other policies and values; their attitudes to the extent of representation and the level of participation; party preferences and voting; the role of elections and types of electoral reforms.

1990

This post-election survey focused on voting trends and decision-making in the 1990 New Zealand general election. Voters were questioned on: the importance to them of various issues such as inflation, unemployment, economic growth, defence, health, social welfare, law and order, education; which party was most likely, as a government, to address these issues; opinions on existing policies, leaders of major parties and speed and direction of government actions; trends in respondent’s financial status; party identification of respondent and parents; voting in the 1984 and 1987 elections; reasons for and timing of voting decisions.

Historical Data (1905-1993)

These excel files contain electorate by electorate data for all New Zealand elections between 1905 and 1993. They have been compiled over some years, and should now be free of errors. They include the totals, and both rounds, of the two Second Ballot elections in 1908 and 1911.

Users should note, however, that party labels for early elections were often fluid, and it has proven difficult to make party totals completely consistent with the official data reported in the successive E9 and earlier official results, and with the figures reported in Mackie and Rose’s International Almanac of Electoral History. J. O. Wilson’s New Zealand Parliamentary Record was used as a further source of data.

Thanks to our research assistants Philippa Miskelly, Jean Kite, Sam Martin, and Jason Byrnes for this data.

Electoral Commission Data (1996-2017)

Electorate-by-electorate data for MMP elections from 1996 onward are available from the New Zealand Electoral Commission. Please click the following link to visit their website.