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FSD3251 Finnish Municipal Election Study 2017

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Authors

  • Borg, Sami (University of Tampere. Faculty of Management)

Keywords

councillors, health policy, local government, local government elections, local government officers, local government services, political action, political awareness, political behaviour, political campaigns, political influence, political interest, political participation, political parties, politics, voting, voting advice applications

Abstract

The study charted Finnish political attitudes, opinions and behaviour in the 2017 municipal elections in Finland. The study was part of a project of the Foundation for Municipal Development (KAKS) which also funded data collection.

First, the respondents' interest in politics and municipal election campaigning was charted as well as what sort of sources the respondents used for municipal election communications and information. The respondents were also asked where they received information regarding the election, parties and candidates and what they considered important election themes in the municipal elections. It was also examined whether the respondents were mainly interested in national or local issues in the municipal elections.

Next, the respondents were asked to evaluate whether they agreed or disagreed with a set of attitudinal statements regarding satisfaction with democracy, voting, parties, the Government and the Parliament, municipal politics, the importance of municipal elections, and the residents' ability to impact local matters. The respondents were also asked how important they considered having an influence on different municipal services, e.g. education, public transport, land use planning, libraries and healthcare. The respondents' attitudes toward the social and healthcare reform ('Sote reform') were also examined.

Finally, the survey charted the respondents' political activity, motives for voting and voting behaviour with questions regarding active citizenship in the past, how they would prefer to impact matters in their municipality, and political party preference. Depending on whether the respondents had voted or not in the 2017 municipal elections, reasons for not voting or for choosing the party and candidate were enquired.

Background variables included age, gender, region of residence, type of municipality of residence and residential area, education level, marital status, economic activity and occupational status, occupational group and sector, membership in a trade union or professional association, self-perceived social class, annual gross income of the household, household composition, mother tongue, unemployment in the previous year, and the political party the respondent had voted for in the 2017 and 2012 municipal elections.

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