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Denmark’s 'election tests' moved 'thousands' of votes in 2022 polls

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Denmark’s 'election tests' moved 'thousands' of votes in 2022 polls
Online 'election tests' are more likely to change a voter's mind than posters. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

So-called ‘election tests’ taken online by voters in Denmark can move as many as 100,000 votes between parties, researchers have concluded.

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Ahead of the 2022 election, some 110,000 voters in Denmark changed their mind about who to vote after taking a political questionnaire on a media website, researchers at Aarhus University have concluded.

Many Danish media offer the tests, valgtest in Danish, on their websites prior to elections. In the tests, users are presented with a set of multiple-choice questions about their political views.

The tests then calculate a percentage rating for how closely aligned the voter is with the various parties, based on statements given by the parties themselves.

An example of the test on DR’s website for the 2022 general election can be found here.

The 110,000 figure for voters who changed their minds after taking the tests in 2022 was reported by newspaper Jyllands-Posten based on research led by professor Mathias Wessel Tromborg of Aarhus University’s Political Science department.

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“This obviously comes with some conditions, as things always do when you’re talking to researchers like us. But yes, that’s our best bet,” Tromborg told the newspaper.

The study shows that for every 100 voters who get a different party in the test to the one they had originally been leaning towards, 16 will change their vote to the suggested party.

The tests are used by a large proportion of voters, elections researcher Kasper Møller Hansen of the University of Copenhagen said.

According to Hansen’s research, some 62 percent of voters took one of the tests in 2022 and 45 percent of these said they voted for the party which was recommended to them.

“Election tests are without comparison the thing voters use the most in an election campaign. They can see a poster or attend a debate, but election tests triumph most of all. They have simply become a definitive part of how we navigate politics,” he said.

The Aarhus University study also shows that around 175,000 votes in 2022 were affected by the tests. That includes voters whose doubt over who to vote for increased after taking the test, as well as those who specifically switched party.

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