About the 1999 NZES
If you want to understand the 1999 election read Proportional Representation on Trial. Click on the cover image for further information
Funding for the 1999 NZES was provided for by Foundation
for Research, Science, and Technology (FRST) and the University of Waikato. Funding for the pre-election survey was from the University
The principal researchers (with current affiliations) are:
The 1999 Election
New Zealand's second election under proportional representation was
held on November 27, 1999.
The 1999 Study
The 1999 Study was at the time the most sophisticated political survey ever conducted in New Zealand. The first component of the 1999 NZES is a
pre-election telephone survey of 3500 New Zealanders beginning on October 18 and
continuing daily until election day on November 27. Using a rolling cross section
design we surveyed a random sample each day of 80-90 persons eligible to vote.
The pre-election survey
measures voting intentions, political attitudes, and evaluations of
MMP. Here is a detailed description of the methodology.
The ratio of refusals to completed interviews was 43:57.
The 1999 post-election sample was primarily by post, with a small
telephone supplement. It is made up of three sections, the first a ‘new sample’
sampled directly from the electoral rolls (N=1059, with at the most
conservative estimate a response rate of 58 per cent for the postal component alone,
or 64 per cent including the telephone top-up). Further sections are
made up of a panel of respondents form the 1990, 1993, and 1990 Election
Studies (n=2342), and a panel of respondents first sampled in the Campaign
Study (N=2489). Due to panel attrition response rates for these sections are
somewhat lower, but analysis of response patterns between these and the
new sample indicate no significant apparent biases.
As part of the 1999 NZES a random sample of 1000 Maori identifiers
were selected for face to face interviews in a post election survey that
promises to be a landmark in research on Maori political opinion.
As in 1993 and 1996 a survey of political candidates has also been
conducted. Candidates nominated by the Labour, National, ACT, Alliance, Greens,
and New Zealand First parties were sent a 22-page
questionnaire, with questions arranged under the following
sub-headings: Political Background and Activity; Candidate Selection and Campaigning;
The Role of an MP; Opinions and Policies: Government and the Electoral
System; Background Information. A similar survey was sent to party
candidates in 1996 and party and conference delegates in 1993.
Questionnaires were sent to a total of 452 candidates. The overall
response rate was 62 per cent, or 282 usable questionnaires, distributed among
the parties as follows (party response rates in brackets): Labour 56 (64%),
National 44 (52%), ACT 52 (72%), Alliance 48 (68%), Greens 52 (72%),
and New Zealand First 27 (40%),
No individual respondent can be identified in the dataset.
Respondents, can, however, be grouped according to shared characteristics - such as
party affiliation, age, sex, income, religion etc. In keeping with our
undertaking of anonymity, however, the researchers will not process the
data in a way that results in very small groups, and therefore the
possibility of attributing a response to an individual, by inference. For similar
reasons a number of social and demographic variables will be deleted from the
dataset when it is released to other researchers.