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The 2025 Australian Cooperative Election Survey

The Australian Cooperative Election Survey is an academic survey research project designed to improve data collection for local social and political scientists, and international researchers interested in Australia. It has run at the last two federal elections, with data collected during the campaign as Australians are voting. 

A third survey is planned for the federal election, to be held by May 2025. Accent Research is responsible for managing the fieldwork for this survey, with overall project responsibility sitting with a steering committee (details below). 

 

Providing a collaborative approach to data collection and research, the Cooperative Election Survey is the largest academic election survey run in Australia. The survey fielded during the 2019 election provided 10 researchers and their colleagues data on 7,341 respondents, asking 334 unique questions and addressing several substantive topics, including democratic inequality, populism, and the role of the media in election campaigns. The 2022 survey was almost as large, providing four teams consisting of more than a dozen scholars a representative sample of 5,978 voters.

 

These data have allowed scholars to pursue research questions that would have otherwise been difficult to address, and have resulted in more than a dozen publications (across peer reviewed articles, reports and media). We are looking to build on this and create an ongoing annual modular survey as a resource for researchers interested in Australian politics, culture and society.

Steering committee

The ACES is coordinated by a steering committee. This group makes decisions that impact the project as a whole, assists module authors and is responsible for writing the Common Core questions.  

Any questions about the project should be directed to the members of the steering committee. 

Committee members: 

Professor Juliet Pietsch

Griffith University

j.pietsch@griffith.edu.au

Associate Professor Shaun Willson

Macquarie University

shaun.wilson@mq.edu.au

Dr Shaun Ratcliff

University of Sydney | Accent Research

shaun.ratcliff@sydney.edu.au

Structure

The Cooperative Election Survey is a 20 minute survey, consisting of approximately 60 items. It adopts a modular approach comprising a common core and individual researchers modules. 

A modular approach

This survey has a modular approach, with individual researchers or teams able to purchase modules on the survey, taking advantage of economies of scale and an existing relationship with the survey vendor Accent Research to obtain access to more data, competitive prices, and advice from an experienced survey researchers. This will provide ways to better study small population groups, such as Indigenous Australians, and migrant groups; run survey experiments and panel studies; and provide researchers with the flexibility to field the survey instruments they require for their projects. Accent Research will manage fieldwork and has extensive experience working on academic surveys.

The Common Core

A large-N survey consisting of key demographics, vote intention and some key political issues that will be of general interest (for example, questions on authoritarianism and media use). The content on the core is decided by the steering committee. However, participating researchers are asked to submit ideas and where possible, these will be included. All participants gain access to the data collected through the core. The more researchers that participate, the larger the sample from this module becomes. With five teams, all researchers involved would obtain a 5,000-respondent sample consisting of all core questions.

Modules

Each participating team or researcher buys a sample of approximately 1000 respondents, with 10 minutes of questions (approximately 30 items). Each team will be able to ask any type of question on any topic in any format they choose. This can include survey experiments and multimedia. The steering committee and Accent Research will only offer advice to maximise the value of the survey questions, but will not dictate content within modules. The resulting data is reserved exclusively to the team who purchases.

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