Mapping the Austrian political spectrum with the help of VAAs

Sebastian Jäckle, Pascal D. König


This paper uses data from the Austrian Voting Advice Application (VAA) to locate parties in policy spaces for the 2006, 2008, 2013 and 2017 national elections. It formulates an approach that combines positional information from the VAA data with information about issue saliences that stems from the VAA itself as well as from manifestos coded by the regularly conducted Austrian National Election Study. The VAA-inherent and the external weights serve to calibrate party policy spaces that underlie the VAA data. The paper depicts the Austrian political party space by means of a two-dimensional multidimensional scaling (MDS) map, and furthermore assesses the usefulness of the two weighting procedures. The findings suggest that the use of the internal weights cannot make much of a difference in the present form. In contrast, the external weights not only alter the structure of the party space but also enhance the confidence in the results for substantial reasons.


Voting Advice Applications, party positions, Austrian national elections, scaling, wahlkabine


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