It can be difficult to sift through manifestos and lengthy policy documents to weigh up which election candidates or political party(s) best reflect your views. Fortunately, some people have created a bunch of online applications that can help you out. These are commonly referred to as Voter Advice Applications (VAAs).
Below we have listed the applications we have found to help you decide who to vote for in the 2015 General Election. If you know of any apps or websites that you think should be added to this list, please let us know through the form on our contributors page.
*star pick for beginners*
Verto is an app aimed at young people aged 18-24. You’re asked to select whether you agree or disagree with statements in a variety of categories, before picking your top three issues. The app is intuitive and presents your political party match in a ring graph as it goes along. It breaks down and links to further information within topics, which is really useful if you don’t know much about a topic.
*star pick for wonks*
PositionDial encourages you to explore your political position. They ask you which party you think you match with, then ask a series of questions with answers on a scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree. There’s a cool dial widget that spins around and tells you your political stance as you go.
Fantasy Front Bench is one of the most fun and engaging formats we’ve seen. According to their site it’s a “twist on the popular fantasy football concept”. It allows users to create their own fantasy ‘cabinet’ by selecting and sorting politicians on how they have voted in Parliament on key policy issues.
Hive is a free phone app which helps you identify the most suitable political party for you. It presents straightforward manifesto policies which you ‘like, ‘dislike’ or ‘skip’. There’s a ‘Polibar’ at the top that updates when you like a statement so you know which party you side with.
I Side With offers a short quiz which asks you questions on topical issues and then asks you to reply with a simple ‘yes / no / choose another stance (which has some additional options)’
The Political Compass is technically not a voter advice application, but it is something you can take at any time to give you an idea of your ‘political personality’. It starts by asking what you think about a series of statements (answers from ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’), before plotting your outcome on a graph. It also allows you to compare your results to well-known historical political figures.
Tickbox helps you to find out “who deserves your vote” in 30 seconds by asking whether or not you agree with a series of statements, before telling you how many statements you matched for a range of parties.
Voting Counts allows you to compare political party stances on key issues such as the NHS and immigration in an easy-to-read matrix.
Vote for Policies helps you to compare what each party is promising to do and how they plan to achieve their goals in their own words. They do this by asking you to select at least four topics and then to choose – without revealing which party they belong to – the policies that most appeal. They will then calculate the political party(s) your most align with according to the policies you’ve selected.
Vote Match uses a quiz to help find the political party closest to your views. You drag and drop topics in order of importance to you, pick which part of the UK you live in, and then answer a series of statements with whether you ‘agree / don’t mind / disagree’. Finally you de-select political parties you would never consider voting for before being presented your breakdown.
Votr is an app designed that you need to download to your phone. You enter your postcode, it finds your constituency, and then it brings up anonymised twitter feeds of all the candidates in your area. You swipe right if you like what they’ve said, left if you don’t, or up to pass. Perfect if you’re really into Twitter.
Who Gets My Vote asks you to indicate your preferences for a series of 30 policy statements on a scale from ‘completely agree’ to ‘completely disagree’. You are then asked a few questions about your politics and political party preferences, before rating whether you would place individual politics parties on an economic scale ranging from the ‘economic left’ to ‘economic right’, and a social scale rating from ‘social liberal’ to ‘social conservative’. You receive your results after stating how likely it is you will vote for a certain political party.
Who Shall I Vote For has a quiz that allows you to select topics of interest before answering ‘yes / unsure / no’ to a selection of statements and selecting how important it is to you.
Who Should You Vote For asks you to rank your opinion ranging on a series of statements, from whether you strongly agree to strongly disagree. They have versions for England and Scotland.
Your Candidates asks you to enter your postcode and then presents basic information for all candidates running for election in your constituency. You can select a topical issue from the toolbar and information on the stance of each political party / individual candidate will then appear beneath the candidate photo. It also provides information on the vote forecast.
If you’re interested in reading more about Voter Advice Applications, you could start with this blog post by a lecturer at LSE, and some research undertaken by Democratic Audit. There is also an academic study of the topic that you can read online.