Selects is a research project embedded in different Swiss universities. The project started in 1995 to connect Swiss electoral research to the state of the art at the international level. The Selects project created a series of datasets around the national elections between 1995 and 2011. Each election year innovative new questions and additional data collections were incorporated. The data have been widely used for scientific research and several PhD theses have been written on Selects data.

Lay summary

Around the 2011 elections the Swiss Electoral Studies (Selects) produced various datasets which are all publically available for scientific research by 2012. Those datasets include a post-election telephone survey among 4391 Swiss citizens resident in Switzerland, a pre-election rolling cross section telephone survey (RCS) with 4001 interview, about 100 a day during 41 days before the election, an online/paper candidate survey of about 20 pages among all the 3547 candidates for the national council and the council of states, of which 1676 (47%) participated, an online survey among the Swiss living abroad with 1629 interviews as well as a media content analysis, covering 20 daily and weekly newspaper as well as 8 online news sites with 1923 coded articles. A large number of administrative data has also been collected which allows for methodological research.

Thematic and methodological research will be a central activity of the project phase 2013. A call for paper will be launched for a special issue of the Swiss political Science review on the 2011 elections. To increase the international visibility of the Select project, a special issue on the Swiss Elections 2011 will also be proposed to an international journal with a focus on the effects of the institutional variation of Swiss national elections on voting behaviour. A section proposal for the ECPR General Conference 2013 in Bordeaux “Political elites in Electoral Democracies” with 5-8 panels and 15-30 papers shall gather research around the comparative candidate survey project. The PhD students continue their PhD research and will work on several papers.

A second activity will be the preparation and of various secondary datasets. This includes an updated cumulative data set with all Swiss data on voting behaviour 1971- 2011, the data set for the COST Action “The true European Voter” project and the data files for the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) and the Comparative Candidate Survey (CCS).