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Pre-election web tool helps voters get up to speed

7 June 2016

University experts are contributing to an online tool which allows Australians to assess their political leanings against the major parties' positions on key themes, in the lead-up to the July 2 Federal Election.

YourVote is a partnership between Fairfax Media, The University of Sydney and Kieskompas and is available online exclusively at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

YourVote is the Australian version of the original global Voting Advice Application tool 'Kieskompas', which was developed in 2006 at VU University in Amsterdam.

Professor Ariadne Vromen and Associate Professor Anika Gauja, of the University of Sydney, oversaw the development of 30 statements by a collaborative research team, which independently determined the positioning of the three major Australian political parties: Labor, the Coalition and the Greens.

"We believe that discussion about policies – which projects like YourVote contribute to – can encourage a more engaged and informed level of political debate," said Professor Vromen

"YourVote also helps to hold parties and politicians to account for what they have previously said their stance is on issues of current relevance to voters," added Associate Professor Gauja.

YourVote's Research Editor, Julie Posetti, said YourVote aims to challenge voters to go beyond the personalities of the leaders and any previous assumptions about parties and their brands, to the main policy debates in the campaign.

"YourVote is designed to stimulate informed debate on policies and issues throughout the election campaign by making it easier for voters to find out what the parties stand for. It does not tell you who to vote for, but it is designed to bring policy debates back to the fore," she said.

Since 2006, more than 50 million people in more than 200 elections around the world have used the Kieskompas tool.

The project will monitor the hashtag #YourVote on social media.