The British group Unlock Democracy have today (11 April) launched a 'vote match' website to help people in London decide how they should vote in the mayoral elections to be held on 3 May.
“We recognise that often it is not obvious to people which political candidate best represents their views,” said Peter Facey, Director of Unlock Democracy. “Vote Match is a proven fun and easy way for people to compare the candidates and their policies on the issues that matter most to them”.
Voters are asked to answer a number of agree/disagree statements about policy, and then to rank them in order of importance to them. They then get a match based on how their answers compare with the candidates answers to the same statement. The site has been sponsored by Confused.com.
Facey said that he hoped the site would help those “for whom the main decision in this election is not who to vote for, but whether to vote at all”.
Mike Hoban, Marketing Director at Confused.com, said that “A more informed electorate can only benefit us all”.
Vote Match has been used in a number of elections. It has five aims: To be fun; to raise awareness of policy differences; to help people come to a decision as to how and whether they should vote; to educate people about the body/post the are electing; and to encourage democratic participation and engagement
Vote Match is based on StemWijzer developed by the Institute for Political Participation in the Netherlands. According to Unlock Democracy, nearly two million people have used the various versions of Vote Match since it was first launched in 2008. John Rentoul of the Independent described it as "a digital democracy breakthrough".
The Vote Match website for the London mayoral election in 2012 can be found at http://votematch.org.uk/londonmayoral/confusedvotematch.