The Austrian National Election Study (AUTNES). The Supply Side: Party Records, Party Positions, and Candidates
AUTNES constitutes a fully integrated national election study with four legs: Demand side (voters), supply side (parties, candidates), media, and campaign dynamics. The supply side part of AUTNES asks what political parties and individual candidates offer to the voters and how these choices can be explained. For that purpose AUTNES investigates what policy positions political parties take, how they deal with their record in government or opposition, and what policy positions and coalition preferences their candidates assume. AUTNES engages in the analysis of party manifestos and other policy documents, it will conduct a survey of parliamentary candidates, and content analyze the communications of party leaders (the ‘ones’). In so doing, AUTNES makes a contribution towards the measurement of party positions and ideological party coherence beyond the Austrian case. Working exclusively with the supply side data or combining it with data generated by the other core components of AUTNES this project will contribute to the testing and development of realistic theories of party competition (i.e. theories that give preference to their real-world applicability over the elegance of formal modelling). The project is now ongoing at the University of Vienna.