European Election Database

Institution

The construction of a European Election and Referendum Database started out as part of the European Sixth Framework Research Programme, called "Citizens and Governance in a Knowledge-based Society" (CivicActive). As part of the objectives the project collected and analyzed aggregate data on participation and vote choice in the European Parliament, in national elections and related census-based data for all EU member states. Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD) collected and organized the elections and referendums statistics in an on-line database. By the end of the project period, the full responsibility and maintenance of the election and referendum database was transferred to the NSD in Bergen, NorwayNote that the authors of this report are affiliated with NSD..

Database

European Election Database

European Election Database

Website

European Election Database

Format

HTML, SPSS, STATA, etc.

Timespan

1990-present

Coverage

35 countries

Last reviewed

24/11/11

Data types and sources

The database contains confirmed election data acquired from official sources.

Data download

European Election Database

Topics

The European Election Database is specifically intended to provide election results on a regional level for European countries. As of November 2010, the database contains more than 300 datasets, covering most national elections held in 31 European countries since 1990. Datasets are available for the following categories:

  1. Parliamentary (legislative) elections
  2. European Parliament elections
  3. Presidential elections
  4. Referendums related to the European Union
  5. Combined country files for all parliamentary elections and European parliamentary elections held since the 1990s (available for selected countries)
  6. Most data sets includes data on number of persons entitled to vote (electorate), number of votes cast for each contesting party or candidate, number of valid votes as well as number of invalid votes. In addition to election and referendum data, the webpages of the EED provides information and descriptions of the electoral systems and the main political parties in each country.

    Geographical coverage

    The database currently covers 35 European countries. In most cases, in order to promote comparability, the archive publishes regional election results according to the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS), level 1 to 3. For a few elections/referendums data are only available at NUTS level 1 or 2, or, where regional level data is not available at all, national level only.

    Time coverage and updates

    The database covers the period from 1990 to date and is continuously updated. A new and updated version of the website was released in February 2010.

    Documentation

    The documentation of the datasets is embedded in each specific dataset. The documentation covers abstracts and lists of participating parties/candidates, original data sources, and notes on methodology and processing procedures. The European Election Database also offers qualitative background information on political history, political parties, electoral system and administrative divisions of each country.

    Access conditions and cost

    Available free of charge.

    Access procedures

    The database is easy and intuitive to use and is organised by country. Each country specific page contains an overview of the available datasets sorted by type of election, and a corresponding link to the datasets.

    The data management solution used for the database offers a variety of graphics such as manipulative tables, bar charts, time-series graphs etc. These tools make it possible to manipulate data, alter the selection of data, create subsets of data and perform calculations, including correlations from the data. A drawback with the database is that it is not possible to select variables from different datasets or tables and download them in a single file; instead, users must download each table separately before merging them.

    Data formats

    On-screen tables. In addition to a simple html-download, a selection of data formats (like SPSS and STATA) is available for download from the 'Data for Analytical Use' section.

    Comparability and data quality

    The data published in the database are mainly collected from the official websites of national election commissions and statistical institutions. In some cases they are obtained directly from election authorities. This means that the quality and reliability of the data is generally very high. Original sources are listed and errors in original datasets are reported in the documentation.

    The chief objective of the European Election Database is to facilitate comparative research on elections in Europe across time and space. The accommodation of the data to the European Union’s NUTS structure is done with this intention in mind. Users can choose to work with data on NUTS levels 1, 2 or 3, or on country level in order to compare domestic regions or regions across national borders. The inclusion of different types of elections in the database also allows for studies to compare and contrast participation across different types of elections. Furthermore, the correspondence between the aggregated election results and the NUTS structure facilitates studies that incorporate additional statistical indicators as most countries apply the NUTS system when gathering annual statistics (demography, labour market etc.).

    Electronic resource

    Sixth Framework Research Programme home page