Australian Election Study, 1990

TitleAustralian Election Study, 1990
Collection TypeDataset
Access PrivilegesAustralian Election Study
DOI - Digital Object Identifier10.4225/13/50BBF31E6D8CA
Metadata LanguageEnglish
Data LanguageEnglish
Brief DescriptionThe Australian Election Study (AES) is a national, post-election, self-completion survey which collects data on the political opinions and behaviour of the Australian public. Each survey contains questions relating to the role of:

*Media and Media Exposure
*General Political Interest and Knowledge
*Perceptions of the Election Campaign
*Party Identification and Prior Voting History
*Parents' and Partner Partisanship
*Vote in the Election and Explanations for it
*Party Images
*Perceptions of the Major Party Leaders and the Content of their Public Images
*Election Issues
*Social Policy Issues
*Socio-demographic Measures

The data is available in a variety of formats.
Full DescriptionThe Australian Election Study (AES) is designed to collect data for academic research on Australian public opinion and behaviour during federal elections.

The 1990 study is the second in the series initiated in 1987, and builds on the data collected earlier in the 1967 and 1979 Australian Political Attitudes Surveys. The series provides a long-term perspective on stability and change in the political attitudes and behaviour of the Australian electorate, and investigates the changing social bases of Australian politics as the economy and society modernise and change character. Each study is based on a national, post-election, self-completion survey consisting mainly of multiple choice questions.

A range of questions are included in the survey which cover election issues and the respondent's assessment of the most effective party to handle them, as well as questions on specific political issues. A section on social policy includes questions on around 30 contemporary social and moral issues, including abortion, Aboriginal rights, pornography, health care and many others. A section on industrial policy focuses on attitudes towards the control of the economy, to trade unions and big business, and to industrial conflict in general. In addition to the standard questions on vote in the current election, recalled vote in the 1987 federal election, and party identification, the survey contains an extensive section dealing with attitudes to the major parties and to the party leaders. Finally, a range of demographic data are collected for each respondent and their spouse or partner, if applicable.

In some cases, questions are repeated in each survey so that trends can be observed over a long period of time. However, in each survey there are always new sets of questions or modules added to gauge public opinion on contemporary social and political issues in Australia.

Two major themes are covered in the 1990 survey, the economy and the environment. Questions on the economy include evaluations of the country's economy and the individual's own personal household situation; wages and price controls; attitudes to particular economic issues; and the position of the major parties and party leaders on the main economic issues. Questions on the environment include attitudes to the protection of the environment and to environmental issues in general; the role of industry and the government in ensuring environmental protection; rankings of the most urgent environmental issues and the respondent's assessment of their likely future importance; and attitudes toward environmental pressure and interest groups, including current or likely membership.

The breakdown of the 1990 survey sections is as follows:
Section A: The Election Campaign (9 questions)
Section B: Party Preference and Voting (9 questions)
Section C: Political Leaders and Parties (9 questions)
Section D: Election Issues (3 questions)
Section E: The Economy (7 questions)
Section F: Social Policy (10 questions)
Section G: The Environment (10 questions)
Section H: Industrial Relations (6 questions)
Section I: Education and Work (9 questions)
Section J: Personal Background (15 questions)

For the 1990 study, The Australian Electoral Office provided a systematic random sample of electors from its computerised electoral role. The sample of 3277 electors was made by selecting 1 in 2989 from the roll, distributed proportionately across States and Territories and Electoral Divisions, excluding South Australia. A supplementary sample of 330 cases was selected manually from the alphabetical microfiche list of electors in South Australia, again using the sample fraction of 1 in 2989 persons.

The data is available in a variety of formats, including SPSS Portable, Stata v.8, Stata v.7, Nesstar Publisher, NSDstat, DIF, DBase, Textfile, Delimited, SAS and Comma Separated Value file. The data can be downloaded in a zipped folder together with documentation in pdf or xml format.

Contact AddressSchool of Politics and International Relations
Research School of Social Sciences
Building 22, Haydon-Allen Building
The Australian National University
ACT 0200 Australia
Contact Phone Number+61 (0)2 6125 5553
Contact Fax Number+61 (0)2 6125 3051
Principal InvestigatorProfessor Ian McAllister
CollaboratorsRoger Jones
Elim Papadakis
David Gow
Fields of Research1606 - Political Science
160601 - Australian Government and Politics
Socio-Economic Objective9402 - Government and Politics
KeywordsEconomic policy
Industrial relations
Political parties
Social issues
Social policy
Voting behaviour
Type of Research ActivityPure basic research
Date Coverage
Date FromDate To
Time Period1990
Geospatial Location
Location TypeLocation Value
DCMI Box notation conformant with iso 19139name=Australia; northlimit=-9.221084; southlimit=-54.777218; westlimit=112.921454; eastlimit=159.105459
Date of data creation1990
Year of data publication1990
Creator(s) for Citation
Given NameSurname
Publisher for CitationAustralian Data Archive

Identifier Type
Uniform Resource Identifier
Identifier Value
Publication Title

Publication Reference
Ian McAllister and Sarah Cameron. Trends in Australian Political Opinion: results from the Australian Election Study, 1987-2013. Canberra: The Australian National University. 2014.

Identifier Type
International Standard Book Number
Identifier Value
Publication Title

Publication Reference
Bean, Clive et al. ed. The Greening of Australian Politics: the 1990 Federal Election. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire, 1990.

Related Websites
URLTitle Election Study used in the 1990 Australian Electoral Study survey Election Study - related publications of interest Australian Election Study: An Overview by Ian McAllister Election Study Codebooks Data Archive catalog records
Access RightsConditions of access to the Australian Election Study data can be found at the following link:

The Australian Election Studies are "General Datasets" and therefore General user undertaking applies. The following is a link to the General Access Undertaking form:

Retention PeriodIndefinitely
Data SizeSPSS Portable 1,400 KB; Stata v.8 1,400 KB; Stata v.7 1,350 KB; Nesstar Publisher 1,419 KB; NSDstat; DIF 1,438 KB; DBase 1,341 KB; Textfile 1,340 KB; Delimited 1,370 KB; SAS 1,350 KB; Comma Separated Value file 1,371 KB
Status: Published
Published To:
- Australian National Data Service
- Australian National University
Identifier: anudc:3325
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