Australian Election Study, 1996

TitleAustralian Election Study, 1996
Collection TypeDataset
Access PrivilegesAustralian Election Study
DOI - Digital Object Identifier10.4225/13/50BBF1BF4D141
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

Full DescriptionThe Australian Election Study (AES) is designed to collect data for academic research on Australian public opinion and behaviour during federal elections. Each study is based on a national, post-election, self-completion (mail-in, mail-out) survey consisting mainly of multiple choice questions.

The 1996 study is the fourth in a series of surveys beginning in 1987 which have been timed to coincide with Australian Federal elections. The series also builds on the 1967 and 1979 Australian Political Attitudes Surveys. The Australian Election Studies aim to provide a long-term perspective on stability and change in the political attitudes and behaviour of the Australian electorate, and investigate the changing social bases of Australian politics as the economy and society modernise and change character. In addition to these long-term goals they examine the political issues prevalent in the election and assesses their importance for the election result.

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.

The 1996 survey replicates many questions from earlier surveys but also introduces a variety of new questions including a section on national identity. Other sections covered the respondent's interest in the election campaign and politics, their past and present political affiliation, evaluation of parties and candidates, alignment with parties on various election issues, evaluation of the economic situation and economic policies, attitudes to a range of environmental issues, attitudes to foreign affairs and defence issues and attitudes to contemporary social policy issues including equal opportunity, censorship, migration, assistance for aborigines, abortion, criminal law, expenditure on social services, the monarchy and the Australian flag. Background variables include level of education, employment status, occupation, type of employer, position at workplace, trade union membership, sex, age, own and parents country of birth, parents' political preferences, religion, marital status, income, and where applicable, the occupation, trade union membership and political preference of the respondent's spouse.

The breakdown of the 1996 survey sections is as follows:
Section A: The Election Campaign (12 questions)
Section B: Party Preference and Voting (17 questions)
Section C: The Candidates (7 questions)
Section D: Election Issues (9 questions)
Section E: Social Policy (13 questions)
Section F: Foreign Affairs and Defence (7 questions)
Section G: National Identity (12 questions)
Section H: Education and Work (8 questions)
Section I: ?
Section J: Personal Background (18 questions)

The sample for this study was stratified, systematic and random. A sample of electors for all Australia except South Australia was drawn from the Commonwealth Electoral Roll by the Australian Electoral Commission following the close of rolls for the 1996 election. The Commission supplied name and address information only, to be used only for this study. The South Australian sample was selected manually from the alphabetical microfiche list of electors available for that state in early February.

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
David Gow
Fields of Research1606 - Political Science
160601 - Australian Government and Politics
Socio-Economic Objective9402 - Government and Politics
Economic policy
International relations
National identity
Political parties
Social issues
Social policy
Voting behaviour
Type of Research ActivityPure basic research
Date Coverage
Date FromDate To
Time Period1996
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 creation1996
Year of data publication1996
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.

Related Websites
URLTitle Election Study used in 1996 Australian Electoral Study survey Election Study Codebooks Australian Election Study: An Overview by Ian McAllister Election Study - related publications of interest 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 1,773 KB; Stata v.8 1,720 KB; Stata v.7 1,715 KB; Nesstar Publisher 1,807 KB; NSDstat; DIF 1,807 KB; DBase 1,736 KB; Textfile 1,734 KB; Delimited 1,735 KB; SAS 1,752 KB; Comma Separated Value file 1,752 KB
Status: Published
Published To:
- Australian National Data Service
- Australian National University
Identifier: anudc:3328
Please login to request access to this dataset
Related Items


  • Files: 0
  • Size: 0 bytes

Data Files

Updated:  07 February 2019/ Responsible Officer:  University Librarian/ Page Contact:  Library Systems & Web Coordinator