Australian Election Study, 1987

TitleAustralian Election Study, 1987
Collection TypeDataset
Access PrivilegesAustralian Election Study
DOI - Digital Object Identifier10.25911/5c7ca10ab0849
Metadata LanguageEnglish
Data LanguageEnglish
Brief DescriptionThe Australian The Australian Election Study (AES) is a 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 a survey designed to collect data for academic research on Australian public opinion and behaviour during federal elections.

All the studies are national, post-election self-completion (mail-in, mail-out) surveys with the sample drawn randomly from the electoral register.

The 1987 study had two goals. The first was to continue the broad line of enquiry established by the 1967 and 1979 Australian National Political Attitudes surveys so that patterns of stability and change in the political attitudes and behaviour of the Australian electorate could be traced over two decades. The second was to assess the electoral impact of forces specific to the 1987 election in order better to understand its outcome.

For 1987, the total sample was 3,061. Of those sampled, 156 moved/gone away and 1,080 were refusals/non-responses. There were 1,825 valid responses giving an effective response of 62.8.

The survey instrument consisted of 6 sections totalling 90 questions. Section A: The Federal Election included 18 questions on media coverage of the 1987 election and previous voting record/preferences. Section B: Political Leaders included 7 questions about party leader preferences and reasons for preferences. Section C: Election Issues included 26 questions about the economy and non-economic issues including defence, mining, health, ties to the UK and USA, the flag, law and order, migration and immigrants, Australian aborigines, censorship, unions, homosexuality, and gender equality. Section D: Social and Political Goals included 8 questions about the effectiveness of government and how the country should be governed. Section E: Education and Work included 11 questions about educational qualifications/background and work experience. Section F: Personal Background included 20 questions about birthplace and family background, place of residence, and work and religious affiliations.

A systematic random sample of 2762 cases covering all States and Territories except South Australia was provided by the Australian Electoral Office from its computerised electoral roll. A supplementary sample of 299 cases was selected manually from the alphabetical list of electors in South Australia by microfiche.
Respondents are mailed on the Monday following the federal election (which is held on a
Saturday). The survey remained in the field for about 8 weeks; the bulk of the responses were received following Waves 1 and 2.
Wave 1 Questionnaire, letter Week 1
Wave 2 Thank you/reminder postcard Week 2
Wave 3 Questionnaire, letter Week 5
Wave 4 Final letter, Week 7

In the 1987 survey, the fourth and final wave elicited comparatively few extra responses and was not considered cost-effective; it has not been used in the post-1987 surveys.

Some of the information above was taken from the 1987 questionnaire and the following book:

Ian McAllister and Juliet Clark. 2007. Trends in Australian Political Opinion: Results from the Australian Election Study, 1987-2004. Canberra: Australian Social Science Data Archive.

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
CollaboratorsMughan, Anthony
Fields of Research1606 - Political Science
160601 - Australian Government and Politics
Socio-Economic Objective9402 - Government and Politics
KeywordsEconomic policy
Social classes
Social problems
Social policy
Political parties
Voting behavior
Political campaigns
Type of Research ActivityPure basic research
Date Coverage
Date FromDate To
Time Period1987
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 creation1987
Year of data publication1987
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 Juliet Clark. 2007. Trends in Australian Political Opinion: Results from the Australian Election Study, 1987-2004. Canberra: Australian Social Science Data Archive.

Identifier Type
International Standard Book Number
Identifier Value
Publication Title

Publication Reference
Ian McAllister and John Warhurst, editors. 1988. Australia Votes: The 1987 Federal Election. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire. xi + 267pp.

Related Websites
URLTitle Election Study used in the 1987 Australian Electoral Study survey Election Study, 1987 - Codebook Australian Election Study: An overview - by Ian McAllister
http://aes.anu.edstralian Election Study Publications of Election Study Publications of Interest Data Archive catalog records Australian National University College of Arts and Social Sciences, School of Politics and International Relations
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 1,080 KB; Stata v.8 1,041 KB; Stata v.7 1,040 KB; Nesstar Publisher 1,091 KB; DIF 1,114 KB; DBase 1,038 KB; Textfile 1,037 KB; Delimited 1,056 KB; SAS 1,046 KB; Comma Separated Value file 1,057 KB
Status: Published
Published To:
- Australian National Data Service
- Australian National University
Identifier: anudc:3320
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