Horses for courses

Using internet surveys for researching public opinion and voting behavior

Authored by: Edward Fieldhouse , Christopher Prosser

The Routledge Handbook of Elections, Voting Behaviorand Public Opinion

Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138890404
eBook ISBN: 9781315712390
Adobe ISBN:


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With the rapid growth of the internet and digital technology in recent decades, public opinion and electoral research has undergone a transformation in how data are collected. As in-person surveys based on random probability samples of the population have become increasingly expensive, they have become increasingly rare. Declining response rates for telephone surveys and unresolved questions about the impact of mobile phones on sampling frames have also raised questions about the continued validity of phone samples (Curtin, Presser, and Singer 2005; Lavrakas et al. 2007). At the same time internet-based surveys, which can be delivered at a fraction of the cost in a short time frame, have become widespread. Online panel surveys have become perhaps the predominant way to collect data about political attitudes and behavior.

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