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Orientation ahead of the state election in Hesse

The “WahlSwiper” or election swiper enables users to find out how close their own views align with those of the parties

Freiburg, Sep 17, 2018

Voters in the German state of Hesse can use the program to get informed about what the political parties have to offer, and to check which party comes closest to their own preferences. The app and the website were developed by researchers at the University of Freiburg, headed by Professor Uwe Wagschal at the Department of Political Science; Dr Pascal König of the University of Frankfurt am Main; and an agency in Berlin.

Elections to the Hesse state parliament are on 28 October 2018, when citizens will decide who is the strongest political force in the region. For many, it is not easy to decide where to mark the ballot. You can use the Wahlswiper app and website yourself to get information about the parties’ policies and positions - and to find out how they line up with your own. It’s easy to use - you answer 32 questions about your political views by swiping left for “no” and right for “yes”. The program compares your answers with those of the 16 parties, showing areas of agreement and of overlap.

The project, sponsored by the University of Freiburg, the Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität in Frankfurt and Berlin digital agency MOVACT, goes online at the start of postal voting on 17 September. Wagschal, who is also involved in the development of the Debat-O-Meter and other election aid tools, is primarily interested in just how much the parties diverge from one another - which really should be in the voter’s interest. “The WahlSwiper is modern, fun, and provides researchers like us with exciting and important results,” says Wagschal.

The WahlSwiper was first used ahead of Germany’s federal election in 2017; half a million users have opened it so far. The free app is available for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, for Apple TV, as well as for Amazon Alexa and Google Home, and as an internet application.


Link to WahlSwiper

Professor Dr. Uwe Wagschal
Department of Political Science
University of Freiburg
Phone: 0761/203-9361