QUB Researchers Develop EU Voting App

7Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have come up with a user-friendly 'app' for mobile phones and tablets to help members of the public decide who to vote for in the upcoming European Parliament elections.

The EU Vox14 app asks a range of questions, including some Northern Ireland-specific, in relation to policy statements in order to identify which prospective MEP most closely matches a voter’s values.

The Northern Ireland Voting Advice Application (VAA) was developed by researchers at the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at Queen's, led by Dr John Garry, as part of a larger EU-wide project known as EUVOX.

Examples of questions asked by the app include a views on gay marriage, who should fund the health service and whether the UK should adopt the Euro. Questions relating to parades, flags, a united Ireland and political violence are also included.

Dr John Garry,said: "In Northern Ireland many believe that elections are just sectarian headcounts and that it would take a real political anorak to know what any of the main parties have to say on European policies. We assembled such a team of anoraks to objectively position the parties, on the basis of published policy statements and manifestos, and we provide a user-friendly way for citizens to compare themselves to parties on the kind of EU, economic, social and political matters that are important across the UK and many EU countries."

Dr Garry explained: "This is just like being lost in London and wondering where the closest tube station is. The parties are the stations and each voter has a 'you are here' position on the political map. It’s clear which parties are close by and which are very far away."

The European Parliament elections take place on May 22 in parallel with local government elections. Northern Ireland will return three MEPs out of ten potential candidates.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

28 February 2020
Coronavirus Arrives In Northern Ireland
A case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Northern Ireland. Health officials are working rapidly to establish any contacts the patient, who is thought to be a woman, may have had. It's reported she flew into Dublin with a child before travelling to Belfast. Tests are underway to determine whether the child has also contracted the virus.
04 February 2014
NI Planning To Adopt 'Town Centres First' Policy
The Department of the Environment has said Northern Ireland's planning system could be reformed to adopt a "town centres first" policy. Environment Minister Mark Durkan has announced a 12-week public consultation on issues such as building in the countryside, tourism, transport, telecommunications and housing.
23 October 2012
EU Transport Policy Must Acknowledge Regional Variances
European Transport policy must take into account the existence of regional variances within transport needs in countries like Northern Ireland, according to Roads Minister Danny Kennedy. The Minister made the comment during a visit to Northern Ireland from Brian Simpson, Chair of the European Parliament’s Transport Committee.
19 April 2011
Poll Candidates Discuss Housing Priorities
Northern Ireland's housing needs, issues and policy were at the heart of political debate yesterday, 18 April, as candidates from the five main parties contesting the Assembly Elections attended a special Housing Hustings in Belfast.
12 March 2020
Budget: Extra £210m For NI Public Services
Business and political leaders have been giving their reactions to the Budget, with an extra £210 million allocated for public services in Northern Ireland. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, yesterday pledged a £12 billion package of measures aimed at tackling the spread of coronavirus across the UK.