The CCS project
The Comparative Candidate Survey (CCS) is a joint multi-national project with the goal of collecting data on candidates running for national parliamentary elections in different countries using a common core questionnaire to allow for cross-country comparison. Data collection comprises surveys among candidates as well as relevant context information concerning the constituency of the candidate and the political system at large.

Partly as a result of recent changes in the functioning of political parties as intermediaries between citizens and the state, individual candidates – their activities, attitudes and beliefs – have become a most attractive and promising research object. To respond to this growing importance CCS surveys parliamentary candidates at national legislative elections in as many different countries as possible.

The core CCS candidate questionnaire focuses on the relationships between the candidate, the party and the voters. Campaigning is a major topic in this core questionnaire, but other domains like recruitment and carrier patterns, issues and ideology, and democracy and representation are also included in the questionnaire.

CCS is conducted in modules that are in the field about 5 years. Module I which was in the field between 2005 and 2013 was conducted in 35 elections. The current Module II will be in the field between 2013-2018 (see Data Collection Documents).

CCS governance
CCS has one partner per country and only a single survey is conducted using the CCS label in each country for national elections. A plenary meeting where all CCS countries are invited to participate takes place at least once every five years. The plenary conference decides on the questionnaire for the new module, elects the steering committee and a planning committee in charge for drafting the new questionnaire (see Governing principles CCS)

A steering committee is responsible for the daily operation of CCS such as data integration, promotion of CCS, maintenance of the website and the organization of the plenary meeting. Current (after the General Assembly on 23.8.2018): members are Ioannis Andreadis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), Katrine Beauregard (Australian National University), André Freire (ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon), Heiko Giebler (WZB Berlin Social Science Center), Zsófia Papp (Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Andrea Pedrazzani (University of Bologna), Åsa von Schoultz (University of Helsinki), Anke Tresch (FORS, University of Lausanne) and Eva Heiða Önnudóttir (University of Iceland).

The members of the steering committee participate in three sub-committees: 1. Recruitment and promotion (old and potential members): Anke Tresch, Heiko Giebler, Ioannis Andreadis, and Eva Önnudóttir, 2. Technical support/development of guidelines: André Freire, Zsófia Papp, Åsa von Schoultz, and Ioannis Andreadis and 3. Social media & the website: Andrea Pedrazzani, Katrine Beauregard, and Ioannis Andreadis.

CCS members/ joining CCS
Data collections in individual countries are conducted by our collaborators, using funds that they raise locally.

Colleagues who are interested in conducting a survey in their country among the candidates standing for office in an upcoming legislative election are warmly welcomed to apply to join the CCS. It is easy to become a member, just contact help@comparativecandidates.org.

National CCS teams commit to conduct surveys using the common core questionnaire in its entirety. They make their data (micro- and macro) available for comparative data sets without any embargo or restrictions other than mandatory country specific confidentiality requirements. CCS teams also ensure that the national data is available either through social science data archives or similar institutions.

CCS data
Data from the CCS are available on the online system FORSbase. If you are not already registered with FORSbase, click here to register. After logging in and arriving at the CCS catalog page, click on the tab “dataset”, and then click on “download data”. After submitting your application, your request will need to be approved first by the CCS data access committee (usually 1-2 business days). Once approved, you will be able to access the data immediately within FORSbase. Please do not hesitate to contact dataservice@fors.unil.ch if you have any questions or remarks.