The Comparative Candidates Survey (CCS)

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 members are Ioannis Andreadis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), Åsa Bengtsson (Åbo Akademi), Zsolt Enyedi (Central European University), Andre Freire (University of Lisbon), Georg Lutz (FORS/University of Lausanne) and Hermann Schmitt (Universities of Mannheim and Manchester).

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 is available from DARIS - Data and Research Information Services of FORS (the Swiss Centre of Expertise of the Social Sciences) in the form of an integrated dataset (see Data access). To access the data, researches must fill in the request form (including a brief description of the project) and send it as an attachment in pdf format by e-mail to dataservice@fors.unil.ch.