Full description The Australian Election Study (AES) is designed to collect data for academic research on Australian public opinion and behaviour during federal elections. It is based on a national, post-election, self-completion survey consisting mainly of multiple choice questions. The survey has been carried out since 1987, and builds on the data collected earlier in the 1967, 1969 and 1979 Australian Political Attitudes Surveys.
The AES aims to provide a long-term perspective on stability and change in the political attitudes and behaviour of the Australian electorate, to investigate the changing social bases of Australian politics as the economy and society modernise and change character, and to examine the political issues prevalent in the election and assess their importance for election results.
In some cases, questions are repeated in each survey so that trends can be observed over a long period of time. However, in each survey there are always new sets of questions or modules added to gauge public opinion on contemporary social and political issues in Australia.
The sample for the 1996 study was stratified, systematic and random. A sample of electors for all Australia except South Australia was drawn from the Commonwealth Electoral Roll by the Australian Electoral Commission following the close of rolls for the 1996 election. The Commission supplied name and address information only, to be used only for this study. The South Australian sample was selected manually from the alphabetical microfiche list of electors available for that state in early February.