Frequently asked questions
Who are you and why are you doing this?
We are Thoughtplay Ltd - a privately held UK company - but we run the site in our spare time. The research is by Paul Lenz, coding by Andrew Chapman and design by Helen Chapman. In the run up to the 2005 UK General Election we were frustrated by the difficulty with which voters could get a clear view on specific party policies without having to wade through lengthy, tedious manifestos. In response we created whoshouldyouvotefor.com - the first widely used voter comparison site in the world. The quiz was taken by over one million people in the three weeks running up to the election, and was the Hitwise-verified most popular political website in the country. We received press attention in five continents and were interviewed by radio stations are far afield as Japan and Australia. We have since created similar quizzes for the 2010, 2015 and 2017 UK elections, US Presidential elections and other political events. During the 2015 UK election our site was used 1.1 million times. Over the last ten years numerous similar sites have been created for elections around the world, driven in part we hope by the success and awareness of our original site.
This website contains affiliate and advertising links. The affiliate links are in the form of banner ads. We receive a commission on sales via the links - we do this to cover our hosting costs. whoshouldyouvotefor.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.
What is the aim of the site?
The aim of this site is to provide voters in UK elections with a simple tool to see how the policies of the main parties represent their views. While this site is not pursuing any political agenda we would obviously urge all users to research the issues in greater detail themselves before making their final voting choice. (The site also has other quizzes aimed at improving understanding of political ideas.)
Why haven't you included parties from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland? Why are there only a few parties?
The site is currently running our general version of the quiz, based on the limited information currently available. We will get a more sophisticated version up and running soon!
Are you affiliated with any political party?
Definitely not. We are not members of or activists for any political party or movement. We have not received any payment from any political party, organization or individual to create the site.
How do I use the site?
Select how much you agree or disagree with each of the statements made. You should only select a 'strongly' option if this is an issue that you care deeply about - we wouldn't expect many users to select more than seven or eight 'strongly' options. The site will then compare your feelings on the statements made with the policy statements of the main parties, and suggest which party you should vote for based on a points system which scores your result.
How does the scoring system work?
Each opinion you give will score between -9 and 9 points for each political party, depending on how closely your views reflect theirs. The points for each opinion are totalled, and the party which gets the highest score is the one recommended to you. The number of points allocated to each party for each opinion statement is clearly key to this survey. The allocation of points has been based, wherever possible, on clear policy statements from the parties concerned. Where a clear policy statement has does not exist, a judgment is made based on similar policies, speeches or statements of general philosophy.
How do you ensure that the site is not biased?
Objective question selection: wherever possible we have sought to select questions where there are clear, defined policy demarcations between the parties where no possible subjective interpretation of a party's position is required. In some instances, where there isn't a clear party policy position on a question point we then refer to speeches and related policy statements to take a position on the party's view. Where there is a lack of clarity then we will simply give a party a flat 'neutral' weighting. Transparency of mechanics and scoring: Our mechanics and calculation system have been described above, we having nothing to hide in terms of how the results are calculated. Fairness of question selection: We have attempted to include questions on/relating to the flagship policies of the main political parties (with the caveat that when we have drilled down into the detail of the policy it does appear to be materially different from what one or more of the other parties are pledging to do). More details on how we select the topic areas and question selection are given below under the relevant quiz section.
I believe that you are misrepresenting the position of a political party: what can I do?
If you are a private citizen with no connection with a political party, then nothing. Parties are big enough and ugly enough to look after themselves, and if they believe that we have got something wrong (and indeed care sufficiently) then we are sure that they will get in touch. Further to this point, if a political party feels that we are misrepresenting them on a particular issue, please would an official party spokesperson contact us directly - via email in the first instance as the origin can be verified - including a contact landline number. We would be happy to discuss with your objection, and how you believe your policy should be represented, provided you are prepared to substantiate the position on the record.
UK December 2019 general election quiz information
(Full post-manifesto information below to come soon.) We have attempted to find clear, simply policy positions for the five main parties in the light of the manifesto releases.
These are relatively straightforward. The Brexit Party would like to leave the EU without a deal and trade, initially at least, under World Trade Organization terms. The Conservative Party supports the deal that it has put before Parliament and does not support a second referendum. Both Labour and the Green Party support a second referendum on the deal, while the Liberal Democrats propose revoking Article 50 and remaining within the European Union (though they would also support a second referendum should they not form a majority government).
Both the Labour Party and the Green Party support increasing taxes for higher wage earners. The Liberal Democrats propose a number of measures for increasing taxation (for instance on dividend income, and reducing the high rate tax relief on pension contributions) but they do not propose increasing income taxes at the time of writing. The Conservative Party proposes reducing the level of income tax on higher earners through increasing the threshold at which the 40% tax bracket applies, and have been scored accordingly.
The current Conservative Party policy is to continue a gradual reduction from the current rate of corporation tax of 19% to 17%. The Liberal Democrats oppose this reduction. Both the Labour Party and the Green Party propose increasing the level of corporate taxation above current levels and have been scored accordingly.
This is a rare, clear policy from the Brexit Party - they think that it should be scrapped, as does the Green Party. Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have made clear commitments to its construction. The Conservative Party is more lukewarm on the project and has initiated a review, and has been scored accordingly.
Both the Labour Party and the Green Party support this; the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats do not.
Retaining Private Utilities
Both the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats would maintain the status quo. The Labour Party and the Green Party would renationalise these industries.
Another, clear, Brexit Party policy - they would abolish it altogether. There have been recent statements from the Conservative Party suggesting that it may look into doing the same, or at least increase the existing thresholds. While the Labour Party and the Green Party have proposed abolishing inheritance tax, they have suggested replacing it with new systems of taxation which would increase the tax burden on the intergenerational transfer of assets and have therefore been scored on the basis that this would, in practical terms, represent an increase in tax compared with the existing system.
The Green Party, the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats all support a reduction in the voting age. The Conservatives oppose.
The Brexit Party, the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats all support a change to some form of PR (perhaps unsurprisingly, as minority parties all suffer disproportionately from the first-past-the-post system). The Labour Party and the Conservative Party would maintain the status quo.
Only the Brexit Party would abolish the overseas development assistance budget.
The Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party would abolish; the Conservative Party would retain.
This one is pretty self-evident, we think. (Yes, we know Caroline Lucas isn't actually party leader now...)
UK 2019 European election quiz information
We have been running WhoShouldYouVoteFor since 2005, and in that time more than 4 million people have used the site. We?ve never had an election quite like this one though, so it will be a little different. For all intents and purposes, this election is about a single issue, Brexit, and as a result there will only be handful of questions. The manifestos of the various parties are sparse (and in some cases nonexistent) so we have had to pull the information together from a range of different sources.
There is significant clustering of party positions - The Brexit Party and UKIP are broadly aligned (for simplicity we will refer to these as 'The Brexit Group'), as are the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and Change UK ('The Remain Group')
There should be a second referendum to accept or reject the UK's exit deal from the European Union
• The Brexit Group and the Conservative Party both reject the notion of a second referendum, whilst the Remain Group support it. Labour do not currently support a second referendum, but say that it could be useful, and the score reflects this.
The UK should leave the EU without a deal and trade under WTO rules (Hard Brexit)
•The Brexit Party strongly supports this position, as does UKIP (though it will consider alternatives) whilst the others reject it. As the Remain Group support Remain, and the other parties do not, their rejection has been rated more strongly.
The UK should leave the EU under the terms agreed by the current government
•Fairly straightforward, this is only a policy supported by the Conservative party (and arguably not even the majority of it).
The UK should retain freedom of movement for EU citizens (allowing them to live and work in the UK, and UK citizens to do the same in the EU)
•This is a significant issue for the Remain Group, but is rejected by all of the other parties. The Labour Party has stated that it will protect the rights of EU citizens currently living in the UK, and develop a new immigration strategy, but critically it has made no formal commitment to retaining Freedom of Movement. UKIP do state that they would "Offer reciprocal citizens' rights - for EU and UK citizens" but as they seek to materially reduce immigration this would not include Freedom of Movement.
The UK should leave the EU but retain the benefits of the Single Market and Customs Union
•This is a policy only explicitly supported by the Labour party though UKIP would consider continued tariff-free trade with the EU. The other parties would either seek to leave without such an agreement or seek to remain part of the EU.
The UK should remain in the EU (No Brexit)
•This is clearly the flagship policy of the Remain Group, just as its antithesis is central to the Brexit Group and the scorings reflect the significance of these policies.
UK 2017 general election quiz information
The current, post-manifesto version of the quiz is based on policy statements in the three main parties' manifestos. More information coming here soon. The notes below refer to the pre-manifesto version.
We have attempted to find clear, simply policy positions for the three main parties in advance of the manifesto releases. This has, by necessity, resulted in a more reduced set of questions than normal - as manifestos are released and policy statements become clear, we will revisit and update the quiz.
The UK should remain within the single market and avoid a 'Hard Brexit'
• This is a key Liberal Democrat policy and neither of the other parties has made a similar commitment
Rent controls should be put in place to limit how much landlords can charge tenants
• This is a Labour party policy - see: http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/10-pledges
The benefits cap (which limits the amount in state benefits that an individual household can claim per year to £20,000 a year outside London and £23,000 inside London) should be maintained
• This is a policy that was introduced by the coalition government and supported by the Liberal Democrats and the majority of Labour MPs. However Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell both voted against it and Jeremy Corbyn has committed to overturning it (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/sep/16/labour-in-disarray-over-benefits-cap) and the Liberal Democrats tabled a motion to increase the level (http://www.libdemvoice.org/lib-dems-table-motion-on-benefit-cap-52382.html)
People who currently would be sent to prison for periods of less than 12 months should instead serve community sentences to reduce the pressure on prisons
• This is Liberal Democrat Party policy (http://www.libdems.org.uk/carmichael-autumn-conference-16)
There should be a significant increase in the number of selective grammar schools in the UK
• This is a Conservative party policy, not supported by the other two parties
The railway system in the UK should be returned to public ownership (renationalised)
• This is a Labour Party policy, not supported by the other two parties (see: http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/10-pledges)
Income tax on people earning over £70,000 a year should be increased to help pay for essential services
• This is a Labour party policy - see: http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/10-pledges for the principle and http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-rich-tax-increase-70000-income-raise-money-john-mcdonnell-public-services-funding-party-a7690156.html for the £70,000 figure
Zero-hours contracts should be abolished
• Labour seeks to completely abolish these, the Liberal Democrats would would give everyone the right to have a fixed hours contract
People possessing drugs for personal use should NOT be sent to prison
• This is a Liberal Democrat policy, Labour and the Conservatives oppose (see: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/mar/31/labour-attack-lib-dem-drug-policy-medieval)
The rate of corporation tax in the UK should be reduced to help businesses grow
• This is a Conservative Party policy, not supported by the other parties
Work Capability Assessments for disabled people should continue
• Both Labour (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-disability-policy-wca-work-capability-assessment-fit-to-work-tests-scrap-jeremy-corbyn-debbie-a7331571.html) and the Liberal Democracts would replace (http://www.libdems.org.uk/work-capability-assessment-must-be-replaced)
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