Australian and New Zealand political science research has a long history of using empirical research methods and national data sources for answering important questions about the nature of the their respective political and social systems. The Australian and New Zealand Leaders, Elections and Democracy (ANZLEAD) project will create a national data asset. ANZLEAD brings together a number of data sources for the first time, into a comprehensive collection, covering four key populations required for understanding the dynamics of political activity in Australia and New Zealand.

  • The Voting Public: voters, citizens and the Australian and New Zealand populations
  • Political Elites: candidates, parliamentary members and bureaucrats
  • Elections: Federal and State election results and enrolments
  • Electorates: geographic and administrative characteristics of the Federal and State electorates

These collections are national in scope, extensive in time scale (ranging from Federation to the present day), and cover a significant breadth of the political science discipline.

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Project Outcomes

There are three project outcomes:

  1. Coordinated data governance and harmonisation – relocation of data to support the development of a common data harmonisation framework (based on key research datasets) that includes standardising key units of analysis and documenting procedures and metadata requirements.
  2. Enhanced data infrastructure – creation of a controlled vocabulary and publication via Research Vocabularies Australia for core political and demographic information (informed by authoritative sources) that reduces researcher data processing efforts and maximises research value of data (supporting FAIR data principles).
  3. Enhanced data access – development of a linked and harmonised data asset model (portal) and hosting service to support querying of different datasets based on unit of analysis relevant to research questions e.g., voters or parliamentary member.

The ANZLEAD project received investment ( from the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC). The ARDC is funded by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).