Election database launched

National

Researchers have launched a database in Port Moresby that paints a picture of voting trends over the past 30 years in the lead-up to Papua New Guinea’s national election later this year.
The website has been created by the Development Policy Centre at the Australian National University, and research fellow Dr Terence Wood says it certainly sheds light on voter attitudes.
“Results themselves can tell you so much about voter behaviour and the choices.
“We know from other researches that most people in Papua New Guinea cast their votes for the candidates that they think is mostly likely to help them directly or help their families or help their village.
“People who vote in search for localised or personalised benefits aren’t going to change.”
Wood told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat programme the research also found that the electoral roll was of very poor quality, very inflated in parts of the country and at times, some people who were to vote did not get the chance to vote.
“Researchers in PNG can now use this information to work on building a better understanding of electoral politics.”
Wood said: “Winning an election in Papua New Guinea is already a costly enterprise and those candidates who have a serious chance of winning have got more than enough money to pay their registration fee.
“So it’s not going to have much impact on competitive candidates.”
The interactive dashboard is the first digital map showing where PNG constituencies are located, and feature data from all provincial and open elections since 1977.

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