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Frequently asked questions

StemWijzer uses a maximum of 30 statements to compare your views with those of political parties. The results show which political parties you have most in common with.
Yes, StemWijzer is available in Dutch and English. For voting tools in other languages, please search the votematch.eu website.
Work on StemWijzer commences several months before an election, starting with a survey of current issues. The creators consult various sources such as voter polls, election platforms (including draft versions), the European political agenda, and news media. We also use a list of statements common to all of Europe, drawn up collaboratively by the creators of voting tools in various EU countries. These statements are presented to parties in all European Union member states. More information on this topic is available at http://votematch.eu.


Based on the information collected, the StemWijzer editors draw up a list of 60-70 statements, ensuring a wide distribution across current issues in European politics. We also ensure a good balance of ‘left-wing’ and ‘right-wing’ topics. The creators aim to formulate the statements as clearly and as objectively as possible. We also strive for the highest level of accessibility, and consult linguists who have conducted research into voting tools.

We then present this longlist of 60-70 statements to the parties, who then indicate whether they agree or disagree with each statement. They can also adopt a neutral position (‘neither agree nor disagree’). For each statement, parties also explain why they take their chosen stance. The StemWijzer creators then verify these positions based on the parties’ election platforms.

Definitive list of 30 statements

Based on the parties’ responses to the longlist, 30 statements are then selected for inclusion in StemWijzer. Priority is given to statements on which there is a clear difference of opinion. Statements that too many parties agree on are excluded, as in these cases it does not really matter which parties the voters choose. In the final selection, we also wish to ensure that there is balanced representation of political issues, and the political spectrum.
The StemWijzer creators select topics that feature in party platforms, are mentioned in voter surveys, or are prominent in the media. Because work on StemWijzer starts early, it is possible that recent events or issues do not appear. When selecting the statements, we also try to ensure a good balance of ‘left-wing’ and ‘right-wing’ topics. Lastly, the parties should exhibit clear differences of opinion in the topics selected. If they do not, it makes little difference who the voters choose.
The StemWijzer creators select issues that are under discussion in European politics, among voters, and in the media at the time of its creation. The selection is based on a range of sources including voter surveys, election platforms and news media. Because work on StemWijzer starts early, very recent events or issues may not make it into the 30 statements.

The extent to which parties agree or disagree on statements is also an important selection criterion. Where parties are in agreement on a certain issue, it makes little sense to include a statement on it, since the voters do not have much of a choice. Topics that appear seldom (or not at all) in election platforms may also be omitted, as it is not the purpose of StemWijzer to get new issues on the political agenda. We leave that to the parties and voters themselves, and focus on issues that are already prominent in political or social discussion.
StemWijzer compares the positions of all parties involved in the European parliamentary elections. If a certain political party does not appear in StemWijzer, it is because the party has chosen not to be included. 
Parties indicate for themselves whether they agree or disagree with a statement, or whether they adopt a neutral position. They also explain their reasoning. ProDemos verifies whether the indicated positions correspond to those on the parties’ election platforms, and to the explanations they give. If we spot any inconsistencies, we consult with the parties to arrive at a resolution. Parties can supply additional information on their positions as the campaign continues, and sometimes even change them. If this happens, the parties themselves are best placed to explain why.
StemWijzer uses these answer categories because we believe they are the clearest for users. They also represent how democratic decision-making works: people vote either in favour of a proposal, or against it. In this context, slight agreement or disagreement does not matter.

StemWijzer chooses to separate people's agreement from how important they believe the statement to be. If we did not, people would need to answer two questions at once, which only complicates things. Instead, StemWijzer allows users to indicate which issues they believe are especially important in a separate overview, after responding to all of the statements.
The StemWijzer results present a list of parties from top to bottom. The party at the top has the most answers in common with you, and the party at the bottom has the least.
StemWijzer uses the correspondence principle, which works as follows: every statement for which the user and the party give the same answer counts as one point. Points are doubled for each issue allocated extra importance. The points are then tallied, and the party with the most points is placed at the top. This party's position will correspond most with the user's. The matrix below the rankings shows exactly which statements these were, allowing users to make a detailed comparison of the parties’ views and their own.
If the results of the parties at the top of your list differ by less than 5%, you will be given the option to start a ‘shootout’. You will then respond to an additional 3-5 statements, providing an additional means of comparison. If several parties are very close together, you can do multiple shootouts.

The shootouts can also result in a draw: there will be 3 or 5 statements, each with 3 possible answers. The parties will adopt 2 of these three options (agree, disagree, or no opinion). Usually, one party will agree and the other will disagree. But if the user happens to enter the third option (usually ‘no opinion', but sometimes agree/disagree), the result will still be a draw.
We do our best to make StemWijzer as accessible as possible to the broadest range of users. This includes ensuring sufficient colour contrast in the colour settings, and the use of icons (thumbs-up and thumbs-down to indicate agreement/disagreement). These aspects are important to users who are colour-blind, for example.

We also carefully consider the language used on StemWijzer. In consultation with linguists who have conducted research on voting tools, we try to formulate the statements as clearly as possible and avoid the use of complicated words. Where difficult words cannot be avoided, we provide definitions that can be accessed by clicking on the words.

StemWijzer can also be read aloud by the ReadSpeaker web reader with a single click, no download required. The website is also compatible with speech software. StemWijzer meets the criteria for accessible websites (WCAG2.1).
If you click on the answers so quickly that you cannot possibly have had time to think about them, we will assume that you did not complete StemWijzer properly. In that case, you will receive a message saying that you have not given enough serious answers on which to base a result.
You can choose for yourself which parties are included in the results. You can select all the parties participating in the election, for example, or make a selection of at least three parties.
Based on your answers to thirty statements, StemWijzer tells you which party you have most in common with. If your result is unexpected, it might mean that you have more in common with that party than you thought. You can check which statements you agree on with the highest-scoring parties by clicking the party on the results page and expanding the statements. This could be food for thought. There are also very good reasons for voting for a different party anyway. You may find one issue particularly important, for example, or you may have ideological reasons for choosing one party over another. StemWijzer is just a tool for finding out how parties differ in opinion. We greatly encourage people to seek further information for themselves!
In that case, we advise you to read the notes provided by the parties explaining their positions, which can offer more clarity. You may also decide to answer ‘no opinion’. Your answer will depend mostly on how important the conditions are to you.
During the Dutch Lower House elections in 2023, 9.1 million people used StemWijzer. The 55 StemWijzer sites created by ProDemos for the municipal council elections in 2022 were completed over 1.6 million times. During the previous European elections in 2019, StemWijzer was also used over 1.6 million times. StemWijzer usage always peaks on the day before an election.
StemWijzer has been around since 1989, when it was first made available for purchase in bookstores as a booklet or on diskette. StemWijzer went online in 1998.
Several versions of StemWijzer have been released over time, covering elections for the Dutch Lower House, municipal councils, provincial councils, and the European Parliament. There is also a youth version called Young Voice, see www.youngvoice.nl.

StemWijzer-like sites have also been developed in other countries, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Chile, Germany, Ecuador, France, Georgia, Ghana, Japan, Morocco, Mexico, Mongolia, Suriname, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
StemWijzer is made by ProDemos – House for Democracy and the Rule of Law. ProDemos is an independent, non-partisan foundation whose aim is to educate people and encourage involvement in democracy.

For more information, please visit About StemWijzeror prodemos.nl/.
StemWijzer for the European elections is funded by ProDemos with income from services we offer.

ProDemos is partially subsidised by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, and the House of Representatives of the States General. ProDemos also receives third-party funding for special projects. Some income is also generated from the services we provide to municipal and provincial authorities and other clients.
StemWijzer can be used with Chrome (from version 61), Firefox (from version 58), Safari (from version 8), Opera (from version 42), or IE (from version 11).
Compatible operating systems include Windows 7 or higher, Android 5.0 or higher, and iOS 10.0 or higher.
Yes, that's possible. The website https://stemwijzer.nl is suitable for use on mobile phones.
We communicate about StemWijzer through ProDemos’s social media channels:
At StemWijzer, we take privacy and the right to vote very seriously. First you will be shown all of the statements, after which we will ask you whether you wish to share your responses anonymously for research and evaluation purposes. This is not compulsory – if you do not agree, you can still view your results. We store this data securely, and do not use it for advertising or profiling. We do not use any cookies or analytics to monitor your use of the site. Read more in our full privacy statement: https://stemwijzer.nl/privacy
Yes. StemWijzer is a brand. The trademark and logo have been registered by ProDemos with the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP). The general terms used for the functionality are ‘voting aid’ or ‘voting tool’.
Any questions can be e-mailed to stemwijzer@prodemos.nl.
Please direct media enquiries to voorlichting@prodemos.nl.