Frequently Asked Questions
All parties that gained at least one seat in parliament are included in the dataset. For Central and Eastern Europe, this threshold is two seats. However, exemptions do exist. In some cases not all parties with one or two seats respectively are included, this is for example the case with the UK, where only the major parties have been coded in the past. In other cases we have included parties with no seats at all. This usually happens for example when a party used to be very important (e.g. it was part of the government in the previous legislative term) and suddenly lost all its seats. In general, we are interested in collecting all sorts of electoral manifestos. If there is a manifesto you are interested in, feel free to share it with us.
We currently only cover the countries already included in our datasets. Occasionally we add new countries to the dataset. In general, we mostly only add democratic countries. We will very probably add some South American countries during the next few years, but cannot give an exact time line for that.
If you are interested in a recent election not yet covered, we are most likely currently collecting the data. Please, check this webpage frequently, as we update the dataset about two times a year (mostly in summer and winter).
We only collect the data for manifestos of parties that won at least one seat (in Central and Eastern Europe two seats) in a respective national election. We do not collect data on extra-parliamentary, regional or local parties. However, if you need this data and would like to code the manifestos yourself, we are happy to support you. In this case, please contact us.
Since manifesto coding is a lengthy procedure (collecting the manifestos, finding and training a coder, as well as the coding itself) and the availability of our coders varies, we cannot guarantee instant access to data after an election. Currently we are working on a coding-status overview, which will allow you to monitor our progress
Not all parties issue an ideal type of election manifesto. In the cases where no manifesto was available we used substitutes or estimates. You can find the relevant information on document type under the variable ‘progtype’ in the dataset.
Our webpage provides access to all manifestos the project has available. You can download them via our dataset browse dashboard or manifestoR (for R).
We recommend the dataset browse dashboard for a simple and convenient experience. Logging in is required to download the manifestos. Note: If there are no manifestos displayed in the dashboard, we usually do not possess them.
Unfortunately, we do not hold all manifestos we have data for. Some stayed with the respective coder, others were lost over time. We apologise for any inconvenience related to this. There are, however, other manifesto-collecting websites that could potentially hold the manifestos you are looking for, see e.g. polidoc.net.
You can access our Corpus here. The corpus contains all programmes that are currently available in a machine-readable format. Furthermore, the project team is working on digitalising programmes from older project phases. As soon as machine-readable versions can be provided they will be included in the corpus.
Since we only code original language manifestos, we do not hold any translations.
You can find the definition of each category in the Handbook.
The numbers you see in the dataset for all “per” variables constitute the relative share of statements for each category in relation to all statements in the manifesto. A “0.35” means that 0.35 percent of the manifesto was devoted to that category. Since this is a relative share, the scale can run between zero (no statement at all) and 100 (the whole manifesto is about this category). Please, also consult the Codebook for this and similar explanations.
Excel inserts these signs if the numbers in the cells are much wider than the column. Just expand the column to the right and you will be able to see the data in the cells.
Please have a look at our page for the Election Level do-file, where we provide a Stata script to calculate information about the median voter. Additionally, manifestoR (for R) can also calculate the median voter position.
Currently, we do not provide the government score. For the time being, please consult our links to external projects that extend our data. There you can find the Party Government Data Set updated by Seki & Williams which contains such data.
Information on our core indicators ('rile', 'planeco', 'markeco') can be found in the Codebook of the dataset. Arguably the most prominent is the 'rile' (defined by Michael Laver/Ian Budge (eds.): Party Policy and Government Coalitions, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: The MacMillan Press 1992). By combining different categories it gives an estimate of the ideological position of manifestos along a general left-right scale.
In our online visualisation dashboards we have added even more indices. These are explained on the visualization page.
'H' marks sentences that have served as some form of heading in the manifesto, those sentences thus help to document the underlying structure of the election program. For most of the classical text analysis work with the annotated text documents and the manifesto labels they can simply be understood as 'NA'.