This paper has been published as: Jan Fivaz and Giorgio Nadig (2010) Impact of Voting Advice Applications (VAAs) on Voter Turnout and Their Potential Use for Civic Education. Policy and Internet 2 (4) 167-200.
So-called online Voting Advice Applications (VAAs) have become very popular all over Europe. Millions of voters are using them as an assistance to make up their minds for which party they should vote. Despite this popularity there are only very few studies about the impact of these tools on individual electoral choice. On the basis of the Swiss VAA smartvote we present some first findings about the question whether VAAs do have a direct impact on the actual vote of their users. In deed, we find strong evidence that Swiss voters were affected by smartvote. However, our findings are somewhat contrary to the results of previous studies from other countries. Furthermore, the quality of available data for such studies needs to be improved. Future studies should pay attention to both: the improvement of the available data, as well as the explanation of the large variance of findings between the specific European countries.