The Comparative MP Survey

The PartiRep team has coordinated a survey among members of parliament in 15 countries and in 73 statewide and substate parliaments. The survey has asked questions about focus and style of representation, behavior in parliament, career perspectives, campaign choices and attitudes on democratic governance.

Fifteen countries have indeed been selected for the fieldwork, allowing for a wide variation of state structures, electoral systems, and party systems. Since the territorial (re)organization of the state was identified as one of the possible elements that affect the functioning of democratic representation, we have included the most important multilevel countries. These are the classic federal states, but also the more hybrid decentralized states and states with directly elected parliaments for special status territories. The multilevel countries—nine in total—covered are Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The six other—unitary—countries are Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Norway, Poland, and the Netherlands.

In the nine multilevel democracies the PARTIREP project further surveyed a number of regional parliaments. In Austria, Belgium, and Switzerland all regional parliaments were included (except for Appenzell-Innerrhoden). In other countries a selection was made, observing a balance from the east and the west in Germany (Brandenburg, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Thuringia), from the north and the south in Italy (Calabria, Campania, Lazio, Lombardy, Tuscany, and Aosta Valley), and in Spain between autonomous regions with stronger and weaker regionalist traditions (Andalusia, Catalonia, the Basque Country, and Valencia). In France Poitou-Charentes and Aquitaine were surveyed, in the UK Scotland and Wales and in Portugal the Azores and Madeira.

The first results of the survey were published in Deschouwer, Kris & Depauw Sam (2014): Representing the People. A Survey among Members of Statewide and Sub-state Parliaments, Oxford: Oxford University Press

The data are available for the scientific community. Scholars who wish to work with the data of the PartiRep MP survey should fill in the data distribution contract and send two hard copies to the PartiRep team. The database in SPSS format will be sent after reception and signature of the contract.

The codebook is available here. Information on the fieldwork period, method, return rate and representativeness per country are available here.