Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is smartwielen? How does smartwielen work?

smartwielen is a questionnaire-based tool that allows users to compare their own political views with those of candidates and parties running in the European elections 2024 in Luxembourg. smartwielen provides users with first-hand information about the candidates and parties. It enables users not only to reflect on their own political positions, but also to learn more about the political programmes of political parties and candidates. Furthermore, it calculates which candidates and parties are the closest matches to the user. The questionnaire consists of 38 statements that cover a broad spectrum of political issues. The statements are answered by the candidates/parties, as well as the users. The matching result is based on the statements and shows the similarities and differences between the candidates/parties and the users. It is important to note, that the goal of smartwielen is not to encourage users to vote in a certain way, but rather to invite them to seek out more information.

How was the questionnaire developed?

25 of the statements included in the questionnaire are shared by all EU countries that took part in the “Votematch Europe” project. The statements are the result of collaboration between the various European partners (including smartwielen). 13 of the statements were prepared by the University of Luxembourg and the Zentrum fir politesch Bildung.

The main criteria for the selection of statements are:

  • they are concerned with current political issues;
  • they originate from the programmes of political parties and/or from consultations with civil society;
  • they do not favor one or more political party(s);
  • they do not allow for multiple interpretations;
  • they focus only on one issue;

For more information, see the methodology

How are the positions of the candidates and parties determined?

The candidates and parties answer the smartwielen questionnaire, which includes 38 statements on a wide range of current policy issues, some weeks before the election. By doing so they generate their political profile at smartwielen.

Why are there no answers for some and candidates and parties?

We contacted all parties and candidates ahead of the launching of the tool and asked if they were interested in participating. All parties and candidates that are running in the election are free to participate and included in the website. However, not all parties and candidates chose to complete the questionnaire and participate in smartvote.

How are the matching results calculated?

On the smartwielen website users answer the exact same questionnaire that candidates and parties have already answered. smartwielen compares their answers with those of the candidates/parties by calculating the Euclidean distance (the straight-line distance between two-points in a multidimensional space). As a result, smartwielen presents to each voter a specific ranking of all participating candidates/parties, ranking those candidates/parties with the best matching at the top of the list. The more statements a user answers, the more precise their matching will be. For more information, see the methodology

How should I interpret the matching score (%)?

The results are based on a geometric matching. Therefore, the value cannot be considered directly as a proportion of the statements in which a voter is absolutely in agreement with the answers of a candidate. Therefore, a match of 70% does not mean that a candidate/party has given exactly the same answer as the voter for exactly 70% of the statements. For more information, see the methodology

How does weighting answers affect my results?

Users have the opportunity to weight their answers, which will be considered when calculating their results. Weighting statements enable their results to reflect which issues they care about most or least. If a user gives a question a plus sign, then the answer counts twice in the calculation of the matching results (+ = 2). If a user gives a question a minus sign, it counts as if the answer was half as important (- = 0.5). For more information, see the methodology

How long will my results be saved? How can I access them again in the future?

The answers that a user gives are saved on the computer's session storage. As soon as a user closes the tab/browser window or turns off their computer the session ends and all answers will be deleted. We do this to ensure that your data is not accessed by other users of the same device. If you would like to save your results for later reference, there is the option to send your results via email on the results page.

How can I interpret the smartspider? How is the smartspider calculated?

The smartspider is a graphical visualisation of the political profiles of the candidates/parties and user based on their answers to the questionnaire. Each of the six axes represents a formulated goal in a policy area (e.g. Environmental Protection) based on 5 statements from the questionnaire. Some statements have been assigned to multiple axes and some statements have not been assigned to any axes. For each axis a value of between 100 and 0 points can be reached. A value of 100, at the outside edge of the spider, represents strong agreement with the formulated goal of the corresponding axis. A value of 0, at the middle of the spider, means that there is no agreement with the formulated goal. The more similar the political profiles of a candidate/party and user are, the more their smartspiders will overlap. For more information on the smartspider and which statements are assigned to which axes, see the methodology

How can I interpret the smartmap? How is the smartmap calculated?

The smartmap is a graphical visualisation of the political profiles of the candidates/parties and user based on their answers to the questionnaire. Each dimension represents about 20 statements. Some statements have been assigned to both dimensions and some statements have not been assigned to either. The more similar the political profiles of a candidate/party and user are, the closer the points marking their positions on the smartmap will be. The horizontal axis represents the classic left–right dimension, which focuses on the role of government intervention in the economy and on liberal-conservative values. The vertical axis represents the European integration dimension, which focuses on the level of economic and political harmonisation of the European Union. For more information on the smartmap and to see which statements are assigned to which dimensions, see the methodology

What happens to my answers in the user survey?

The answers given in the user survey are anonymous and will not affect the results. They will be used by the University of Luxembourg for research purposes. For more information, please contact info@smartwielen.lu.

Is smartwielen associated with any specific political parties, candidates, special interests, etc.?

No, all organisations involved in the development and operation of smartwielen (e.g., the University of Luxembourg, Zentrum fir politesch Bildung, and smartvote/Politools) are non-partisan and non-profit organisations.

What is Votematch Europe?

The Votematch Europe network is a network of VAAs (Voting Advice Application). The members of the network are all neutral and non-partisan entities/organisations, who have experience either in developing VAAs or in research on VAAs. Votematch Europe seeks to implement a European-wide VAA for the European Parliamentary Elections 2024. The objective is to inform citizens about the elections for the European Parliament and to increase transparency on the policy positions of the contesting parties.

How does Votematch Europe work?

The Votematch Europe developed a questionnaire with 25 statements for all the partners of the project. These represent the first 25 statements of the smartwielen questionnaire. Upon receiving your results on smartwielen, you can switch to Votematch Europe. Your answers to the Votematch statements will be transferred at the same time and you can see your matching with all the different parties in Europe. Users need to respond to a minimum of 10 Votematch statements. If you choose to participate and press the Votematch Europe button, your data will be forwarded. If you do not press the button, no data will be forwarded. If you have any questions about this project, please contact us at info@smartwielen.lu or visit www.votematch.eu.