How to Collect Voters' Perceptions of Election Campaigns?

Examining Digital Platforms for Qualitative Diary Postings


  • Signe Bock Segaard
  • Ditte Shamshiri-Petersen



Diary postings are responses to real-world events, actors and processes that de facto exist and can be identified. This article explores the conditions of capturing voter behaviour and voters’ perceptions of election campaigns by methodologically testing innovative digital instruments for qualitative diary data collection (an app for mobile devices and a webform). We do this in light of three criteria: participant engagement, data relevance and participants’ personal involvement. Based on a real-world methodological experiment in the Fall of 2019 during the Norwegian local election campaign, we found that the app promotes more engagement as to frequency of diary postings, while the webform promoted more comprehensive postings. Concerning participants with different socio-demographic and political profiles, both platforms ensured data relevance in the sense that data match the concepts to be studied: voter behaviour and perception of election campaign. Moreover, both facilitated personal involvement and reflections. The article concludes with a reflection on the potential contribution of the diary method in election studies.