Vote Compass – an online voter education tool originating in Canada – was used for the first time in New Zealand during the 2014 General Election. During its inaugural run, over 330,000 New Zealanders visited the Vote Compass website to answer 30 policy- or issue-based questions. In return, respondents received a report on how close their views were to 10 political parties seeking office. Because of the large sample size, these data provided TVNZ with unique insights into voters’ views which could also be related to party policies and campaign events by academic commentators. After explaining the nature of the tool and describing the composition of the NZ-based team, this article examines the implications Vote Compass has for party responsiveness and political marketing. In particularly, we note the importance of Vote Compass not just for market-oriented policy, but the overall leadership brand including its ability to deliver on promised goods. The article also reflects on the contribution the tool makes to voter engagement and democracy in general and provides an appendix summarising data from the main survey and political marketing questions in the post-election survey.

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