On the Fence

What is it?

On the Fence is a gameful questionnaire that helps young undecided and first-time voters engage directly with issues by matching their personal values with political parties. It is a tool that builds political confidence, participation and transforms disengaged users into informed, active voters.

The Issue

While the Government has a real-world impact on our daily lives, there has been a general decline in the number of people deciding who represents us in Parliament. Only 47% of young people aged 18-29 voted in the 2014 General Election, whereas 87% of people over 65 voted. Research tells us there are a number of reasons people aren’t involved with politics, particularly youth. These include a lack of information about political parties and what they stand for and a lack of understanding of the Government’s importance and relevance. On the Fence was created to lower these barriers, and support young New Zealanders to become voters.

How does it work?

The tool works using a sum slider for the first 12 questions, asking the user to prioritise two competing statements using a slider.

Rather than using a binary system, this slider enables the user to balance each option and position themselves relative to each values statement.

After each question is answered, an icon appears in the landscape, representing the option given the higher priority. The user can also decide at this point how important each issue is to them, helping to give them a closer match.

The last five questions ask you to indicate how much you agree or disagree with each of the issue statements provided.

At the end of the questionnaire, On the Fence will compare the users’ data with the parties’, revealing their top three matches. The parties that are revealed are only recommendations, but there is an option to find out more through a small bio and links to their site and social media.

More information is provided on the results. Users can compare their position on each issue to the parties’, question-by-question.