The Consortium of National Election Studies (CNES) is the network of scientific national election studies that conduct voter surveys for national general elections. CNES promotes the exchange of data, knowledge and standards on national elections and election studies to improve the understanding of electoral behaviour and electoral democracies through national and comparative election research.
Elections are key in any liberal democracy as they serve many purposes: Parties and candidates present themselves and compete for public office, citizens and candidates through various medic channels debate the future of the country, and voters elect their representatives and hold governments and representatives accountable. Not surprisingly, political and academic interest in the study of elections has been present since the early days of democratic elections. Electoral studies are among the earliest systematic data collections conducted in many countries. To comprehensively study electoral behaviour, high-quality data from many countries and over a long period of time are needed. To ensure this, national election studies need stable long-term funding and governance. CNES therefore also wants to contribute the establishment of standards and best practices and help to stabilise national election studies where this is not the case yet.
More than 25 national election studies founded CNES in Amsterdam in November 2022 and they approved of the statutes of the consortium.
CNES membership is open to scientific national election studies worldwide.
Representatives of national election studies meet once a year for a CNES plenary session.
The Steering Committee is responsible for day-to-day operations.
A Scientific Advisory Committee provides input and feedback on CNES activities and will be nominated in 2023.
The CNES secretariat is located at FORS.