The research on elections and representative democracy carries a long tradition at the University of Gothenburg, with its center at the Department of Political Science. The Swedish National Election Studies Program (SNES) is run by the chair in electoral studies, professor Henrik Ekengren Oscarsson.
Already from the start, the main focus of the program was the systematic empirical analyses of the well-being of the representative electoral democracy carefully guided by normative democratic theory (see Dahlberg, Oscarsson & Wängnerud 2013). For six decades the various research groups behind SNES have carried this tradition, creating one of the most impressive longitudinal series of data on electoral behavior in the world, making Sweden a part of an exclusive group of countries that takes a leading role in the international electoral research community.
The Swedish National Election Studies (SNES) remain the largest on-going project of the SNES program. The series of Swedish election studies constitutes the second longest series in the world after the U.S. Since 1956, the Swedish studies are carried out at each national election, national referendum and European Parliamentary election.
SNES data now consists of 27 national election studies from national elections, referendums and European parliamentary elections. The data sets are among the most popular at the Swedish National Data Service (SND), extensively used by researchers in a number of disciplines, coming from all Swedish universities, and from many other countries, including the major universities in USA. In 2014, 388 of the studies were distributed to researchers. Read more under the headline "Data".
The SNES data are an integrated part of a number of international databases together with other national election studies, such as the Beliefs in Government project (Kaase & Newton 1995), a project of the three nordic EU-referenda (Jenssen, Pesonen & Gilljam 1998) and the European Voter project (Thomassen 2005). Most notably, however, the SNES has served as a platform for the Swedish part of the CSES studies (Comparative Study of Electoral Systems) (Klingemann 2009) and most recently in the TEV Cost project (True European Voter), and the NED (Nordic Research Group on Elections and Democracy) project (Bengtsson, Hansen, Narud, Hardarson & Oscarsson 2013).