The CCS project
The Comparative Candidate Survey (CCS) is a joint multi-national project with the goal of collecting data on candidates running for national parliamentary elections in different countries using a common core questionnaire to allow for cross-country comparison. Data collection comprises surveys among candidates as well as relevant context information concerning the constituency of the candidate and the political system at large.

Partly as a result of recent changes in the functioning of political parties as intermediaries between citizens and the state, individual candidates – their activities, attitudes and beliefs – have become an attractive and promising research object. To respond to this growing importance CCS surveys parliamentary candidates at national legislative elections in as many different countries as possible.

The core CCS candidate questionnaire focuses on the relationships between the candidate, the party and the voters. Campaigning is a major topic in this core questionnaire, but other domains like recruitment and carrier patterns, issues and ideology, and democracy and representation are also included in the questionnaire.

CCS is conducted in modules that are in the field about 6 years. Module I which was in the field between 2005 and 2012 was conducted in 24 countries covering 32 elections. Module II was in the field between 2013 and 2018 and comprises 30 elections in 21 countries. The current Module III is planned to be in the field from 2019 to 2024 (see Data Collection Documents).

CCS governance
CCS has one partner per country and only a single survey is conducted using the CCS label in each country for national elections. A plenary meeting where all CCS countries are invited to participate takes place at least once every five years. The plenary conference decides on the questionnaire for the new module, elects the steering committee and a planning committee in charge for drafting the new questionnaire (see Governing principles CCS)

A steering committee is responsible for the daily operation of CCS such as data integration, promotion of CCS, maintenance of the website and the organization of the plenary meeting. Current (after the General Assembly on 23.8.2018) members are: Ioannis Andreadis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), Katrine Beauregard (Australian National University), André Freire (ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon), Heiko Giebler (WZB Berlin Social Science Center), Zsófia Papp (Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Andrea Pedrazzani (University of Bologna), Åsa von Schoultz (University of Helsinki), Anke Tresch (FORS, University of Lausanne) and Eva Heiða Önnudóttir (University of Iceland).

The members of the steering committee participate in three sub-committees: 1. Recruitment and promotion (old and potential members): Anke Tresch, Heiko Giebler, Ioannis Andreadis, and Eva Önnudóttir, 2. Technical support/development of guidelines: André Freire, Zsófia Papp, Åsa von Schoultz, and Ioannis Andreadis and 3. Social media & the website: Andrea Pedrazzani, Katrine Beauregard, and Ioannis Andreadis.

CCS members/ joining CCS
Data collections in individual countries are conducted by our collaborators, using funds that they raise locally.

Colleagues who are interested in conducting a survey in their country among the candidates standing for office in an upcoming legislative election are warmly welcomed to apply to join the CCS. It is easy to become a member, just contact help@comparativecandidates.org.

CCS data
The cumulative CCS datasets are available on the online data repository SWISSUbase. If you are not already registered with SWISSUbase, click here to register. After logging in and arriving at the CCS catalogue page, click on the tab “Datasets”, then choose the cumulative dataset you wish to download and finally click on the “Start download” button in the upper right corner. After submitting your application, your request will first need to be approved by the CCS data access committee (usually within 1-2 business days). Once approved, you will be able to access the data immediately and free of charge on SWISSUbase. Please do not hesitate to contact dataservice@fors.unil.ch if you have any questions or remarks concerning the data access.