John Weekes is an NZME News Service reporter based in Wellington.

Election 2014: Vote Compass maps voter feedback

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

Broadcasters, politicians and academics teamed up and put their opinions aside to produce a new project aimed at being the most accurate voter feedback tool yet.

TVNZ plans to launch Vote Compass at 6pm tonight. Academics joined the station to develop Vote Compass, with Electoral Commission funding.

University of Auckland political psychologist Dr Danny Osborne said it was a "massive" new endeavour. Researchers worked with politicians to clarify where parties stood on election issues.

"We had to put our own research interests aside in the interests of being as objective as we possibly could be," Osborne said.

An anonymous survey, Vote Compass was completed online. "It gives you a graph at the end, and places you on a spectrum," TVNZ publicist Sara Cairney said.

Party strategists and broadcasters spent weeks haggling over content and timing of leaders' debates ahead of the September 20 election.

TVNZ plans two Key-Cunliffe debates, on August 28 and September 17 to bookend a minor party leader's debate on September 5. At TV3, John Campbell moderates a Key-Cunliffe debate on September 10.

Veteran broadcaster Bill Ralston expected the first TV debate to achieve the best ratings.

RadioLive has English and Parker tackling minor party leaders on August 26 in Queenstown. On September 16, Sean Plunket hosts a "deputies debate" with English and Parker.

Radio New Zealand was preparing a minor party leader's debate. Key and Cunliffe would keep giving separate Monday interviews on the station, which also planned a finance debate between Bill English and Labour's David Parker on August 25.

PRIME publicist Tiffany Montgomery said Prime Time with Sean Plunket and Back Benches will have plenty of election coverage.

- Herald on Sunday

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