Oriel Science workshop explores ways to help match candidates with voters in crucial elections

Voting in an election is a relatively straightforward matter, but what lies behind this simple act? How can we know how well our vote represents our beliefs and interests? With an increasingly fragmented party system it can be tricky to match our views to those of the parties on offer

Researchers at Swansea University have been working with voters and candidates to design a questionnaire that voters can complete to be matched with the candidates who best represents their views. A team of Political Scientists at Swansea University, including Dr Matthew Wall, postgraduate student James Andrews and a team of undergraduate students have developed the questionnaire which is accessible via a website  www.powerline.me. Dr Wall explains that the questionnaire is what is known as a VAA - or Voter Advice Application; “It’s a website that allows users to match themselves with candidates according to their stances on a variety of issues”.

Oriel’s ‘Science of Voting’ workshop will give the scientists the opportunity to trial the questionnaire and to discuss and reflect on key political issues, as we come into both local and national elections in the coming months.

Dr Wall explains: “The questionnaire is a fantastic way for voters to learn more about the candidates that stand in elections. But they also bring the candidate’s attention to the issues voters care about. In a world where politics can be dominated by personalities, we believe that’s a step in the right direction. Ultimately we are trying to foster debate, to help voters and politicians feel more in touch. With a general election fast approaching, tools that allow voters to reflect on the policies of the parties have never been more important.”

Oriel Science Director Prof Chris Allton said; “ We’re really excited to welcome ‘The Science of Voting’ to Oriel, this is a new type of workshop for us and it’s great that Oriel will be used as a place for the city’s people to have conversations about the political issues that are important to them. We are very keen to showcase how science affects daily life, and with two crucial elections coming up, this exhibit will illustrate how scientific methods can be used in designing ways to help us make a really important decision about who gets our vote.”

The ‘Science of Voting’ Oriel Science workshop (in partnership with Swansea University) will take place this Saturday 29th – Sunday 30th April, from 10 am – 4 pm at Princess Way, Swansea, SA1 5HE. 

The ‘Story of Time’ exhibition at the Oriel Science venue is also set to continue.  Where does the time go? Can time really fly? Is time just an illusion? The Story of Time exhibition answers these questions.

Guarded by the Tardis and a Back to the Future DeLorean car, visitors can meander through, interact with, listen, look, touch and generally play around with exhibits around the theme of Time. Discover how the Higgs boson was first detected in the mock-up of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, see a glacial calving in Greenland, tell the time with tree rings, witness the history of the universe displayed on a 30 metre time wall, and hear the sounds of deep space as you watch a time lapse video of the southern stars.

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Suitable for all ages, Oriel Science’s mission is to bring the wonders of Science to the public through exhibitions on a scientific theme, which will inspire visitors to think and explore how science and technology impact their daily lives.


  • Oriel Science is located in Princess Way, Swansea, SA1 5HE. Between Castle Square and The Kingsway, next to Zinco Lounge.
  • Admission is free and is open Saturdays and Sundays, 10am till 4pm. Available for school visits (during the week) by appointment. Please email: s4science@swansea.ac.uk

Website: www.orielscience.co.uk Email: orielscience@swansea.ac.uk

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