Australian and New Zealand Leaders, Elections and Democracy Data Asset

Comprehensive digital research infrastructure for political scientists and policymakers.
Climate change protesters outside the Australian Embassy, London, England - 10 Jan 2020
Who will benefit
Political science and broader policy and research community, Australian and New Zealand voters, government and policymakers

The Challenge

Combining Australia and New Zealand’s political and social science data sources gives political scientists and policymakers a competitive advantage through data. 

The ARDC and our partners recognise the societal impact that can be achieved when our research community can more easily find, access and integrate data sources in order to study complex problems in political science.

However, our two nation’s political and social science data sources have historically been developed and stored independently across organisations, using bespoke vocabularies, identifier systems and data standards, making them difficult to integrate.

The Response

The Australian and New Zealand Leaders, Elections and Democracy Data Asset (ANZLEAD) project is bringing together, for the first time, a comprehensive collection of national datasets in political science covering four key populations required for understanding the dynamics of political activity in Australia:

  • the voting public — Australian and New Zealand voters and citizens
  • political elites — candidates, parliamentary members and bureaucrats
  • elections — federal and state election results and enrolments
  • electorates — geographic and administrative characteristics of federal and state electorates. 

With university and government partners, we’re undertaking harmonisation and standardisation work to create a data asset that:

  • is national in scope
  • is extensive in time scale — ranging from Federation to the present day
  • covers a significant breadth of the political science discipline.

Who Will Benefit

The ANZLEAD data asset will be accessible to researchers around the world through a shared data storage and access environment. It will also be open to the Australian and international population for education and civic participation purposes. 

The availability of a common reference model for key populations — using shared, published vocabularies for core political and demographic information — will benefit the political science policy and research community.

The Partners

  • Australian National University
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Adelaide
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Western Australia
  • Griffith University
  • University of Auckland
  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • Australian Electoral Commission

Target Outcomes

The ANZLEAD project will deliver 2 key outputs:

  1. a single integrated data asset of Australian and New Zealand political science data sources
  2. a shared data access portal for the contributed datasets, together with query and analysis tools.

Key Resources

Visit the ANZLEAD website.

Contact the ARDC

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January 2021 to June 2023

Current Phase

In progress

ARDC Co-investment


Project lead

Australian National University