The French presidential election is considered the “keystone” of the French political system. It is the political moment where party competition is at its peak and changes in the electorate are recorded. This article presents the first analyses performed on data collected by the team of the Boussole présidentielle in the context of the 2012 French presidential election. Voting Advice Applications (VAAs) are not only a tool allowing voters to compare their positions with those of the candidates on salient campaign issues, but also an innovative analytical tool for political scientists. Using data collected on classic variables of electoral behavior, this article illustrates the opportunities provided by VAAs to improve research in political science. First, we propose a dynamic typology of VAA users that goes beyond their sociodemographic characteristics. Then, with several conative and behavioral variables—propensity-to-vote scores, declared vote in the first round, voting intentions for the second round—we show the congruence of positions on issues between voters and candidates in the presidential election.
French version also available