The ANU Department of Pacific Affairs ran a large-scale election observation exercise in Solomon Islands prior to, during and following national elections held on 3 April 2019. Observations were conducted in 15 of Solomon Islands’ 50 constituencies by 90 observers, 77 of whom were Solomon Islanders. The research comprised direct election observations and almost 5000 citizen surveys. This In Brief is the first in a two-part series highlighting key findings that draw on data canvassed in our final election observation report.
An important component of our election observation research was to explore how constituency development funds (CDFs) impact voter behaviour, especially in terms of how political support is acquired and maintained by incumbent members of parliament (MPs). We discuss our findings across two In Briefs: in Part 1 we present some of our findings on voters’ experiences with CDFs as well as their perceptions of how CDFs are spent. Part 2 discusses implications of CDFs for electoral politics in Solomon Islands.