With the next General election on the horizon, it is about time that German Politics' special issue on the 2013 election is now out electronically. My contribution looks at the development of party identification from 1977 to 2013, and on its impact on voting behaviour in 2013. If you don't have a subscription for the journal, the (very similar) pre-publication version is on my website. And here is the abstract:
Using new data for the 1977–2012 period, this article shows that dealignment has halted during the last decade amongst older and better educated West German voters, and that party identification is now more widespread than it was in the 1990s in the east. For voters who identified with one of the relevant parties at the time of the 2013 election, their vote choice was more or less a foregone conclusion, as candidates and issues played only a minor role for this group. A detailed analysis of leftist voters shows that supporters of the Greens, the Left, and the SPD have broadly similar preferences but diverging partisan identities. Even amongst western voters of the Left, most respondents claim to be identifiers. This suggests that the fragmentation of the left is entrenched, and that ‘agenda’ policies have triggered a realignment.