New publication: Party identification and voting behaviour in Germany

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.

Research Paper on AfD published in West European Politics

Within less than two years of being founded by disgruntled members of the governing CDU, the newly formed Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has already performed extraordinarily well in the 2013 general election, the 2014 EP election, and a string of state elections. Highly unusually by German standards, it campaigned for an end to all efforts to save the euro and argued for a reconfiguration of Germany’s foreign policy. This seems to chime with the recent surge in far-right voting in Western Europe, and the AfD was subsequently described as right-wing populist and Europhobe.

The full paper has just appeared in the recent issue of West European Politics (electronically and in print). The ungated pre-print version is still available here.