The Timeline of Elections in Comparative Perspective

14.10.2013 - 16:15
A 5,6 Room A 231
Art der Veranstaltung: 
MZES Public Lecture
Prof. Dr. Christopher Wlezien
Zugehörigkeit des Vortragenden: 
University of Texas at Austin

Scholars are only beginning to understand the evolution of electoral sentiment over time.  Much is known about people's vote choices and election outcomes.  But how do preferences come into focus over the electoral cycle?  Do they evolve in patterned ways?  Does the evolution vary across countries?  This talk addresses these issues. 

To begin with, we consider differences in political institutions and how they might impact voter preferences over the course of the election cycle.  We then outline an empirical analysis relating support for political parties in pre-election polls to their final vote.  Our analysis relies on vote-intention polls from more than 23,500 polls in 41 countries since 1945, amounting to 248 discrete electoral cycles. The analyses indicate that polls become increasingly informative about the vote over the election cycle, but that early polls contain substantial information about the final result.  The degree to which this is true varies some across countries in understandable ways given differences in political institutions, but is strikingly general.

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