(GLES) Long- and Short-term Panel Studies

Research question/goal: 

At the occasion of the 2013 Bundestag election, the multi-facetted GLES research design has been realized for the second time. The project both provides an unprecedented wealth of high-quality data to the scientific community shortly after the election and produced numerous publications focusing on the 2009 and 2013 elections and electoral change from various perspectives. Among other things, a book-length study of electoral change in Germany was published with Oxford University Press, and comprehensive analyses of the 2009 and 2013 elections were published with Nomos. In the third funding period from 2015 to 2017, the well-proven design will be applied to the 2017 election, thus broadening the longitudinal perspective which is at the heart of GLES.

The face-to-face long-term panel is an integral part of GLES that connects both to the cross-sectional surveys and to previous elections, thus providing comprehensive data to study the incidence and patterns of long-term electoral change in Germany at the individual level. About 1,300 respondents were interviewed in 2009 and 2013. Additionally, about 1,800 respondents from the 2013 cross-section were willing to be re-interviewed. In the third project period, annual re-interviews with the respondents from the 2009 and 2013 cross-section surveys will be conducted which will provide the base for analyses of long-term individual-level dynamics of public attitudes and behaviour over several subsequent elections. These annual interviews will be conducted in a mixed-mode design where priority is given to web interviews as a first step to merge the short- and long-term panel studies in the future.

The short-term campaign panel is designed to analyse intra-individual developments of political attitudes and political behaviour during the electoral campaign. In 2013, a similar design as in 2009 was applied, enriched by the inclusion of three independent cross-sections as control groups. In total, 5,256 respondents participated in the 2013 campaign panel, 1,011 of which had already participated in the GLES campaign panel of 2009. Almost 3,500 persons completed all seven waves. Due to a number of measures, retention rates could be further improved when compared to 2009. Beginning in 2014, annual re-interviews will be introduced to this online-panel to add a longitudinal perspective to this component.

With data from both panel studies, findings about the specific constellations and the short-term dynamics of a given election or electoral campaign can be integrated into a long-term perspective in search of broader generalizations or structural developments. Beginning in 2014, the annual re-interviews will be synchronized between both panels in terms of questionnaires and field times in order to further enhance such comparative analyses.

Current stage: 

In 2023, we conducted two new waves of the GLES panel study in cooperation with GESIS using CAWI (computer-assisted web interviewing) to capture the dynamics of attitudes and behaviour throughout the year. Results of our research, among others on the stability of selected attitudes and the process of voter decision-making before the federal election 2021, were presented at conferences and published in five articles.

Fact sheet

2009 to 2024
Data Sources: 
Survey data
Geographic Space: 



Schoen, Harald, and Bernhard Weßels (Eds.) (2024): Wahlen und Wähler. Analysen zur Bundestagswahl 2021. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. more
Schoen, Harald, and Bernhard Weßels (Eds.) (2024): Wahlen und Wähler. Analysen zur Bundestagswahl 2021. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. more
Weßels, Bernhard, and Harald Schoen (Eds.) (2021): Wahlen und Wähler. Analysen aus Anlass der Bundestagswahl 2017. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. more
Roßteutscher, Sigrid, Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck, Harald Schoen, Bernhard Weßels and Christof Wolf (2019): Zwischen Polarisierung und Beharrung: Die Bundestagswahl 2017. 1st ed., Baden-Baden: Nomos. [Wahlen in Deutschland; 3] more
Schoen, Harald, Hans Rattinger, Maria Preißinger, Konstantin Gavras and Markus Steinbrecher (2017): Election Campaigns and Voter Decision-Making in a Multi-Party System: The 2009 and 2013 German Federal Elections. Baden-Baden: Nomos. [Studien zur Wahl- und Einstellungsforschung; 33] more
Schoen, Harald, Sigrid Roßteutscher, Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck, Bernhard Weßels and Christof Wolf (Eds.) (2017): Voters and Voting in Context: Multiple Contexts and the Heterogeneous German Electorate. Oxford: Oxford University Press. more
Plischke, Thomas (2014): Wann Wähler entscheiden: Abläufe von Entscheidungsprozessen und der Zeitpunkt der Wahlentscheidung. Baden-Baden: Nomos. [Studien zur Wahl- und Einstellungsforschung; 26] more
Weßels, Bernhard, Hans Rattinger, Sigrid Roßteutscher and Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck (Eds.) (2014): Voters on the Move or on the Run?. Oxford: Oxford University Press. more
Schmitt-Beck, Rüdiger, Hans Rattinger, Sigrid Roßteutscher, Bernhard Weßels and Christof Wolf (2014): Zwischen Fragmentierung und Konzentration : Die Bundestagswahl 2013. Baden-Baden: Nomos. [Wahlen in Deutschland; 2] more
Rattinger, Hans, Sigrid Roßteutscher, Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck and Bernhard Weßels (2011): Zwischen Langeweile und Extremen: Die Bundestagswahl 2009. Baden-Baden: Nomos. [Wahlen in Deutschland; 1] more