(GLES) Long- and Short-term Panel Studies
At the occasion of the 2009 Bundestag election, GLES has for the first time successfully realized a highly complex and multi-facetted research design. The project both provided unprecedented wealth of high-quality data to the scientific community shortly after the election and produced numerous publications focusing on the 2009 election and electoral change from various perspectives. In the second funding period from 2012 to 2014, the well-proven design will be applied to the 2013 election, thus broadening the scope by adding the longitudinal perspective which is at the heart of GLES. The rolling three-wave 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. In the second project period, annual re-interviews with the respondents from the 2005 and 2009 cross-section surveys will be conducted which will provide the base for analyses of long-term individual-level dynamics of public attitudes and behavior over several subsequent elections. The short-term campaign panel is designed to analyze intra-individual developments of political attitudes and political behavior during the campaign for the 2013 federal election. A very similar design as in 2009 will be applied, enriched by the inclusion of three independent cross-sections as control groups. Again the intention is to complete four interviews with at least 3000 respondents, and to complete all seven interviews with at least 1500 panelists. 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.
The DFG has approved funding for the second project period from 2012-2014. The annual long-term panel re-interviews are finished by the end of 2012 with a sample size of about 95 percent of the previous wave. To facilitate access to the data, a technical report has been published in cooperation with GESIS and will be available in English soon. Preparations for data collection in the context of the 2013 Bundestag election have already started. Two pretests are conducted until January 2013, final questionnaires will be available in spring 2013. In both panel studies, the successful research design will be continued and further improved with innovative design elements.