Pre-electoral Coalition Strategies

Research question/goal: 

Under which conditions are parties willing to send coalition signals during election campaigns? In this project, we bring together coalition-specific voting considerations with parties' strategic decision to communicate coalition politics during campaigns. Our theoretical model generates expectations about the conditions under which parties signal their preferred coalitions, actively ruling-out concrete coalition-options as well as when they should decide to remain silent about their preferred coalitions. Within this project we will compile data that allow us to test implications from our theoretical model. We will create a comparative database that codes coalition signals in conjunction with aggregated election polls and survey measures. This cross-country database will be complemented by in-depth studies of the coalition dynamics during selected electoral campaigns in Germany and the Netherlands in 2017.

Current stage: 

In the last year, we have focused mainly on the clear conceptualization of pre-electoral coalition signals. On this basis, we will collect publicly expressed coalition signals in various countries worldwide and compile them in a database. To this end, we are currently developing and testing a codebook for the quantitative content analysis of national news. Besides analysing newspapers, we laid the groundwork to examine also party press releases for coalition signals. Finally, we formulated a theoretical vote choice model, which allows us to investigate how coalition signals affect voter’s decisions.

Fact sheet

2015 to 2020
Data Sources: 
Comparative database of coalition signals; Longitudinal Survey for Germany and the Netherlands
Geographic Space: 
Detailed studies in Germany and the Netherlands; Comparative Study: twenty countries with a multi-party system