Maria Preißinger, Harald Schoen, Elena Wiegand
Vote switching in two consecutive national election campaigns: Evidence from the 2009-to-2013 GLES campaign panel survey

9th ECPR General Conference, Université de Montréal, August 26th to August 29th, 2015

Prior research suggests that vote switching both within and between elections campaigns reflects a lack of strong political involvement and predispositions. By contrast, it has largely ignored campaign features as possible sources of electoral volatility. Building on a cognitive-interactionist framework, we suggest that campaign features affect intra-election volatility, probably conditioned by individual-level characteristics. This line of reasoning also suggests that intra-election volatility varies across campaigns. Moreover, it implies that intra- and inter-election volatility may have different sources. Data from the GLES campaign panel surveys conducted in the run-up to the 2009 and 2013 German federal elections provide an excellent opportunity to answer these questions. A sizable group of citizens participated in 2009 were re-interviewed in 2013. Drawing on this data, we will analyze long- and short-term changing patterns within the same persons and their predictors in a yet unique manner.