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 past year, we focused on a number of core areas. First, we finalised the codebook to analyse the content of national newspapers. We trained several coders, who now use the codebook to collect coalition signals in German, Austrian, and Irish election campaigns. Second, we combined existing data from a variety of sources to a detailed database and wrote two papers based on this. The next step is to add the coalition signals to this database. Third, we ran a survey experiment that helps us to learn more about the effect coalition signals can have on voters’ preferences and vote choice.

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