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: 

We presented four working papers at international conferences. In these papers, we investigate the effect of coalitions’ promise-breaking on voters’ attitudes, the influence of pre-electoral coalitions on government stability, the role of the electoral cycle in parties’ coalition strategies, and the conditions under which parties are willing to enter pre-electoral alliances. Furthermore, we published two papers in international journals, and another one on how coalition signals shape voting decisions is under review. We applied our codebook to collect coalition signals in Spanish, Hungarian and New Zealand election campaigns. Finally, we started analysing the data we collected on German, Irish, and Austrian coalition signals.

Fact sheet

2015 to 2021
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