Not Always Second Order: Subnational Elections, National-level Vote Intentions, and Volatility Spillovers in a Multi-level Electoral System

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract

The widespread second-order view on subnational elections leaves little room for the idea that subnational election campaigns matter for national-level electoral preferences. I challenge this perspective and explore the context-conditional role of subnational election campaigns for national-level vote intentions in multilevel systems. Campaigns direct citizens' attention to the political and economic fundamentals that determine their electoral preferences. Subnational election campaigns and the major campaign issues receive nationwide media coverage. This induces all citizens in a country to evaluate parties at the national level even if they themselves are not eligible to vote in the upcoming subnational election. Thereby, subnational election campaigns may lead to a reduction in the uncertainty of voters' national-level electoral preferences throughout the country, which is reflected by a decrease in the volatility of national-level vote intentions. I explore weekly vote intention data from Germany (1992-2007) within a conditional volatility model. Subnational elections reduce uncertainty in nationwide federal-level vote intentions for major parties. However, patterns of incumbency and coalitional shifts moderate this volatility-reducing effect.

Authors Bechtel, Michael M.
Journal or Publication Title Electoral Studies
Language English
Keywords elections, multilevel systems, vote intentions, volatility spillovers
Subjects political science
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Refereed Yes
Date March 2012
Publisher Elsevier
Place of Publication Amsterdam
Volume 31
Number 1
Page Range 170-183
Number of Pages 14
ISSN 0261-3794
Publisher DOI 10.1016/j.electstud.2011.10.005
Depositing User Prof. Dr. Michael Bechtel
Date Deposited 24 Apr 2013 08:24
Last Modified 23 Aug 2016 11:16
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/222404

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Citation

Bechtel, Michael M. (2012) Not Always Second Order: Subnational Elections, National-level Vote Intentions, and Volatility Spillovers in a Multi-level Electoral System. Electoral Studies, 31 (1). 170-183. ISSN 0261-3794

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https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/id/eprint/222404
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