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Estimating the potential impact of nonvoters on outcomes of parliamentary elections in proportional systems with an application to German national elections from 1949 to 2005

Schätzung des potenziellen Einflusses von Nichtwählern auf das Ergebnis von Parlamentswahlen in Verhältniswahlsystemen mit einer Anwendung auf die deutschen Bundestagswahlen von 1949 bis 2005
[working paper]

Kohler, Ulrich

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Further Details
Corporate Editor Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung gGmbH
Abstract "'If (voter) turnout was 100%, would it affect the election result?' (Bernhagen and Marsh 2007) is a frequently asked research question. So far, the question has been primarily answered regarding the changes in the distribution of votes. This article extends the analysis to changes in the distribution of seats and government formation. It proposes a method that factors in apportionment methods, barring clauses, size of parliaments, leverage of nonvoters, closeness of election results, and individual characteristics of nonvoters. The method is then applied to German national elections from 1949 to 2005. The application shows that Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) would have gained from the counterfactual participation of nonvoters, although usually not enough to result in a government change. However by the 1994 and 2005 elections evidence shows that such a government change could have happened." (author's abstract)
Keywords Federal Republic of Germany; election to the Bundestag; parliamentary election; nonvoter; election result; voter turnout; electoral system; voting behavior; Social Democratic Party of Germany; Christian Democratic Union; Free Democratic Party; Alliance 90/ The Greens; political influence; political action; political behavior; political attitude
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Method empirical; quantitative empirical
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
City Berlin
Page/Pages 34 p.
Series Discussion Papers / Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, Forschungsschwerpunkt Bildung, Arbeit und Lebenschancen, Abteilung Ungleichheit und soziale Integration, 2009-206
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
data provider This metadata entry was indexed by the Special Subject Collection Social Sciences, USB Cologne