Avoiding vote loss by changing policy positions : the Fukushima disaster, party responses, and the German electorate

Meyer, Marco ; Schoen, Harald

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1354068815602145
URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282511179...
Additional URL: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/135406...
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2017
The title of a journal, publication series: Party Politics
Volume: 23
Issue number: 4
Page range: 424-436
Place of publication: London [u.a.]
Publishing house: Sage Publ.
ISSN: 1354-0688 , 1460-3683
Publication language: English
Institution: Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > Mannheim Centre for European Social Research - Research Department B
School of Social Sciences > Politische Wissenschaft, Politische Psychologie (Schoen 2014-)
Subject: 320 Political science
Abstract: This paper addresses the electoral consequences of the German government’s anti-nuclear power policy shift after the Fukushima accident. Building on a cost-benefit framework and insights from political psychology, the theoretical analysis anticipates that the policy shift could not earn governing parties additional votes but could avoid vote loss. Utilizing data from multiple surveys and employing simulation techniques, the evidence demonstrates that voters, in particular incumbents’ supporters, became more skeptical of nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster. At the same time, governing parties’ supporters were particularly eager to perceive a credible change in the government’s nuclear power stance. As a consequence, governing parties did not garner additional votes but inhibited their supporters from voting for other parties and thus avoided vote loss. Generally speaking, the novel approach proposed in this paper is suitable for shedding light on electoral effects of parties’ policy shifts that have thus far gone unnoticed.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

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