Party Strategies

We systematically collect and code a wide range of partisan material for the three months preceding 18 elections between 2011 and 2015 in Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland and Spain. We aim to understand how the behaviour of parties and candidates depends on the specific context in which they compete. In particular, we want to ascertain how party strategies affect voters’ choices and also to determine how party strategies are themselves developed on the basis of voters’ anticipated behaviour.

We code the following campaign material according an issue-related coding scheme (developed by the Comparative Manifesto Project) and scheme related the tone of the message (positive/negative, civil/uncivil…):

  • Canada: Manifestos, TV debates, and TV ads
  • France: Manifestos, TV ads
  • Germany: Manifestos, TV debates, TV ads, Newspaper ads
  • Switzerland: Manifestos, Newspaper ads
  • Spain: Manifestos, TV debates, TV ads, Newspaper ads

Next to this core data, we also gather information about the conduct of the campaign, which includes the major campaign events, the polls released by the media, and the official announcements. We also conduct semi-structured interviews with party campaign managers (where it is possible) to know more about the strategies adopted by the parties.

The coding scheme is available here. Most data are available upon request to André Blais. Requests should include the abstract of a potential publication making use of these data.

Data collection and coding status

Lower Saxony State election (Jan. 2013) Completed
Bavaria State election (Sep. 2013) Completed
Germany Federal election (Sep. 2013) Completed
Germany European election (May 2014) Completed
Zurich Cantonal election (Apr. 2011) Completed
Lucerne Cantonal election (Apr. 2011) Completed
Switzerland Federal election (Oct. 2011) Completed
Ontario Provincial election (Oct. 2011) Completed
Quebec Regional election (Sep. 2012) Completed
Canada Federal election (Oct. 2015) Waiting
Spain National election (Nov. 2011) Completed
Catalonia Regional election (Nov. 2012) Completed
Spain European election (May 2014) Completed
Madrid Regional election (May 2015) Completed
France Legislative election (Jun. 2012) Completed
Paris Municipal election (Mar. 2014) Completed
Marseille Municipal election (Mar. 2014) Completed
France European election (May 2014) Completed

Team members

This component of the study is under the joint direction of Professors Matt Golder and Indridi Indridason.

National teams are supervising the data collection for each country: Martial Foucault, Sona Golder, Laurie Beaudonnet (France), Thomas Gschwend, Ben Nyblade, Steffen Zittlau (Germany), Hanspeter Kriesi, Matt Golder, Marian Bohl (Switzerland), Ignacio Lago, Indridi Indridason, Kelly Rowe (Spain), William Cross, Louis Massicotte, François Gélineau (Canada).