Turning the Spotlight on the 2013 German Elections

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PS: Political Science & Politics publishes election forecasts for the upcoming 2013 German elections.

Two articles in the current edition of PS: Political Science and Politics predict Angela Merkel’s fate in the upcoming fall elections in Germany.

In the issue’s Spotlight section, the journal publishes the findings of two research teams who have used different models to come to the same conclusion – Merkel will retain the Chancellorship, although her future partners in the long-standing German tradition of coalition government are less easy to predict.

In the Political Economy Model, rarely before used to analyse German elections, Bruno Jérôme, Véronique Jérôme-Speziari, and Michael Lewis-Beck predict that Merkel can be assured of remaining Chancellor with her current governing coalition obtaining 47% share of the vote, although she will fall short of securing an absolute majority. The trio writes that Merkel will then be faced with some difficult choices about governing partners:

“Our model shows that a further deterioration in the unemployment rate could require Angela Merkel to rebuild a grand coalition with the Social Democratic Party. The direct effect would likely be a weakening of the camp favouring budgetary discipline inside the EU.”

In contrast, Helmut Norpoth and Thomas Gschwend use the Chancellor Model to predict that the governing coalition will secure 51.7% of the vote and a majority of seats. The key predictor in this model is public support for the Chancellor. Norpoth and Gschwend examined past election returns and found that levels of support for an incumbent before elections were a reliable indicator of their showing at the polls. In this case they claim: “We can say with better than 99% certainty that Merkel will win the 2013 Bundestag election”.

PS: Political Science and Politics is published on behalf of the American Political Science Association by Cambridge University Press. Guest editor of the Spotlight section (and contributor to the prediction research) is Bruno Jérôme, Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Paris 2 and member of the Law and Economics Center of Paris 2.

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Notes to Editors
For further information or to arrange interviews contact Michael Marvin, Senior Marketing Associate, Journals, Cambridge University Press, on (001) 646.460.3467 or at mmarvin(at)cambridge(dot)org.

About PS: Political Science & Politics
PS is the journal of record for political science reporting on research, teaching, and professional development. PS, first published in 1968 by the American Political Science Association, is the only quarterly professional news and commentary journal in the field and is the prime source of information on political scientists' achievements and professional concerns. Learn more about the journal at journals.cambridge.org/psc.

About the Authors
Bruno Jérôme is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Paris 2 and member of the Law and Economics Center of Paris 2. His interests are political economy, public economics, election forecasting, European economics and institutions. His most recent books are Analyse Economique des Elections (Economica); (2010 co-authored with Veronique Jerome-Speziari) and Les élections municipales françaises. Paris: Presses de Sciences Po (Forthcoming, 2013 co-authored with Richard Nadeau, Véronique Jérôme-Spéziari and Martial Foucault).

Véronique Jérôme-Speziari is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management at the University of Paris Sud 11 and member of the Paris 2 Laboratory of Management. Her interests are political economy, public economics, election forecasting, political marketing, and nonverbal communication. Her most recent books are Analyse Economique des Elections (Economica); (2010, co-authored with Bruno Jerome) and Les élections municipales françaises.

Michael S. Lewis-Beck is F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa. His interests are comparative elections, election forecasting, political economy, and quantitative methodology. Lewis-Beck has authored or co-authored more than 220 articles and books. He has served as editor of the American Journal of Political Science and of the Sage QASS series (the green monographs) in quantitative methods.

Helmut Norpoth is a Professor of Political Science at Stony Brook University. He is co-author of The American Voter Revisited and has published widely on topics of electoral behavior. His current research focuses on public opinion in wartime.

Thomas Gschwend is Professor for Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences at University of Mannheim. He is particularly interested in the processes by which institutions pre-structure an individual's decision-making process and its consequences for voters, party strategies, and election outcomes. His most recent books are Research Design in Political Science: How to Practice What They Preach (2007; co-edited with Frank Schimmelfennig), and Strategic Voting in Mixed-Electoral Systems (2004).

About the American Political Science Association
Founded in 1903, the APSA is the leading professional organization for the study of political science and serves more than 15,000 members in over 80 countries. With a range of programs and services for individuals, departments and institutions, APSA brings together political scientists from all fields of inquiry, regions, and occupational endeavors within and outside academe in order to expand awareness and understanding of politics. Learn more about APSA at http://www.apsanet.org.

About Cambridge Journals
Cambridge University Press publishes more than 300 peer-reviewed academic journals across a wide spread of subject areas, in print and online. Many of these journals are the leading academic publications in their fields and together they form one of the most valuable and comprehensive bodies of research available today. Learn more about Cambridge Journals at journals.cambridge.org.

About Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Dedicated to excellence, its purpose is to further the University's objective of advancing knowledge, education, learning, and research.

Its extensive peer-reviewed publishing lists comprise 45,000 titles covering academic research, professional development, over 300 research journals, school-level education, English language teaching and bible publishing.

Playing a leading role in today’s international market place, Cambridge University Press has more than 50 offices around the globe, and it distributes its products to nearly every country in the world. Learn more about Cambridge University Press at http://www.cambridge.org.

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