Electoral Balancing, Divided Government, and Midterm Loss in German State Elections
Journal of Legislative Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp.127-149, June 2006
Posted: 4 Apr 2011
Date Written: January 1, 2006
This paper takes a fresh look at the midterm loss in German elections and argues that government type is a crucial determinant of midterm loss. Using panel regressions on a newly compiled data set covering all state elections during the period 1949-2004, we find that systematic midterm losses occur only when both chambers of the federal legislature (Bundestag and Bundesrat) are controlled by one party or a party coalition. Prior research has failed to discover this important regularity. These findings lend strong support to electoral balancing models while calling into doubt more traditional explanations of midterm loss.
Keywords: midterm loss, electoral balancing
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