Achim Goerres, University of Duisburg-Essen
Alike at the Core, Different at the Margins: a Comparison of Party Preferences between Immigrant and Native Voters at the 2017 Bundestag Election*
This paper presents evidence from the first national immigrant election face-to-face survey ever conducted in Germany. Using data on German voters with a (post-)Soviet and Turkish background at the 2017 Bundestag election, the paper answers the questions how well can the standard models of voting explain immigrant party preferences in Germany? What makes immigrant voters – if anything – different from native voters? The empirical analyses on propensities to vote for all major parties in Bundestag yields the following results: (1) immigrant voters behave mostly like native voters as to party preferences. They use long-term memories of relationships with parties (party identification) and short-term evaluations, such as competence evaluations, to assess parties. They also relate their own issue positions to that of the parties in order to minimise distances. (2) Short-term factors are more important among immigrant compared to native voters mirroring the shorter collective historical experience with parties. (3) Second-generation immigrant voters are very much like native voters with members of the first and 1.5 generations showing smaller sensitivity to the long-term factors. (4) Immigrant-specific factors hardly matter at all. We find no evidence for discrimination experience having an effect and only a small effect for ethnic identification among German re-settlers. Overall, the party preferences of immigrant voters follow the same model as natives at the core with only small differences at the margins. The findings suggest that immigrant voters in Germany become like native voters in the long run – comes time, comes political similarity. This does not mean that their overall results are the same, but the models that explain inter-voter differences will be the same in the long run.
Nonna Mayer, Sciences Po, CEE, CNRS
*Axes : Tensions in representative democracy & Cities, borders and (im)mobility
**Achim Goerres & Sabrina J. Mayer,University of Duisburg-Essen, Dennis C. Spies,University of Cologne