Mar 102017
 

With just under seven months to go until the German federal election, I have recently begun once more to pool the pre-election polls from seven major survey firms. Since January, when the date for the election was set and the Spitzenkandidaten were selected, results from 35 polls with a median sample size of about 1900 have been published: nine apiece by Emnid and Forsa, five by Dimap, five by Insa, four by FGW, two by Allensbach, and a single one by GMS.

Easily the most exciting event in the (long) campaign so far has been the #Schulzzug: the mostly unexpected leak/announcement on January 24 that Sigmar Gabriel would be replaced as party leader and (presumptive) candidate by Martin Schulz, the former president of the European Parliament. Support for the SPD in the polls had hovered at historically low levels of just over 20 per cent for months, but the Schulz candidacy re-energised party members and resulted in lots of (mostly positive) media coverage so far. Subsequently, support for the party leaped up in the polls, even overtaking support for the Christian Democrats in some of them.

But most movement in the polls is noise, and so we would like to know if the Schulz bounce is real. The data basically say: yes.

[spd-union-2017-03-10.png]

The figure shows that support for the SPD begins to rise a couple of days before Schulz’s candidacy was announced, but this is probably an artefact. The model assumes that true support normally changes very little from one day to the next, but these are unusual circumstances, and so the ascent was probably steeper than the graph suggests. At any rate, the estimated level of support for the SPD in February was somewhere between 30 and 35 per cent, whereas it was between 20 and 24 per cent early in January. The model’s priors may play a role here (though they should be quickly overwhelmed by the data), but it is obvious that there was a gap of at least 10 percentage points between the two major parties in January that has essentially closed now. Support for the CDU and the SPD is virtually indistinguishable, and the Christian Democrats are rightfully worried.

What this means for the election is a different question. Estimated levels of support for both parties have been essentially constant for the last four weeks or so. The SPD has unexpectedly closed the gap, but it has stopped gaining. The Christian Democrats are not doing much worse than at the same point in the cycle four years ago. And once voters learn more about Schulz (who is a known unknown in Germany), the Schulz effect may wear off.

  36 Responses to “State of the German polls: The Schulz effect is real”

  1. RT @kai_arzheimer: From the vault: State of the German polls: The Schulz effect is real https://t.co/JTMv8XjDLN

  2. RT @kai_arzheimer: From the vault: State of the German polls: The Schulz effect is real https://t.co/JTMv8XjDLN

  3. State of the German polls: The Schulz effect is real https://t.co/2SSMQDxvVl … via @kai_arzheimer… https://t.co/lGlS4WwvOG

  4. State of the German polls: The Schulz effect is real https://t.co/jHl5TVh9A7 via @kai_arzheimer

  5. RT @kai_arzheimer: Mind the (closing polling) gap: The #Schulz effect is real – kai arzheimer https://t.co/eBBTLskNxi #Germany #SPD

  6. “The Schulz effect is real!” https://t.co/5uxUwRdq21 via @kai_arzheimer

  7. RT @kai_arzheimer: Mind the (closing polling) gap: The #Schulz effect is real – kai arzheimer https://t.co/eBBTLskNxi #Germany #SPD

  8. #Schulzzug ist echt und nicht #fakenews: Der Blogbeitrag von @kai_arzheimer belegt das https://t.co/FM09Mo2gPq #Schulz #spd #btw17 #unimainz

  9. RT @kai_arzheimer: Mind the (closing polling) gap: The #Schulz effect is real – kai arzheimer https://t.co/eBBTLskNxi #Germany #SPD

  10. #Schulz-Effekt ist #echt. Das zeigt @kai_arzheimer in seinem neuesten Blogpost: https://t.co/xXIiBdQqrb #spd #Schulzzug #HoheEnergie #powi

  11. RT @fjavilopez: State of the German polls: The Schulz effect is real https://t.co/OjtW6vgRfE vía @kai_arzheimer Las elecciones en Alemania…

  12. RT @fjavilopez: State of the German polls: The Schulz effect is real https://t.co/OjtW6vgRfE vía @kai_arzheimer Las elecciones en Alemania…

  13. RT @javiermcanto: Is there a #Schulz effect on the polls? It seems so, and @kai_arzheimer provides some data on it. #Schulzzug https://t.co…

  14. RT @javiermcanto: Is there a #Schulz effect on the polls? It seems so, and @kai_arzheimer provides some data on it. #Schulzzug https://t.co…

  15. RT @BDStanley: The good Prof @kai_arzheimer has pooled the German polls. https://t.co/8idnYKc1ky

  16. RT @fjavilopez: State of the German polls: The Schulz effect is real https://t.co/OjtW6vgRfE vía @kai_arzheimer Las elecciones en Alemania…

  17. RT @fjavilopez: State of the German polls: The Schulz effect is real https://t.co/OjtW6vgRfE vía @kai_arzheimer Las elecciones en Alemania…

  18. RT @fjavilopez: State of the German polls: The Schulz effect is real https://t.co/OjtW6vgRfE vía @kai_arzheimer Las elecciones en Alemania…

  19. RT @BDStanley: The good Prof @kai_arzheimer has pooled the German polls. https://t.co/8idnYKc1ky

  20. State of the German polls: The Schulz effect is real https://t.co/2SSMQDP7jV … via @kai_arzheimer… https://t.co/C00bBbhczX

  21. RT @BDStanley: The good Prof @kai_arzheimer has pooled the German polls. https://t.co/8idnYKc1ky

  22. State of the German polls: The Schulz effect is real via @kai_arzheimer
    https://t.co/eost4bM1hQ

  23. RT @BDStanley: The good Prof @kai_arzheimer has pooled the German polls. https://t.co/8idnYKc1ky

  24. The good Prof @kai_arzheimer has pooled the German polls. https://t.co/8idnYKc1ky

  25. RT @kai_arzheimer: Why I think the @MartinSchulz effect is real https://t.co/GLg8OoFu6L #btw17 #Germany

  26. RT @alexandreafonso: .@kai_arzheimer: the Schulz effect is real
    https://t.co/goOi070CxX https://t.co/poGtBQE7Ks

  27. RT @kai_arzheimer: Why I think the @MartinSchulz effect is real https://t.co/GLg8OoFu6L #btw17 #Germany

  28. RT @kai_arzheimer: New blog: State of the German polls: The #Schulz effect is real – kai arzheimer https://t.co/EUVlB19fzF

  29. RT @F_Bethke: Great analysis by @kai_arzheimer on german election polls and the rise of the @spdde https://t.co/UVgIwonYKA ht @patrickamello

  30. RT @kai_arzheimer: New blog: State of the German polls: The #Schulz effect is real – kai arzheimer https://t.co/EUVlB19fzF

  31. RT @kai_arzheimer: New blog: State of the German polls: The #Schulz effect is real – kai arzheimer https://t.co/EUVlB19fzF

  32. RT @kai_arzheimer: New blog: State of the German polls: The #Schulz effect is real – kai arzheimer https://t.co/EUVlB19fzF

  33. RT @kai_arzheimer: New blog: State of the German polls: The #Schulz effect is real – kai arzheimer https://t.co/EUVlB19fzF

  34. RT @kai_arzheimer: New blog: State of the German polls: The #Schulz effect is real – kai arzheimer https://t.co/EUVlB19fzF

  35. The Schulz effect in Germany is real, but what will happen as voters get to know him better? https://t.co/5E82ifRnUs

  36. State of the German polls: The Schulz effect is real https://t.co/dasnP1E2IP via @kai_arzheimer

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