Study on voting behaviour: Political parties fail to reach out to migrants

Study on voting behaviour: Political parties fail to reach out to migrants

study on voting behavior
Parties do not reach migrants

Germany has a history of immigration of eleven million eligible voters. But many do not feel addressed by any party. According to a recent study, parties are taking away valuable voter potential.

The election campaign has gathered pace a little more than two months before the general elections. But there is one group that is rarely addressed on election posters: people with migration backgrounds. Germany has a history of immigration of 21 million people – eleven million of them are doing German citizens and they are allowed to vote. As “Spiegel” reports, a new study from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) has analyzed the voting behavior of this population group.

Using data from the Socio-Economic Panel, the study authors determined trends in party affiliation and preference for immigrants. Accordingly, people with migration backgrounds often do not feel tied to one party. The study’s authors, sociologist Jannes Jacobsen and professor of empirical social research methods at Bielefeld University, Martin Kroh, see this as a huge potential for voters to vote for parties.

SPD loses more and more

Only 28 percent of immigrants feel they belong to one party. According to “Spiegel,” nearly every second person in the rest of the population feels connected to a party. According to the study authors, the large difference could be explained by a time factor. Even if one has lived in Germany for several years, it takes a surprisingly long time to form preferences. According to the “Spiegel” report, nearly a quarter of people felt they belonged to a party at least once five years later—half after 15 years.

According to “Spiegel,” the Social Democrats offered a political home to certain groups of people with long immigration histories. The so-called guest workers were very fond of SPD, according to DIW. But that too has waned in the last few decades. In the 1980s, 76 per cent of these people still felt associated with the party – today it is only 59 per cent.

Union benefits from immigration from the past

The largest group with a history of immigration, who is also entitled to vote, are the so-called Russian Germans and Spathausidlers – and the majority of them, according to “Spiegel”, vote for the Union. According to DIW, more than half of them feel connected to CSUs and CDUs. Most union voters with immigration backgrounds come from the former Soviet Union.

Immigration from the West, on the other hand, is reflected in the party landscape somewhat differently. People from rich countries like Switzerland or Belgium should Feel especially close to FDP. And people in the United States and the Netherlands who are eligible to vote in Germany feel the most connected to the Greens. In recent years the sympathy of people with left-wing immigration backgrounds has grown the most – Serbians feel particularly close to the leftist party.

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