The 2015 National Elections in Switzerland: Renewed Polarization and Shift to the Right

Bochsler, Daniel; Gerber, Marlène; Zumbach, David (2016). The 2015 National Elections in Switzerland: Renewed Polarization and Shift to the Right. Regional and Federal Studies, 26(1), pp. 95-106. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/13597566.2016.1147029

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The 2015 election to the Swiss Parliament marks a return to an already observed trend that was only interrupted in 2011: a shift to the right and an increase in polarization. The vote share of the nationalist-conservative Swiss People's Party (SVP) has now reached a historical height of 29.4% (+2.8). This note discusses why cantons matter in the Swiss national elections, and to what degree elections have become nationalized. Institutionally, the 26 cantons serve as electoral districts. This leads to a highly disproportional electoral system and has magnified the minor vote shifts to a slightly more pronounced shift in seats, with the right now holding a tiny majority of 101 of 200 seats in the first chamber. The two winners, the SVP and the Liberals, also had most campaign funds at their disposal. They were able to guide an extensive nationwide campaign in which they advocated their core issues instead of candidates. Other parties only advertised at the cantonal level.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science

UniBE Contributor:

Gerber, Marlène and Zumbach, David

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science

ISSN:

1359-7566

Publisher:

Taylor & Francis

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marlène Gerber

Date Deposited:

13 Jul 2016 13:54

Last Modified:

01 Sep 2017 02:30

Publisher DOI:

10.1080/13597566.2016.1147029

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.82757

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/82757

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