Cherry Picking at the 2015 Swiss Federal Elections: The Influence of Electoral Campaigning on Panachage and Cumulation

Gerber, Marlène; Bühlmann, Marc; Zumbach, David (9 September 2016). Cherry Picking at the 2015 Swiss Federal Elections: The Influence of Electoral Campaigning on Panachage and Cumulation (Unpublished). In: 10th European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) General Conference. Prague, Czech Republic. 07.-10. Sept. 2016.

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Our contribution analyses the influence of electoral campaigning on candidates’ success at the 2015 Swiss elections to the National Council. Concretely, we ask whether and to what extent the intensity and content of a candidate’s campaign exerts a persuasive effect on voters. In doing so, we make use of a rather unique setting embedded in the open-list PR-system of Switzerland, namely allowing voters not only to duplicate candidates from a chosen list (cumulation) but also to add candidates from other parties and lists to their selected list (panachage). Using the amount of votes a candidate received from voters favoring other parties or lists gives us an idea about a candidate’s persuasive potential to gain votes outside his classical voter segment. We assess a candidate’s campaign based on a collection of almost 4,000 political advertisements gathered in 50 important supraregional and regional newspapers covering all 26 cantons, i.e. electoral districts. The influence of the electoral campaign is examined using hierarchical models, by modelling a candidate’s electoral success for each ballot list in his district. This procedure bears the advantage that we are in a better position to model the votes of an individual candidate in relation to the alternatives a voter was offered on other party lists. We find that the form as well as the intensity of electoral campaigning matter for electoral success in terms of both, votes gained from cumulation as well as votes gained from panachage. In contrast to findings from other open-list PR-systems, we find that challengers profit substantially more from electoral campaigning than incumbents do.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Gerber, Marlène, Bühlmann, Marc, Zumbach, David


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science




Marc Bühlmann

Date Deposited:

12 Jul 2017 16:49

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:04




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